The FBI just released statistics on the hate crimes committed in 2007. They break them down into multiple categories, including the number of crimes committed against those of particular religious faiths or sexual orientations.
Of the 7,621 incidents that were motivated by a single factor, how many do you think occurred because someone had it out for atheists?
Both percentages are too high.
The correct answer: Only 6. Not 6%. Just 6 crimes. Against 8 non-religious people in total. Committed by 5 offenders.
Of course, one crime is too many. But that number seems extremely low. I would guess that many crimes against atheists go unreported, perhaps because victims don’t want to identify as such. But perhaps we’re also not as hated as we think. Or at least the “hate” we endure is emotional or psychological, not physical.
For the sake of comparison, the number of anti-Jewish crimes was 969. Anti-Islamic? 115. Anti-male-homosexual? 772. Anti-black? 2,658.
What does this number say about atheism in our country?
Are we simply not visible enough to be the focus of hate crimes?
Are we not reporting these crimes for a variety of reasons?
Is the relatively low number a sign of “victory” or a sign of what’s to come when atheism goes more mainstream?
(Thanks to Sasha for the link!)