________________I said:Probably best not - but thanks for your comments on US atheism. Although, as I hope I said, every group has its range of people. I know through organisations such as Infidels.org that there can be a very studious side to non-belief - I'm sure I've quoted matieral from their site here.
I guess it's simply the case that certain types of online communities can attract certain types of people.
I think the current conflict between Christians and non-Christians in America is worth a few comments.
If you get a chance, take a close look at people praying on steps of Alabama courthouse for Ten Commandments to stay on display.
Or, more to the point, the friends of the Presbyterian minister who was just executed for his attack on abortion-provider.
Do you ever see the people who oppose religion on the news?
Hardly ever. Barry Lynn is a notable exception, a spokesman.
But for the most part, non-Christians don't bother. Why? Because the country is 85% Christian and churches control vast resources, and speaking out is usually a complete waste of their time. Plus, for many of the celebrities on that list, getting a "bad rep" could hurt their careers.
The result? Most of the active voices against Christianity are what you said, the fringe element. Not representative of the group at all.
Look up the Amicus Brief against Creationism, an interesting story.
A physicist named Gell-Mann heard the Supreme Court was about to rule in favor of a Creationist group, so he got on the phone and called up some of his friends. Got them all to sign his brief asking the court not to allow this alternative theory to be taught.
Interesting list of names.
Every one of them had received a Nobel Prize in chemistry, medicine or some science.