March 25th 2009

How the media support discrimination against atheists

By Marie Alena Castle

Ever wondered why atheists rank at rock bottom in public acceptance? Even below Muslims right after 9/11?  Blame the media and their religious reporting. A fine example is the Minneapolis Star Tribune, whose weekly Faith & Values pages consistently promote faith only, never secular values. We get to read about trivial do-gooder articles and even more trivial doctrinal and ritualistic beliefs. On March 24 they had a huge article with photos about the Catholic Church’s reinstatement of its imaginary indulgences that supposedly lessen one’s time in an imaginary purgatory in which one works off the residual punishment for largely imaginary sins (pretty much anything related to sex). Meanwhile, on March 12, we sent the Strib editor and also the religion editor the following email. There has been no response:


TO: Nancy Barnes and Jeff Strickler

You have no doubt been reading about the increasing number of nonreligious people in this country, now at about 15%, as reported in your March 9 issue. It might be of considerable public interest to know more about this demographic. What does the increase mean in terms of the political and social effects? What would the godless do if they organized as aggressively as, say, the religious right? What political and social values do the nonreligious have? I’m sure you can think of other good questions and issues to explore.

We have several nonreligious organizations in the Twin Cities area that would be excellent sources for interviews. Most of the members come from religious backgrounds, so can provide some insight into the reasons for the increase, as well as the social/political ramifications of possibly increased influence. They are:

Atheists For Human Rights,

Minnesota Atheists,

Humanists of Minnesota,

Campus Atheists & Secular Humanists (CASH),

Given that surveys always show nonbelievers to be the most unpopular group in society, this would be a good opportunity to show to what extent, if any, such antipathy has any factual basis.

Please contact me if you would like more information or sources of information. Thank you.

Marie Alena Castle, Communications Director, Atheists For Human Rights


4 Responses to “How the media support discrimination against atheists”

  1. Courtney on 21 Dec 2009 at 08:12pm #

    I wish my state paper would do this. They have a “Religion” section in their paper and it disgusts me every time I have to flip through it.
    It’s one of the reasons I refuse to buy the paper.
    In any case, it’s a great suggestion and of course your group could also put out your own publication to give out to the public.

  2. max benser on 04 May 2010 at 04:01pm #

    Atheism of Nicole Smalkowski!!!
    1. Young american Girl and Logic of Atheism!
    2. Empathie of Atheism!
    3. Feuerbach Ludwig: “Das Wesen des Christentums” Lk.19:27.
    4. Atheism of Ludwig Feuerbach!

    Atheist 100%

  3. Barry on 11 Oct 2010 at 04:23am #

    Actually the wording right in your opening paragraph is exactly why Atheism is held in such contempt. If this is how you talk about peoples’ deeply held beliefs, how do you think they will respond? Invite you to the Church potlock?
    I’ve never been given a satisfactory answer as to why Atheists think denigating others will somehow lead to further acceptance of their own beliefs. How was it decided that this was the best strategy to further their cause?

  4. Rafe on 04 Feb 2011 at 11:20am #

    Is that right?! 15%?!
    We need to start squeeking louder! Much louder.
    I think that blacks represent like 15% + or – and they or their “culture” are everywhere.
    Plus whats the estimate on closet reasonable, free thinkers (atheists)?
    It gives me hope for the future.
    Hey, while i’m here let me tell you one of the things i would do if i was god. in the middle of every
    square mile of land i would have a small fountain of water. If you were mostly good it would instantly cure
    any injury or sickness. If you were mostly bad it would instantly turn you to stone. They couldnt be interfered w/ in anyway.Guarded by angels or something.(oh yeah, the Sahara would be farmland,
    the oceans drinkable AND breathable and undo the whole tower of babble thing so we all can communicate.)

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