islands of religion

Atheists and agnostics consistently denied being biased against other religious beliefs. However, their answers showed otherwise.


A new study conducted by researchers in Belgium sought to find out how open-minded atheists and agnostics were compared their religious counterparts – and the results were surprising. There exists a common stereotype that people who are highly religious are unlikely to embrace other points of view or different belief systems. However, according to the researchers’ findings, those who hold strict religious beliefs are actually more tolerant than those who aren’t religious at all.

How the Study Worked

Nearly 800 adults from the United Kingdom, Spain, and France were selected at random to participate in the study. The participants first gave their religious affiliation, then answered various questions to determine how tolerant they were of other belief systems.

According to the researchers, the findings illustrated that religious believers “seem to better perceive and integrate diverging perspectives.” At the same time, these respondents were quick to acknowledge that they were probably biased because of their deeply-held faith.

Atheists and agnostics, on the other hand, consistently denied being biased against other religious beliefs. However, their answers showed otherwise – this group displayed markedly higher rates of “subtle intolerance” than did the religious group.

Catholic Controversy

After the study was released, criticism began to mount concerning the motives behind it. For starters, the research was conducted at a major Catholic university, spurring claims that the results were predetermined by the powers that be. After all, critics insist, it’s in their interest to paint secular people as close-minded. Claims of the Catholic university pushing a religious agenda were compounded by the confusing nature of some of the questions posed by researchers. Skeptics contend that the questions were meant to intentionally mislead participants into giving “intolerant” answers.

bigotry in religion

The study fundamentally challenges the negative stereotype of religious folks as “bigoted zealots” convinced that their path is the right one.

Can Nonbelievers Be Bigots?

Despite these assertions, no overwhelming evidence has emerged to confirm that the study was biased. So, for the sake of argument, let’s assume the results are entirely accurate. What does this mean going forward?

For one, the findings fundamentally challenge the negative stereotype of religious folks as “bigoted zealots” who are convinced their path is the right one. If you ask the average person walking down the street: “who is more likely to be close-minded toward outside ideas?” chances are they’ll choose a highly religious person over someone who doesn’t ascribe to any particular set of beliefs.

Deciding which religion is the right one

But according to the study, atheists are not exempt from believing their worldview to be the only correct one. In fact, if the findings are accurate, they are even more guilty than religious people of assuming a “my way or the highway” approach.

Who Has the Right Answer?

In addition to measuring tolerance, this study also touches on a larger issue: which religion is the right one? It’s a question that humankind has been struggling with since time immemorial. Is there one all-powerful God? Or perhaps many different gods? Is it possible that religion is simply a human construct and there is no right answer?

We may never know. However, the study’s findings go to show that there is room for everyone to become more accepting of other belief systems.

 

132 comments

  1. Rev.Hoagie says:

    “If you ask the average person walking down the street: “who is more likely to be close-minded toward outside ideas?” chances are they’ll choose a highly religious person over someone who doesn’t ascribe to any particular set of beliefs.”

    I have found that not to be true unless the “average person” you’re asking is some kind of atheist. Conversely, I have found atheists to be intolerant, closed minded and generally hostile to people of faith. Especially Christians. They love to admonish a Christian who fails to live up to his Biblical beliefs. It’s almost a point of honor for them to point at the minister who steals church money or the one who ditties a female parishioner. AS if just by being a Christian will overcome all the pitfalls and sins of life and human failure to do so proves the person a hypocrite and the faith a fraud.

    Nonbelievers also fail to understand the difference between admonishing homosexual acts and admonishing homosexual persons. They can’t separate the sin from the sinner therefore there is little or no room for forgiveness.

    I would like to point out that one religion that preaches the subjugation or killing of anyone who refuses to convert to it is the only main stream religion that preaches intolerance of people of other or especially no faith.

    1. revbarbarajadams says:

      You have excellent points.

    2. Benjamin U says:

      I am a believer. I do not think religious people are more or less bigoted than atheists.

      The problem, as I see it, is that religious bigots use their faith to destroy people. In other words, while atheist bigots keep their thoughts to themselves, for the most part, religious bigots are verbally destructive and exclude those they deem ‘sinful’.

      1. Rev paul collins says:

        Excellant point

      2. John Owens says:

        I think it would be wonderful if the atheist bigots in ULC monastery kept their bigoted thoughts to themselves, Benjamin. That has not been my experience here. The dumber ones will call you a troll just out of habit if you disagree with any of them, when THEY are doing the trolling.

    3. someoneelsehasmyusername says:

      There’s a BIG difference in the intolerance or “bigotry” of the religious VS those of the atheist. Atheists are angry because their entire lives they’ve seen people use religion to control them or oppress free society in general and they’re sick of it. So they go overboard to bully the bullies. Religious bigots want to control your life, put you in jail for things they disagree with, and generally rob you of your God given freedom. The problem is that jerks of all stripes are louder. “Regular” people (folks who are generally decent and, despite perhaps some personal prejudices, don’t try to mess with other people’s lives) tend to not speak up as much. We’re too busy trying to live our lives and make progress and/or accomplishment to shout at other people about how they’re living theirs.

      Can we also have American Christians stop playing the victim card? They’re the majority of the population, all their holidays are national holidays, despite the annual war on Christmas I’ve never seen one pass without decorations EVERYWHERE. There are plenty of places you can’t buy booze on Sunday. Every needling, blue book church law that sticks in the craw of freedom loving Americans are pretty much still on the books.
      If you feel under attack, you’re either watching too much phony propaganda, or you haven’t taken a step back and recognized the difference between a free, secular society that allows you to worship as you choose and a free-ish society that conforms to your specific beliefs. Religious icons don’t belong on public property unless they’re hanging around your neck. That’s not anti-Christian, that’s pro freedom for ALL. “Under God” was shoehorned into the pledge in the 50s in response to communism. Taking it out isn’t anti-Christian, it’s pro America for EVERYONE. And hey, if marriage is only between a man and a women, maybe stop fighting gay marriage and start fighting marriage as a legal institution. It’s a covenant between you, your spouse, your congregation and God. It should offend you that it’s a governmental legal contract.

      1. John Owens says:

        Ooohhh, now I see. Atheist intolerance is JUSTIFIABLE. NOW I get it. They’ve just been VICTIMIZED by those angry Christians for so long, wishing them Merry Christmas and saying Have a Blessed Day and all that, and inviting each other over for dinner but NOT the atheists. Kinda reminds me of the Star-Bellied Sneetches by Dr. Zeuss. They didn’t invite you to their weeny-roasts. Poor things. Well, NOW you know you can be as snotty and belligerent and bigoted and intolerant as your little hearts desire, because YOUR intolerance is JUSTIFIED, like leftists. Now we get it. If we’d just had YOU for a leader, we’d have understood our error all along. You almost persuade ME to be an atheist, just so I can be on the RATIONAL, MORAL side of everything.

      2. Guy Warinner says:

        someoneelsehasmyusername it is sad that so many think that bigotry and discrimination is bad in others but it is OK in them…

        1. John Owens says:

          Can’t argue with that.

      3. Gary Cunningham says:

        I agree.

      4. Alan Bower says:

        The things you are saying are all from todays (and the past 30 years) teachers and professors idiot ‘Q’ cards they are required to babble to students. First, like it or not, the primary purpose people came here was to be able to practice religion without govt interference. No other reason. Heard of the Puritans ? The founders were religious christians as was the vast majority of the population. It was the Constitutions has at its’ beginning that “God created all men equally”. Whether you agree with it or not, that is America and the principles on which it was founded.
        One of the most important things in life, is tradition. It stabilizes that which is good for generations. The left is trying its’ best to destroy tradition through propagandizing youth, particularly students of every age. This should scare the hell out of you. Why ? Because that has always been the prelude to totalitarianism. Understand-The current re-education process of indoctrination of youth is to get their minds off God, Tradition, Morality and transform them into persons who are ill equipped logically and pre-occupied with meaningless issues that they (media/DNC) can warp into negatives about conservatism while ignoring the real stories happening in the world. Right now, the USA is facing some of its’ most severe dangers since the ‘cold war’. This is because political liberals were busy trying to be loved by potential voters by promising to give away other peoples money (which means theft of another persons work and effort) and liberal/democrat politicians propagandizing that ‘all is well’ in the world because they made a ‘deal’ with whomever (which never work out) to give a false sense of security to the ill-informed so they can gut defense resources and other priority dept’s to free up money to re-distribute to potential voters (marxism).
        Do you understand what conservative means ? It means to be informed, make decisions that are financially prudent for yourself, family, business and has minimal negative impact on others. And it means to create an environment that protects peoples rights, property, earnings, and enforcing the laws as they are written, not as they prefer. It means not to create wasteful govt. agencies that serve no useful purpose for the population as a whole, simply to expand govt (and therefore taxes). There are over 600 bureaus and agencies in the US govt. Many are outdated and serve no purpose, but they are still there, paying people to do nothing (this is true), simply because it cuts against the minds of liberals to do anything that reduces govt. Literally, there are a minimum of 200 agencies/bureaus that could be abolished saving hundreds of billions a year, and not a damn person in the US would even know it unless they asked why their taxes are less the year following the abolition. As a former Fed auditor, and member of the Fed Comptrollers Assn, it made make sick being able to see ‘behind the curtain’ and learn this.
        American tradition INCLUDES religion and its’ outward manifestations. And in losing people from religious belief, this has played a big part in them allowing govt. to grow out of hand, which is what socialist communists/democrats want. This is why they do not want religious icons/reminders in public spaces. It reminds people they have an obligation not just to themselves, but to all other Americans. Nativity scenes at the state house or library are part of the tradition of America. Losing TRADITION is losing your IDENTITY which is the lefts whole plan. DO NOT FALL FOR THE SCAM AS SO MANY OTHERS HAVE,.
        PS: To digress, the first form of governance in the new world, after the Mayflower landed, etc, was marxist. They did not know it at the time or its’ effects, but in practice it was. And it almost killed them all.The new governor had decided that all the colonists would work together in the fields and with the livestock, and at the end of the season distribute equal shares to each family. It took one season for most to realize “why work so hard, I will still get my share”. Sound familiar ? The next seasons were disastrous with colonists almost starving to death, until it was changed to ‘you get to keep what you produce, and if you have extra, you can sell it to your neighbors’. The colony thrived and that is what brought about that year of abundance when the first Thanksgiving holiday was held, with native Americans invited to share their good fortune. Thanksgiving is just a big a Tradition as nativity scenes and other public displays of our past.
        (you won’t hear about that in any of todays universities as it makes marxism look bad (because it is bad).

    4. Len Rudnick says:

      Sadly, too many Christians believe that quoting scripture and going to church regularly is what is necessary to be true to their religion. I have seen far too many examples where this is absolutely false. I have seen many great Christians who rarely go to church and never quote scripture who LIVE their religion in the best possible ways. No one ever criticizes those who do so. The criticisms seem to be directed at the Pseudo-Christians. I support those criticisms. By the way, did you notice that the Southern Baptist Church leadership, at their annual meeting in Phoenix, Arizona, decided to NOT condemn the White Supremacist movement? How’s that for pseudo-Christianity?

    5. Craig Clement says:

      There is really no such thing as an Atheist. The term comes from A-Theist, or one who does not have a theory. Logically, if you state that you don’t have a theory, you are stating a theory. More accurately would be the term A-Deist, or one who does not believe in a deity. That I will accept as a logical conclusion. In either case intolerance is not a proper issue, who or what gives anyone the ability to tell me what to think and do? I am my own person and will remain so until your misguided perceptions have me burned at the stake or other colorful form of execution for my differing and tolerant views.

      1. Guy Warinner says:

        You need to read some books because you have no idea what an atheist is or their POV…

        1. Craig Clement says:

          Just stating definitions.

          1. Guy Warinner says:

            It is not the definition of an Atheist…

            Definition of atheism

            1
            a : a lack of belief or a strong disbelief in the existence of a god or any godsb : a philosophical or religious position characterized by disbelief in the existence of a god or any gods

            2
            archaic : godlessness especially in conduct : ungodliness, wickedness

    6. Hugo says:

      When was the last time an atheist blew himself up killing believers, so he could go to heaven? When was the last time a theist did it? How many times today?

      1. John Owens says:

        Good question, Hugo.

    7. Alan Bower says:

      The reality is actions do speak louder than words. The Catholic church (the only Christians until the 15-1600’s) basic teachings are of charity, humility, tolerance, putting others before yourself, non-materialism, etc. The Church actually invented universities, public schools, public hospitals, etc, and all with the money and sweat of the locals. The Monks kept history alive by hand copying all books they could find during and after the Dark Ages to retain knowledge of the past (no pay). No atheistic organization has ever done anything of such charitable value. They feed the poor worldwide and educate the illiterate worldwide, all on individual cash donations.
      Catholics (christians) are taught not to judge others or hate, even those who may hate you, but to pray for them. This teaching gets into your soul, and the facts, not surveys are the best evidence of who is more tolerant. True believers know it is only Gods place to judge. And all people are Gods creations and worthy of respect, regardless of any perceived faults.
      On the other hand, people without knowledge of Christ are materialists, concerned with getting the most possessions and popularity as possible and have a feeling that it is OK to do what ever takes, if no one sees you do it. Religious people know nothing is done in secret.

  2. Caleb says:

    That’s funny, my atheist and agnostic friends along with other atheist and agnostics I’ve talked to, are probably the most tolerant people I’ve ever met.

    1. JOHN MAHER says:

      THANK YOU CALEB, DUMP the IGNORAMUS TRAITOR tRUMP, GOD is GREAT so is the US of A

      1. John Torregiano says:

        John Maher. Your Intolerance and hate is showing. And for the record, so is your ignorance. You have NO VALID PROOF of Trump being a “ignoramus OR a “Traitor”. What you do have is an opinion and a hate-filled, racist, treasonous Democrat party- AND a Democrat controlled “media” that is fueling the flames of violence and hatred with old Soviet-style techniques & propaganda. ALL just Opinions, slander and propaganda with an evil leftist, fascist agenda that is destroying a once-great nation. And we all know what they say about “opinions”….don’t we.

        Pasteur John

        1. Sherry Siler says:

          That would be “Pastor.” You’ve embarrassed yourself enough already.

        2. dobe says:

          Wondering if “pasteur” is a spelling for “pastor” that I’ve never seen used and that I don’t see in a dictionary search. Please inform. Pastor, pasture, pasteur = not synonyms. Of what denomination are you if a pastor and from which seminary did you graduate?

    2. John Owens says:

      Only because they tolerate your lunacy, Hominis Minimus.

      1. revbarbarajadams says:

        Thank you, John Owens.

        1. John Owens says:

          My pleasure, Ma’am.

    3. Dan Rodemsky says:

      That has been my experience as well. Atheists usually base their world view on provable reality, not some ancient book of mythology. When you think you only have one shot at life, you are more open to the idea of everyone living their lives according to their own views. If your world view comes from the creator of the universe you are more inclined to tell others how to live their lives.

      1. Benjamin U says:

        Well put.

      2. Brian Balke says:

        You know there could be some wisdom in those ancient books. Try reading “let there be light” as photosynthesis, and I think that you’ll see that Genesis is a crude description of evolution. When I read the trumpets of Revelation, I also see a recognizable description of the great extinction episodes. Those words were written thousands of years ago, long before the scientific evidence came along.

        And I would suggest that the “Creator” does not tell anyone what to do – as should be evidenced by the existence of evil. What all the great religious traditions demonstrate is that He gives great power to those that choose to love. Recent examples in history include Obama, Pope Francis, and MLK, Jr. The hypocrisy that critics decry is actually a manifestation of strategies used in all human institutions to reallocate resources and moral authority for selfish ends.

    4. Edward says:

      You have not met the ones I know. These people actually had shirts printed that read “Doing my best to p*ss off the Religious Right”, “God is dead and so soon will his followers be”. They have buttons on their lapels and hats also with that same message. In College classes they go out of their way to point out the believers and admonish their “dinosaur” beliefs. Any reply to them is immediately followed by the classic “homophobe, islamophobe, KKK lover, etc.”.

      1. Benjamin U says:

        Interesting. In my 57 years, I have never seen such a thing. Not even in college – and I hold advanced degrees.

      2. Mark Araujo says:

        remember you don’t have to pay for gospels,miracles,healings,blessings,fakes,prayers,holy spirit.you learning something?if you knew the word scam/fraud/deceived that is whats going on always every where.

  3. John says:

    I’d love to see the questionnaire that was used and the evidence that it is a valid measure of how open minded a person is.

    1. Debra Huddleston says:

      Exactly.

    2. revbarbarajadams says:

      I thought that it was odd that it was lacking from the article, too. How can we believe what the author said without what the article was actually about?

  4. Gary Shade says:

    Atheists are tolerant only if you validate their non-belief system. Otherwise they are judgemental bigots towards people who hold religious beliefs.

    1. Debra Huddleston says:

      That may be your experience, but that’s not true of all atheists.

      1. revbarbarajadams says:

        Like all things, I am sure there are bad and intolerant atheists as well as bad and intolerant Christians, Jews, Islam, agnostics, whoever. The point is that not all are like that and clumping people into one mold is intolerant.

    2. John Owens says:

      Exactly, John. Look at the blog on the baker who wouldn’t bake for a gay couple. The “non-religious” people are the WORST bigots and they are actually religious. They just believe in something besides God.

      1. Gunnar says:

        Yeah! It’s NOT bigotry if my honest beliefs that gay people are awful compels me to not treat customers equally – they don’t deserve it and it’s my right. Amen! It’s bigotry when they complain that they want to BE treated equally. Stupid bigot libtards!

        1. John Owens says:

          Apparently you are just taking a side without reading the comments. The comments are what show the bigotry.

      2. Guy Warinner says:

        John Owens It is interesting that if we believe that the gay couple should have been treated equal we are bigoted but you think that being a bigot and discrimination is the way of worshiping God. Did you vote for Dictator Donald T Rump? Do you support the Russians helping Dictator Donald T Rump to corrupt our elections? Are you one of those that feel that only white Christians should be allowed to vote? Do you support Steve Bannon and his bid to destroy the Constitution (what he has said repeatedly)? Are you one of those that don’t think? Do you belong to the KKK or other affiliated groups? Do you feel that the South should have won the Civil War? Does hate make you feel better…?

        1. John Owens says:

          Everything you just said, Hollow Man, reveals the stereotypical bigotries of a leftist. You are completely delusional. If you would just take your medication and stay off the computer, you might get better.

          1. Guy Warinner says:

            You are inside out with your thinking. You can’t tell reality from fantasy, you call people names like a little kid, you defy the teachings of the Bible, the law and the Constitution. It would seem that you are full of hate which makes you a very pitiful and sad creature (as I can’t really call you human), not worth posting to. It is sad that people like you bring so much hate and bigotry to America and nothing more. You don’t think about anything because you have been programmed and are not in control of yourself and just like a robot you can only spew the garbage you have been fed all of your life. Compared to you Scrooge in his darkest moments was like an angel from heaven compared to you. Bye…

          2. John Owens says:

            Arf, Arf! He doesn’t have an honest bone in his body, but he loves to accuse others of having his faults. He knows a tiny amount but thinks he knows everything.

          3. Guy Warinner says:

            At least I know the law and what the Bible says it is better than being a mindless robot like you are. I am not dishonest and I don’t believe you are your just stuck in a loop of hate and you can’t get out of it…

          4. John Owens says:

            He won’t CALL me a hater, because he doesn’t want to be guilty of calling names, but he calls me a hater, just the same, when he is the one stuck in the loop of hate. I don’t even hate my enemies. He hates himself so he makes enemies.

          5. Guy Warinner says:

            John Owens your statements would be funny if they weren’t so pitiful…

          6. John Owens says:

            You are a stubborn loser, I’ll give you that.

          7. Guy Warinner says:

            What you can’t grasp is that bigotry is not the pointing out of bigotry it is the act of bigotry or the support of a bigoted ideas or actions. As far as loosing goes I have neither won nor lost anything that is just a looser trying to prove that bigotry is not bigotry and discrimination is not discrimination…!!!

          8. John Owens says:

            Well, every time I think there may be some glimmer of intelligence in you, you snuff it back out. If you’d talk with your brain instead of your intestine, maybe…

        2. revbarbarajadams says:

          You know, not once did I besmirch Barack Obama’s name while he was president although I did not agree with his politics and what he did in office. Guy, you seem like you can only “make your case” when you include mean spirited comments. You just made John Owens point. You claim others aren’t tolerant but you yourself are bigoted and intolerant. I voted for Trump but I am pro LGBT. I was sad for the person who did not want to bake the gay couple a cake. I have married many, many gay couples. I am white, Christian, and straight. I am also tolerant, loving, and recognize that we all live on this dirt ball together and it is about time when the name calling needs to stop and acceptance needs to begin. I will pray for you Guy.

          1. John Owens says:

            Thank you again, Barbara. Guy makes all my points for me every time he comments. The only nice comments he has made on any of these blogs were to agree with other bigots that are bigoted the same ways as he is. I try to be honest without being judgmental. He tries to be judgmental without being honest, but only comes out as mental, like his little buddies.

          2. Guy Warinner says:

            revbarbarajadams, you are right I am intolerant but not like you seem to think I am not intolerant of ideas I am intolerant of the actions that deprive any person of their civil rights (no I did not say religious rights). As far as I am concerned I do not have to be tolerant or civil to a racist, a bigot, a rapist, a murder, a child molester, a criminal. If you are on this short list I don’t feel that being tolerant or civil to any one of these types of individuals is necessary. If you are a Muslim, a Christian, a Jew, a Hindu, A Buddhist, homosexual, straight person, bisexual, a person of color,etc that is your business not mine and I have no right to treat you any better or any worst than I would treat a friend…

          3. Norma Battes says:

            revbarbarajadams,

            You write an interesting post. I went through a number of them and found a few comments based on your following observations. ” Guy, you seem like you can only “make your case” when you include mean spirited comments. ”

            These I found from Guy Warinner:
            1. ” … Dictator Donald T Rump… ”
            2. ” …very pitiful and sad creature (as I can’t really call you human) ”
            3. ” …mindless robot like you are. ”

            These I found from John Owens:
            1. ” The dumber ones …”
            2. ” John Owens
            July 19, 2017 at 12:41 pm ” (Entire post)
            3. ” … your lunacy, Hominis Minimus. ”
            4. ” ‘non-religious’ people are the WORST bigots ”
            5. “… Hollow Man, reveals the stereotypical bigotries of a leftist. You are completely delusional. If you would just take your medication and stay off the computer, you might get better. ”
            6. ” Arf, Arf! He doesn’t have an honest bone in his body…, ” ” He knows a tiny amount but thinks he knows everything. ”
            7. ” He hates himself so he makes enemies. ”
            8. ” You are a stubborn loser… ”
            9. ” They judge and call names and it’s all good because they think they are superior. “(?)(!)
            10. ” The only nice comments he has made on any of these blogs were to agree with other bigots that are bigoted the same ways as he is, …only comes out as mental, like his little buddies. ”

            Wouldn’t you say(oh, you did) ” …it is about time when the name calling needs to stop and acceptance needs to begin. ”

            Good day, Reverend.

          4. John Owens says:

            Gosh, Norma. Thank you for that BALANCED review! I’m not trying to start up again with Guy, but YOU are just reporting the news like NPR– Leave out one side’s occurences, and over-report the other’s. Great job there.

          5. Norma Battes says:

            John Owens
            July 20, 2017 at 5:57 am

            Darn, I knew I should have included the metadata for each comment but cut-and-past was taking a long time.

            Each comment for you and Guy (and the Reverend) came from your posts. At the time Guy only had 5 or so I believe. In any case I didn’t mean to offend you, or to make the Reverend appear wrong. What I intended to show (besides hostile posts) was context over content. Most would overlook a comment or two for the most part, but over the course of time it’s hard to remain neutral. And once that neutrality dissolves, rigidity and intolerance sets in.

          6. John Owens says:

            He started out intolerant and rigid, and the WORST know-it-all. If you don’t agree with him, you’re ignorant. That’s kinda the left’s little game they play. They think if they keep acting like that, EVERYONE will agree, because NOBODY wants to be considered ignorant. It’s pretty lame, but works on a lot of naïve people. I gave up trying to actually reason with atheists and lefties. I just point out the holes in their opinions so OTHERS who may not be so rigid do not become discouraged or swayed toward the left. The more they attack me, the more wrong they appear to be, so if I just keep them yapping, it’s a win/win for me, and they LOVE to yap.

          7. Guy Warinner says:

            John Owens, I started telling you that discrimination is against the law, against the Constitution and the Bible and you decided that I was wrong that Christians should have the ability to discriminate even though it is against the teaching of the Bible. It is sad that the truth hurts you so much that you started attacking me with you remarks. Well If you are going to be rude I will take it so long and then I will turn the tables.
            The saddest thing about you is your inability to think logically and rationally or you would have never attacked me but you don’t so there we are…

          8. John Owens says:

            Again, Guy. Just read your own posts, and then tell me you weren’t arrogant and rude. Just try it. I don’t think you will or even can, but if you do, you will see that you are the first jerk here. It just makes you want to cry because I am better with words and logic. That is not a great recommendation for me. You make it too easy. A) You are utterly convicted of your own superiority, which nobody else can see, and B) you act like an only child who is poorly socialized.

            Again, you are NOT a Bible believer, therefore, DO NOT QUOTE THE BIBLE to me or try to tell me what it says. YOU DO NOT BELIEVE IT, so to you, it cannot matter. YOU CANNOT DICTATE THE INTERPRETATION OF THE BIBLE. It does NOT SAY a Christian HAS to accept a homosexual marriage. IT DOES NOT SAY THAT ANYWHERE, and you are picking and choosing to interpret it that way. I have not criticized homosexuals here. YOU are using your double standard. It is NOT LEGAL discrimination not to bake a cake for someone. GET THAT THROUGH YOUR THICK SKULL. If it WERE, we would not be having this discussion. It would have been decided and ratified or whatever, and everyone would know it is the law. You cannot make it law by crying about it.

            And again, YOU attacked me and ALL Christians and now you are trying to play the VICTIM, like all of your kind do. Again, you are incredibly stubborn and dense. DENSE. You rival LEAD in your DENSITY. The sad thing is, you CHOOSE to be dense. It is not as though I am criticizing you. I am PRAISING you. You have CHOSEN to be dense and you are working so hard at it.

      3. Pastor Pete says:

        Yeah, those guys tend to believe in a whole bunch of dumb stuff like equality and justice and compassion rather than some invisible magic dude. Real stupid huh?

    3. talesfromthecorpuscallosum says:

      As an atheist myself, my “intolerance” is of the behaviors of believers, not their beliefs. However, the intolerant beliefs of believers leads them to behave accordingly. Denying equal rights to LGBTQ persons, using religious beliefs as a license to discriminate, etc. THAT is what I am unapologetically intolerant of.

  5. Chad Atkins says:

    I wouldn’t be surprised. However, this is really more so divisive rhetoric than it is a reliable study. Any active, adamant atheist finds it to be illogical to believe in a supernatural deity, therefore any “open mindedness” to spirituality wouldn’t be honest – it can’t be. And it isn’t bigoted to be honest. Now, you may admit that you don’t have the answers, and that’s okay. But if you claim yourself, say, an atheist, a Muslim, or a Christian for example, you are claiming to know the truth. By principle – by design, that’s how religion (and atheism) works!

    All the buzz words in this story are obviously planted to demonize, presumably at first at least atheists, though by the end of the article, they’re fair enough to kinda let you decide for yourself which diverse neighbor of yours is actually the bigot… “Can nonbelievers be bigots?”; “Tolerant/intolerant”; “…the findings fundamentally challenge the negative stereotype of religious folks as ‘bigoted zealots’ who are convinced their path is the right one.” — how ironic that this article is trying to shine a light on which group of people may or may not be bigoted and intolerant, all the while using words like bigoted and intolerant to define someone who simply has a definitive belief – not to mention blatantly over-generalizing and grouping subjects together based only on their religious affiliation. WHAT??!! This is all amazingly ridiculous and, well, kind of reckless.

    If you think I’m being unfair, read the article again. You literally have no other option in this article than to consider a person who “believes their worldview to be the only correct one” as being guilty of intolerance if not a full-fledged bigot…

    1. Adam says:

      I agree, having faith in a universal set of beliefs that automatically exclude other competing systems of belief is not bigotry. The bigotry comes about when that person begins placing value judgments on other groups, not judgments about the tenets of that faith, but judgments that lessen the other’s humanity. We can have arguments and disagreements where we think each other is completely wrong. The problem comes if I begin to think and act as though you are less of a person because you do not hold my beliefs. All people can be (and at time are) guilty of that, regardless of faith or creed.

    2. revbarbarajadams says:

      Chad, you are correct.

  6. Guy Warinner says:

    I am an atheist but I don’t believe either side has any more vitriolic members than the other. To an atheist it is the value of life, people and the planet that is the most paramount while theist have a God they follow. The real problem is the conflict on life, people and the planet. Most Christians think that God will fix it, God will strike down all of the evil men in the world. God saving the world has never occurred before, babies die of hunger or drowning trying to get away from war, people are bought ands sold, people cheat their friends out of all their money, relatives will go to any length to get the inheritance, BIG BUSINESS is raping the country for a bigger profit, politicians take bribes from BIG BUSINESS to put all of the onus on supporting this country financially on the lower classes, disastrous storms, earthquakes, volcanoes, floods, droughts, wild fires, etc. When in the world did God ever fix any of these incidents. Theist want to wait for God, atheist and agnostics want to do something right now before it is too late for our children…

    1. revbarbarajadams says:

      Guy, if you are a true atheist, then you don’t have a dog in the fight about what Christians think or don’t think, believe or don’t believe. Please don’t try to box Christians into nice tight containers because we all think differently. If you have read the Bible, you would know that God doesn’t say he’s going to “fix it.” He tells us He gave us free will to fix it ourselves. I don’t see you saving the world, rescuing babies dying of hunger or drowning to get away from war, saving people from being bought and sold, or calling out individuals that cheat their friends from all their money. I just hear you whining about it. Do something. Become someone who protects these individuals that you say need it. And as for big business? I have never been hired by an unsuccessful or poor person. There is nothing wrong with being successful. And big business contribute to tons of charities that help millions of people all over the world. As for God, believe in Him or don’t, that is your right. But stop complaining about everything and calling people names. You are alive. Hooray! Do something to make a difference, even if it is a small one.

      1. tkolter says:

        As an Atheist ULC Minister I find myself surrounded by Christians and to a lesser extent other religions in power almost all the elected officials in the nation are religious, most in Congress Christian and think the Earth is 6000 years old and enough think the Bible is literally true to be scary to me. And even those who use the Bible as a book of morality is a concern since the book isn’t good as a book of morals. So I won’t ‘give’ an inch as will many other New Atheists we were quiet when they slapped In God We Trust on money and Under God in the Pledge and from experience if we give a little on a religious display in a public park then they will push more. So never again if the religious want to foist their religion into the public domain and into government and into the education of children and their indoctrination its WAR the truth of science and what we can see with evidence over – supernatural mythology – and we New Atheists will fight and keep it up until faith dies as a public threat. I’m not tolerant because most of the religious are at least deluded and at most dangerous and in the modern world there needs to be no place for it in public. Keep it private and at home and marginalized until they are as believers a small and discredited minority. I use my ministry to street minister in front of holy places and in public AGAINST faith and supernaturalism as MY ministry and its a good tool for that I can use the 1st Amendment religious special privilege against religion and faith I love the irony.

        1. John Owens says:

          Nice rant, kolter. Hope you feel better.

        2. Guy Warinner says:

          tkolter we must remember that most theist first have to believe in myths, paradoxes and magic (real magic like wave a wand) and feel that they are superior to everyone else because they are going to live forever. Can you imagine after a trillion, trillion, trillion years how board your going to be on your knees worshiping constantly without any break for all that time…?

          1. Norma Battes says:

            hah
            What have you been reading?? You’re funny Guy.

            I’ve already lived a trillion, trillion, trillion lives. I’m a quantum physics-ian don’t you know.

          2. John Owens says:

            Guy, I have to commend you on at least part of that. Unlike Democrats, I believe in giving credit where credit is due. The typical evangelical believes that after death, they will do nothing but gaze upon the face of the Lamb, walk up and down streets of gold, sing Glory, Hallelujah FOREVER. Now that might be just wonderful for a few weeks. If becoming a spirit changes thought processes really drastically, it might be wonderful for a few years. At some point, though, a thousand years, ten thousand, a million–sometime– that is going to get O L D . So boring, they would want to go to the mythical Hell for a vacation once in a while.

            That idea of Eternity is not really Biblical. The real plan is much more interesting than that. It is more like making more planets livable for flesh and blood humans, and expanding the Kingdom forever and ever, as in Nebuchanezzar’s vision.

            I know you don’t believe in any of that, but on this one point, I think your thinking is sound.

          3. Brian Balke says:

            Guy:

            Just so we are clear on the corollary: modern particle physics is undermined by commonly reported spiritual experience. Both sides still have a lot to learn.

            Those that want to control other’s behavior have made Christianity far too complicated. As taught by Jesus, it boiled down to: “Love. It is the most powerful force in the universe, and embodied in the only God worthy of worship.”

            Brian

        3. Brian Balke says:

          Do you seriously believe that all religious thinkers in prior generations were delusional, hypocritical or psychotic in their promotion of spirituality as an essential part of the human experience? Spirituality is in every culture. You can argue that it’s all in the brain, but to one that has a rich spiritual life, I know that isn’t true. There are physical effects that correlate with the flow of energy. People feel it, and remark upon it even when I have no material contact with them.

          Conversely, it is science that has given us the means to destroy the world around us, and materialism that convinces the greedy that their rapacity has no long-term consequences to them as individuals. I’d argue that the combination is incredibly dangerous.

          1. Guy Warinner says:

            Brian Balke; No I don’t believe the religious thinkers of prior generations were delusional, hypocritical or psychotic. What I do think is that they were basing their philosophy on archaic philosophical ideas and knowledge the problem is that times have changed and knowledge has also but the reality of Christians is their view remains archaic and without any substantial evidence except for the illusions of Christians…

    2. Norma Battes says:

      Guy Warinner
      July 10, 2017 at 8:13 pm

      You paint your viewpoint with some pretty broad strokes there Guy. Or maybe just add a few more colors to your pallet. I would think more than a few on both sides of the faith issue would find your comments disturbing, confusing and/or humorous(as I). If your beliefs are based mostly on reading, you may consider going out and talking with people. Do it rationally, softly and with an open and accepting heart and mind. Would be nice if they were also.

      Simply put, what you describe here is a very old, and antiquated viewpoint of how religions worked. This is now. Although there are those that still adhere to those tenets, I find with the exception of some core beliefs, most religions are now quite flexible in regards to daily life. We are not all Christian radicals, or Muslim radicals, or radical radicals. You have not yet reached your destination – fare thee well.

  7. JOHN MAHER says:

    I think EVERYONE is FULL of SHYTE and PROFESSING to be KNOWLEDGEABLE in ALL DOES N O T MATTER WHAT YOU BELIEVE in GET SMART GET HAPPY, SHADDUP and READa BOOK, ESPECIALLY Mr. John OWINS, the BLOG KNOW NOTHING, DUMP the IGNORAMUS TRAITOR tRUMP, GOD is GREAT so is the US of A

    1. LtBil Drat says:

      SoMeBoDy MaKE tHis, MAke seNse.

  8. Pastor Pete says:

    I would say that generalisations are always a bit of a worry, lumping people into homogenous masses is surely a classic hallmark of bigotry.
    As has been stated above, if one holds a non-magical view of things, then anything mystical is obviously not part of this belief system, conversely a godless universe is outside the belief system of a religious person.
    This said, I’m not arrogant enough to think that I have any deeper knowledge of the workings of everything, so I don’t hold my views to be anything other than just that. My views.
    I’ve witnessed just about the same level of intolerance in religious and non-religious people, because they are all essentially the same. Personally I think they’re all worrying about it too much.

  9. mega says:

    Atheist or religious….both possess the intolerant. Its ones up bringing and association that determines the path we choose. So instead of labeling either atheist or religious it should be ‘human’ or ‘dumb ass’

    1. mega says:

      To clafify by saying ‘human’ and ‘dumb ass’ i mean between tolerant and intolerant

  10. Ann Wood says:

    How many human beings have been killed because of their religious identification? How many humans have been destroyed because they resisted adopting “christian” doctrine? How many
    children have died from hunger because of the tax money spent on spreading religion as opposed to feeding the populace?

    1. John Owens says:

      Good question, Ann. Do you have any numbers on that? Or is just an imaginary thing? I don’t think it is government’s job to feed the populace OR spread religion. Government’s job is to keep people from taking each other’s food. Governments depend on people. People don’t depend on governments.

    2. Norma Battes says:

      Ann Wood
      July 12, 2017 at 6:45 am

      Ann, separation of church and state. Government protects it’s freedom(or should/used to) but doesn’t promote it. However if you feel it’s been bad up to now, read up on the President and Mr. Jeffress. And please read more than one article. (shhhh… Fake news)

      Quick note on your first questions, I believe you might find greed and power are the base cause for religious folly and subsequent war deaths. You do know the Crusades, Taliban and such were not about religion? When the Catholic church tried to reign it’s dominion over most of Europe it had nothing to do with God.

  11. Wicced Sarah Schultheiss says:

    It is fascinating how the psychology needs religion, it has how we settle with the unknown things of life like death, group inclusion…. and our psychological need for religion/philosophy is what makes it so easy for religious leaders to control us, and if you believe there is no god you still have a belief system but the lack of belief in general is not what makes an atheist it is believing in god or gods, I am an Atheist but I do have philosophy and belief system.

  12. Wicced Sarah Schultheiss says:

    oops, not believing in god or gods

  13. zerq says:

    I see absolutely no value in tolerating any faith based on abrahamic scripture they are at their core homophobic xenophobic and genocidal.
    any belief based on this core will seek to validity thus prop up this bigotry.

    so if i am intolerant of those religions then so be it.

    That said i try to hate the sin not the sinner as it where i.e i hate the actual religion not the believers.

  14. Alan Meunier says:

    Instead of Europe I would like them to conduct the very same study, say in…East Texas. I’ll bet the results are MUCH more different.

  15. Amber Fry says:

    Funny, in my experience they are very tolerant, just not terribly accepting when someone pushes it. Also bias isn’t the only way a study can be thrown. The more vocal are the ones that will be heard and like it or not, those who are either angry or belligerent for whatever reason tend to be pretty negative and aggressive in their responses. Not all obviously but still, it is a trend. Texans tend to “Go big or go home!” so I’d expect if they did the same study elsewhere in this country or in another country they would likely get very different results.
    As for it being in the blood though… I think it’s likely much more related to environment and education than dna.

  16. YHWH says:

    Here’s the paper, please link to it next time. I haven’t even read the paper past the abstract, but this article already looks like it editorialized the conclusions quite a bit. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0191886917303070

  17. Dan says:

    Is anyone really surprised by this?

    1. John Owens says:

      Not I. I see their intolerance every day here and on FB. They judge and call names and it’s all good because they think they are superior.

  18. Gaffanon says:

    People are people. No matter what their beliefs. Some are bigots, some are not. There is a tendency for human beings to be intolerant to others beliefs, period. Right or wrong. However some people learn to accept that their beliefs are not necessarily that of others. Faith in something can lead to intolerance, its fear based. In the Us these days there is little tolerance for anyone with any opposing belief on anything,religious or political. we need to stop this shouting and name calling and get back to discussion. I see it even here. Look at some of the comments and the anger. It needs to stop, we need to go forward not go back to primitive base instinct, why can’t we just talk anymore? And this study of questions has any of us seen the questions what if the questions are biased or the sample used was?
    One study does not make an absolute. another study may suggest the opposite. Statistics can be used to further an agenda or show bias.its like the old joke of three guys hunting one a statistician. there is a deer he shoots at it bullet goes to the left .Shoots again and it goes to the right. He yells “yay i hit it!”, because statistically he did. Its over simplified but you get the point, I hope. forgive my typing I dont type well.

  19. Bill Fox says:

    Atheists are very tolerant if you aren’t a Christian or Muslim, and you believe in evolution, global warming, and the natural goodness of humans.

  20. WestCoastConservative says:

    Part of this may be in how people choose to describe themselves. I think I am Agnostic (never quite sure of the definition), but in a questionnaire, I will usually list Christian or protestant (my young background). I do not like being classed as an Atheist (although by strict definition, that is what I am). What I find troubling about self described Atheists is that they treat Atheism as a religion – and one that tends to be particularly intolerant. They (like the traditional stereotype of a fundamentalist religious type) do not tolerate people that do not share their beliefs. I think less rigid Atheists may tend to list their “birth religion” rather than Atheism on the basis that many are not so much into believing there is no God, than either not knowing, or not caring. For us, behavior and intent are far more important than belief.

    1. Gaffanon says:

      agnostic by definition is a person who believes that nothing is known or can be known of the existence or nature of God or of anything beyond material phenomena; a person who claims neither faith nor disbelief in God. what most people mean when they call themselves agnostic is they aren’t sure which religious tenet to believe in. not the belief in God or a God.

      1. WestCoastConservative says:

        True (as I understand it), but if I call my self Agnostic or Atheist (it seems to make no difference) the more devout (both religious and Atheist) take it as believing that there is no God. The difference is critical, but for many, you either believe there is a God, or that there is not one. (Another point of intolerance, whichever side the person is on.)

        1. Gaffanon says:

          most people dont understand the definition, but i think you are largely correct. the definition almost seems to be definition of A Gnostic, and gnostic beliefs.

    2. John Owens says:

      Well-said, West Coast.

  21. Stefan says:

    In my experience true spirituality makes you tolerant while dogma causes intolerance. Reading and searching the truth in religious text makes you tolerant while believing to know already everything makes you intolerant. Atheists can fall into these traps as easy as religious believers.

  22. Ronald Dumont says:

    This is total NONSENSE!
    Religious individuals have not and do not tolerate non-believers period! They will be kind to your face, yet behind your back they are stating you are not of right mind and body! Non believer’s do not belong here among them! Why must we tolerate those who believe in complete utter nonsense which use these invalid mystical demoniacal belief’s to judge and separate us from their closed unethical immoral society and the society we live in as a whole!

    1. John Owens says:

      Oh, but you libs always pretend to believe in FACTS! just as long as they agree with your dogma..

      1. Guy Warinner says:

        And you conservatives always believe in lies as long as they fit your dogma, quite obviously…

        1. John Owens says:

          Typical lib. Accuse the other side of doing what the libs are doing–ALWAYS. Just like the Russia flack. Then if you point it out, they say you are deflecting. It is an effective, if not clever way of continuing to be jerks without correction.

          1. Guy Warinner says:

            John, you are so confused about reality it is pitiful…

          2. John Owens says:

            I’d be upset by what you say if you knew anything about what you are speaking. I know you don’t believe the scripture, but God said He would send strong delusion and you are a prime example.

  23. Lesley lux says:

    I have talked to a few non believers of why they don’t believe I took in their view without trying to change their ways .I give them my view of God and his wonderious giving of life and they didn’t try to change my view..

  24. ReverendPat says:

    Here’s an inside take on religious bigotry. I was raised in the ’30’s depression by a single mom. My father could not marry her because his prim Danish family did not approve of her being part Chippewa. Religion had never treated her well as an unmarried mother. She moved us from Wis to Minneapolis in ’43 and I started 7th grade in Lincoln Jr. High, in a 90% Jewish neighborhood. I was in awe on Yom Kippur when only 4 or 5 of us showed up in class. The teacher carefully explained to me that Judaism was different from other religions.

    Two years later we moved across from Franklin JH, in a Polish neighborhood. The boys knew I had come from “that Jew School”, assumed I was Jewish, regardless of being named Patrick, and beat the Hell out of me as I started 9th grade. When Yom Kippur came and I showed up in school, I was suddenly ‘OK’. I could only think inside, “You schmucks don’t know any more about me today than yesterday……but today I’m OK.”

    In Sr. High, now 15 years old, I decided I needed to know something about religion and I set out in my best clothes to attend a few churches on Sunday mornings. I sat in back to be inconspicuous, but there always a ‘Greeter’ who would welcome me with smiles and pleasantry. Her face would visibly change when, in answer to her questions, I would have to say that I ‘had always lived with my mom’, who was working driving streetcar that Sunday morning, and that I ‘didn’t have a father’. I was already a good reader and I knew when Hester’s “A” was being painted on my mom! One lady in a Lutheran Church called the Pastor over and he pleasantly informed me that if I joined the Youth Bible Study Group, I “still could be ‘saved from my sins’ and I would be OK”. Lutheran, Moravian, or Catholic, it was all the same. These ‘ loving religious folks’ all prejudged my mom and me without knowing anything about us. They were hypocrites and not worth my time.

    The one group I drew close to were my Jewish moms back in Lincoln JH. Isaac (or others) would bring me home to play, and his mom, after an initial question or two, would teach me my first two Yiddish words…”Sit!, … Eat!’ … and she would drag out wonderful strange foods, with no more questions needed. I was Isaac’s friend and that was good enough for her.

    Nothing has changed in my 86 years! The Washington religious right is showing no decent moral core and has sold its soul in the hopes of gaining control of the country. How can Pence and Ryan honestly look at themselves in the mirror in the morning?
    Reverend Pat

  25. Bill says:

    “So, for the sake of argument, let’s assume the results are entirely accurate.” That’s quite a big assumption. How about another posting with “So, for the sake of argument, let’s assume the results are not accurate.”? By the way, I am not an atheist. I didn’t talk to any Spaniards about it, but I do think individual tolerance levels highly individual and depend on too many factors to split up so simplistically as in “atheist/non-atheist.”

  26. Scott Barton says:

    I suppose discussion is a good thing but I would like to remind all of us that not one thought we hold is wholly true. No one knows the truth. It is evident in what is being witnessed to. All is interpretation of truth based on our perception and nothing more. No one is tolerant if they are judging/condemning. I understand that society must have rules that we are to live by so as not to live in chaos. But I also recognize the error of judgement when it blocks ones awareness of his and his brothers reality. Our judgments cannot create our or our brothers truth. Truth is there already just waiting to be recognized. Not one of our judgments can define our reality as God created it. We cannot make substitutes no matter how much we think we can. Not one of us is more holy than our brother. We are all intolerant. Intolerant of truth. Yet even our ignorance does not change our truth as God created it. He knows us as we are . I hope someone can find peace in that understanding.

  27. Gaffanon says:

    This is not a discussion. It has denigrated into name calling and platitudes. I would have thought better of us. What happened to discussion? what happened to reason? Seems these days if you dont agree with some one else’s view point, they are immediately attacked. No one is infallible. None of us are perfect. What ever religious tenant you subscribe to or dont subscribe to, read your Holy Book, None of them say anything about this hatred we have devolved into.The US has become polarized and if we dont stop there wont be a US much longer. We have become a joke to the rest of the world and the world has become way to small to continue this way. I go one other forums with religious leaders and believers from around the world, and everything is discussed until one person starts this crap and then i read oh its an American, and it always is. We are less educated yet we believe ignorance is just as valid as education. When did this happen?

    1. John Owens says:

      Roughly when the DNC decided they would field the Kenyan instead of Hillary, I believe, and it has steadily gotten worse since then, reaching its peak when Hillary lost to Trump and her supporters still can’t figure out why they lost so they either call names or label people so they can dismiss them. We on the other side cannot sit by and let them get away with it, so we have shown all the tolerance we intend to show. The harder they push, the harder we push back, and if it comes to civil unrest, they are doomed.

      1. John Owens says:

        And, just to inform, education has more than one meaning. Too often it has become equivalent to INDOCTRINATION, rather than actually learning. In that case, ignorance of the substance of the indoctrination WOULD be superior to the indoctrination, and therefore ignorance better than education.

        If education makes you think like an entitled spoiled brat, what good is it? If it makes you think you are superior to another human because you have a degree, what good is it? If it makes you think you are somehow superior to YOUR OWN PARENTS, and more knowledgeable than people twice and three times your age, HOW GOOD CAN IT POSSIBLY BE?

        I would ask you, if ignorance is NOT as valid as education, why would you want to subsidize ignorance by creating a culture where young women are encouraged to have children by multiple men who do not function as fathers, thereby pretty much sentencing the children to ignorance and poverty?

        If ignorance is not as valid, why are ignorant people allowed to vote? Why don’t we have an ignorance test? I know why– because people would say, if you don’t agree with us, you are ignorant, and cannot vote. That is what both sides say about each other, and any third party says about BOTH the others.

        1. Guy Warinner says:

          That is the problem with people with little or no education, they think that an education is evil. The reason for that is that most people that get an education (indoctrination and education are not synonymous or are they the same thing) stop believing in and worshiping mythologies. To help you understand the difference I put the definition up for you…

          Indoctrination
          noun
          the act of indoctrinating, or teaching or inculcating a doctrine, principle, or ideology, especially one with a specific point of view:
          religious indoctrination.
          ===
          Education

          noun
          1.
          the act or process of imparting or acquiring general knowledge, developing the powers of reasoning and judgment, and generally of preparing oneself or others intellectually for mature life.
          2.
          the act or process of imparting or acquiring particular knowledge or skills, as for a profession.
          3.
          a degree, level, or kind of schooling:
          a university education.
          4.
          the result produced by instruction, training, or study:
          to show one’s education.
          5.
          the science or art of teaching; pedagogics.

          1. John Owens says:

            And you left out: INDOCTRINATION/ SOCIALIZATION. Those are not supposed to be definitions, but in reality, they are. Reference college teaching curriculum, School and Society.

            They only think education is evil when they see college students rioting and wanting safe spaces and being racist against one another, and NOT wanting free speech for opposing viewpoints.

            EVERYONE wants to learn and learn more. What they do NOT want is for their children to become insufferable socialists who think all problems are to be solved by more government and the government is to take care of everyone. Governments have NEVER done that and NEVER will.

            If you measure worth by education, wouldn’t a person with 2 PhDs be worth twice as much as a person with one? What about the poor shmuck with only a High School Education? You don’t think that person can read anything that you can?

            I was reading at a High School level when I was in fourth grade. I have always devoured books. I’ve read a lot of the classic stuff, Josephus, Matthew Henry’s commentaries, Tolstoy, Orwell, Dickens, Tolkein, Lovecraft, Grisham, Jack London. I enjoy it.

            I don’t have a PhD. I married young, left Junior College to work and raise a family. Went back from time to time. Some at a two-year college, some at a four-year. I accumulated a lot credits but over a twenty-year span, and they were all over the place. Finally I applied for and received an Associate’s in Secondary Education. That qualifies me as semi-literate to a lot of people who have entirely too high an opinion of themselves. I still earn more than most teachers, but I don’t measure success in dollars, and I don’t measure it in degrees. I measure it in happiness, satisfaction, comfort, respect.

            I went to watch my children (31 and 34 years old) entertaining at the courthouse square in the town where their dead mother and I raised them. I was wearing my cut, and watching and listening to my kids. The mayor came over to schmooze me, and two of the police. Just to be seen talking with ME, the guy with the cut, whose kids were singing and playing. I have respect, and I worked very hard to get it.

  28. Gaffanon says:

    This has been happening longer than that and both parties have a hand in this. But what has that got to do with common courtesy and decency. We used to discuss differences not call each other names and make fun of each other. If the country comes to Civil unrest we are all screwed no matter what side your polical leaning is.

  29. Gaffanon says:

    You love to polarize everything but there is a major difference between ignorance and lack of education. Neither of my parents had beyond a high school education but they were far from ignorant. By your reasoning we also let the insane vote why don’t we stop them as well. It’s a circular arguement. You can not decide one person is more important and is allowed to vote than another. We have a constitution and it is being eroded. As for a culture of women having children by multiple men it’s also a culture that does not value working hard and getting ahead it’s also a culture where discrimination is rampant. There is no easy answer but this fighting amongst ourselves does us no good at all.

    1. John Owens says:

      Well, I understand that, and you are correct about people having high school educations and being far from ignorant. That is my feeling. Each person is an individual and their ignorance or lack of ignorance is up to them. I also agree we should not think one person is more important than another, nor is their OPINION more important, except perhaps in the middle of technical questions, a person with expertise in say, electrical circuits for example, that person’s opinion would be more valuable on an electrical question than someone whose expertise was in carpentry or welding. But yes, one person’s feelings ARE as important as another’s even if they are less knowledgeable about a given subject, as long as we base actions on reality and not feelings, and judge those actions by their fruits, and not be feelings.

      I have known people with Master’s Degrees who were much wiser and knowledgeable about most things than people with PhDs, and people with High School educations (which used to mean something, before college got to be such a big business) who are more truly sophisticated than people who have multiple Doctorates. The determining factor in having wisdom or common sense (not EXACTLY the same, but tend to run together) seems to be DISCERNMENT, and/or deductive reasoning, observation and rumination. I don’t see a lot of that going on anymore.

      As a side note, it may be part of a giant Catch 22, but you added to my mention of culture by saying “it’s also a culture that does not value working hard and getting ahead it’s also a culture where discrimination is rampant.” If a culture doesn’t focus on hard work, that is a very good reason to discriminate against that culture. It basically is discriminating against itself. If I was hiring for jobs that were not hard physical labor, I would hire over 40s, because of work ethic.

      1. gaffanonGaffanon says:

        You are right a degree is only a measure of how long you stayed in school not about how much knowledge you have acquired. Knowledge also does not equate with wisdom.
        Seems the current younger generation not all but I’ve run across many, don’t want to work hard or produce they want to be at the top now and don’t feel they need to work for it. That being said jobs that pay well or offer advancement are difficult to come by in various areas of the country. With corporations moving the better paying jobs overseas because it’s cheaper have contributed to this condition and we have companies like Wally World which don’t pay well and we pay for their employees to be on welfare because they do not pay well.
        We have gotten a big government to control us, while corporate America runs over us with out checks.

  30. Alan says:

    Atheists have been known to be less optimistic than believers for decades. Nothing new. Also, contrary to some of the above comments, Catholics are not ‘intolerant’ of anyone who has different beliefs or lifestyles. They simply do not want leftists trying to make any unorthodox behaviors forced on everyone else by government. (EG: A man can simply walk into the ‘ladies’ room’ and not face kickback simply because he says ‘he feels like a woman’. Do you really think most women (and young girls) are comfortable with that?) They would not be Catholic if they did. This does not mean that Catholics believe that certain beliefs or lifestyles are good, or even healthy. Catholics that know someone that has behaviors which are contrary to the teachings of Christ, simply pray for them. I do not know any Catholic who would ever slander or judge someone’s personal approach to life. Catholics leave judgement to God alone. But it is clear that some lifestyles are clearly bad for people, such as alcohol and drug abuse, physical or mental abuse used against anyone and should try to help people with these problems because of the dangers and suffering they can impose on others as well as their own health and well being.
    Recent studies have shown people of faith are clearly more willing to accept their ‘lot’ in life, without blaming others if they do not have the material things and wealth others may have. One glaring example is that you will find that most on the ‘political left’, become angry and are willing to destroy things, riot, injure others, stifle speech, etc, when asked to do so. When was the last ‘riot’ or car burning or assault committed by a conservative (most of which are Christian) when there political desires were not met. NEVER.

    1. John Owens says:

      Alan, I’ve read all your comments with great interest and I am glad to see you writing here. This blog needs more people who think like you, male and female.

      1. Alan Bower says:

        Thank you. I appreciate your comment. Alan.

  31. Alan says:

    The statistical fact is that .03% (not 3%) of the population is actually homosexual. The political left in its’ quest to define as many ‘groups’ as ‘victims’ of discrimination is the genesis of this entire debate. No sane person (in western society) ever really looked at someone wondering if they were ‘gay’ (with the exception of obviously excessive female or male mannerisms contrary to their physical sex), until the left made this an issue. The left has made the existence of gays and lesbians way more complex and anxiety provoking then it should have ever been. But it did get the ‘gay community’ to vote democrat, which is all the left was trying to do. If the left actually cared about people, they would not be trying to destroy the constitution, which protects all Americans from unequal protection, violence, discrimination, etc. The left has done nothing more for ‘gay people than the emancipation proclamation did for African Americans. They were already protected by the constitution, but the south (a democratic monopoly whose sole purpose of its’ elected representatives was to protect slavery and protect exports of cotton), but, because of their gross hatred and bigotry, it did take a horrific war to end it. (PS:: Lincoln wrote the Emancipation Proclamation, primarily to shame the British (largest cotton importer) from officially siding with the south and providing them arms.) Most people realize they can not help falling in love with or being attracted to the opposite sex. They assume gay people can’t for the same sex).. It is just more misery and misdirection created by Marxists to create another enemy class (they call them gay bashers, etc-their term) as well as their go to enemies,such as corporations; the wealthy; conservatism; religion, etc.. The media has played a large part in exaggerating and exasperating the big lie, which is the food of the political left. Marxists must create enemies and division in order to play he part of ‘the saviour’, as they can never tell the public what their true goals are (One party ruling class). Look at Venezuala. They fell for the ‘socialist’ BS, and went from a wealthy country to eating from trash cans within less than 2 decades, and they used the same propaganda and division to get there. Today, Venezuala is having riots, bogus elections, starvation, political opponents imprisoned and being murdered. The current ‘president’ was there was a bus driver. Bernie Sanders (avowed communist/honeymooned in the former communist Soviet Union) was a Porn writer until he was 40. These are the types of miserable people pushing the lefts cause. Remember, Stalin, Hitler, Mao, Castro, Pol Pot, etc all had to create divisions and hatred and remember what this has brought to the world.. LEARN to think before you act.

  32. Alan says:

    PS: Socialists/communists are atheist as they believe ‘smart people’ (them) need to set the norm and peoples rights, not God. This is why they have been trying to banish terms like ‘Merry Christmas’ and nativity scenes in public as well as twisting the constitutions statement that the ‘state shall create no national religion’ which does not mean people in government are prohibited from practicing their religion as a government employee or publicly, only that the US can not do what Henry the VIII did. King Henry VIII did so (created the Anglican Church) simply because he decided he wanted a religion that allowed divorce. This led to the killing and jailing of Catholics and other wonderful things) THIS IS WHAT MAKES ATHEISTS SO INTOLERANT. They are miserable, jealous, greedy and hateful humans who feel left behind and want some way to artificially feel elevated from their miserable existence.

  33. patrick says:

    Scattered thoughts…

    I’m agnostic (former Catholic) and consider myself extremely tolerant of all religions. I find that the further one is along the religious spectrum, the less tolerant one becomes. A generalization and not also true for all people, but when someone is so deeply entrenched in one religion, I often find their religious lens to be thick and permanent.

    “I don’t believe in God.” – The shock, disappointment and to some extent, pity, that I receive when saying this from religious folk still surprises me.

    I have my issues with organized religions. Follow the roots. Follow the money. Follow the power. Athiests/Agnostics are not controlling people, taking advantage of the poor, or masking the invasion and conversion of foreign communities as missionary work.

    With that said, I respect, to the fullest extent, the right of all people to have faith and to be spiritual. At its core it really is a beautiful thing.

    Lastly, I think it will help everyone in this discussion to truly understand what tolerance means. It does not involve love.

    1. John Owens says:

      Wow, Patrick. Your comments are kinda nice, and deep. Thank you.

  34. angel722 says:

    Hate breeds hate and that’s the bottomline.

  35. I.S. Johnson says:

    Hate is hate. Fear is fear. Getting all bogged down in minutia trying to parse hairs over hate is a waste of time. Fear breeds hate and intolerance. Instability breeds hate, intolerance and self-centered fear. Self-centered fear leads to factions forming of similar groups, who then spread fear and hate towards all non-members to increase the unity of the faction. In other words, most of human history so far. Unity of community, shared burden for the good of the whole and Direct Democracy would be a good start for a change. Humanity seems to still want to behave like shaved chimps at this point. Those of us who are working forward can only do the best we can. Be the change you wish to bring to the world, even though it may break your heart, never let it break your faith. That is my two cents.

  36. XaurreauX says:

    There are definitely intolerant atheists and I know BOTH of them.

  37. Alan Bower says:

    All of the critics are missing a very BASIC point. Absolutely atheists are less tolerant people. They are by nature materialists and likely to be the ones who develop jealousies over other peoples possessions, more likely to steal, lie, cheat, commit adultery simply because of their mindset that if no one knows, there is nothing wrong with it. No guilt. No blame. And they generally assume people with more possessions then they have must have cheated to do so, so they often feel they have to cheat harder. These are facts.
    This happens because those who are brought up with religious conviction and believe in God understand (right or wrong – your choice) that nothing is done in ‘secret’. You will be held accountable. And some of the most basic principles of Christianity are humility, charity, love of your neighbor (all people) and tolerance of the differences people have. If you are an atheist, you have no problem with abortion, euthanasia, lying to the public (if YOU believe it is for the ‘right’ reasons.) All of the worlds worst governments in modern history have been atheist and either completely banned religion, or had government operatives working within the church to control the message. Iran and any other ‘Islamic’ states are perceived to be a religious states. “ISLAM” is a form of governance and always has been, although it has all the trappings of a truly theological system. It is not. Its’ laws are based solely on the koran and the punishments in the koran are inflicted by sharia courts. These are fascist countries in the guise of a religious democracy/Patriarchy controlled by clerics and commit barbaric acts in the name of religion. These people are not the exception, they simply are not a true religion (It is a government).
    If you do real world analysis, you will find that it is almost always the religious who have sacrificed themselves for others, provided for the poor (and not through a bogus charity), freely given their time to travel to remote places to treat the ill and educate the illiterate. Keep in mind, the Catholic Church invented universities, the public school system and public hospitals. And the places were built by the money and sweat of the people in the communities they lived.
    I know of no atheists who have ever taken on any acts of charity like this.

    1. John Owens says:

      Right on, Alan. Of course you are going to be called a bigot for your honest and thoughtful writings, but Hey, we know you are correct, so the goons can just babble on.

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