This just in atheists are the same as everyone else! It turns out there is no reason for athiests to be concerned about civil rights, because unlike women, African Americans, and gays and lesbians we got it easy.
But do unbelievers really suffer comparable harm? Atheists are not denied equal access to housing for lacking belief in god, nor are they kept from seeing their partners during life-threatening scenarios in hospitals. Atheists don't earn sixty-five cents for every dollar earned by believers, nor are they prevented from voting. To our knowledge, there is no such thing as "atheist bashing." If there were cases of such harm, one would expect to hear about them in the media and the courts, or at least in the common knowledge of unbelievers. So, where are the cases? On many occasions we have put this question to leaders in the nonreligious community and have never been presented with a single compelling example.
Well there you go. Atheists have not been evicted, nor has there been reason to believe atheists could lose their jobs.
Sure, it would be hard to be elected to higher office in America as an avowed unbeliever, but it would also be impossible for a socialist or a Mother Earth spiritualist. And being barred from the Boy Scouts hardly affects one's basic life prospects. Besides, most experts agree that Scouting is not a "public accommodation" in which everyone has a right to be included.
Hard? Did they actually say hard? Well, I guess this would make it hard in Arkansas Constitution Of The State Of Arkansas Of 1874. You'll notice no mention of socialists or Mother Earth spiritualists. Its good to see Grothe and Dacey did the fact-checking you expect when making such sweeping statements, too bad they didnt try google.
I should point out there is the flip side viewpoint published by the Council of Secular Humanism two issues after one in which the Grothe Dacey article appeared.
Hat tip to Framing Science, which brought this to my attention. And an especially big thank you to Nisbet for raising my bloodpressure 20 points just before bed with his offensive support of the original article and flippant dismissal of dissenters in the comments. I particularly enjoyed "If there were cases of such harm, one would expect to hear about them in the media and the courts, or at least in the common knowledge of unbelievers. So, where are the cases?" Look up any prayer in school law suit, creationism/ID law suit like the recent Dover trial, "under god" law suit, etc these are all separation of church and state issues, but I think it is pretty easy to see how state sanctioned religious favoritism is effectively discriminatory. Also, while you're looking up those cases, try and find out about the fall-out and abuse the plantiffs inevitably had
Final snark coming, Hey Grothe and Dacey, with a large proportion of the country religious and even more afraid of offending the few most virulent of the religious, are you surprised this isnt getting more press? When a homosexual man gets dragged to death behind a Texas pick-up truck its big news, but those who actually survive an assault are generally not making headlines. Similarly, when a Kansas professor is hospitalized after being beaten by ID proponents it is news....I guess Grothe an Dacey forgot because Mirecki lived.
Although based on his defensiveness on the "Framing Science" debate, Im not surprised.
A Comet Unnoticed
5 hours ago in The Astronomist