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§ 80 percent (17 out of 21) of feature stories about atheism or atheists had a positive tone, exemplified by Time’s December 3 story on a Sunday school for atheists. 20 percent were neutral. No feature stories were negative.
§ Atheists were used to challenge religious viewpoints more than journalists used religious viewpoints to challenge atheism. Fifty-four percent of atheist-themed stories included a religious counterpoint, but 71 percent of the Christian-themed stories included atheist counterpoints or were written from an atheistic perspective. The most striking example was Newsweek’s choice of avowed atheist and Mother Teresa-basher Christopher Hitchens to critique a book detailing Mother Teresa’s spiritual struggles.
§ Atheism stories or commentaries by atheists were present in 51 percent (25 of 49) of the issues of Newsweek and 35 percent (17 out of 49) of the issues of Time. This included features, mentions in stories on other issues and groupings of letters to the editor from atheists. In sharp contrast, only one issue of U.S. News and World Report referred to atheism.
§ ABC provided the most enthusiastic television network coverage of atheism, exemplified by features on an atheist Web site called Blasphemy Challenge and an atheist convention held in Baltimore. The network addressed the subject 24 times in five of its six news programs. This number is just under the combined total for CBS (16) and NBC (11). ABC also aired more produced packages (5) on the subject than CBS (4) and NBC (2). ABC’s Nightline devoted an entire program to a live debate between atheists and Christians.
§ Six out of seven news organizations considered in this study addressed the concerns and interests of atheists in the upcoming presidential election. Only Republican candidates for President were asked how they would treat atheists.
Originally posted by Neiby
If atheism or lack of belief were such a bad thing, God could simply show up and announce his presence. When the eternal souls of all the people in the world are at stake, you'd think God would just show up and say, "Hey! I'm here. I'm watching you. Get you act together or you're going to fry. Oh, and I love you." But does this God do that? Nope. Why not?
Christians will answer with some extremely convoluted and baseless "logic" that God wants us to trust him without any proof. If we had proof, we'd have no need for faith. Well, that's just silliness. It's the sort of extreme illogic they resort to in order to explain the complete absence of their God in the modern world.
Rational atheism is not a bad thing. Faith without evidence is a bad thing.