I'm a christian living in the UK.  Some people on here have intimated that atheists in the US are persecuted in some ways.  I have no idea what this means, but would very interested to find out.  So the questions is how?  Its a genuine question, and i'm not looking for discussion on whether God exists etc, just the topic at hand.  Thanks.

Tags: Persecuted

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I recently came out as an atheist to many of my friends. They were incredulous, and my boyfriend broke up with me. They've come to accept it, but still make little jabs every now and then. My parents would be very angry if I ever told them. Can't wait to move to the UK!

As almost any UK'er here will tell you, the UK has its own share of wackiness. If not related to atheism, then other things. The "loony left" for example, who back notions of political correctness that would curl your toenails.

Sadly, loony left notions are creeping into the US, especially in our educational system.

Political correctness has always irritated me. Like, if you can't say what you want, why bother with free speech? 

It's not like that now, Olivia.  The loony left were around in the 1980s.  We can pretty much say and think what we like.  The only people frowned upon are far-right racists and Islamic Jihad types.  We still let them march and everything, but they are kept out of harm's way by the police.  Actually, the left barely exist any more, everyone's gone "centre". 

I hear of persecution all the time, but have not felt any.

I've been an Atheist since I was 16, and was agnostic for 3 years prior. I've always been open and honest with my lack of beliefs, and even my most fundie of friends don't think I'm any worse for it. I live in Northren KY in an area that is considered to be "Greater Cincinnati" (as in Cincinnati OH). Maybe I just get lucky and meet decent xians, or my area is more concerned with drama. Don't really care because my xian friends are always up for a good debate over a beer.

In certain other countries you can know people for decades and never even learn about their beliefs. They may be Christians, but religion just isn't really talked about in normal conversations.

I think atheists can be legally discriminated against in the U.S. because we have no laws recognizing us as a minority. If somebody refuses to sell a house to a black family, that's illegal. But -- unless I'm mistaken -- it's not illegal if it's an atheist family that is discriminated against.

Any lawyers here? What legal protections do atheists have?

The only law protecting us is the freedom of religion or lack of it, as far as I know.

But atheism is not a religion . . .

It is, however, a religious belief in the legal sense

Okay, Steve, I see no reason not to take your word for it . . .

It is, the Supreme Court made that point clear in Wallace v. Jaffree, 472 U.S. 38 (1985). 

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