Hi to all fellow Atheists - I'm from Australia, and I can tell you Australians are generally very tolerant of Atheists. Our newly elected Prime Minister is female - and AAAtheisTTTT -
BUT, she is still sucking up to Christians, especially the Catholics.
We still have red necks, American term, we call them feral trash - I do have Seventh Day Adventists coming to the door - and I love inviting them in, to discuss the bible, and most of them are nice. They generally mean well, just cannon fodder for Christians.
Australia has private christian schools, but the biggest problem is with the hierarchy of the Sydney Catholics - a bloke called George Pell - but we are free to call him a hypocrite, a protector of pedophiles - a man and a church of much wealth. Many catholic schools are poor compared to other private schools - but our private schools all get subsidized from the government - which is always a bone of contention between private and public schools here.
I only announce I am an Atheist if someone says 'Bless You", or 'God be with you", that is the opener for me to say, "Don't bother, I am an Atheist". There would never be repercussions from this statement. One can wear a T-shirt claiming "I am an Atheist" or a symbol of Atheism, as I do, Darwin's' fish with legs as a brooch on my jacket, and not get any flack. There can be a preacher spouting the bible etc, and I will go up to them and say, "The Bible is the most evil book ever printed" and be on my way. No repercussions.
There is still racism here, against Aborigines, and now against Muslims, mainly women wearing burkhas - which I am also against - I am also a feminists.
To really have total freedom to say what one thinks. America thinks it is a Democratic country - it is not, especially when compared to Australia. It is such a relief to be totally free in ones thinking - and not be full of fear. I am so grateful to see so many Atheist sites coming from America - it gives me hope. The perception from other countries is that America is full of ding-a-lings. With the internet, the rest of the world can read American newspapers, and follow American politics, because America DOES effect the rest of the world.
The world does watch over America's shoulder.
It's all good - Cheers - Suzanne
Being an American, I can tell you with absolute certainty that America is full of ding-a-lings, lol! I wish we had the freedoms you have in Australia, but we have such an aggressive, single-minded Christian force here that is threatening the very Constitution our country was founded on. To be honest, it's frightening. I just want to assure others in other countries that people like myself are determined to change the tide here in the states so that maybe one day we'll actually be the progressive country the right wing crazies claim we are. I am comforted now by the movement going on in this country, with #Occupy Wall Street and more atheists/agnostics/free thinkers jumping into the ring to bring about positive changes that will allow for greater human rights while pushing religion back where it belongs. We've got a long way to go, but things are starting to happen...so please wish us luck as we, the minority, kick some GOP butt! =0)
Sorry to come across as pedantic Suzanne, but a "moslim" is not a "race"- it is a religious choice. I detest Islam but it doesn't make me a racist any more than detesting the Christian religion makes me a racist. Lets keep the bar as high as possible eh?
Certainly agree that the USA seems to be in danger of becoming a fundamentalist Christian nation. To read that 40% of Americans believe in the Creationist version of existence is staggering!! Good wishes to all the rational/free thinking Americans - speak up now guys before having a differing opinion gets you burned at the stake as an heretic!!
You are being pedantic - but you are are right:) Most are of arabic origin, but many born in Australia, white Australians are wearing burqas, and it is getting scary. We do have racists here.
There are Australian lebanese - born here, both muslim and catholic. Five muslim boys raped two Australian girls - because the girls were harlots, and showed their hair. Both girls were fourteen years old.These blokes are now spending the rest of their life in jail.
I have just been reading about a woman a Bengali, Taslima Nasrin - everybody should read her story. It is frightening. I am now getting more scared about Muslims, nobody will mention them 'cause a fatwa will be put on them. That is a totally unacceptable in Australia, but people are being kept in line, because they are scared of these people.
I will try very, very, very hard to keep the bar high.