In my life I have found that more prejudice and racism has come from Christian people. Ironically I was told to not be "unequally yoked together with non-believers." Well, those are the very people who treated me as an equal human being.
Here in Georgia there are more religious people than anywhere else I have lived. There are also the most openly homophobic and racist people. I think that atheists tend to be better critical thinkers, which is why we understand that race doesn't define a person.
@mt49er I agree with racism being more rampant in all white communities I grew up in a white blue collar suburb. The overt racism was one of the reasons I left. I now live a very multi-cultural area near the city center. During the 80`s we had a huge riot here (in Toxteth). After which it became a "no-go" area for police. Some of my old friends from the burbs look incredulous at me when I tell them it was the Muslims (mostly Somali) that straightened out the place.
I don't doubt that some racist Atheists, but at least they are not hiding behind the bible. I think the non-believers (Atheists, Agonistics, Humanists, ,,,,) would be less inclined to be racist or prejudiced. In the US we are a marginalized group and, as such, would have experienced prejudice and would be more cognizant of prejudice and bias.
My feeling is that the average atheist is less racist as the average theist.
I've met racist atheists, many (too many unfortunately) misogynist atheists, dumb atheists too. Being atheist doesn't guarantee being well-rounded, or smart
Yes. Here is the thing about atheism I think people don't get. Being an atheist is one aspect, a single, individual part of who I am. I lack belief in a God. That could very well be the only accepted commonality I share with another atheist. Atheism isn't a worldview it a single statement. I lack a belief in God. My other point is we are all racist. Racism is a matter of degrees. How racist are you? Example If I see a middle eastern Muslim person walking down the street, I am less comfortable than when I look at an Asian person or African American person walking down the street. And I am even more relaxed when it's a person of my race walking down the road. To me, I see that as my level of racism. I'm more comfortable when I recognize an individual who I identify as similar to me.
I don't believe we are as prejudiced as religious people. Considering we don't believe all the bullshit in the bible about how we should hate everyone who is different...
Atheism and racism are quite separate. In my experience, people living in China and Russia are commonly quite racist and a significant proportion would also be atheist. However, people who are inclined to question things and live in places where religiosity is expected, may question both religious and racist beliefs.
Religious people tend to need a crutch and often use religion to attack others when they feel weak. Many religious people (not all) fear atheism and resent our logic and confidence-so yes- if you live in fear then you are more likely to be racist.
People are people. All can be and are racists. However, religious people are told to be racist as a way to gain immortality. I feel most racism is based on some sort of dogma.
@JackPedigo's You are onto something here; religious people tend to be far more authoritarian than non-believers. It is that ability to believe what they are told that leads to them being far more likely to be racist not the religion itself. Fundamentally racist dogma is not that different than religious dogma the ability to swallow one set of lies without question is the same ability to swallow another set without question.
I think there are good and bad in every race, every belief --- every division of humanity.
athiest peoples are justas racistas non-athiest.
i don't think we are talking about whether people are good are bad. i care not to discuss racism w/most folks especially caucasians because it's simply futile. the issue does not need to be discussed unless there is some agreed understanding of what it is, how it expresses itself, etc. sooo, cannot continue. i, me, people who look like me did not create the shish, thus, we cannot change it and i will not stress myself trying to get people who don't want to not be to discuss. it's futile and meaningless.
I don't think any particular group has the racism market cornered, so nobody is instantly off the hook, but it does seem that those with an in-group mentally are more likely to be conservatively religious. I try to take people as individuals, not as representatives of their group, so I don't tend to lump all Christians or members of other religions in together. Until someone shows me their true colors, I make an effort to reserve judgement.
I personally don't think racism has as much to do with any religion as much as it does ignorance. As the base of religion requires faith and belief, those raised in it are ignorant from lack of teaching and exposure. Those who come to religion later in life to me, seem to have issues with self importance, righteousness and narcissism. Add into that the ages old practice of religious leaders promoting the ignorance, seclusion, and "enemy mind set" of any being, activity or appreciation outside the faith you have a storm of close mindedness and prejudice.
Racism is just ONE of the many things the good faithful don't have any idea they are. propagating.
Recent events in the US, the emboldened make America great again mind set has thankfully taught me I am far less racist/prejudice than I thought I might be.
That being said I think there will always be inequality. It is a downfall of mankind that where there is room for a preference, there is room for a non preferred, that non preferred takes a backseat. Be it male/female blonde/brunette sunshine/moonlight.
Well, minorities tend to be more broad-minded than majorities - and atheists are in minority almost everywhere in the world. In my experience, people who have just become atheists usually hold a lot of rancor toward religion and will often discriminate openly against those that have strong religious beliefs. With time, the rancor goes and acceptation of other people's way of life, as being an atheist is morally much harder than being religious, as you are your own judge, you have to make your own moral choices and you have to confront mortality as an end, not a beginning.
I like your thoughtful comments, but atheists are certainly not in minority where I grew up and where I live now. Unlike most members here, I was almost forced to be an atheist while growing up. I think having no freedom of religion is just as bad as being brainwashed by religion, if not worse. Luckily I've never been really religious or an atheist.
My experience is that yes, religious people do seem to be more prejudiced than atheists. They are more racist, more homophobic, more likely to be misogynists or xenophobic. Having been taught the Christian doctrine, I think it is because the bible teaches fear and hate of those unlike ourselves. Slavery was acceptable, murder was acceptable, being gay was unacceptable--an abomination and women were definitely second class citizens, etc. I think this is because when the bible was written people were fearful of those differences and they didn't understand the science behind it. People who read the bible and believe it is the actual word of god must believe what is written there.
Atheists, on the other hand, are science oriented, logical, analytical and critical thinkers. They are more likely to be educated AND we don't have a book telling us how to live and hate. We are free to love and support all people.
On a personal level, I was raised by all four parents to be a Christian and to be a racist. I bought it lock stock and barrel. Then I got out into the working world and began to realize that my parents (one was and is a born again Christian) were wrong, very, very wrong. I was ashamed but I changed and I raised by daughters not to judge and not to hate and not to fear people who were different. They are wonderful daughters and they are raising wonderful, loving children. I believe there is hope and I believe that it starts with preventing religious dogma from being taught to our children and thereby releasing its hold on our children and our future.
I'd say for the most part non-believers are less racist simply because we've educated ourselves, which tends to make most of us more liberal, hence, we actually believe in equal rights and treatment for all. Sure there's some exceptions, but most of the hate comes out of conservative/evangelistic ideas of white male supremacy.
Of course they can be as bigoted as anyone on the planet. Fortunately, it seems that the numbers are small and they don't seem to be in the public eye much at all. Part of that may be because of education, but I think the largest reason atheists seem to be accepting of all is the mere fact that they have not only rejected the god thing notion, but all the trappings that come with it in the form of religions. Rejecting that, it seems to me, also means rejecting all the nonsense regarding 'chosen few', 'superior moral ground', 'my god's thingy is bigger than your god's thingy', etc.
Obviously Atheists have the same possibility to be racist, racism is more to do with outside influences, so as both will get the same influences, then it stands to reason they will be the same.
Being atheist doesn't automatically make someone more enlightened.
@MichaelSpinler this race thing is about keeping the masses divided so the oligarchy can control them, there is only one race on this planet, the Human Race.
Atheists run the gamut, just like any other group. Some atheists are racist, some aren't. Some atheists are assholes, some aren't. Some atheists are unethical, some aren't. And some atheists are, in fact, stupid. People are people, and in my experience, surprisingly so, especially given how "educated" or "enlightened" some of them claim to be.
I’m not sure that religious people have a monopoly on racism.
Yes religious people are more obvious about it because anything that is not according to their belief system or what their book or rules say, is cause for jumping up and down in a hissy fit. It is also a cause for proclaiming they are better than people who are ‘different’ from them, be it race, colour or creed.
But there are also people out there who maybe because of upbringing, education, talents; quite apart from religious influence or belief; who consider they are better than others. Or who because they have white skin, or live in an economically stable society, or even because they speak english, believe that their race is far superior than any others.
It is these people who are unable to perceive that difference has nothing to do with superiority/ inferiority. It is biology, genetics, an abundance of sun or lack of it that dictates what others see on the surface.
What is important is who we are inside and are we able to adjust our pre-conceived notions and accept love and friendship from whatever quarter.
Anyway, as I sure you all agree life would be extremely boring and not nearly as rich if we were all the same. Just remember this comment comes from someone who thrives on change and difference.
I lived in Columbus for a short time, but didn't notice many problems. The worst places I have lived was in little towns were color isn't present. Going to Junior High and High School in Plattsmouth, NE, our annual festival was the King Corn Carnival or KKK. After being boycotted while I was in High School, they added two more K's to make the Cass County King Corn Carnival. At least they've updated to the Plattsmouth Harvest Festival at some point since. Now, I currently live Montana where loud and proud bigotry seems to be widely prominent. People seem more willing to put down others when they're not present to defend themselves.