"I suspect the reason people have strong opinions about atheists has to do with how people think of morality. They know next to nothing about the people who say they are atheists. But, they believe that people are dependent on religious convictions to be able to make morally justified decisions. The idea, I believe, is that atheists may be nice folks, but you couldn't trust them to do the right thing.steve a is right, to some extent, but as far as i'm concerned, until the world is willing to love & appreciate poofter-loving anti-war atheists then we'll never have a civilized peace.
The general presumption that atheists are immoral needs to be addressed in order for anyone who is a professed atheist to get anywhere in politics.
Of course, they could always lie about having religious convictions, in order to appear to have a moral compas to these people. But, we wouldn't want to vote for them."
atrios is exactly right on this front - the concept of Dog-lovers having a monopoly on 'morality' is completely fucked up.
(don has more)