START A PETITION 25,136,189 members: the world's largest community for good
START A PETITION
x

8 Countries Where Atheism Is Accepted, Even Celebrated, Instead of Demonized


World  (tags: 'CIVILLIBERTIES!', 'HUMANRIGHTS!', ethics, freedoms, politics, Religion, society, world )

Kit
- 813 days ago - alternet.org
A lot of non-believer writers and activists focus, rightly, on the continuing lack of acceptance in many societies and nations of those who profess no belief in religion. Keeping an eye on what's not working is the first step toward making improvements.



Select names from your address book   |   Help
   

We hate spam. We do not sell or share the email addresses you provide.

Comments

Kit B. (276)
Monday September 3, 2012, 4:25 pm

A lot of non-believer writers and activists focus, rightly, on the continuing lack of acceptance in many societies and nations of those who profess no belief in religion. Keeping an eye on whatís not working is the first step toward making improvements. Still, in many places around the world, this is an unprecedented era for non-believers of freedom and social acceptance. In the spirit of celebrating the amount of progress secularism has made around the world, hereís a list of eight of the best countries in which to be a non-believer.

1) Czech Republic.

2) Sweden

3) Denmark

4) Austria

5) France

6) Norway

7) Australia

8) Japan

Honorable mention: United States. At first blush, claiming the United States is a good place for atheists seems preposterous. The levels of religiosity in this country rival that of many Muslim theocracies; the religious right runs one of our two major political parties; and thereís non-stop incursions from conservatives who want to chip away at religious freedom in the classroom and the bedroom. Because of this, itís not quite right to put the United States in the official list of good nations for atheists, at least not yet.

But the country does get bonus points for some recent improvements, despite the continued dangers presented by the religious right. Atheists have made tremendous political gains in recent years, in no small part because of a growing atheist movement that managed to turn out 20,000 people to the Reason Rally earlier this year. The number of self-identified religious Americans dropped from 73% in 2005 to 60% in a recent poll. Even though he identifies as Christian, President Barack Obama made special notice of atheists during his inauguration speech. Indeed, he and many other Democrats have fought hard to keep our government as secular as possible, despite all the attacks from religious fundamentalists. The recent contraception mandate from the HHS makes it clear that Obama is willing to pick a fight with godbags who want to impose their faith on others; despite a constant stream of whining from the right, the administration has made it quite clear it will not allow employers to impose their beliefs about contraception on employees by withholding earned insurance benefits on the grounds of religion.

And donít forget: Americans may tell pollsters that they are really religious, but theyíre often exaggerating. When you measure how often people go to church versus how often people say they go to church, they donít differ that much from other industrialized nations.
***Full article at Visit Site

AlterNet / By Amanda Marcotte


 

Robert B. (58)
Monday September 3, 2012, 7:20 pm
Atheism is simply another belief and there should be no bias against Atheists. What one believes is a personal matter and as long as it is not forced on others should be tolerated. No one on this planet can prove a god one way or the other. We should all have a right to think freely without persecution. It's what FREEDOM is all about, the right to think and have any opinion about anything without fear of retribution. I agree that a good society is a secular society. One only has to read about England under Henry the 8th and "Bloody Mary" to see how stupid and tragic oppression of personal beliefs is.
 

Kit B. (276)
Monday September 3, 2012, 7:32 pm

Or Robert, the early years in America, before the Bill of Rights, as many seem to want to see it return to that narrow thinking. Religion is deeply personal, lack of religion is also deeply personal. If one should want their rights respected then it should go without saying that all rights must be equally respected. It should go without saying, but it seems this does need to be said - often.
 

Susanne R. (249)
Tuesday September 4, 2012, 8:58 am
As long as one of our political parties is able to successfully control the behavior of people who are vulnerable and gullible, atheism will never be truly accepted in this country. The "monied" people use God to control the masses and to pass their legislation. It's sad, but it's also true. I am not an atheist, but I accept and respect that many people are. I can thank my son for "expanding my horizons" in that area. I'm just glad it happened before I kicked off or senility set in! Narrow-mindedness is not an asset.
 

Brian M. (202)
Tuesday September 4, 2012, 9:01 am
May all beings find reason and wisdom to live free from religion.
 

Beverly M. (86)
Tuesday September 4, 2012, 9:59 am
What helped our forefathers create a great nation were their principles and ethical sense of right and wrong despite their religious views as the majority were Christians. Freedom of thought, freedom of belief, even if it didn't go along with their own, because they believed we have the right to our own beliefs.
 

Robert O. (12)
Tuesday September 4, 2012, 12:07 pm
Thanks Kit!
 

Vivien Green (153)
Tuesday September 4, 2012, 1:10 pm
Atheism is disbelief. A theism means not religious.
Morality needs no religion to know right from wrong. compassion does not need a religion.
The dogmatic and arrogant attitude of religion and its control tries to stop people using their natural birthright to question and explore without bias the law of cause and effect.
 

Rosie Lopez (73)
Tuesday September 4, 2012, 1:31 pm
thanks
 

Barry Appleby (2)
Tuesday September 4, 2012, 1:38 pm
Well all I can say is that in the UK, atheism is accepted along with virtually any other type of belief or ideology, while police officers who have pagans have now been granted the right to have time off to celebrate pagan festivals.
 

Shan D. (49)
Tuesday September 4, 2012, 2:04 pm
It's ridiculous that you would rank Canada below the U.S. Sure, the current "Conservative" party is really the Reform-Alliance party that stole the real Conservative party (much like your "Republicans" are not really Republicans, but the Tea Party)... but our politicians are mostly not trying to make draconian laws regarding women's reproductive rights. Sure, we've got a stupid law in Alberta regarding parents' rights to pull their kids out of sex education and science classes... but hopefully the current premier will revisit this and repeal it. She's of the same party, but is definitely smarter - AND she has a fundamentalist party nipping at her heels so she's got a lot more motivation to do the right thing.

In Canada we don't worry about our Prime Minister's religion because even our Catholic PMs (ie. Trudeau, Chretien, Martin) were smart enough to state publicly that their religion is PRIVATE, does not and SHOULD not interfere with what's best for the country - AND they supported gay rights. It was a CATHOLIC Prime Minister who made it possible for gay marriage to be made law in Canada, *and* he basically told the Catholic Church where they could stick their threats of excommunication.
 

Shan D. (49)
Tuesday September 4, 2012, 2:59 pm
It's ridiculous that you would rank Canada below the U.S. Sure, the current "Conservative" party is really the Reform-Alliance party that stole the real Conservative party (much like your "Republicans" are not really Republicans, but the Tea Party)... but our politicians are mostly not trying to make draconian laws regarding women's reproductive rights. Sure, we've got a stupid law in Alberta regarding parents' rights to pull their kids out of sex education and science classes... but hopefully the current premier will revisit this and repeal it. She's of the same party, but is definitely smarter - AND she has a fundamentalist party nipping at her heels so she's got a lot more motivation to do the right thing.

In Canada we don't worry about our Prime Minister's religion because even our Catholic PMs (ie. Trudeau, Chretien, Martin) were smart enough to state publicly that their religion is PRIVATE, does not and SHOULD not interfere with what's best for the country - AND they supported gay rights. It was a CATHOLIC Prime Minister who made it possible for gay marriage to be made law in Canada, *and* he basically told the Catholic Church where they could stick their threats of excommunication.
 

. (0)
Tuesday September 4, 2012, 3:56 pm
If it doesn't harm anyone else, everyone should be able to believe in whatever they want.
 

Lois Jordan (56)
Tuesday September 4, 2012, 4:48 pm
It seems like the intent of much of MainStreamMedia is to falsely magnify the few religious zealots that inhabit America. As a child growing up in the 60's, faith fanatics were a tiny and disenfranchised minority. The whispers about them seemed to be that they were mentally ill. Over the decades, they've been given an unusual credibility to prop up the base of the Republican party.
But it can no longer be ignored that there are masses of us who left the religions of our childhood--opting to raise our kids in a more humanist/secular way. Our kids are now raising their kids in the same manner--despite the seeming explosion of private religious schools. I'm sure the numbers of "non-theists" will continue to rise--a big backlash is in store for the fundamentalists; whether or not the media reports it.
 

marie c. (168)
Tuesday September 4, 2012, 5:20 pm
Noted thanks Kit
 

Kit B. (276)
Tuesday September 4, 2012, 6:03 pm


Any time the minority rises to power there is a reckoning to deal with, it just takes time. This too will pass.
 

John Doe (22)
Tuesday September 4, 2012, 11:40 pm
Atheism is the acceptance that there is no credible scientific or factually reliable evidence for the existence of god, gods or the supernatural. People who worship an invisible god in the sky are mindless idiots.
 

Anita R. (2)
Wednesday September 5, 2012, 1:22 am
I too thought it odd that Canada didn't make the list. Although it varies considerably from province to province, we have a significantly higher percentage of the population who profess to "no religion" than the USA (being the USA's close neighbour, and smaller in terms of population, that's who we always get compared to!). The province of BC where I live has one of the highest percentages of people who say they have "no religion", although some people, if the surveyers did deeper, say they don't believe in a higher power, but are "spiritual", which is often expressed as appreciating and feeling a oneness with nature. New Age are us, I guess.
 

Janet B. (36)
Wednesday September 5, 2012, 2:39 am
Glad I have my right to have faith.
 

pam w. (191)
Wednesday September 5, 2012, 8:57 am
I've lived long enough to see fellow atheists "coming out" in droves and it's HEARTWARMING! And, the understanding and wisdom of theists is changing, too. I sent a green star to Susanne for this: "Narrow-mindedness is not an asset."

Unfortunately, religion has a grip on the throat of this nation and that needs to stop!

 

Scarlett P. (126)
Wednesday September 5, 2012, 9:24 am
Christians are neither vulnerable nor gullible and no political party controls us. My Father God is my provider, not this administration or any administration that comes after. I thank Him everyday that I have a job, a loving Godly family who stands up for His might Word. Christ did not come to start a religion nor a political party.. He came to spread the Love and Grace of the Father...

It's just sad that the democratic party choses to stray away from God and that their platform is being built on removing Him and the murder of precious babies, accepting that the lifesyles of gays is an acceptable one when it completely goes against the word of God... Look around and this is why this country is failing... Removing God causes nothing but confusion and chaos.

It's also sad that the only way some have of expressing their beliefs is by name calling and downgrading other's intelligents. Just because we do not support obama... Divide and conquer seems to be obama's agenda now... It's sad.

Titus 3:1-2

3:1 Remind them to be subject to rulers and authorities, to obey, to be ready for every good work,

2 to speak evil of no one, to be peaceable, gentle, showing all humility to all men.

I pray for all that in these last days their hearts and eyes will be open and accept the salvation that the Lord Jesus Christ died so that we all can have, to live eternal with Him..

Phillipians 2:5 Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, 7 but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. 9 Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, 11 and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

LOL... I await the criticism for my post and even though I am sure there will be many... I love you all in Christ..
:-)

 

Kit B. (276)
Wednesday September 5, 2012, 9:41 am

This is neither a critique nor a condemnation, Scarlett, only that you might also consider thanking your god for the many countries including this one that allow people to make those personal choices.

On this globe of over 7 billion people there are nearly 3,000 religions, each believe that their way is the correct way and none of them are wrong. Neither are those who follow a path without religion, freedom of choice is true freedom.
 

Scarlett P. (126)
Wednesday September 5, 2012, 9:51 am
there maybe 3,000 religions but that is not what Christ came for.. He came to spread the love of the Father... people will believe what they choose but, if it doesn't line up with the Word of God then it is only their beliefs... God does not change His laws for any denomination.. One God, His Laws... That is what we live by... Keep the commandents all else falls in place... Love one another as Christ loves the Church..
 

Kenneth L. (314)
Wednesday September 5, 2012, 10:08 am
Well, that's about as intelligent a statement about it all Kit with your last sentence as could be made. As you know religious people don't all agree about atheists and vice-versa Some religious people are fine with atheists, some aren't. Some atheists don't think like you and wish and push for all religion to be gone from the earth (merely an airy wish and push since in the real world it is and always will be an impossibility, due to, as you say, coming down to freedom of choice for every individual).
It would be mad indeed to have something against a person simply because they are religious. I'm sure there are a considerable number of religious people who have led basically good lives, not harming their fellow man, helping their fellow man, and in the end whether it was due to their religious beliefs or not who cares? The same thing for a considerable number of atheists too. On the other hand, I'm sure there are atheists who were lived absolute scum-filled harmful lives and the same with religious people.


 

Lin Penrose (92)
Wednesday September 5, 2012, 10:15 am
Thanks very much Kit, and noted. Religions may have started out as helping social creatures such as we humans, get along with one another, but devolved into destructive and terrible forces of immense proportions for this entire planet.
 

Kenneth L. (314)
Wednesday September 5, 2012, 10:17 am
I will add that having one single fixed idea or viewpoint about anything doesn't work. That is the antithesis of reasoning ability.
It is lost on Scarlett about there being a whole lot of different religions and EACH ONE says it is the truth or the way. (Though I wouldn't really include non-dogmatic religions in that). Scarlett cannot see that any individual can be just as full of conviction about THEIR religion as she is. But of course to her they're wrong and she's right, or her religion is right and theirs is wrong. Though each one is saying that same thing! Funny.
 

Scarlett P. (126)
Wednesday September 5, 2012, 11:38 am
Kenneth, Christ is the way the truth and the life... There is no other way to the Father but by accepting Christ.

Kenneth, you do not know me... Please don't judge... That is His job... Too many are lost to that..
 

John Doe (22)
Wednesday September 5, 2012, 11:45 am
God is a mythical figure in the sky. To worship 'god' is simply stupid.
 

Scarlett P. (126)
Wednesday September 5, 2012, 11:56 am
Oh my John... every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

I am not stupid and yes I worship the Father and praise the name of Jesus Christ my Lord..
 

Kit B. (276)
Wednesday September 5, 2012, 12:13 pm

I'm just glad we live in one of those few countries that allow for Scarlett to have her beliefs and allow for others to have their own.
 

Scarlett P. (126)
Wednesday September 5, 2012, 12:23 pm
Kit... Thank you so much for the green star... It is much appreciated... I hope you have a very blessed and "Son"-filled day!!! :-)
 

Kit B. (276)
Wednesday September 5, 2012, 12:51 pm

Your welcome Scarlett, I may not agree with you but I do believe each individual has a right to believe in a god or not, as their conscience dictates. This is Texas we have the SUN, nearly 365 days a year now, no more fall, winter or spring, just summer all year. Most of us are hoping for some relief from heat this year.

I might add that no one is happy about being sprayed with poison that is making us all feel poorly and has nor will it decrease the mosquito population.
 

Catherine Turley (193)
Wednesday September 5, 2012, 12:53 pm
don't judge? that is the basis of christianity in america. i somewhat understand the religious stance on the abortion issue, because it is a life and death matter. but why can't most christians allow people the free will god gave them to choose their own path when it comes to sex, drugs, religion, etc. would christians want another religion dictating their morality.
 

Kenneth L. (314)
Wednesday September 5, 2012, 1:53 pm
Scarlett:
"Kenneth, you do not know me... Please don't judge... That is His job.."
I know you as much as from what and how you speak. Obviously.
As for ;please don't judge', everyone judges, including you. Each person decides about others regarding what they say, what they do, how they say things, how they do things, in a neverending panoply of judgements. Don't be afraid to be judged by others unless you have some reason to. You're actually judging others right there when you say 'please don't judge me' and it's His job. You've judged that it's not nice or good or proper or something and that it's up to your belief about it.
Another point observed here is that a dogmatic religion of any kind always reverts back to their doctrine as the ultimate source of truth and rightness, which incidentally, and possibly conveniently, always includes THEM. But not the other fellow if they aren't believers in that religion.
Escuse me for making observations. Not.

But of course this conversation could go on back and forth.
 

Kit B. (276)
Wednesday September 5, 2012, 2:14 pm

That's just an ugly fact about being human. We are all guilty as charged about being judgemental, and as this is not face-to-face but Internet conversations we do judge based on what is written and how it is written. Catherine made the point that in our current climate of strange religious fervor in America, we are mixing politics with religion. That's not only dangerous territory it is also ripe with judgements about which church you affiliate with or not, which party you chose to support or not. No one party and no religion defines me, but those who do not know me beyond Internet interaction can judge me only by my words.
 

Rose NoFWDSPLZ (280)
Wednesday September 5, 2012, 4:15 pm
I think it is a good thing Thanks Kit
 

Jennifer Ward (40)
Wednesday September 5, 2012, 4:55 pm
Once you get over the belief that there is some cranky old guy in the sky that will smite you mightily for eating an apple- life is just peachy.
 

Kit B. (276)
Wednesday September 5, 2012, 5:13 pm

Thanks for the smile, Phyllis.
 

Jennifer C. (169)
Wednesday September 5, 2012, 5:30 pm
Thanks.
 

John Doe (22)
Wednesday September 5, 2012, 5:54 pm
Great post Kit. But as there is no god, why bother?
 

Kit B. (276)
Wednesday September 5, 2012, 6:23 pm

I guess just because I find other people's views on things interesting.
 
Or, log in with your
Facebook account:
Please add your comment: (plain text only please. Allowable HTML: <a>)

Track Comments: Notify me with a personal message when other people comment on this story


Loading Noted By...Please Wait

 

 
Content and comments expressed here are the opinions of Care2 users and not necessarily that of Care2.com or its affiliates.