Tom Arcaro and Anthony Hatcher co-author column in News and Record
Professor Tom Arcaro and associate professor Anthony Hatcher co-authored a column on atheism for the March 28, 2010, Sunday "Ideas" section of the News & Record in Greensboro, N.C.
Their piece, "Atheists' rights in eyes of Christians?", examines the debate over an Asheville, N.C., city councilman who is a professed atheist - and how North Carolina's state constitution specifically prohibits citizens with such views from holding public office.
From the column:
Currently, a vocal and politically conservative religious movement, akin to the Moral Majority of the 1980s, is using God-talk in public discourse to contradict the intent of the Founding Fathers. References to the divine are rhetorical ammunition utilized by Christian conservatives in the ongoing culture wars.
This attempt to divide the country into categories of religious vs. nonreligious is simplistic and discriminatory.
According to Beliefnet.com, conservative protestant Christians "are Bible-centered, viewing the Holy Bible as the final and only authority, the inerrant Word of God, interpreted literally as law." Could this belief in a higher law become a threat to the "Blessings of Liberty" (a phrase actually in the U.S. Constitution) of non-believers?
Perhaps. A nationwide study by researchers at the University of Minnesota found atheists to be the most distrusted of minorities, more so than Muslims, recent immigrants, and gays.
There appears to be a special sort of prejudice reserved for those who choose to doubt the existence of God, even though their numbers are on the rise.
To read the full submission, click on the link to the right.