On Christians and lions

Sociologist George Yancey discusses his new book So Many Christians, So Few Lions, which highlights the anti-Christian bigotry of America’s elite:

Obviously all things being equal, an elite individual can do more damage to a person than a non-elite individual. But this does not mean that Christians have it worse than all other groups. We also have to factor in the number of people with Christianophobia. For example, more people have hostility toward atheists than toward Christians, but those individuals do not tend to be white or highly educated. Thus, they do not have the level of per-capita power of those who do not like Christians.

So is a group worse off if more people do not like them or if those who do not like them have a lot of social power, but there are fewer of them? Context matters to answer such a question. If you want to get elected to political office, then atheists are at a disadvantage since more people do not like them. But if you want to get a higher education, then you will run into a lot more people with power who hate Christians than who hate atheists.

(h/t Adam Laats)


  1. If the purpose of this blog is to explore why we need public school education to teach evolutionary theory, why is this entry relevant, in re: hatred of atheism among elites versus hatred of Christians among elites?

  2. Public schools need to teach biology to produce people with an understanding of how life works. The reason evolutionary theory is taught, despite its ever more tenuous connection to biological science, is a direct product of the elite’s anti-Christian biases.

  3. It’s a good question. In other words, even if it’s clear to waltsamp, it may not be clear to others or even the average reader (I didn’t catch the strong, direct connection, only that it was related to anti-Christian behaviour which Kulkarni often talks about in pro-science people groups). So it’s a good question, Rubble, and a good answer, waltsamp.

    I would add that the dynamics described in the excerpt and blog post are in flux. There may come a day when an atheist gets elected or a single person gets elected or a person living with a partner but not legally married gets elected or any of the other things that traditionally made it hard to be elected (some of these categories do exist in actual living politicians).

    I feel like the excerpt and blog post also reflect certain cultures. For instance, the poor (lowest class) are least likely to vote (also the ultra-rich) which means they aren’t included in the masses with anti-atheist voting tendencies. I wonder if this tendency is concentrated in the upper lower to middle to lower upper classes.

    1. Good call in your last paragraph. I think there is actual evidence that atheist tendencies are concentrated in the upper class. Not sure if that’s what you were referring to though.

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