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Atheists Face Discrimination And Persecution According To Report

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http://worldnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/12/10/15814394-like-lesser-americans-atheists-face-discrimination-persecution-report-says

'Like lesser Americans': Atheists face discrimination, persecution, report says

GENEVA -- Atheists and other religious skeptics suffer persecution or discrimination in many parts of the world and in at least seven countries can be executed if their beliefs become known, according to a report issued Monday.

The study, from the International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU), showed that "unbelievers" in Islamic countries face the most severe -- sometimes brutal -- treatment at the hands of the state and adherents of the official religion.

But it also points to policies in some European countries and the United States that favor the religious and their organizations and treat atheists and humanists as outsiders.

The report, "Freedom of Thought 2012," said "there are laws that deny atheists' right to exist, curtail their freedom of belief and expression, revoke their right to citizenship, restrict their right to marry."


Other laws "obstruct their access to public education, prohibit them from holding public office, prevent them from working for the state, criminalize their criticism of religion, and execute them for leaving the religion of their parents."

In the United States, for example, where freedom of religion and speech is protected, a social and political climate prevails "in which atheists and the non-religious are made to feel like lesser Americans, or non-Americans," the report said.

In at least seven U.S. states, constitutional provisions are in place that bar atheists from public office and one state, Arkansas, has a law that bars atheists from testifying as witnesses at trials, the report said.

Atheist billboard hits snag in Hasidic neighborhood

"It is often not the case that when people hear of freedom of religion they interpret that in terms of the non-religious too," Bob Churchill, a spokesperson for IHEU, told NBC News. "This report shows clearly how people who mildly criticize religion may go on to suffer months or years in jail, even awaiting a death sentence."

The report was welcomed by Heiner Bielefeldt, U.N. special rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief, who said in a brief introduction there was little awareness that atheists were covered by global human rights agreements.

The IHEU -- which links more than 120 humanist, atheist and secular organizations in more than 40 countries -- said it was issuing the report to mark the U.N.'s Human Rights Day on Monday.

According to its survey of some 60 countries, the seven where expression of atheist views or defection from the official religion can bring capital punishment are Afghanistan, Iran, Maldives, Mauritania, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Sudan.

Forced to lie
The 70-page report lists no recent cases of actual execution for "atheism" -- but researchers say the offence is often subsumed into other charges.

Atheists bill big names for 'coming out' party in the capital

In a range of other countries -- such as Bangladesh, Egypt, Indonesia, Kuwait and Jordan -- publication of atheist or humanist views on religion are totally banned or strictly limited under laws prohibiting "blasphemy."

In many of these countries, and others like Malaysia, citizens have to register as adherents of a small number officially-recognized religions -- which normally include no more than Christianity and Judaism as well as Islam.

Atheists and humanists are thereby forced to lie to obtain their official documents without which it is impossible to go to university, receive medical treatment, travel abroad or drive.

In Europe, sub-Saharan Africa and Latin and North America, countries which identify themselves as secular give privileges to or favor Christian churches in providing education and other public services, the IHEU said.

In Greece and Russia, the Orthodox Church is fiercely protected from criticism and is given pride of place on state occasions, while in Britain bishops of the Church of England have automatic seats in the upper house of parliament.

by on Dec. 10, 2012 at 7:49 AM
Replies (201-210):
LindaClement
by Linda on Dec. 14, 2012 at 12:53 AM
1 mom liked this

I wasn't talking about religion-specific, either. I still think you're conflating the two categories.

A belief 'system' is a system of beliefs that go together, not simply unconfirmed, unexamined thinking (like whether or not tables are 'real')... Yes, it can be other things than churchy stuff --like the education system, or the class system-- but it is a collection of beliefs in a pile, not independent seperate articles of faith.

The basis upon which beliefs are founded isn't a 'system' it's a history. It's a complicated map of what a person has discovered to be a lie, what they've discovered on their own, what they were told, what they half-overheard and misunderstood, their own personality, how they feel about the person who told them, what they think of themselves and what they think they're supposed to 'be' in any given situation, including what they were allowed (or not allowed) to question. 

I don't have 'my truth' --I've changed my mind based on further information, through debate and the growing ability to think more complexly-- I have 'my current understanding' and I'm inclined toward thinking existentially pretty much any time on any subject.

Quoting KamWorthy:

Thank you Linda. I've read your post. Let me attempt to explain where I am coming from as far as my perceptions of Belief System. The term "Belief System" is not exclusive to only those who belong to organized religion, who practice ritualistic faith or who believe in the supernatural, it encompasses far more than that. In fact the definition is "The basis on which beliefs are based". So as you can see, no one is exempt from possessing a belief system. Are Belief Systems vast and unique to the individual, absolutely, but they are not exclusive. Belief System is the process and the tools which are used to subsequently decide in what to believe and if it is true, your truth. I have been discussing all along in this post "Belief System", not beliefs. Though in the first paragraph of this article, they do refer to Athesim as a belief. .........."Atheists and other religious skeptics suffer persecution or discrimination in many parts of the world and in at least seven countries can be executed if their BELIEFS become known".
Quoting LindaClement:

I think the distinction that's making a mess of this particular thread is the conflation of the terms 'beliefs' and 'belief system.'

Everyone has beliefs (that they're short, when it's a relative term not an absolute; that they're likely to live through tomorrow, when they have absolutely no way of predicting the future; that their experience of life is not in fact an entire hallucination provided to them via the Matrix, etc.)

That's fundamentally different from a 'belief system' --which is a system of beliefs, often compiled from received wisdom including that of religions, which is accepted (by the individual) never (or only under extreme duress) to be evaluated for validity again, specifically relying on 'faith' in the existence of anything supernatural.

For example: as a lifelong atheist, I have no beliefs of any kind about what happen after death --only an understanding of the facts: bodies stop performing all the functions of the classification 'alive' (expirating, eliminating, consuming, autonomous movement, cogitating, complex and coordinated biological function, etc.) What, if anything, happens to any imagined 'spirit' or 'soul' or other-worldly aspect of previously-alive humans is, to me, not only fruitless and hilarious speculation, but irrelevant to my entire life.

I like the idea of reincarnation, but I've never believed in it. I believe in tables, air, gravity, combustion propulsion, in the inevitability of humans misunderstanding each other, and post-it notes. I don't believe in other planes of existence, deities of any kind, heaven, hell or anything in between, or miracles. I certainly don't believe that men in dresses or complicated hats who hold objects over their heads in a state of reverence while chanting in modern or ancient languages are communing with or transmitting messages from anywhere unseen: they are practicing the modern equivalent of rubbing blue mud in their navels when the sun is at its zenith on the longest day of the year, which to an outside observer always looks absurd.

I'm with the blogger who explained why 'belief' had ceased to be, to him, a credible argument or debate-ender: the declaration that you forevermore have determined not to examine or evaluate this thought is not scholarly nor a sign of commendable intelligence.

Perhaps if you determined in advance if you're talking about 'beliefs' or 'belief systems', this particular dead-end argument wouldn't happen again?


Dzyre1115
by Silver Member on Dec. 14, 2012 at 12:59 AM

 NBC News.....can't get past that!

mommamaggi
by on Dec. 14, 2012 at 1:09 AM

Can I interject with a little civility for a moment?

This "war on christmas" started with the use of the phrase "Happy Holidays" being used in place of "Merry Christmas"... but why is that so offensive? 

Happy Holidays = Happy Holy Days

Christmas is a christian holy day.

Therefore, there is nothing offensive about the phrase "Happy Holidays". It is simply all nclusive, so that people who celebrate different holy days during this season are all included in the greeting, which is a good thing.

This season isn't owned by christians, it belongs to us all, people of all faiths and lack thereof. Just be kind to one another. Why is that so hard? Why must you hear "Happy Holidays" and claim it's some kind of war against you?

On another note; I am an atheist living in texas and I can tell you first hand about persecution. 

My state does not allow people who do not subscribe to a religion to run for public office.

I and my entire family received death threats by a christian neighbor when he found out I was atheist, telling me that if I didn't relocate my family from his godly neighborhood he would be happy to move us into a pine box 6 feet under... I have 4 kids.

I have been fired from 2 jobs when my bosses found out I am an atheist, and at one of them I was accused of screwing every guy there and stealing money from the till.

My family disowned me and my friends shunned me when I came out.


Now you tell me, if you announce to the world that you are a christian, how many of those things would happen to you?

LindaClement
by Linda on Dec. 14, 2012 at 1:31 AM
1 mom liked this

The other factiod a frighteningly few 'christians' don't seem to know at all is that there is more than one 'holy' day over the 'season'...

All 4 Sundays of Advent

Immaculate Conception

Holy Family

Holy Innocents

Christmas Eve

Christmas Day

In addition to the feasts of the saints: Francis Xavier, Damascus, Our Lady Guadalupe, Nicholas, Ambrose, Stephen, Peter Canisius, and John of the Cross.

The general ignorance of the loudest self-proclaimed 'faithful' is appalling (and hilarious to watch).


Quoting mommamaggi:

Can I interject with a little civility for a moment?

This "war on christmas" started with the use of the phrase "Happy Holidays" being used in place of "Merry Christmas"... but why is that so offensive? 

Happy Holidays = Happy Holy Days

Christmas is a christian holy day.

Therefore, there is nothing offensive about the phrase "Happy Holidays". It is simply all nclusive, so that people who celebrate different holy days during this season are all included in the greeting, which is a good thing.

This season isn't owned by christians, it belongs to us all, people of all faiths and lack thereof. Just be kind to one another. Why is that so hard? Why must you hear "Happy Holidays" and claim it's some kind of war against you?

On another note; I am an atheist living in texas and I can tell you first hand about persecution. 

My state does not allow people who do not subscribe to a religion to run for public office.

I and my entire family received death threats by a christian neighbor when he found out I was atheist, telling me that if I didn't relocate my family from his godly neighborhood he would be happy to move us into a pine box 6 feet under... I have 4 kids.

I have been fired from 2 jobs when my bosses found out I am an atheist, and at one of them I was accused of screwing every guy there and stealing money from the till.

My family disowned me and my friends shunned me when I came out.


Now you tell me, if you announce to the world that you are a christian, how many of those things would happen to you?


punky3175
by Punky on Dec. 14, 2012 at 6:33 AM
You're a smart woman. Now that I've become Pagan, I won't move back to the South. I expect I'm being gossiped about amongst my friends there since I've changed my religious beliefs on FB and post some Pagan type stuff. No one has said anything TO me but I'm 99% sure they've talked about me if they noticed the change. :-)

Quoting Euphoric:

 That's just real unfortunate that you can't feel comfortable being who you are. One of the reasons I've rejected my husband's idea of moving to the south.


Quoting LucyMom08:

I live in the Deep South...SO and I are.pretty much 'in the closet', so to speak, about being atheists...


Quoting Euphoric:


 



Quoting romalove:






Quoting candlegal:






Quoting romalove:






Quoting candlegal:



Yes they are offensive but it is their right to put them up, negative or not.   What bothers me about most of these lawsuits is that in a lot of cases there is no one having to do with the individual situation that is suing, it is an athiest group from out of state.



Quoting tooptimistic:



The billboards are a little offensive. 



If you are Muslim, you don't believe your religion is a myth, so telling them how they believe is a myth is setting out to offend.  The sign falls under free speech, and if you pay for the billboard they willl put whatever you want on it, but it looks like a more positive message would be better pr.  Not really the best way to gain acceptance and understanding.



Why a negative message, why not a more positive one.  I don't care what religion someone else is, my beliefs my business.. You beliefs your business.  I



ts hard to have a positive  image when everything you hear about a group  is negative.. the atheist group is suing again, the atheist group tried to stop a graduation speech, the atheist group is putting up negative billboard.  JMO, but maybe they would get more respect if they were a little more positive.  Its offensive to call others beliefs a myth or a fairy tale or a lie. They need a better PR campaign.






Let me ask you a question.



Do you ever feel uncomfortable to tell people you are a Christian? NO Do you wear a cross? Yes Would you feel comfortable doing so? YES I do  In your real life (not online) do you have people rebuking you for being Christian? NO



If so, please tell me when and under what circumstances.  Thanks.



That is 4 questions    :)



Sorry lol.  I got on a roll!



I asked you those questions because that's the difference between being a Christian in America and being an atheist.



I am surrounded by people who wear their religion on their metaphorical sleeve and on their actual bodies.  No problem wearing cross or Jewish star, lots of Muslims here and ladies in hijab, we have a lot of Asian Indians so Sikhs wearing turbans, truthfully we don't have religious problems at all.  Everyone lives together just fine and everyone is comfortable to be who they are.



It is different for atheists.  We are on every list of most hated and least trusted.  We live a Don't Ask, Don't Tell existence whereby we are afraid if people know we don't believe in God we will be treated with asbestos gloves.  People will not want their kids to be friends with your kid, or not want to be friends with you.



It is just not real to say atheists have a similar experience to Christians in America.  And worldwide the situation is completely dire.



 That's just unbelievably sad. Where I live, nobody cares what religion or non religion someone is. My husband is athiest and we have several friends from religious families/back grounds.


 

Posted on the NEW CafeMom Mobile
Raintree
by Ruby Member on Dec. 14, 2012 at 9:41 AM
1 mom liked this
Quoting KamWorthy:




Yeah, right;)
UgtaBkdnMe
by Member on Dec. 14, 2012 at 9:45 AM

lol when was the last time a Christian was killed for their belief in GOd?

Quoting candlegal:

I wonder if as many athiests have been killed for their lack of religion as Christians have been for theirs?

Quoting romalove:

I thought I might put some perspective here for those who like to cry "persecution"....



romalove
by Roma on Dec. 14, 2012 at 9:46 AM


Quoting UgtaBkdnMe:

lol when was the last time a Christian was killed for their belief in GOd?

Quoting candlegal:

I wonder if as many athiests have been killed for their lack of religion as Christians have been for theirs?

Quoting romalove:

I thought I might put some perspective here for those who like to cry "persecution"....



To be fair there are Christians killed in other parts of the world for their beliefs.

Of course, most everyone is killed in other parts of the world for their beliefs, depending on the beliefs and where we are talking about.

In America, Christians aren't being killed for their beliefs.

UgtaBkdnMe
by Member on Dec. 14, 2012 at 9:48 AM

Everyone is killed in the middle east so that's not relevant here.

Quoting romalove:


Quoting UgtaBkdnMe:

lol when was the last time a Christian was killed for their belief in GOd?

Quoting candlegal:

I wonder if as many athiests have been killed for their lack of religion as Christians have been for theirs?

Quoting romalove:

I thought I might put some perspective here for those who like to cry "persecution"....



To be fair there are Christians killed in other parts of the world for their beliefs.

Of course, most everyone is killed in other parts of the world for their beliefs, depending on the beliefs and where we are talking about.

In America, Christians aren't being killed for their beliefs.


Euphoric
by Thumper kid spanks on Dec. 14, 2012 at 10:03 AM
1 mom liked this

 Well, to heck with people that can't accept you for who you are. :)

Quoting punky3175:

You're a smart woman. Now that I've become Pagan, I won't move back to the South. I expect I'm being gossiped about amongst my friends there since I've changed my religious beliefs on FB and post some Pagan type stuff. No one has said anything TO me but I'm 99% sure they've talked about me if they noticed the change. :-)

Quoting Euphoric:

 That's just real unfortunate that you can't feel comfortable being who you are. One of the reasons I've rejected my husband's idea of moving to the south.


Quoting LucyMom08:

I live in the Deep South...SO and I are.pretty much 'in the closet', so to speak, about being atheists...


Quoting Euphoric:


 



Quoting romalove:






Quoting candlegal:






Quoting romalove:






Quoting candlegal:



Yes they are offensive but it is their right to put them up, negative or not.   What bothers me about most of these lawsuits is that in a lot of cases there is no one having to do with the individual situation that is suing, it is an athiest group from out of state.



Quoting tooptimistic:



The billboards are a little offensive. 



If you are Muslim, you don't believe your religion is a myth, so telling them how they believe is a myth is setting out to offend.  The sign falls under free speech, and if you pay for the billboard they willl put whatever you want on it, but it looks like a more positive message would be better pr.  Not really the best way to gain acceptance and understanding.



Why a negative message, why not a more positive one.  I don't care what religion someone else is, my beliefs my business.. You beliefs your business.  I



ts hard to have a positive  image when everything you hear about a group  is negative.. the atheist group is suing again, the atheist group tried to stop a graduation speech, the atheist group is putting up negative billboard.  JMO, but maybe they would get more respect if they were a little more positive.  Its offensive to call others beliefs a myth or a fairy tale or a lie. They need a better PR campaign.






Let me ask you a question.



Do you ever feel uncomfortable to tell people you are a Christian? NO Do you wear a cross? Yes Would you feel comfortable doing so? YES I do  In your real life (not online) do you have people rebuking you for being Christian? NO



If so, please tell me when and under what circumstances.  Thanks.



That is 4 questions    :)



Sorry lol.  I got on a roll!



I asked you those questions because that's the difference between being a Christian in America and being an atheist.



I am surrounded by people who wear their religion on their metaphorical sleeve and on their actual bodies.  No problem wearing cross or Jewish star, lots of Muslims here and ladies in hijab, we have a lot of Asian Indians so Sikhs wearing turbans, truthfully we don't have religious problems at all.  Everyone lives together just fine and everyone is comfortable to be who they are.



It is different for atheists.  We are on every list of most hated and least trusted.  We live a Don't Ask, Don't Tell existence whereby we are afraid if people know we don't believe in God we will be treated with asbestos gloves.  People will not want their kids to be friends with your kid, or not want to be friends with you.



It is just not real to say atheists have a similar experience to Christians in America.  And worldwide the situation is completely dire.



 That's just unbelievably sad. Where I live, nobody cares what religion or non religion someone is. My husband is athiest and we have several friends from religious families/back grounds.


 

 

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