By Sallyann Ficarrotta

Atheism has a stigma.

Some believe Atheism is like Satanism. No, they don’t hate God, they don’t worship the devil, they just don’t believe in either.

People don’t realize that being judgmental of others’ religions or lack of religions is as bad as being prejudiced about their races, classes, genders, or sexualities.

According to the study done on Atheism by the University of Minnesota, no other affiliation, religion, ethnic group, or race is hated more by Americans than Atheists. Why?

CSN student and Atheist Joey Castaldo said, “People fear what they do not know, and unfortunately living in a nation still majorly focused on religion, people tend to dislike and practice prejudice against Atheists.” Being educated about belief systems may help people better understand different backgrounds.

Many Atheists fear labeling themselves as such because they are aware of the negative stigma that might be casted on them.

There are many Atheist charity groups out there for support. Earth’s Atheist Resistance to Holy Wars and Religious Devastation is a non-profit organization that provides humanitarian relief to victims of religiously-motivated violence. Another group is the American Humanist Association. Its goal is to spread awareness that being good without God is ok.

Religious freedom is an American principle that many appreciate. Even Atheists appreciate the freedom to choose not to believe.

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