The ABC News program “Nightline” broadcast a segment on atheist Edwin Kagin Friday night and from the framing and word use it was one of those “look at the scary atheist” stories. I can’t say that I am surprised since most people hate atheists and what they don’t believe.
Skye Jethani is an ordained pastor and author who wrote a recent article on Huffington Post titled “What Evangelicals and Atheists Have in Common” that shows us how a Christian apologist can marginalize atheists or other religious minorities and frame a “concern” into a positive spin about one’s own religion.
As usual there has been a lot of ink spilled over a book by an atheist who went undercover as an evangelical who came out the other side with some empathy for the common believer. Our church and state issues have never been about the average John and Jane Believer. The issues come up and the anger boils because John and Jane remain silent while their leaders stir things up and cause the problems.
One complaint about atheism and secular humanism is that we don’t have many if any women involved. The inference is that women tend to gravitate to emotional support that supposedly only theistic or spiritual religions can provide. Besides supporting a bad stereotype, the inference is plain wrong. Jen McCreight, writer of the Blag Hag blog listed some of the great female nonbelievers alive today.
Cecil Bothwell was elected to the Asheville, North Carolina city council. Mr. Bothwell has also admitted that he “believes in the Golden Rule but finds the question of whether there is a God or not ‘irrelevant.'” Of course some conservative Christians are upset that an atheist was elected to public office and one man, in an ironic twist the former president of the local NAACP, said he would file a lawsuit challenging Bothwell taking office.
No one really likes an angry person in life or in person. People especially don’t like angry people when they “attack” your established traditions and long held beliefs. When there is a shift in society’s power structure the media and others like to focus on the angry people as if doing so discredits the supporters of the change. It seems to be working that way for atheism too.