Atheism just can't find acceptance in the American 'Deep South' it seems. The Raw Story reported on Sunday (Aug. 10) that Mobile woman Amanda Scott has been the target of death threats and other vitriolic comments since news affiliate WKRG aired a story about her. Scott is representing atheists in her area in support of a privately-funded display for nonbelievers, but the news station didn't focus at all on the potential display. Instead, they posed the antagonistic question:
"What are your thoughts on a local woman who wants to see an Athiest [sic] motto placed next to the words "In God We Trust" at Government Plaza?"
For starters, the news affiliate spelled atheist wrong -- which is a little weird considering these people are supposed to be journalists and hard news reporters -- and they capitalized it too. You can tell that the person who made the post views atheism as a religion and you can tell that they wanted people to target Amanda Scott and not the idea of atheism being represented in Mobile. The responses that the news station got were comparable to the hateful commentary that Jessica Ahlquist got from her community, and these famous Fox News Facebook comments that eventually ended up deleted.
Truth be told: This is not at all surprising. Atheist discrimination and oppression has long existed in the southern U.S., because it's the 'bible belt.' Belief in the Christian deity is as important to the southern culture as football and comfort food. However, just because something is traditional doesn't mean that it's right. Hopefully these traditional Christians -- who are supposedly full of love -- will come around and apologize for sending death threats and other hateful comments to Amanda Scott. In the meantime, she deserves a world of support for representing a minority group that many people hate.