How much longer will it be before atheists are an accepted part of American society and not vilified as evil by the "mainstream"?
Honestly. It seems like I can't go a day without tripping over someone either implying or flat-out saying that atheists have no morals and do nothing but live in sin. This assumption is obviously complete bunk, as I'm sure many of you know. Many of the most moral people I've ever met in my life have been atheists.
My assumption is that this could be one of those generational things. There are more atheists now than ever before, and as older people die, their old conservative modes of thought may die with them... In a recent speech I recall hearing Obama give a verbal nod to atheism by mentioning "nonbelievers". Hearing this word actually kind of shocked me, because I can't recall hearing an American president -- or any high ranking politician in America, ever -- so much as suggest that people without an organized religious affiliation are actually people.
So, to conclude, what do you think? Are we moving in the right direction, towards greater acceptance of people with differing views? Will America ever have viable "mainstream" atheist politicians and prominent views in the marketplace of ideas? Or are we sliding backwards, on a destructive path of non-acceptance and conformity to rigid fundamentalist Christian ideals? Or both? Or neither?