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The New Downtrodden

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Figure 1

When they came for the creation scientists,
I remained silent;
I was not a creation scientist.

When they locked up the abortion protesters,
I remained silent;
I was not an abortion protester.

When they came for the intelligent design theorists,
I did not speak out;
I was not an intelligent design theorist.

When they came for the strongly religious,
I did not speak out;
I was not strongly religious.

When they came for me,
there was no one left to speak out.


"Church attendance is way up, as is “belief in spirituality” Folks are getting more religious… not less."

Since when did church attendance go way up?

It hasn't been. Whoever said that was just making it up out of thin air. Must have been a Darwinist that said it as they're notorious at making up facts out of thin air to support their theories. Church attendance has dropped unprecedentedly since 1990. -ds jasonng
The "Thing" about atheists is that they do not define who they are by a religion. (Atheism may be a religion, but that's a semantic thing) Most of them that I know define themselves as an Artist, a Biologist, an Astronomer or Father of Three or what have you. It's not a matter of what they aren't, so much as what they are. As for the Attack on Christianity, I don't think it exists. Church attendance is way up, as is "belief in spirituality" Folks are getting more religious... not less. Jeffery Keown
"The thing about atheists is that they don’t really have anything that defines who they are, only who they are not. I guess that’s why they’re rarely the target of mockery. " I'll add that atheists in general don't identify as such. It's not like being Catholic or joining the elks club. So there just isn't anything to mock. As as the guy said, there isn't any there there. gibbon1
Actually, I think that both anti-Christian reactionaries and the most visible fundamentalist Christians can share the blame for the cultural friction that we see. As someone who considers myself a Christian fundamentalist, I'm frustrated by the way its most visible leaders come across as anti-intellectual dogmatic theocrats. Likewise, I'm frustrated by the way people take that one side and are content to paint all Christian fundamentalists that way. The Christophobia we see in society today is based on irrational paranoia. crandaddy
The thing about atheists is that they don't really have anything that defines who they are, only who they are not. I guess that's why they're rarely the target of mockery. jasonng
I don't know how many of you have heard of popetown? A rather very controversial Cartoon series about the Catholic church and its institution. It makes fun about everything there is! I am sure Dawkins already has a copy! Here is the web address: http://www.popetown.com/ It was actually created for BBC, yet huge protest against airing the "blasphemic" series changed BBC's mind not to air it. Currently they try to air it through MTv Germany but again there is so much opposition that it is likely to be aired, so I hope. But then again it is MTv. Here are other English articles about it! http://www.7days.ae/2006/04/11/cartoon-blasted.html http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/content/news_syndication/article_050814pope.shtml http://blogcritics.org/archives/2006/04/14/171605.php It might hit the US sooner or later. Just my two scent on who is made fun off. I joined the opposition even though I am not a Catholic, its about faith in general. And DS I like your lyric analogy of nobody being there when "they" are coming for me, so I take the opportunity for speaking out. tb
"I wonder if discrimination happens more against atheists or the strongly religious? I seem to recall a survey that found atheists to be the least trusted minority in America..." Where I live, Vancouver Canada (or Vansterdam as someone called it), discrimination against the strongly religious is common, while there is little public discrimination of atheists. Our local supposedly centre-right newspaper published two full pages of religion bashing articles a couple weeks ago, and every week I'm bombarded by horribly misinformed anti-ID propaganda created to reinfornce the notion that Darwin does not need to be defended. (How ironic.) I suspect that there are many liberal urban centres in America that are like Vancouver. Someone should do that poll but separate urban and rural. The results could be very startling, particularly in the more left-leaning of cities. jasonng
"What study, by who?" http://www.newsroom.ucla.edu/page.asp?RelNum=6664 "I think the characterization of the media as “liberal” or “left” is overstated. Liberal/Conservative, left/Rigght depend a bit upon where you stand in the first place." That's the whole point of indexing it by congress -- it correlates to those elected by the people as a whole. While Special Report with Brit Hume was "right-of-center", it was very close to the center (the 4th most centrist show). johnnyb
I wonder if discrimination happens more against atheists or the strongly religious? I seem to recall a survey that found atheists to be the least trusted minority in America... Tiax
Perhaps the unfriendly atheistic attitudes displayed by some more vocal Darwinists, combined with recent issues over Islam, have really awoken the sleeping giant that is "conservative" Christianity. http://www.pollingreport.com/religion.htm The fact that 46% said that they don't consider studying the Bible in public schools as violating separation of church and state is quite surprising. Also Islam is dropping even more. I find it hilarious that instead of calling it "The Islamic religion" they call it "The religion called Islam". What's up with that? jasonng
okay.. okay... I can see everyone getting into the 'culture war'. Dave's language is emotive, but so far only Copernicus and Scopes have done bird for their beliefs / scientific leanings. Besides, 'they' are like 5% of the population? The oppressive minority? Surely you can’t appeal to popularity one minute and cry 'oppression!' the next? richie
The media is certainly a powerful influence and so is the power structure in higher education. Its influence is strong in university towns outside the ivy walls, too. I did a study last year looking at leadership models in government, industry, corporations, non-profits, military and law-enforcement agencies, and academia. The academic institutions I looked at had pretty leadership models on paper—you’ve know the spiel--they say they're all committed to breaking down hierarchies, promoting diversity, networking, respecting diverse values, etc. In reality, they’re only willing to share power with those who agree with their agenda. kathy
johnnyb - What study, by who? Do you have references to other studies, or just the one? I could probably find at least one study making the opposite assertion and we'd be right back where we were. I think the characterization of the media as "liberal" or "left" is overstated. Liberal/Conservative, left/Rigght depend a bit upon where you stand in the first place. bFast - ID (as a movement) gets painted with a religious label because so many of its proponents are openly religious AND make religious claims about what ID means. ID needs to shed that "paint" if it's ever to be given a chance to succeed. lucID - You make a bad generalization about professors and students. I can think of several conservative universities where your opinions would be welcomed. I also suspect that, given a "liberal" campus, the professors would be more likely than the students to make any effort to disagree with you, whether with words or tomatoes. tnewell
"With conservative Christians in charge of the House, the Senate, the Presidency and now the Supreme Court" Assuming you are correct (though you may be mistaking "Republican" for "Conservative Christian"), what has this gotten conservative Christians? Honestly? In nearly every way the country's laws and enforcement are less conservatively Christian than beforehand. If it is true that the house and the senate are a majority of conservative Christians, then it appears that the democracy isn't quite working right. What you missed out on most is the media, which affects the way everyone looks at problems. Interestingly, a study found that Fox News _was not_ right wing, but rather the only agency that was balanced, with the balance being indexed by views of elected representatives (the best way IMHO to judge "balance" in a democracy). So it appears, in fact, that the media is so left wing that they view people who are _actually_ somewhat balanced as far right-wing. And these are the people shaping both _what_ is important enough to warrant a discussion topic, as well as what views are represented and how. johnnyb
flipside of the coin - eveyone feels like a victim. lucID
Well put there bfast, I think the association is so strong in the minds of certain people it's quite difficult to shake off. lucID
So I would still agree there is a new downtrodded. Evidently one is not even allowed to admit it either ??? lucID
Let me clarify my view of what this has to do with ID. As seen in the Dover decision, Judge Brown concluded that ID is the brainchild of the clearly 'Christian' "scientific creationism" (YEC) movement, and used that assumption as his reasoning for declaring it unacceptable under separation of church and state. This is how ID, without actually being part of any particular religious perspective, gets painted with the black paint intended for the religious communities. bFast

Fair comment, Godwin's Law...one shouldn't compare atheists to Nazis (some of my good friends are athiests) - maybe more a reaction to Richard Dawkins calling me - someone with a religious inclination- stupid, insane (or wicked but he'd rather not consider that. I guess here is where it gets quite polarised.
Reality check though - if I were to walk into any classroom/lecture hall in the world and profess to support ID, creationism, anti-abortion, take your pick, I couldn't dodge the rotten tomoatos and bad fruit quick enough from both Professors and students.

Agreed the President is an openly religious man, but that just makes him more of a target everytime he opens his mouth. I guarentee you if he weren't a religious man popular anti-sentiment about him wouldn't be so huge.
Again just a thought...


I wouldn't exactly say that the conservative christians control the House, Senate etc
I think 'have some key figures' in these area's which keeps them from being 'totally silenced and side-lined' would be more accurate. Moreover the media is probably a much more persuasive and pervasive entity than the afore-mentioned in terms of influencing popular thought and directing a population (eg the president has been so demonised in the media he's about to be impeached by popular opinion that he's a moron - not that he is perfect). Hence 'THEY' would be the ACLU, Academic elite, Hollywood, most of the judiciary and legal entities, school boards etc (- would you like me to go on?). and 'Left' is don't mention anything religious or contentious in public, else the rally cry is separation of church and state etc, etc.

Just a thought... Use it, don't use it.


And 95% of Americans think they are a better than average driver. Opinion polls are fascinating insights into, well, people's opinions....

And isn't it also fascinating how people's opinions, wrong or right, influence how they vote? -ds mjb99
I think we need to invoke Godwin's Law here. We're apparently comparing athiests to Nazis now? At least I presume "they" are athiests? Isn't our President a strongly, openly religious man? Aren't many in Congress and many Supreme Court justices strongly and openly religious? I think the perception of discrimination doesn't jibe with the reality. tnewell
With conservative Christians in charge of the House, the Senate, the Presidency and now the Supreme Court, who exactly are "they"? Who's left? MrsCogan
The unfortunate situation that the world falls into, is that a minority 'controls' the majorities opinion. If one voices an view that is not acceptably mainsteam then you are automatically relagated to the lunatic far-right fringe (bear in mind the context). Slowly but surely the majority is whittled down. Presently the media are the new dictatorship and ACLU/Academic-left have become the new gestapo - censoring anything right of far left. Zig Heil Mein Führer Dawkins.....The new British anthem PS way to go Dave, give em the boot! lucID

Yeah, and ID has nothing to do with religion, uh-huh.

In case anyone was wondering... Figure 1 -ds


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