Discrimination Against Atheists

Usually when we think of discrimination we think of discrimination against African-Americans, women, homosexuals, or anyone of many minority groups. We never think of discrimination against atheists though, which is a problem because they absolutely are discriminated against.

Recently YouTube changed their censorship policies so that you could not have the word “atheist” in your username because YouTube does not want anything “offensive or controversial” on their website. “Offensive or controversial” does not apply to having “Jewish” or “Christian” in your name.

Both our Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos have both endorsed the teaching of the Bible as history in public schools. I thought that separation of church and state was mandated by our constitution?

Congress has no open atheists. There has only been one openly atheist congressman in history, Pete Stark (D-Calif.), who retired in 2013. The closest we have now is Bernie Sanders (I-Ver.) who identifies as “non-religious,” but he says he believes in God. Atheists make up 3% of the US population but 0% of the U.S. Congress. Christians, on the other hand, make up 91% of the U.S. Congress but only 70% of the U.S. population and Jews make up 6.7% of the U.S. Congress and only 1.9% of the U.S. population.

The inaugural ceremony does not technically exclude atheists, but also anyone who is not Christian, which is 30% of the population. Whoever is being sworn in must put their hand on a Bible and is sworn in by a priest. Also at the Presidential inauguration, a Christian band will typically perform.

It was not until 1954 that the words “under God” were added to the Pledge of Allegiance. It was added at the climax of the Cold War when America was trying to defend itself from “atheistic Communism.” It was added to it because Religion, mostly Christianity was and is now looked at as an “American value.”

This discrimination is undeniable. You cannot simply say “atheists just don’t want to run for office” because there are still 10,075,000 American atheists, so there are definitely plenty who have political aspirations and a few people in Congress who are atheist but not open about it. If Congress had actually been an accurate reflection of America, there would be about 16 atheists in Congress. YouTube’s censorship policy is irrefutably discrimination. Saying “they still have other websites” is not at all valid because there are no video websites nearly as popular as YouTube.

This discrimination is in other areas too. I’m sure you’ve all seen the clips on Real Time with Bill Maher of Bill Maher saying “Islam is not a religion of peace” or “All religions are stupid and dangerous” which he gets in much trouble for, but you never hear about Sean Hannity getting in trouble for saying something like “Atheism has been a bane on society.” Don’t get me wrong though, I totally believe that people have a right to get upset with Bill Maher for making fun of their religion, but I also think that atheists have that same right to get mad at Sean Hannity for saying bigoted things towards atheists.

Discrimination against atheists and discrimination as a whole is an evil and must be fought against. We must build a society where any sort of religious belief is accepted and respected. I encourage anyone reading this to pay more attention to this problem and try to take steps towards fixing it.

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