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ERIC Number: EJ944238
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 4
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-1066-2847
The Unaffiliated Unite
Lim, Victoria
Teaching Tolerance, n40 p32-35 Fall 2011
Neil Carter of Ridgeland, Miss., is about to take a leap of faith--based on his lack of faith. In a state where 91 percent of residents say they believe in God "with absolute certainty," according to the Pew Research Center, Carter began "coming out" recently to friends as an atheist. The 41-year-old special education teacher is also exploring interest in sponsoring a Secular Student Alliance at Ridgeland High School. One state away, in Bastrop, La., Damon Fowler found out what it's like to be one of those kids. His troubles started two years ago when he realized he was an atheist. Damon hid it well, continuing to attend church with his family. But last spring, he began to tell a few people. Then a couple of weeks before graduating in May, he sent an email to the superintendent reminding him that a planned public prayer at the ceremony was against state and federal law. In many ways, people like Neil Carter and Damon Fowler are considered the ultimate outsiders in American life. According to a 2006 public opinion survey by the University of Minnesota, atheists are more disliked and mistrusted than immigrants, gays and lesbians, conservative Christians, Jews or Muslims. Secular students are forming clubs for mutual support--they'll need teacher-allies.
Southern Poverty Law Center. 400 Washington Avenue, Montgomery, AL 36104. Tel: 334-956-8200; Fax: 334-956-8484; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: High Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A