Things Atheists Hate #2: Using Religion to Justify Racism

I’m really at a loss of words, sometimes, when I read articles like this one on The New York Times website. Really, with quotes like this it’s difficult to believe that were are in the year 2008:

“He’s neither-nor,” said Ricky Thompson, a pipe fitter who works at a factory north of Mobile, while standing in the parking lot of a Wal-Mart store just north of here. “He’s other. It’s in the Bible. Come as one. Don’t create other breeds.”

Or this:

“I would think of him as I would of another of mixed race,” said Glenn Reynolds, 74, a retired textile worker in Martinsdale, Va., and a former supervisor at a Goodyear plant. “God taught the children of Israel not to intermarry. You should be proud of what you are, and not intermarry.”

Or even this:

“He’s going to tear up the rose bushes and plant a watermelon patch,” said James Halsey, chuckling, while standing in the Wal-Mart parking lot with fellow workers in the environmental cleanup business. “I just don’t think we’ll ever have a black president.”

Why does it not shock me that these people were all found in a Wal-Mart parking lot? At least I know now that my fears of that mega-goliath shopping mecca are well founded.

One of the troubles I’ve had with reconciling religion, specifically Christianity, are its inherent contradictions. The Christian bible tells us that Jesus preached to “Love Thy Neighbor” — are the quotes above truly indicative of the love Jesus told his followers to exhibit?

Or have we simply regressed to earlier part of the 19th Century where prejudice was the norm and not only expected, but encouraged and fostered by our Judeo-Christian moral belief system?

This post is part of a semi-regular series of posts called Things Atheists Hate focusing on things atheists face each and every day that frustrate them, that anger them, and that cause them all sorts of annoyance.