Wait, who dislikes atheists?
By Lisa Wade, PhD
Last month I posted data showing that, of all the things that might disqualify someone for public office, being an atheist is tops. I wrote: “Prejudice against those who say there’s no god is stronger than ageism, homophobia, and sexism.” On average, Americans would rather vote for someone who admitted to smoking pot or had an extramarital affair.
We just don’t like atheists.
But who is “we”?
A survey by the Pew Research Center asked Americans of varying religious affiliations how they felt about each other. atheists were most disliked by Protestants, especially White evangelicals and Black Protestants (somewhat less so White Mainline Protestants). Atheists quite liked themselves, and agnostics thought were they were okay. Among other religiously affiliated groups, Jews gave atheists the highest rating.
For what it’s worth, atheists feel warmish toward Jews in return, preferring them to everyone except Buddhists, and they dislike Evangelical Christians almost as much as the Christians dislike them.
Lisa Wade is a professor of sociology at Occidental College and the co-author of Gender: Ideas, Interactions, Institutions. You can follow her on Twitter and Facebook.