The amount of hate and distrust toward atheists in America is still astounding. “Atheists as ‘Other’: Moral Boundaries and Cultural Membership in American Society," a paper by three sociologists at the University of Minnesota, compared perceptions of atheists to those of other groups. Forty percent surveyed said atheists were a group which “Does not At All Agree With My Vision of America,” while the next most common response was Muslims at 26%. Nearly 50% said they would disapprove of their child marrying an atheist, and the next two highest groups were Muslims at 34% and African-Americans at 27%.

So when University of Tennessee researchers publish the first comprehensive study into the American irreligious we should pay attention. They stressed that previous studies have lumped everyone not connected to religion into one category, ignoring the myriad differences even among atheists.