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Anti-Atheist Bigotry: Atheists are Developing a Victim Complex and Crying Wolf

Do Atheists Make a Big Deal of Nothing? Do Atheists Have No Reason to Worry?


People who deny that atheists are victims of bigotry and prejudice frequently insist that atheists are just "crying wolf" and suffering from a victim complex. This accusation can be directed at various groups objecting to discrimination and bigotry, and sometimes it may even be true. The mere fact that some people may seek the status of victimhood in order to feel special or be treated better does not, however, justify asserting that this is true in any particular case.

For religious theists to claim that atheists are only "crying wolf" and aren't really subjected to bigotry, prejudice, hatred, and discrimination, they would have to make an effort to offer some sort of direct, substantive response to all of the examples which atheists provide of such treatment. It seems implausible that anyone would be able to explain all of these examples away, including the statistical evidence of people's hostile attitudes towards atheists, but at least in theory it is possible.

If religious theists don't try, however, then in effect they are making a claim ("atheists are just crying wolf") which they cannot or will not support. Perhaps this shouldn't be a surprise, since a major point of contention between atheists and religious theists is the failure of theists to provide adequate support for their claim that some sort of god exists. Too often, it seems as though religious theists simply have no conception about what it means to provide substantive arguments with evidence and logic to defend, justify, and support claims. Then again, methods of sound logical argumentation are not taught in most schools, so we shouldn’t expect most people to understand this.

It is arguably valid to be concerned that complaints of victimization not go so far as to encompass people who aren't really being victimized. Ironically, just this is occurring with conservative evangelical Christians who claim that they are being persecuted in America, despite their large numbers and broad social power. Such concerns are worthless, however, without an ability to demonstrate that particular claims are false, misrepresented, or exaggerated. Religious theists have not been able to accomplish this when it comes to their dismissal of atheists' complaints, just as they have not been able to substantiate their own complaints of victimization.

The existence of bigotry, fear, distrust, suspicion, hatred, and even discrimination against atheists in America is undeniable after any sincere appraisal of the evidence — and that evidence is probably just a small piece of the real picture, given how many atheists tend to remain in the closet about their real feelings. Unfortunately, too many religious theists don't like to hear about the ways in which religion, theism, and religious beliefs play a role in various social problems — they only want to talk about how their religion plays a role in solving social problems. Atheists' complaints thus tend to fall on deaf ears because their experiences are contrary to how many religious theists wish to view themselves and religion generally.

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