Atheist stereotypes: the one group it's still okay to discriminate against.

Somethings has been bothering me lately. How come it's considered okay to propagate the atheist stereotype in books, movies and tv shows? No one would ever dream of making a movie where the token black character is lazy, stupid and a criminal. Or a book where the lead female is dumb, helpless and pregnant in the kitchen. So why when there is an Atheist character, if there is one at all, it is an old, bitter, intolerant, immoral, self-serving, man? Who is usually a doctor or some well paying position of high status.

You can't tell it from where you are, but I'm none of those things. I actually think that my morals are better than some of my christian friends and I am way more tolerant than a few of them (baptists). I am young and very up beat and volunteer every week. I'm middle class and not a doctor (though if all goes well I soon will be). Oh, and I'm a woman. And I bet most of you reading this could say a lot of the same things.

Where have I seen this atheist stereotype? Well, the most well known example would be everyone favorite psychopathic, institutionalized, doctor and tv atheist House! I have nothing against the idea of having an Atheist be the star of a popular tv show but House fits the above Hollywood atheist stereotype like a glove.

Why are atheists never depicted as the bright, cultured, diverse and moral people most of us actually are? Not enough people are telling them to stop. I know we are a precious few but if you don't want people, when they hear the word atheist, to think old, self righteous, curmudgeon, then right to a movie producer or an author and tell them they offended you. It's no fun being discriminated against but you don't have to sit there and take it.

If you agree with what I'm saying, comment. If you don't agree, comment. If you don't really have an opinion, comment anyway.

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Police officers hate CSI for the some of the same reasons you hate House. It gives unrealistic expectations for victims in similar situations in real life. For the rest of us, ignorance is bliss.

I understand people being afraid of "coming out." Especially where you're from. The damn Texas board of education wants to pretend that Thomas Jefferson didn't exist because he was openly critical of Christianity. Similarly, the state I live in has a creation museum that's going to build a life-sized replica of Noah's Ark filled with baby dinosaurs.

I had totally forgot that Dane Cook joke. You know when comedians tell a black joke or jew joke these days, they at least make some effort to show that they are being facetious. Dane Cook seems genuinely advocate every one of these stereotypes.

And what if the joke were about an arrogant Hindu or Buddhist person getting reincarnated into a an alligator and then Dane Cook said we should make him into a pair of boots and a leather bound bible cover? People would be a little more angry then.

yep. and if you call them out on bigotry, then you're being "whiny" and "over-sensitive."
He jovially describes the violent destruction of a tree that represents a human being. That gets him past the controversy of a joke of actually murdering a person. It's a little fucked up. Joking about asians being bad drivers is one thing. Joking about killing them in their next life is a little bit worse.

I don't think there are to many instances of openly atheist characters on TV, but when they do make an appearance, they're usually portrayed as being "lost" or disillusioned with religion. What irritates me is that they very rarely delve into the character to reveal anything else, such as someone who has used reasoning or the study of religion to come to their own conclusions. As someone else said, they are normally portrayed as being angry at god, and just going through a stage of religious rebellion. You can guarantee if there's any religious vs non-religious happenings going on, that by the end there will be some kind of "sign" and the atheist will conveniently fold and return to the flock with that asinine "I should never have doubted" look about them.


I'd love to see a true atheist character on TV, instead of a sociopathic Dr. House. Wouldn't you like to see an episode where some religious bible thumper spouts off about how great it will be when jeebus returns, only to be reminded that jeebus himself says in the bible that he should have already been back about 2000 years ago? It'll probably never happen, but it would be nice to an atheist character that stands up for what he has learned for himself.

I didn’t know that there were any generally accepted atheist stereo types.  From the few episodes of House that I have seen, I really like the character of Dr. House.  I could think of a lot worse representatives of my worldview.

I’m afraid that this thread is just looking for an excuse to be a victim.  If you think of your self as a victim that is all you will ever be.  Look where this thinking has gotten some of the other minorities.

So, is the way one would point this out something along these lines:


"Mister/Ms special kind of believer who thinks that all but your special kind of believers are immoral, is there anything in particular that you do or don't do that others do not?"

Imo we generally are portrait as bright. House is outright brilliant tho admittedly a brilliant self obsessed asshole. I may be incorrectly premature in labeling Gorren an atheist simply because he is so Sherlock Holmes rational and smart. But he is another atheist Hollywood character admirable precisely because he is so bright.

I find our portrail in Hollywood to be the least of our concernce.

I think there is some stereotypes, but a lot of it grows out of the whole idea that we're just "angry at god", when no, we're not, we're angry at the people who follow god.

I will say I object to the title--fat people are still stereotyped as gluttonous bodies with no heads, and the one show that ever treated them like real people was canceled after 10 episodes---no one likes seeing fat people as real people. So no, not just atheists. Lots of people. Here's the list that Wikipedia has, some are, of course, Perry Cox and House, but others, like the Scientist from Contact and Dexter are you know, good people who just happen to be athiest, and are not angry at god in the least--they also tend to be extremely intelligent, which is another thing I've noticed--you never find a completely idiotic atheist.

I dunno, I'll compare it to the stereotype of the "young male gamer" atheist, the guy who doesn't believe in god and frequents 4chan and lives in his mom's basement, and is gonna be a virgin for a long, long time--stereotypes do have a grain of truth behind them, but I think the way atheists are portrayed is due to their lack of frequence in various other media--how many fictional muslims are on tv? How many fictional fat people? Not many, definitely not many.

And most fictional "fat" people are like Faye of Questionable Content--who's a little curvy, with like 10 extra pounds on her--OVERWEIGHT. No one is my size, except for the kids on Huge---I swear it's the one place where there's actually been people like me -allowed- near a camera. Also, Will--I so want to say that she's atheist--or at least agnostic. We also have an adorable jewish dude in the show. But Will questions why someone would go to church while at camp, and while everyone else is inside praying for thighs that don't touch, she's outside, with Ian, the jew. <3


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