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Jan 13 2010

No atheist will marry my daughter!

There’s a new Pew Research study out called “Blacks Upbeat about Black Progress, Prospects,” and there’s a little nugget of information on atheists that I wanted to point out…

But there is one new spouse that most Americans would have trouble accepting into their families: someone who does not believe in God. Seven-in-ten people who are affiliated with a religion say they either would not accept such as marriage (27%) or be bothered before coming to accept it (42%).

Doesn’t sound too good, does it? But how does this compare to people’s views of interracial marriages? Is it just a couple percentage points higher?
Nope, there’s a huge difference in the disapproval. I’m elated we’ve made such progress on interracial marriage, don’t get me wrong – but this is yet another piece of evidence on the discriminatory views people have towards atheists. It’s frightening that nearly 3 in 10 people will not be able to come to acceptance of such a marriage. What a loving, understanding way to treat your family.

(Hat tip to RHB)

14 comments

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  1. 1
    Erp

    Note the religious question was only of people affiliated with a religion not all Americans. Still bad.

  2. 2
    Erp

    Note the religious question was only of people affiliated with a religion not all Americans. Still bad.

  3. 3
    Kevin Weiser

    This reminds me of all the hullabaloo around eHarmony. I had a bunch of articles to link in here, but copy+paste seems to be disabled. Sad panda!

  4. 4
    Kevin Weiser

    This reminds me of all the hullabaloo around eHarmony. I had a bunch of articles to link in here, but copy+paste seems to be disabled. Sad panda!

  5. 5
    RHB

    @ Erp That 'only' is around 92%! Here's a report on the survey (chosen at random)

  6. 6
    RHB

    @ Erp That ‘only’ is around 92%! Here’s a report on the survey (chosen at random)

  7. 7
    KarateMonkey

    The cynic in me suspects that the actual numbers for interracial marriage are closer to what we see for atheists, but the racists know their view is unacceptable, and won't admit to it. There's no such stigma against being prejudiced against atheists so they let the hate flag fly.

  8. 8
    KarateMonkey

    The cynic in me suspects that the actual numbers for interracial marriage are closer to what we see for atheists, but the racists know their view is unacceptable, and won’t admit to it. There’s no such stigma against being prejudiced against atheists so they let the hate flag fly.

  9. 9
    Stephan

    Well, I'm a white atheist marrying a black woman whose mother is a Methodist minister…guess I'm really beating the odds!

  10. 10
    Stephan

    Well, I’m a white atheist marrying a black woman whose mother is a Methodist minister…guess I’m really beating the odds!

  11. 11
    mcbender

    I think I'm inclined to take KarateMonkey's position on this – it's quite possible that many people would elect to lie about their comfort level with respect to "race" because they don't want to think of themselves as racists (because there is a societal stigma).

    Of course, I think simply asking a question regarding "atheists" misses the point. It'd be more interesting to see what the figures were for "marrying a person with different religious commitments", where the difference is unspecified. I suspect there would be an even greater gap there.

  12. 12
    mcbender

    I think I’m inclined to take KarateMonkey’s position on this – it’s quite possible that many people would elect to lie about their comfort level with respect to “race” because they don’t want to think of themselves as racists (because there is a societal stigma).Of course, I think simply asking a question regarding “atheists” misses the point. It’d be more interesting to see what the figures were for “marrying a person with different religious commitments”, where the difference is unspecified. I suspect there would be an even greater gap there.

  13. 13
    Hugo Grinebiter

    Mcbender: reminds me of a conversation with a Polish woman living in Norway. When she divorced, everybody assumed it was "cultural differences", but she said, No, her husband was Polish too, but there were still cultural differences. Well, said I, you're a woman and he's a man, that's an irreconcilable cultural difference right there. She liked that.

  14. 14
    Hugo Grinebiter

    Mcbender: reminds me of a conversation with a Polish woman living in Norway. When she divorced, everybody assumed it was “cultural differences”, but she said, No, her husband was Polish too, but there were still cultural differences. Well, said I, you’re a woman and he’s a man, that’s an irreconcilable cultural difference right there. She liked that.

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