I wonder if it is theism which is the stumbling block? Or the unwillingness of those involved to give up on a lifetime of ideas, which in many cases, I think due to overwhelming support, is working.

Yes there are those believers for whom belief is strong. However I think the majority are simply adhering to a lifestyle learned from childhood out of fear. Not fear from scripture but fear from family and friends looking down on them. Most I have tried to talk with, are unwilling to even have a discussion, knowing all the arguments themselves, agreeing with them, but it seems a willful ignorance keeps the family happy. At least in my experience.

If those people would let go, the sheer numbers I think would show we are not the few, but the many. Effectively taking the missiles out of reach of children.( an obvious overstatement, but without numbers, at least those who want to wage war, need an actual plausible reason to do so, instead of whose book is right.)

To do so we must remain neutral, as this is our primary stance here anyway. Present ourselves continually the voice of reason. But we must be heard. It was reading Dawkins I decided I needed to speak up(yrs later still trying to), and, discovering several wrong ways to do this, started seeking advice/opinions from others.

The bigotry faced by atheist is atrocious, if this can be faced and overcome, I believe unbelievers will come out of the proverbial closet in droves.

It's the old stigma of a crowd of kids watching a bully on the playground pick on a nerd. When someone in the crowd finally stops and says the bully is wrong, the first to do so is usually frowned at, none speak up so they can fit in with the crowd. So the bully still gets his way.
The Bully = religion
The Crowd = well, the crowd(masses)
Nerd getting beat up = atheist

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Comment by Michael Penn on August 16, 2014 at 8:21am

I see bigotry every day. It shows up to me in what is said aloud and what is written, but the ones displaying it have no clue. Take the shooting death of a young teen in Ferguson, a suburb of St. Louis, Mo. I never refer to this young man's race. I seldom even say he was black. I don't often see the point here. Others that I know say black and even the N word to somehow put people of a different race and color than themselves in a bad light. They may tell you they have no bias, but the man is an N just because he is an N. This sort of behavior shows much more than a lack of education.

I agree with Amanda's reply here fully well. In Africa in 2004 my favorite cab driver was Muslim. I had no reason to have fear of him, and he had no reason to fear me.

Comment by Bluegrass Skeptic on August 14, 2014 at 9:09pm
There is a book called confessions of a guilty bystander written by a priest by the name of Thomas Merton. He was reflecting on the plight of African Americans during the Civil Rights movement. Particularly focusing on how religious men seem to project their fears onto those who are different than they so they can keep their faith propped up. Including those who justvstand by and watch injustice occur. This behavior applies to all creeds the religious discriminate against. Atheists, Muslims, Illegals, and lgbtq.



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