According to a paper based on studies done by researchers from the University of British Colombia and the University of Oregon and tested with separate groups of liberal Christian Canadian university students, religious American adults and others, Christians may distrust atheists more than they distrust any other group such as homosexuals, feminists, other theists (Muslims, Jews, Hindus, et cetera) and rapists. Though the study did not say whether or not the rapists in question could be Catholic priests or not, it has shown that atheists are still among the most distrusted and hated groups in the world despite the time we live in.
The lead author of the published study on the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Will Gervais, himself an atheist, commented that he “was surprised” at how people could be so antipathetic towards atheists. Gervais stated that while the two groups of Christians preferred to hire atheists for menial and “low-trust” jobs, they were not “comfortable” to hire atheists for “high-trust” jobs.
Meanwhile, atheists seem indifferent to religious beliefs and do not care to know the religions of those who they might hire for both low-trust and high-trust jobs.
Other groups of people who participated and identified themselves as “not religious” felt indifference towards atheists.
The study came about after Gervais and his colleagues began conducting six studies based on a group of 350 American adults and a group of 420 University of British Colombia students after they saw a Gallup poll indicated the majority of Americans would not vote for an atheist public official.
It’s really nothing new for atheists in America. It’s slightly better these days than the time of McCarthyism when being atheist was equivalent to being an unpatriotic and evil communist. Nowadays being an atheist is equivalent to being an unpatriotic and evil
communist science-worshiper who apparently can’t have morals without a god or a very old, primitive, “holy” book.
Atheists in America tend to face more social and even legal discrimination more so than their counterparts in Europe. Atheists along with homosexuals in Africa are also targets for both the majority and the governments.
There are hundreds of stories of former Christians not coming out of the atheist/non-Christian “closet” (which often contributes to the lack of important statistics on exactly how many atheists there are (including Buddhists and other groups)) until they’re of age and able to fend for themselves (just in case) and then revealing themselves to be atheists to their then outraged/shocked families and friends.
Such things are to be unfortunately expected seeing as how America is one of the most religious countries in the world while atheists are the least trusted group right below Muslims/immigrants/etc. in America while also considered being the least eligible bachelors/bachelorettes.
One of Gervais & co.’s studies discovered that their group of American adults rated atheists quite a bit higher on the distrust scale than homosexuals while homosexuals rated quite higher than atheists on the level of disgust.
Meanwhile, in Canada, 105 University of Colombia undergraduate students were asked to read a description of a man who pretended to leave insurance information after backing his car into a parked vehicle.
They were then asked to identify whether the man was Christian, Muslim, atheist or a rapist.
The majority of the 105 students identified the man as either an atheist or a rapist and also did not bother, according to Gervais, to differentiate between atheist and rapist.