Athiests America’s Most Distrusted Minority

A University of Minnesota study has found that atheists are the least trusted minority group in American society:

From a telephone sampling of more than 2,000 households, university researchers found that Americans rate atheists below Muslims, recent immigrants, gays and lesbians and other minority groups in “sharing their vision of American society.” Atheists are also the minority group most Americans are least willing to allow their children to marry…

Edgell believes a fear of moral decline and resulting social disorder is behind the findings. “Americans believe they share more than rules and procedures with their fellow citizens—they share an understanding of right and wrong,” she said. “Our findings seem to rest on a view of atheists as self-interested individuals who are not concerned with the common good.”

The results of this study are somewhat surprising, but not terrifically so. America has always been a deeply religious nation, founded in large part by groups trying to establish religious freedom. Especially in the South, religion and culture are tightly interwoven, and religiosity is strong across demographic groups regardless of socioeconomic status or race. Public religiosity has been a part of American society throughout it’s history from the Great Awakening of the early 19th Century to the “Cross of Gold” speech of William Jennings Bryan, to Martin Luther King’s “I Have A Dream” address. The strict separation of church and state has never been a dominant principle in American politics or culture.

Politically, this is another sign of the way in which the Democratic Party is losing Middle America. By becoming a party that has a well-deserved reputation as being a secularist, elitist party, the Democrats are pushing against the fiber of American society. The Democrats are losing voters who may be with them on economic issues because Democratic politicians are viewed as hostile to the values of the American family. The Democrats have increasingly embraced the secularist side of American life while displaying either an ignorance of, or an outright hositility to, religion in America. Given that many atheists are no less sanctimonious than the swarthiest televangelist – and sometimes even more so, it’s hardly surprising that they and their allies aren’t exactly finding many friends in American culture.

30 thoughts on “Athiests America’s Most Distrusted Minority

  1. I wonder what the most mistrusted majority would turn out to be. I promise you would not like the results of that poll.

  2. “By becoming a party that has a well-deserved reputation as being a secularist, elitist party, the Democrats are pushing against the fiber of American society”

    You always toss out these mindless generalizations about Democrats being the antichrist party, but never offer examples of the Democratic Party taking positions contrary to religious people. Here’s your opportunity to break an otherwise flawless streak of strawman-building on this subject….

  3. You always toss out these mindless generalizations about Democrats being the antichrist party, but never offer examples of the Democratic Party taking positions contrary to religious people.

    Again, from The Washington Post:

    “As powerful as the concern over these issues is, the introduction of cultural themes — specifically gay marriage, abortion, the importance of the traditional family unit and the role of religion in public life — quickly renders them almost irrelevant in terms of electoral politics at the national level,” the study said.

    Many of these voters still favor Democrats on economic issues. But they see the Democrats as weak on national security, and on cultural and moral issues, they view Democrats as both inconsistent and hostile to traditional values. “Most referred to Democrats as ‘liberal’ on issues of morality, but some even go so far as to label them ‘immoral,’ ‘morally bankrupt,’ or even ‘anti-religious,’ ” according to the Democracy Corps analysis.

  4. “Edgell also argues that today’s atheists play the role that Catholics, Jews and communists have played in the past—they offer a symbolic moral boundary to membership in American society.”

    Atheist is the new Jew.

  5. “specifically gay marriage, abortion, the importance of the traditional family unit and the role of religion in public life”

    Let’s pick these apart, starting with gay marriage. Very few elected officials in the Democratic party have voiced support for legalizing gay marriage. In fact, more Dems than not have voiced unequivocal opposition to it.

    Abortion is certainly an issue where the Democratic platform is at odds with most religious people, but does this difference of opinion warrant charges of “elitism” and “outright hostility to religion in America”? Seems like quite a stretch..but stretching reality is necessary for you to pull of this stupid analogy.

    “The importance of the traditional family unit and the role of religion in public life.” Again, your rhetoric doesn’t match the facts. Let’s hear names and instances of Democratic politicians disrespecting “traditional families” and religion.

    The basic premise of your childish argument is that Democrats are hostile to religion…..well, because the Republican Party has been saying that they are for decades and have convinced some people that it’s true. No examples provided….just a regurgitation of false platitudes and guilt by association suggesting that certain special interests are married to the Democratic Party even though their agenda CONFLICTS with the Democratic Party platform.

    If you’re gonna repeatedly make the charge that Democratic Party (or even individual Democrats) are hostile to religion and families, you need to be ready with clear examples, not just a list of abstract cultural values that both parties essentially agree with. I want names of people who have disrespected religion and families, and I want specific instances where they’ve done so. If you can’t provide them, your talking point is worthless.

    Think you can handle that Reding?

  6. I have never had a democrat say or try to pass a law that impeded my right to live by my religious beliefs. I have had plenty of republicans do so though.

  7. The phrases ‘hostile to religion’ and ‘elitist’ really require definition so that there is no misunderstanding about what is being written by those posting.

    But in the absence of those definitions for a frame-work, what comes to mind?

    When I think of the word ‘elitist’, I think of Hollywood and George Clooney, Alec Baldwin, Kim Basinger, Johnny Depp, and a cast of many others who openly embrace the Dems. And how many posting here have hung out with those folks? No well maybe that is because they are part of the elite. And speaking of Hollywood, let’s look at their product: I don’t know a single person who has seen “Broke Back Mountain” but many many who have seen “Chronicles of Narnia” and more than once. As a matter of fact the same goes for “Capote”, and the other top-nominated films of last year. I can’t name a single person who went to the theaters around here to see them.

    For a local example of elitism, the Dem candidate for mayor of the city next door lives in a house that cost as much to build as the multi-purpose facility of the local university. The price tag? $30 million for both. And that candidate says they identify with the average person. How can they?

    How about environmental elitism with Ted Kennedy and “no wind turbines in my backyard” even though wind power is much preferred over the use of natural gas and oil.

    How about the proven oil reserves off the California coast but hey those drilling rigs will spoil my view of the ocean?

    And those are some of things that I think of when the word ‘elitist’ comes to mind.

  8. Exactly.

    The Democratic Party is reprented more and more by Hollywood blowhards like George Clooney and Michael Moore, part of a culture that doesn’t have a clue about what life is like for the rest of the world.

    Complain all you want about how the big bad Republicans are all making up stuff about Democrats being hostile to religion, because the American people think they are. The polls show it pretty damned clearly. Even Democratic pollsters like Stan Greenberg see it as clear as day.

    Want the primary example: look at Bill Clinton. His inability to keep his pecker in his pants while in the Oval Office is a perfect example of why the Democrats aren’t trusted on values anymore. The excuses made for a man who abused the highest position in the land to have a naive 22-year-old girl suck him off in the middle of the White House are still pathetic. You want to know why the Republicans have an edge on values. It’s because of things like that.

    The Democrats are the party of the counterculture. They have been since 1968. The Democrats are associated with wanting to eliminate God from the public sphere – removing the words “under God” from the Pledge of Allegiance, removing Ten Commandments statues from courtrooms, and having an attitude towards religion that is precisely the one being displayed here.

    In fact, for quite a few of you, if you want to know why the Democrats are viewed as hostile to religion: look in a mirror. A party that commonly refers to the 60 million Evangelical Christians as “fundies” isn’t going to endear themselves to people of faith.

  9. Heh… believe me, I make no claim to being particularly religious. In fact, I’m pretty sure I’m going to Hell no matter what religion is the right one. I knew I shouldn’t have went up to that status of Anubis and said “Anuby dooby doo!”… I’m fine with gay marriage. I think Creationism is daft, and I think South Park is funny as hell. James Dobson I ain’t.

    At the same time, I understand people of faith. The “Judeo-Christian” values that this country was founded upon aren’t the right values because some moldly old book written by a bunch of wandering Judean shepherds said they were, they’re right because millennia of human history has proven their value. I don’t envy my friends who are parents – they have to raise their kids in a society that spews forth negative messages.

    I don’t much care for the people who want to throw their religion in my face, and most of them are a bunch of putzes anyway. But that doesn’t mean they have a monopoly on being arrogant self-righteous pricks. In fact, it’s been my experience that it’s the people who want to shove their lack of religion in people’s faces are even more obnoxious.

    That and so many of the problems that are treated like economic problems aren’t economic problems at all – they’re social problems. You could cut poverty rates by a third if you cut down on the rates of unmarried women having kids out of wedlock. In fact, you could eliminate 2/3rds of all poverty in this country by cutting down on drug abuse, single motherhood, and people not getting a high school degree. And quite frankly, if you want an agency that’s actually capable of pushing people to make those choices, religion beats government hands down.

  10. xxz, so it’s your position that the Democratic Party is the party of the wealthy? It’s your position that most of the “elitists” who live in $30 million houses are Democratic college Presidents and not Republican oil barons or Wall Street stock traders? That’s the inherent derangement of culture war conservatism. The exact opposite of reality passes for “the truth” over and over and over again in the minds of its true believers. Working-class family guys are made to believe that their way of “sticking of it to the man” is to vote for politicians whose primary agenda is to cut the taxes of the wealthiest people on Planet Earth.

    As for “Hollywood elitism”, it only exists as far as the culture allows it…the very culture you’d have us believe is recoiling in disgust at their “elitism”. If George Clooney and Johnny Depp truly infuriated “religious people” and “traditional families” so, they wouldn’t be among the highest-paid and highest-regarded people in the entertainment industry, Ron Silver and Bo Derek would be. Is there anyone alive whose political worldview is determined by a revolt against George Clooney’s “elitism”? And if every Hollywood “elitist” moved to Kansas and sat in the front row of the local church each Sunday, would that be justification enough for the conservatives sitting in the pews next to them to vote differently?

    Whatever the answer to that, the “consequences” that culture war conservatism serves up to its much maligned “elitists” strikes me as odd. “I’m gonna make sure you get a $400,000 tax cut next year, Johnny Depp!! And you, George Clooney, you’re gonna get a $700,000 tax cut, you elitist anti-American pig!!!” How this form of retaliation against people living in “$30 million houses” is supposed to help them better “identify with the average person” I’ll never understand.

    And that is the ultimate delusion of the “elitism” canard spouted by GOP loyalists. Its alleged means stand in such hysterical contradiction to its alleged ends that one wonders how its mouthpieces can possible keep a straight face when spouting the phoniest populism the world has ever seen.

    And its why people like Jay Reding are so careful to package these soundbytes in the most generic wrapping paper available, endlessly regurgitating platitudes about “elitism” and “hostility to people of faith” without connecting a single dot between elected officials of the Democratic Party and acts of malice towards “families” or people of faith. Virtually no such examples exist, and any attempt to scratch beneath the surface of the goofy premise that the way to lash out against power and privilege is to vote for the Republican Party. Reding, in his deafening silence, appears to recognize that analyzing the “Democratic elitism” meme beyond the mindless talking point stage would reveal it as the naked emperor that it is. You, zzx, have stolen Reding’s thunder by delving deeper into the insanity of the “Democratic elitism” premise and, in one fell swoop, thoroughly discrediting it. And with Bush’s approval rating down to 33% (I bet you anything George Clooney’s is higher!), it would appear that average person is getting the message.

  11. “I understand people of faith”

    Huh? At the very top of your above list of why “traditional families” and “people of faith” feel that the Democratic party is “hostile” towards them is….gay marriage….which most elected officials in the Democratic Party are on record as opposing and which you are on record as supporting. According to your list, the issue that most prominently represents the Democratic Party’s “hostility” towards people of faith is an issue you support? Yet you “understand them”?

    At this point, your argument is such a hopeless mess of contradiction and delusion that the only way you can bow out with some dignity is to swallow a black capsule Kevorkian-style, once again acting with “hostile” disregard to the people of faith whom you “understand”.

  12. Since I’m not expecting that black capsule to be swallowed, I’d at least like to see come hard evidence of active members of the Democratic Party behaving with hostility towards families or people of faith. You’ve been making the accusation nearly every day for years now. It’s time to shit or get off the pot.

  13. Yay, I got a rational response out of Jay! I suppose I ought to give one in return, which may be difficult because my professor is driving me insane about my research.

    I agree with you to a certain extent, but I come at it from a different point of view. There are some rules that have been effective throughout the course of human history because they are the same rules that are effective in most social animals. It’s not really coincidental that Christianity (like other religions) happens to espouse them. I have absolutely no problem with the parts of religion that lead to charities and whatnot. It doesn’t particularly bother me if people want to stick verses from the Bible or quotes from the Buddha on the courthouse wall. What frustrates me is that religious morality many times seems to go well beyond the general common sense rules that we can all live by. I don’t believe it is immoral for me to wear a tanktop, but many religions would say that it is. I also don’t believe that religion is a magical cure-all (there aren’t simple solution to things, really). After all, the Middle East is a very religious place, but that doesn’t prevent it from being Earth’s asshole.

    I would also like to cut down on single motherhood (for poor women…if some rich lawyer wants get turkey basted that’s different), drug use, etc. I probably just want to go about doing so differently. Religion has potential in helping the poor, but not when they do things like prevent them from obtaining contraceptives.

    Sometimes I’m an asshole…but sometimes so are you 😉

  14. I’m an American atheist in the bluest of Blue States, and even *I* don’t want to live in a country run by atheists. Just look how hard Europe’s atheist leaders are working to turn their continent into another Lebanon.

    I was always liberal or libertarian before 9/11 turned me into a neo-conservative. No other atheist I know has made that transition — they’re all stuck in the “Bush lied, people died” mindset. Anyone who prays to God is a terrorist in their eyes.

    Atheists hate America because it has thoroughly rejected their “progressive” values, and it doesn’t take a PhD in Biology to figure out why. Jesus may love atheists, but Darwin doesn’t. Atheists tend to see their genitals as being for entertainment purposes only, while Christians use theirs to produce more Christians.

    Now I’m married with a six-month-old daughter. We won’t be taking her to Sunday School, but we won’t poison her mind with anti-Christian nonsense either. If she falls in love with a Christian and wants to be baptized, that’s OK. All the more grandchildren for us to play with!

  15. Atheists this, atheists that. Atheists aren’t a cohesive group, and no one atheist can claim to speak for all others.

  16. Fascinating debate. Yet I’m always amazed at the stridency of those who defend “religion in public life” and slam atheists or anyone who seems hostile to religion. What’s more, to see an atheist as lacking in moral character or oblivious to peaceful human principles is such a bastardization of the views of most atheists that this kind of thinking obliterates any real debate. As an atheist, my sense is that most non-atheists can’t think through this subject, or don’t want to, because it so offends them that they become divorced from rationality. Instead, they just denigrate non-believers, ascribing all manner of evil ways to them without considering whether this thinking is just plain wrong. Why? What’s the point? Just because atheists exist doesn’t mean religion is threatened. Atheists, to my knowledge, don’t prosyletize. They just want to be left alone–and to ensure that no one is forced to believe in a god. But if you want to believe in a god, atheists say that’s your prerogative. Obviously, I can’t speak for all atheists. But I intend to live my life by these principles, and do what I can to prevent religion from ruining the world anymore than it already has. How? By speaking out, if asked. The following paragraph from a recent news story sums up my views:
    “In a nutshell, atheists believe in reason alone, in those things that can be arrived at through intellect and the scientific method. Concrete evidence for God, they argue, simply doesn’t exist. They don’t cotton to leaps of faith or anything that involves a supernatural being reaching into human lives. They believe you can live a happy, respectable life based on human ethics that were derived not from God handing down a tablet but from a code of rules that emerged naturally through an evolutionary process in which humans learned how to live together successfully.”

  17. Atheists, to my knowledge, don’t prosyletize.

    Which sadly, just isn’t the case. I’d say that Michael Newdow’s crusade to remove any reference to religion in the public sphere is an example of an atheist prosyletizing their views.

    Mickey Kaus made an observation that opposition to gay marriage spikes when courts start mandating it – and he notes the following: “In other words, Americans may or may not like gay marriage, but they really hate having gay marriage crammed down their throat by self-righteous, unelected liberal judges!”

    Which is exactly the sort of thing that has generated all this animus towards atheists…

  18. For every Michael Newdow, there are probably 1,000 atheists silently and indiscriminately carrying on with their lives. Can the same be said of evangelical Christians? I don’t know the answer to that, but I have far more encounters with malignant Christians than outspoken atheists. Actually, I’ve never encountered an aggressive atheist casting fire and brimstone of agnosticism upon the puritanical masses. Is my experinece unique?

    And again, Jay, any specific examples of “hostile” behavior by Democratic elected officials towards families and people of faith? With as frequently as you bring the topic up, I can’t imagine you wouldn’t be able to cite a litany of documented incidents right off the top of your head….

  19. My father, a secular humanist, is one of the most ethically upright individuals I have ever had the fortune of knowing; and, aside from his lack of frequent church attendance and his frequent checks to the ACLU, has a lifestyle that would pass muster with about any evangelical Christian I’ve ever met. In my experience, atheists (at least the midwestern, middle-class Scandinavian variety that I’ve known all my life) are just as devoted to their communities and families as their Christian counterparts. I haven’t noticed an anti-reproduction bias, either; most of the atheists I know either have children or intend to have them someday. I’ve, in general, found the assumption that atheists are less ethical than theists to be false; cultural background and upbringing probably have as much if not more to do with one’s ethics than the creed that they embrace, and ethical atheists generally raise their children with the same values.

    And given how many members of the Christian Left I’ve known, both in my family, political organizations I’ve worked with, and from my college days, it’s not my experience that all Christians think that that the Democrats are anti-religious or anti-Christian; many of them look at the “Christianism” of many GOP politicians as a political perversion of their creed.

  20. Mark:

    You seemed ready to throw a gear for the absence of elitist examples so I simply tried to comply with your request.

    1. My position is that if you live in a house that costs as much as the multi-purpose facility at the local university (which seats 9,000 people) please don’t tell me that you can relate to the “common man”, I don’t care which party you are affiliated with. In this case, which I am not making up, that canidate is the Democratic nominee for mayor, not the university president, not a Republican oil baron.

    That Democratic candidate relates to the common man (me) as well as Pelosi (multi-millionaire vineyard owner) and Ted (no wind turbines hypocrisy and Mr silver spoon) Kennedy.

    2. Oil… I’ve worked as a roustabout in the oil fields of west Texas and have grown up with the oil industry and currently work for a domestic, independent oil & gas company. Having touched the stuff and gotten dirty with it, I guess that puts me closer to Republican oil barons (whatever that phrase means) than yourself. I am a “working class, family guy” (you’re not?)and pay taxes unlike many in this country.

    3. re: Clooney,Depp etc. I have no influence on what a movie studio is willing to pay any of them. If the size of the paycheck equates to “highly regarded” then what about those over-paid Republican oil barons? Who regards them so highly? High regard in the movie biz is how much your films bring in and I don’t recall either of them setting any records for movie revenues. To quote Mario Van Peebles: “The only color that matters to Hollywood is green”.

    I have no idea what tax cuts Depp and Clooney get and neither do you. But folks that do pay taxes should be the ones to benefit from a tax cut. My Federal taxes haven’t gone down since Bush has been in office, have yours? Maybe yours didn’t go down enough?

    4. Last time I checked, Bush is still president until the next president takes the oath of office in January of 2009 and George Clooney is unemployed until he starts working on his next film.

    5. And speaking of religion: Give me that good, old Sharia law based religion! Woo-hooo! Ladies get that burkha on or you’ll get whaled on and Mark, no shaving now or you’ll get the same!

  21. xxz

    “That Democratic candidate relates to the common man (me) as well as Pelosi (multi-millionaire vineyard owner) and Ted (no wind turbines hypocrisy and Mr silver spoon) Kennedy”

    I know this is gonna come as a huge shock to you but the vast majority of politicians from both parties are stinkin’ rich. It’s pretty hard to be a playa in American politics if you’re day job is a steelworker or a store clerk. Suggesting that Nancy Pelosi and Ted Kennedy are “elitist” because they’re rich (as if GOP candidates Pete Coors, Mike McGavick and Dick DeVros live on your side of the tracks) is partisan masturbation of the most transparent kind. Dig this: Of Americans who earn more than $200,000 per year, George Bush won more than 60% of the vote. And I’d be willing to bet alot of these guys live in mansions!!!

    “Having touched the stuff and gotten dirty with it, I guess that puts me closer to Republican oil barons (whatever that phrase means) than yourself. I am a “working class, family guy” (you’re not?)and pay taxes unlike many in this country”

    So basically, there’s no rhyme nor reason for your qualifications for “elitism” other than parity with your pre-established ideological orthodoxy. People who live in mansions with (R)’s next to their name aren’t guilty of elitism, well, because of that (R) next to their name. How is Nancy Pelosi’s fortune from the wine business any more or less “elitist” than George Bush’s fortune from the oil business? You have nothing even approaching a coherent argument here.

    “I have no influence on what a movie studio is willing to pay any of them.”

    But the American public at large does. The premise that a backlash against Hollywood “elitism” is the determinant of the public’s voting habits simply doesn’t mesh with the fact that the same public is enriching George Clooney and Johnny Depp by going to their movies. It’d be interesting to take a poll to measure the public’s disapproval rating for George Clooney. How much do you want to bet Bush’s would be higher?

    “But folks that do pay taxes should be the ones to benefit from a tax cut”

    And here you toss to the wind your anti-Hollywood pseudo-populism. Certainly those who go to the voting booth with seething, festering rage towards George Clooney and his “elitist” pals on their mind aren’t expecting that they’re casting a ballot in favor of making Clooney even richer and more powerful than he is today. Only on Planet Republican can people like you, with a straight face, lash out against the big-money “elitism” of a cherry-picked crop of Democrats and then proceed to say that “those who pay taxes should be the ones to benefit from a tax cut”. Can you really not see how unhinged that makes you sound?

    “My Federal taxes haven’t gone down since Bush has been in office, have yours? Maybe yours didn’t go down enough?”

    Well according to George Bush, I “don’t pay taxes” since my income has never been above the $26,000 threshold that all but one of his tax cuts do not apply to. Considering the more than thousand dollar Federal tax dollar I’ve been liable for over the past several years, it’s certainly news to me that I don’t pay taxes! But George Bush said that people who earn less than $26,000 per year don’t pay taxes, so it must be true!

    As for your tax cut, it never ceases to amaze me how people can’t see the connection between rising public debt and long-term tax burdens. With each deficit-financed tax cut you cash in on today, future generations will be on the hook to pay all of that back along with crushing interest costs. You’re one of many “working-class family guys” proudly voting for politicians committing fiscal child abuse, mortgaging the budget to your children to finance your instant gratification today. Voting for Republican tax-cut hacks is like going to a $20 whore. It might feel good tonight, but it’s gonna hurt to pee come morning.

    “And speaking of religion: Give me that good, old Sharia law based religion! Woo-hooo! Ladies get that burkha on or you’ll get whaled on and Mark, no shaving now or you’ll get the same!”

    I haven’t the slightest hint of what you’re talking about.

  22. “And speaking of religion: Give me that good, old Sharia law based religion! Woo-hooo! Ladies get that burkha on or you’ll get whaled on and Mark, no shaving now or you’ll get the same!”

    There are groups of Christians that don’t shave and there are groups of Christians that require women to cover themselves.

  23. Erica,

    Which groups would those be (who, what, where, when) those groups inflict the same punishment as prescribed by Sharia? I don’t expect you to be able to provide anything definitive or specific.


    Why don’t you define those hot-button terms (elitist, etc) and then we can have see where the discussion goes. Otherwise rave on brother, rave on.

  24. Mark:

    I’ve grown tired of casting pearls before swine, so enjoy the mud, have a great life, and enjoy the next two years with George W. Bush.

  25. I mistrust secularists for good reason. They see no good in religion only evil although to have arrived at this conclusion one assumes they’ve never attended any religious service for any length of time. The worship at the altar of government, hence they seek to restrict and limit the individual’s liberties and freedoms by imposing a one size fits all policy on anything and everything.

    They use education to propogandize school children. It isn’t religious people who wish to have kindergarden children taught about AIDs. Why is it that the non religious can’t wait to get their hands on little children and indoctrinate them into the ways of gay marruage and the like.

    I also suspect anyone who advocates gay marriage for they seek to have their status recognized by the government so that anyone who objects to them on religious grounds can be persecuted as we now see in Canada and Europe. I will not discuss why no other civilization has ever seen fit to see such relationships as beneficial to society. The reason being that any society that would embrace such an absurd standard would soon collapse.

    Finally the people that worship at the altar of secularism have left a trail of results from Voltaire, Hitler and Stalin that makes one quake.

    If our rights come from men, then there can be no goodness or evil except as defined by man. This is what Stalin, Hitler, and Saddam did and I have no reason to want to be a part of their societies nor would trust anyone who aspired to such lofty goals.

  26. zzx,

    Eastern and Greek Orthodox men often do not shave their beards. In fact, Peter the Great had to make a law forcing Russian men to shave their beards in an attempt to get Russia to conform to Western norms. Men that did not shave were forced to pay a beard tax.

    Haven’t you ever seen women wearing those little white caps and long ugly dresses? There is also a campaign encouraging girls to dress modestly which sells t-shirts saying “got shame?”. You can find it on the internet. And just the other day I heard a program on Christian radio about how women ought to dress more modestly. In both religions women need to cover themselves because our bodies provoke lust and are occassions for sin. Christians don’t tend to get violent about it, but I imagine that is simply because we don’t live in the conditions they do – military dictatorships, etc.

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