Sunday Morning Blasphemy: Death Threats Against Atheistson July 1, 2012 at 10:16 am
Whenever I point out that religious people routinely attack or threaten to attack atheists, the Fat Smug Bastard, himself a devout Christian, tells me that atheists would do the same if the roles were reversed. That is to say to, if atheists were the dominant (non) belief system, we would threaten, beat up and kill the religious.
This is utterly not true.
Two things: First, atheists do not feel threatened by a belief in the supernatural. “I believe in God!” is no cause for concern to us. People believe in all kinds of unsubstantiated things. People believe in UFOs, too and that doesn’t bother atheists. What we do feel threatened by is the statement, “I believe in God and you must obey His laws! Or else…” And then comes the violence. Atheists do not do this. You will never hear a rational atheist say “You must not believe in the supernatural! Or else…”
Second: We already have real world examples where religion is the minority. In several European countries, like Estonia and Sweden, the majority of the population is atheist/agnostic/can’t be bothered. Yet, there is no equivalent systematic prejudice against the religious minority. They are not assaulted, murdered or publicly denounced.
The problem is that religion is used by far too many as a means to seize and maintain power. Look at the Republican Party; they use Republican Jesus™ to whip their followers into a religious frenzy over gay marriage and abortion then tell them that tax cuts for the rich is what Jesus would want. The mere lack of belief or, even worse, actively challenging the existence of the supernatural, is a direct threat to an existing power structure. Therefor, atheists are vilified by those that wish to keep their power and they instruct their followers to hate and fear us as well. It just doesn’t work in the other direction.