Who Doesn't Like Atheists? - Pacific Standard

Who Doesn't Like Atheists?

The Pew Research Center asked Americans of varying religious affiliations how they felt about each other.
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Penn Jillette's Mini Cooper. (Photo: Thomas Anderson/Flickr)

Penn Jillette's Mini Cooper. (Photo: Thomas Anderson/Flickr)

Last month I posted data showing that, of all the things that might disqualify someone for public office, being an atheist is tops. I wrote: “Prejudice against those who say there’s no god is stronger than ageism, homophobia, and sexism.” On average, Americans would rather vote for someone who admitted to smoking pot or had an extramarital affair.

We just don’t like atheists.

But who is “we”?

A survey by the Pew Research Center asked Americans of varying religious affiliations how they felt about each other. Atheists were most disliked by Protestants, especially white evangelicals and black Protestants (somewhat less so white mainline Protestants). Atheists quite liked themselves, and agnostics thought were they were OK. Among other religiously affiliated groups, Jews gave atheists the highest rating.

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For what it’s worth, atheists feel warmish toward Jews in return, preferring them to everyone except Buddhists, and they dislike Evangelical Christians almost as much as the Christians dislike them.

This post originally appeared on Sociological Images, a Pacific Standard partner site, as “Saturday Stat: Wait, Who Dislikes Atheists?”

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