I didn't find the same article which mentioned the ax murderers, although I did read it about two or three months back. People are not necessarily liars if they can't find something from a while back, they just lack proof.
Buddhists, Hindus and Mormons receive neutral ratings on average, ranging from 48 for Mormons to 53 for Buddhists. The public views atheists and Muslims more coldly; atheists receive an average rating of 41, and Muslims an average rating of 40. Fully 41% of the public rates Muslims in the coldest part of the thermometer (33 or below), and 40% rate atheists in the coldest part.
The questions went like this: “How would you react if a family member were to marry a … (fill in the blank.)” For example, how would you feel if your daughter brought home, say, a Republican — would you be happy, unhappy or doesn’t it matter?
The overwhelming response to this question was: doesn’t matter. Even liberals say they don’t tend to care if a daughter marries a Republican. The same was true for conservatives — they were mostly fine with their daughters marrying a Democrat.
The great news is we are incredibly tolerant of all sorts of others, according to this survey. By overwhelming majorities, people said they were fine accepting into their families people of other races (89 percent said this was OK) and from other countries (93 percent). Pew asked if we’d be OK with a gun owner (81 percent said yes), or someone who didn’t go to college (86 percent were fine with that).
Ninety-one percent were OK if a family member married a born-again Christian.
The one exception to this tide of tolerance: You have to believe in God.
Half of all respondents said they didn’t want an in-law who doesn’t believe in God. That means Americans now are far less accepting of atheists than of people with different skin color.
When I first heard about this, I figured the poll had used the term “atheist,” which had skewed the numbers. Right or wrong, that word conjures up more than a doubter or shrugger. It has an aggressive tinge to it — an implication that you’re hostile to religion.
But Pew didn’t use the word atheist. It asked: “How would you react if an immediate family member were to marry someone who doesn’t believe in God?” Answer: Not well.
Gervais and his colleagues presented participants with a story about a person who accidentally hits a parked car and then fails to leave behind valid insurance information for the other driver. Participants were asked to choose the probability that the person in question was a Christian, a Muslim, a rapist, or an atheist. They thought it equally probable the culprit was an atheist or a rapist, and unlikely the person was a Muslim or Christian.
While 35 percent of respondents said they would be less likely to support a presidential candidate who had an extramarital affair, 53 percent of Americans indicated that not believing in God -- the trait viewed most negatively of the 16 tested -- would make them unsupportive of a candidate.
In accordance with a widely cited study by the University of Minnesota, which found atheists to be the most disliked and distrusted minority group in the nation, only 5 percent of respondents said they would be more likely to vote for a secular candidate.
Religious tension is nothing new in America. Hatred between religions, distrust and downright anger are the everyday norm for anyone with a television set or access to the Internet.
Now according to a new survey by the Pew Research Center, we know who is disliked the most. Atheists and Muslims appear to be in a statistical tie. While atheism itself is not a religion, it is often included in religious polls to help account for those who reject religion, instead of just non-affiliated believers.
Given the high level of xenophobia in the United States toward Muslims since 9/11, it is not surprising, but is still depressing to find them ranked so unfavorably. And atheists are shot down to the bottom and universally disliked by just about every religious group there is.
U.S. has warmest feelings for Jews, Catholics and Evangelicals.
Pew Research Center
Click to enlarge.
Among those polled, atheists received a rating of 33 or lower (on a scale between 0-100) from 40 percent of respondents and only 20 percent of respondents gave atheists a rating higher than 67.