Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The Most Despised Minority in America?

I happened upon an interesting blog post by Jonathan Lockwood Huie a little while back, "The Most Despised Minority in America." It's an intriguing thought, no? As Huie leads off,
    This is America, and we aren't supposed to hate anyone because they are a minority, are we? Actually, we have been getting better lately with regard to many minorities - but not all. Electing Barack Obama President of our United States is evidence that being black has become a respectable distinction for a significant majority of Americans. 8% of the Members of Congress are Black compared with 13% of the population - getting closer. Having one woman as a vice-presidential candidate and another as a serious presidential contender affirms that being a woman is also considered acceptable, even though only 16% of Congress is female.
He continues in that vein. Hispanics? Five percent of Congress representing 15% of the population, he says. "Being Jewish has actually become distinguished," Huie writes, "as 7% of Congress represents the 1% of the population who are Jewish. A Gallup Poll reports that only 4% of Americans have a negative view of Jews compared with 23% who have a negative view of Evangelical Christians."

What about gay people? Despite their position being "grim," Huie indicates that things may be looking up somewhat.

So then who is the most despised group in America?

Huie theorizes that it might well be
    Atheists, Agnostics, Humanists, and the others who comprise the group unfortunately termed "non-believers." While "non-believer," in this case, refers to a "non-belief" in a super-human deity, it, like other negative terms, automatically carries a stigma, as would "non-white," "non-male," or "non-Christian."
As indicated above, interesting. If Huie is right--and so far I can think of no evidence to refute him--it seems only to reinforce that which I perceive so often, viz., we cannot stand the thought of someone who doesn't believe as we believe, who doesn't carry the same convictions we carry, who doesn't profess or witness or worship in the same way.

There is irony, in a country that so many citizens insist is a "Christian nation" in the notion that those who disagree, or who question, or doubt--those who will admit to such a thing--must be silenced if they can't be persuaded. Why irony? Because Christianity itself was once such a contrarian, unacceptable notion.

How soon we forget!

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