mad anthony

Rants, politics, and thoughts on politics, technology, life,
and stuff from a generally politically conservative Baltimoron.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

If you are an atheist, does your car insurance still exclude acts of God?

It's been said that the two things you should never talk about in polite conversation are religion and politics. I talk about politics on this blog, but I don't talk about religion much. Part of this is I'm less sure in what I belive when it comes to religion compared to politics, and part of it is that I don't want to offend anyone. I mean, more than I usually do.

But I thought that this study claiming that atheists are the most hated group in America was kind of interesting. I guess part of it must be that gays and Muslims have larger interest groups lobbying for them, and that even the most tolerant society has to tolerate some people slightly less than others.

But I think part of the reason for the lack of tolerance of atheists is that a lot of them tend to come off as jerks. Penn Gillette of Penn and Teller comes to mind - I like lots of his libertarian political ideas, and I don't disagree that some people use religion as a crutch or don't take full advantage of life because of their religious beliefs. But you also get the sense that he feels anyone who believes in a god or gods is stupid. If you want people who have different beliefs than you to tolerate yours, it helps if you tolerate theirs.

And the other time atheists generally make the news is for overly politically correct stuff that creates the enviroment where the Easter Bunny gets kicked out of City Hall in St. Paul lest he offend non-Christians.

I'm sure there are some reasonably tolerant atheists out there - in fact, I know a few. But the few who seem to get in the public eye don't leave the best impression, and that's why I'm not exactly shocked by the survey results.


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