Continuing the discussion from Poll: 54% of Republicans believe, “deep down,” Obama is a Muslim:
Salon just had an article today on the topic of the original post (Obama not being Christian) in which the author asks why, if calling Obama Muslim is just anti-Obama cheerleading why they don’t call him an atheist. In linked to some Pew research on how Americans see people of different religions which puts atheists as essentially tied with Muslims as the least liked “religion.”
There are lots of charts, but this is the one that I found most interesting:
If you do a little subtraction, you see that for Abrahamic religions knowing someone of that faith increases the opinion of people of that faith by 14-17. For the others, knowing someone increases “warm feelings” by 21 or 22 points.
I think maybe a lot of people are very alienated from the idea of a non-monotheism. When you replace God with gods (even if zero gods) people think that will somehow make a really big difference in how people live their lives or see the world. Since people are people, that is dispelable by knowing atheists (and Hindus and Buddhists). When someone doesn’t know any atheists (that is, they don’t think they know any) then atheists are very clearly the bottom of the barrel, noticeably lower than muslims.
Of course this is all means and that’s a little misleading. Despite Jews being #1 in the most warmly regarded religion here, Jewish Americans are clearly more likely to face discrimination for their religion than Christian Americans are. It would be interesting to see not only the mean but also the variance.
Anyway, I enjoyed reading the research, if only for this bolded line:
Both Jews and Atheists Rate Evangelicals Negatively, but Evangelicals Rate Jews Highly