American Secular Census to survey discrimination against atheists

"We live in the bible belt," begins the Free Expression entry of one American Secular Census registrant. "We have experienced illegal religious practices in the government & the schools. We have experienced intolerance, discrimination, hatred & persecution because of our lack of religious belief & lack of church affiliation. Our children & any children that are beginning to be freethinkers or to question their religious upbringing are ridiculed & persecuted ... We are afraid we will be attacked or even killed & we have received death threats."

Beginning today, American Secular Census registrants will have the opportunity to complete a new survey form asking about discrimination and similar consequences they may have encountered as openly secular Americans.

By collecting data about atheists' problems in the workplace, civil discrimination, and social issues such as shunning by religious family members, the American Secular Census will be in a position to begin quantifying the extent of anti-atheist prejudice, a problem documented by several independent studies. [See, for example: Atheists As “Other”: Moral Boundaries and Cultural Membership in American Society (.pdf)]

Current registrants are encouraged to sign into their accounts on the American Secular Census website and click the "Discrimination" link on their "Forms" tab. New registrants will be presented with the form in sequence as they progress through the entire American Secular Census survey, which polls demographic and viewpoint information, military and parenting experiences, and more.

The American Secular Census is an ongoing, self-selecting Web survey of Secular Americans, all of whom affirm their skepticism of supernatural and religious claims during registration. The majority self-identify as atheist.

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