Thursday, December 29, 2011

Bias Against Non-believers VI

In my previous posts on this topic I have tried to stress just how serious and pervasive bias against non-believers is--and how it goes unpunished almost as a rule.  (In fact, it is frequently rewarded, but that will the subject of a later post.)  I have often maintained--based on personal experience--that the religious see us non-believers as morally on a par with child molesters, or worse.  (This is, of course, more than a little ironic given that so many actual child molesters are members of the clergy.)

I have found that most believers and many non-believers simply don't take me seriously on this topic.  They insist on believing that this bias is relatively rare and not a serious danger.  A recent series of blog posts, however, provide evidence that my view is correct.

It seems that an alleged pastor from Miramar, Florida, "Pastor Mike" Michael Stahl, proposed in his own blog, which has since been removed, that a "Christian National Registry of Atheists" be created.  He defended the idea by comparing it to registries for convicted sex offenders, etc.  He wrote:

"I mean, think about it. There are already National Registrys [sic] for convicted sex offenders, ex-convicts, terrorist cells, hate groups like the KKK, skinheads, radical Islamists, etc... This type of 'National Registry' would merely be for information purposes."

He clarifies what he means when he say "information purposes"by saying that Christians could use the information to target non-believers for "conversion" (which, of course, translates as proselytizing and harassment) AND those that won't convert could then be targeted for economic discrimination (to prevent them from making a living).  Apparently, Pastor Mike hasn't heard that the U.S. is a free country and that people can believe what they like.

I particularly like the way Austin Cline ended his article on this topic:

"Mike Stahl considers atheism a religion. He knows that atheists are a minority. So, from his perspective, atheists are a religious minority. When was the last time a Christian majority forced a religious minority to register for a national database of their identities and location? Hmmmm....."

Before anyone concludes that "Pastor Mike" is simply some loon with internet access, I would like to point out that it is unlikely that he would style himself "Pastor Mike" if he did not have like-minded followers.  Nor is it likely that he would have published such an idea if it had not already met with approval amongst his peer group.  Furthermore, my own experiences amongst the believers leaves me with no doubt that there are many among them who think this way.  I know this because they exposed this part of themselves to me by their words and actions.

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