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Praying for the Death of the President

Is it me, or are religious fanatics getting worse here in the US? We know things are bad in some parts of the world with religious extremists, but since when do religious “leaders” here in the states preach hate?

The Reverend Steven Anderson of the Faithful Word Baptist Church in AZ told his flock that he prays that Obama “dies and goes to hell.” WHAT! In an August 16th sermon Anderson said, “If you want to know how I’d like to see Obama die, I’d like him to die of natural causes. I don’t want him to be a martyr, we don’t need another holiday. I’d like to see him die, like Ted Kennedy, of brain cancer.”

Here’s a short sample of Anderson’s sermon:

I was honestly shocked listening to this guy. This is the type of rhetoric you might expect at a KKK meeting, not in a church. This guy is supposed to be a “christian” leader. Would a christian be teaching hate? I’m all for free speech, but this kind of talk should be considered a hate crime. A “hate crime” involves someone who targets a victim based on the victims social group, such as racial group, religion, sexual orientation, disability, ethnicity, nationality, age, gender, gender identity, or political affiliation. Does he think all liberal democrats should die and go to hell?

You might say this is just talk. And it is true that sticks and stones can break Obama’s bones, but words could never hurt him. I would also say thankfully that praying is about as effective as wishing on a star and even if there is a God, he sure would not be listening to this hateful person. But the problem is that Anderson’s “flock” does listen to him. Ignorant people can be easily manipulated toward hate and violence.

The day after this sermon took place and Obama arrived in Arizona, a member of his congregation showed up outside an Obama event carrying an AR-15 semi-automatic assault rifle. Yes, this guy you’ve seen on the news belongs to Anderson’s church!

This is scary stuff.

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Atheists are the most despised minority in America

A 2006 University of Minnesota study revealed that atheists are the most despised minority in America. But this is not news to atheists, it’s just the most recent in a long series of surveys showing that Americans are very bigoted and prejudiced against atheists. For as long as organizations have been asking Americans about atheists, Americans have been responding that they wouldn’t treat atheists as equals to theists and Christians.

Sample question from this most recent survey:
This group does not at all agree with my vision of American society…

Atheist: 39.6%
Muslims: 26.3%
Homosexuals: 22.6%
Hispanics: 20%
Conservative Christians: 13.5%
Recent Immigrants: 12.5%
Jews: 7.6%

There is a lot of anti-atheist bigotry in the US and around the world, in spite of the fact that atheists are among the most moral people. Statistics consistently show that atheists (on average) are smarter and display more tolerance toward others than theists. They are also more likely to stay married and are less likely to end up in jail or commit crimes.

Divorce rates by religion (1999):

Jews: 30%
Born-again Christians: 27%
Other Christians: 24%
Atheists, Agnostics: 21%

The Federal Bureau of Prisons keeps statistics on religious affiliations of inmates (1997):

Catholic: 39.164%
Protestant: 35.008%
Rasta: 1.987%
Jewish: 1.773%
Church of Christ: 1.744%
Pentecostal: 1.463%
Jehovah Witness: 0.890%
Adventist: 0.831%
Orthodox: 0.502%
Mormon: 0.399%
Atheist: 0.209%

Atheists consist of about 10-15% of the US population but are only 0.21% of the prison populations. So, the vast majority of atheists are morally sound without the need of a supernatural watchdog. It is important for atheists to stand up and be recognized in order to break the negative and wrong stereotypes of atheism.

More about the University of Minnesota study
University of Minnesota Study on American Attitudes Towards Atheists & Atheism

Gallup Polls & Other Surveys on American Attitudes Towards Atheists

On a lighter note, here is an amusing hate post from a ThinkAtheist forum

    “you are a peice of mother –and when you die you will indeed go to . dont post no about athiests and why there is no god. how the you think the world was created? all of a sudden 1day there was a big bang..and BOOM there was a world??? you stupid —who created everything? where is it all coming from? answer these questions and I might conform to atheism. !”

LOL! I couldn’t make this stuff up! You have to be very smart to really understand how everything was created. It was created by an invisible man up in the sky. It took him a whole week to put everything together. Well, actually it took only 6 days, then he needed a day off. He only made one man, but then he decided to rip out one of the guys ribs to make a woman. Everything was fine and dandy until that talking snake came along….and the rest is history. Oh yes, this makes perfect sense.

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