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Public Atheism: A Question of Image or Discrimination?

by J.C. Samuelson

I don't know that Atheists should be considered as citizens, nor should they be considered patriots. This is one nation under God.

- George Bush, August 27th, 1987


In a world in which faith and supernaturalism have always ruled, being an atheist (in the broadest possible sense and including naturalists of many stripes) has never been easy. Classically, the individual claiming that title (or one like it) risked alienating his/her entire social circle and, depending on prominence, society at large. In other words, choosing atheism seemed to be - and perhaps still is in some places - a choice to be alone.

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