There has been some recent stir in the media lately.
Perhaps not against atheists in specific.
(Oh wait, except for the Fox News thing. That was pretty specific.)
Anyway, what have you heard? Who do you self-identify with?
Do you feel like this is a rising trend or media sensationalism?
Does your day to day life seem affected in any way?
I've never felt physically threatened, but I'm in a very liberal place. If we really got down to the nuts and bolts claims of the Bible, I would suspect that I'm actually in the majority here in the Seattle area. People are not generally not religious here. They might believe in something, but fundies are a minority for sure. I might not be the best judge.
This experience is nothing recent.
I've had a knife at my throat for being an atheist. I wasn't being outspoken, I was 8. The knife drew a little blood and left no physical scar.
As an adult I have been dumped for being an atheist. I have been ostracized by some who I considered my friends.
I can't say much about recent media influences as I work to much to waste my time getting headaches.I can say that I would love to put a Darwin "fish" on my truck but haven't as I don't want my car vandalized.
I know plenty of violent Christians.
My family had ties to distasteful militia offshoots.
You don't think 'Muslim' when you hear the words 'pipebomb' and 'abortion clinic' in the same sentence.
The Norway shooter was representing Christianity quite well if you compare it to history, as Gaytor said.
And yeah, I've been to parts of America where I felt physically threatened to announce I'm atheist.
So I didn't. I kept my mouth shut.
Have you ever feared violence at the prospect of being 'outted?'
What about death threats for representing a secular idea?
I see it on a lot of news forums all the time.
Mind you, I don't take these people seriously but I do take very basic precautions just in case one out of thousand actually are dangerous.
A lot of times I'd like to make a pro-secular statement and I don't consider myself to be in immediate danger. I often consider the type of attention I am attracting and if it may follow my when I walk back to my car alone. That keeps my mouth shut more often than I would like. }-(
I've never felt threatened either. But it may help that while my area is religious, it's not super religious.
I live in the south, I watched the video suggested by Gaytor I was not surprised. Southerners are great at a good front but they will drop it all if you insult god, nascar, sweet tea, their accent etc. They have a pathological inability to laugh at themselves as well as a problem with sarcasm. I will say this, however, these are the ones who do not go on to higher education, the ones who do attend college will be a bit more civilized but do not get them drunk. :)
I do fear for my children. My son told some of the kids at school that he did not believe in god and one of his classmates gave him a little trouble but nothing violent. I have told my children that they should probably not be so outspoken only because I do not wish to have them harmed. I also want them to understand that what they believe now may not be what they believe later and to make a statement about belief is a bit premature at 13 years old.
In my 60 years I have been physically attacked once, and threatened by: Campus Crusade for Christ (there were 7 of them), a couple of Mormons, Several drunk rednecks (both in groups and pairs - so far not individually). And I won/'t mention the numerous job discrimination I've incurred. Of course I do live in Alabama.
While I acknowledge the potential for violence is always there, I have never experienced any myself nor have I been threatened. However, I’m now living in the south. We’ll see how long that lasts.
I think one person in South Carolina, outside of my family, may know I am an atheist. I do not advertise it. This is the Bible Belt and people here can't seem to get through the day without giving God or Jesus the credit for their good or bad fortunes. I do long to live in a place where god is not invoked at my job nor in my classes, but that will have to wait until I finish school. I find people in my area exceptionally ignorant about atheists. Some equate us with satanists. Others believe a lack of knowledge about the bible indicates you are an atheist. All the atheists I have met or spoken with have generally had far more knowledge about the bible than many of those who consider themselves to be good Christians. Perhaps if I lived in Columbia or Charleston I wouldn't feel the need to hide my atheism, but while I live in this burg I will most likely continue to keep it under wraps.
I'd say this pretty well sums up why atheists MIGHT feel a little antsy about christians. Not "real" christians obviously as there has never been a christian terrorist.
Okay that was scary.
I haven't been physically threatened personally, but when ever I mention that I'm Atheist i do get that "oooh" in that "oh, your one of those people, I don't like you and I want to leave" tone of voice. Oh and the stink eye, I get that a lot too... but then again I'm sure people have a predisposed opinion of me before I open my mouth based on my looks anyway so meh, frack em.