An Interesting Thought On Discrimination

A few days ago, I wrote a post about Affirmative Action. Well, in the ensuing time, I’ve been mulling it over, and I felt like I was missing something. I just read PZ Myers’ response to the guy who runs the infamous Christian Gelato store, and it came clear in my head.

The majority of the people who live in the West see it as wrong to discriminate. They may choose not to care, they may discriminate unintentionally, and they may just be paying lip service to the words, but if you ask them if a candidate should be prevented from election solely because that candidate was of African/Asian/Arabic/Inuit/Native/Hispanic/Whatever the hell else ancestry, they would say that such a decision was wrong. But if you ask the same people the same question, but you change the adjective to Atheist, you get a completely different perspective.

According to Wikipedia, that bastion of truth in a sea of lies, roughly 19-30% of Canadians are atheists or agnostics, and yet we don’t see that reflected in our political landscape. The majority of people in Canada are, if I am not mistaken, Christian, but I think the majority of those are Christmas Christians, the ones who only really care about their faith on special occasions. But I am speculating.

What I find disconcerting about this is that it is considered okay to assume that an Atheist simply wouldn’t have what it takes to run a country or a city or a ward or what have you, and I can only assume that this comes from misconceptions about atheists. We want our leaders to be moral, upright people with vision, determination, and drive. These qualities certainly describe many atheists just as it does many Christians. In truth, faith has nothing to do with any of these qualities. If it did, then the religious could never be assholes and the faithless could never be good people.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying “Wo unto the atheists, it’s so hard to be us! Our experience is totally the same as black people in the southern US!” That would be bullshit. What black people have had to suffer is just not in the same ballpark. Sometimes we have a hard time coming out. Sometimes, in the right cities, we can be demonized. But nobody ever built a country off our sweat and beat us all the while. I absolutely do not want to sound like those guys who claim that male circumcision is as bad or worse than female circumcision. Please don’t misunderstand.

My point is not to imply that we have it that bad. Truth is, we don’t. I just find it frustrating that a lack of faith is an acceptable thing to discriminate against these days.


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About biguglyjim

Like a caterpillar that spins a coccoon and emerges as a walrus with a mohawk, Big Ugly Jim has become something unexpected. Raised a fine young Christian boy in the city of Calgary, Alberta, Canada, Jim began to question his teachings, first evaluating the wisdom of other religions and eventually realizing that none of them seemed any more accurate than any other, and not a one of them made a lick of sense. Today, Big Ugly Jim is a musician, a Business Analyst with Large Oil Company Whose Name Is Not Important, a music promoter with the Calgary Beer Core, a writer of fiction and non-fiction, a prick, an atheist, a father, an ex-husband, a role model, a horrifying vision in a red speedo (or at least he would be, if ever that happened which IT WOULD NOT), an announcer, and soon to be an officiator of weddings. Also, he's nice and does dishes. Jim continues to live in Calgary, spreading his filthy doctrine of free, critical thinking and appreciation for music.

3 thoughts on “An Interesting Thought On Discrimination

  1. I guess I just always assumed most politicians were amoral to begin with, so it never occurred to me to try and find out what, if any, religious beliefs they might claim to hold to.

    I would agree that a person’s belief system does determine whether or not they possess morals.

    The question of personal beliefs is not something I ever seem to hear about in political rehtoric around election time, but perhaps I don’t hear because I’m not looking for it.

  2. Sorry…I was interupted while writing my second paragraph…it should say:

    I would agree that a person’s belief system does NOT determine whether or not they possess morals.

  3. During election time, there are lots of clips of various potential leaders going to church with their families. One particularly funny one, though I don’t know that it was at election time as it was just before the G8 summit, was when Stephen Harper allegedly didn’t cannibalize Christ:

    Obama brought this issue to the forefront recently, with people claiming he was either Muslim or — worse — not Christian. I believe people alleged that Kennedy was an atheist as well because he was a liberal thinker.

    In the current oh-so-awesome Republican debates in the US, religion is a huge part of the campaigning:

    I just went to google and typed “would you vote” and the first option in the dropdown for me was “would you vote for an atheist”. I just glanced quickly, but I didn’t see anything official, more polls and the like, but I know that polls have been done. And I’ve had the conversation with people who have told me flat out that they would not be able to vote for an atheist for a leadership position simply because of their atheism.

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