A recent polls on the religious disaffiliation trends in the US and public reaction to it shows the long road ahead for the “nones” to get public acceptance. Despite our meteoric rise, we are viewed negatively by almost half of the society. Who hates us the most is not surprising.
Overall, 48% of adults view increasing religious disaffiliation negatively.
Of course, contrasts become even more stark when church attendance is taken into consideration.
So when it comes to showing tolerance to their non-religious fellow citizens, white evangelicals (particularly those who attend church weekly) do so the least. Interestingly, among all these groups frequent church attendance seems to be related to lesser tolerance. So much for Christian love. (Apart from evangelicals, the difference appears to be most pronounced among white catholics. If this is not a statistical fluke, the catholic church must be doing a good job preaching negative feelings towards those it doesn’t like!)
But, as always, people most tolerant of those who are different are the youth:
To put matters in perspective, generally, among people below 30, 65% believe the rise of the religiously unaffiliated is a good thing, or it doesn’t matter. By comparison, among white evangelicals, the number is only 20%. The polls seems to suggest a strong disconnect between evangelicals and the youth.
Comments on this post have mentioned that if large numbers of people disapprove of a rise in religious disaffiliation, it doesn’t mean that they “hate” the disaffiliated. A number of results from another survey may help clarify this.
Hence over 50% believe, completely or to some extent, that atheists “cannot be moral and have good values”, and also that social problems are the fault of atheists. If that is not hating, I don’t know what it is.