#798: “Nothing new under the Sun" - Religion and Minorities

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#798: “Nothing new under the Sun" - Religion and Minorities

Postby Tico » Wed Feb 06, 2013 7:55 pm

“Nothing new under the Sun"

Hi there,

I really enjoy the show, it’s amusing and most of the discussion is productive, please keep up the good work. I recently relinquished my religious beliefs and now I am a proud apostate! This is my first post too.

This is about the "Atheist Experience #798: “Nothing new under the Sun" and a section discussed,

Religion and Minorities

The caller and speakers assumed that minorities (they made reference to Hispanics and women) are more inclined to have religious beliefs. I found this assumption a little troubling, because it lacked of evidence, appeared biased, and it could have been developed a little further.

Religion can duel in desperation, fear, oppression and ignorance. However, that is not the only reason we have religion pestering our existence. While is true that these characteristics are commonly found in minorities, this is not the only reason we have it. Also, I think the caller and speakers were making reference to the USA.

Among many things, religion could be considered a part of our evolution making that backfired (R. Dawkins - The God Delusion, Chapter 5). After a group of people is exposed to indoctrination, it is extremely difficult to control and it spreads like a virus. It has been said that only one in 12 children can drift away from religion as adults. The religiosity in Latin America, for instance, is a consequence of the good ole sharp sword indoctrination from the Europeans since the 1500's. In Africa, this indoctrination is currently taking place and is growing at an uncontrollable speed thanks to missionaries. Here is where we can associate the desperation, fear, oppression and ignorance that made Latin America catholic.

However, let's take a moment to analyze the demographics in the USA. Most of the religious people in the USA are from European decedents, we don't consider them as minorities in this country, and regrettably , the Christian myth and its mutations are out of control. Let's go back to the assumption that desperation, fear, oppression and ignorance promote religion, and one we compare it to the average lifestyle of an American, we will not see the same difficulties that we could find in other less developed countries. However, the percentage of religious beliefs is alarming.

Therefore, the claim that a minority is more inclined to be more religious is vague, and a little biased. In fact, the majority is the one that imposes these religious beliefs and not the minorities. Also, let's consider that religion is part of our American zeitgeist, and just like we spread our music and fashion around the world, America is also contributing to the expansion of this impairment we call religion. This is extremely disturbing, especially considering that our Founding Fathers were either atheist or deist. What happened along the way?

Congratulations and keep up the fight for reason!

Tico

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Censu ... County.svg


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Level_of_s ... _evolution

United States
1997 Gallup poll[citation needed]

US Group Young Earth Creationism
Belief in God-guided evolution
Belief in evolution without God
Public 44% 39% 10%
Scientists 5% 40% 55%

2008 Gallup poll[135]

US Political Identification Young Earth Creationism
Belief in God-guided evolution
Belief in evolution without God
Republican 60% 32% 4%
Democrat 38% 39% 17%
Independent 40% 36% 19%
Tico
 
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Re: #798: “Nothing new under the Sun" - Religion and Minorit

Postby Lausten » Thu Feb 07, 2013 2:26 am

Welcome Tico;
I watched that show. I'm not sure exactly what you are addressing. You seem to have your facts straight about religion and minorities, but could you be more specific about the statements you are responding to?
Lausten
 
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Re: #798: “Nothing new under the Sun" - Religion and Minorit

Postby Tico » Wed Feb 20, 2013 12:01 am

Hi there,

The show is awesome. I watch it at home and listen to it while driving. Keep up the good work gals and guys.

Here is the link, http://blip.tv/the-atheist-experience-t ... on-6515054. Go to minute 54:30 more or less

The caller and host talk about how religions are appealing to minorities, and later it mentions losing the support network. However, if this is the base of the argument, it completely ignores that being a minority is not the only reason we have religion. I addressed that on the original post.

Then he goes to say that is a "much bigger risk to come out as atheist if one is a member of a minority group, because one will face losing the support network". Later on, he goes to say that is much harder for minorities to become atheist than if you are "a middle aged white guy". This is the particular comment from Russell Glasser that I find disturbing, specially coming from a someone that lives inTexas.

Is it really easier to come out as an atheist if one is a white middle aged guy than a minority? In what country?

Try being a middle age white politician and count your votes.

Texas Constitution - Sec. 4. RELIGIOUS TESTS. No religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office, or public trust, in this State; nor shall any one be excluded from holding office on account of his religious sentiments, provided he acknowledge the existence of a Supreme Being.


Is he implying that religion is not stronger in minorities? How could that be true if in fact it is indeed the majority that controls the system. It is not harder to come out as an atheist for minorities, its harder for everyone because the entire nation is full of Christian lunatics. Is he implying that middle aged white guys are not as religious as minorities? That would be another bluff.

What about the middle aged white atheist teachers in Indiana, Missouri or Oklahoma where the politicians are pushing for creationism at schools? Imagine being a middle aged white atheist teacher there, and consider if they will loose their support network.

Is he talking about friends and family members only? Well, I would like to see Matt Dillahunty's thanksgiving family discussion with his parents.

I think this comment is biased and a little racist. Atheist women and atheist minorities face equal religious discrimination, it is just one more thing that is added to the everyday ordeal. It all depends on the kind of people one is surrounded by. We can't choose our family, but we can select our friends and (some of us) our job. Also, we can chose where to live. I am in Chicago and coming out as an atheist wasn't as difficult as I thought it was going to be. However, I can only imagine doing so if I lived in Hillbilly Land. My concern here is that atheist are just people, and derogatory comments like this one exists. However, we should proud ourselves for giving reason and critical thinking a better chance, and this is why this type of comments should be avoided.

Russell, Matt, keep up the good work.

Peace!
Tico
 
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Re: #798: “Nothing new under the Sun" - Religion and Minorit

Postby Lausten » Wed Feb 20, 2013 7:11 pm

Yeah, I remember that part. I thought Russell did a great job with it. It is not racist or biased for a middle aged white guy to admit that he has privileges in America. If there isn’t some group that has privileges then there is no racism at all and we wouldn’t be discussing this.

Apparently you also acknowledge that there is such a thing as inequality, but you seem to be trying to remove it from the atheism discussion by saying “atheist minorities face equal religious discrimination”. It’s possible that’s true, but it isn’t what Russell is addressing. He is addressing that coming out is easier if you have a culture that supports you. As you (so racist-ly) point out, coming out in “Hillbilly Land” is more difficult, because you would likely have few if any friends to share it with.

Some of your statements are questions or rhetorical, so I can’t figure out where you actually stand;

“Try being a middle age white politician and count your votes.”
Umm, most do pretty well. What’s your point?

“Is he implying that religion is not stronger in minorities?”
Umm, I think he is implying it IS stronger. There is at least one African-American blogger on Freethought blogs that could give you some perspective on that. I think the data is pretty easy to find.

“How could that be true if in fact it is indeed the majority that controls the system.”
It’s true because the majority controls the system. Native Americans adopted Christianity to survive. It’s weird, but look at the history of how missionaries first threaten, then feed, then force education and indoctrination, then they just win. Even after the threats are gone, minorities often attempt to integrate themselves by taking on aspects of the majority culture. It’s just easier that way. What do you think “majority control” means?

“Is he implying that middle aged white guys are not as religious as minorities?”
No, he is implying it is easier for M.A.W.G.s to do just about anything they want. Store clerks don’t suspect us, job interviewers don’t assume we’re lazy and the police don’t have us in their profile. It’s awesome.
Lausten
 
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Re: #798: “Nothing new under the Sun" - Religion and Minorit

Postby Tico » Fri Mar 08, 2013 11:57 pm

Lausten,

Thank you very much for taking the time to respond to my post.

I said “Hillbilly Land” in a facetious way. I've heard people calling themselves "hillbillies and proud" while showing their awesome boots. So, it goes. The comment made reference to southern states, known for being more religious than the rest of the Union among other things. http://www.topalli.com/blue/

It's hard to communicate when I step on my own toes. I made a few mistakes. See below.

I left a word out, atheist

“Try being a middle age white atheist politician and count your votes.”

At least for the time being, I don’t see any atheist being elected. Some states prohibit this as stated above. I will be proved wrong the day an openly atheist person gets elected in, let’s say, Texas. Yes, I am ware we have two senators under the “unspecified” category.

“Umm, I think he is implying it IS stronger.”

Correct, I should have deleted the word “NOT”. Well, neither you nor I can say what he meant, but I think we can safely assume this is correct.

Thanks to the almighty Google I found a few things regarding the level of religiosity in some minorities, as you said, are “easy to prove.”
http://www.gallup.com/poll/17404/where-hispanic-americans-stand-religion-politics.aspx

http://www.pewforum.org/African-Americans-and-Religion.aspx

A new analysis by the Pew Research Center's Forum on Religion & Public Life finds that African-Americans are markedly more religious on a variety of measures than the U.S. population as a whole.

http://www.pewforum.org/African-Americans-and-Religion.aspx

“Is he implying that middle aged white guys are not as religious as minorities?”
No, he is implying it is easier for M.A.W.G.s to do just about anything they want. Store clerks don’t suspect us, job interviewers don’t assume we’re lazy and the police don’t have us in their profile. It’s awesome.


Awesome” This type of pride and prejudice is stronger in certain parts of the country like religiosity, as stated above.

Is it harder for minorities - and just throw all women in the same sentence, why not?- to come out? Well, one can smugly say “yes”, but it all depends on a few factors like geographical location, level of education and networks. That’s why I found the statement condescending.

The team is doing a great job, I love the program and enjoy the discussion.

Peace,
Tico
 
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