- What is atheism?
- What kinds of discrimination have atheists experienced?
- How can students promote respect for diverse religious believers and non- believers?
- Fact Sheet
- Groups Who Are Sometimes Treated Unfairly
- Beliefs Under Attack, a CNN news story
- The Right of Unbelief
- The Rights of Atheists
Yet atheists and others who do not believe in God experience discrimination because of their nonbelief. In this lesson, students learn about episodes of anti-atheist discrimination; and they develop ways to educate others about respecting nonreligious, as well as religious, diversity.
You can read more about discrimination against atheists:
- Believers should remember “soul liberty” respect rights of nonbelievers: Inside the First Amendment
- Religious Discrimination in the Military
- Help! Our Flyers Keep Getting Torn Down!
atheist |āthē ist|
(noun) someone who does not believe in God or a universal spirit
(noun) someone who says that knowledge of God’s existence is unknown or unknowable
(noun) someone who does not believe in God, but who has a belief system characterized by reason, ethics, and justice
(noun) someone who believes that the world was created and set in motion by a supernatural agent which then does not take an active role or moral interest in humanity
thinker |frē ˈthing
(noun) someone who believes in the right to freedom of thought, and strives to build opinions on the basis of facts and logical principles, while rejecting dogma, religion, scripture, tradition, or experience
EARLY GRADES (3-5)
MIDDLE GRADES (6-8)
HIGH SCHOOL (9-12)
Political cartoons present an opinion about a topic or a person in the news. To help you think about this cartoon, start by listening to the song “Imagine.” Then look at the images in this cartoon and read the words. How does the woman in the cartoon feel when she hears “Imagine” on the radio? How does she respond to the first three lines of the song? Then how does her response change when the subject is religion? Given what you’ve learned in this lesson, why do you think she responds differently? What comment is the cartoonist making?
Reprinted with permission. Teachers may purchase individual cartoons for other lesson plans at PoliticalCartoons.com.
Activities and embedded assessments address the following standards (McREL 4th edition)
Standard 2. Understands various meanings of social group, general implications of group membership, and different ways that groups function
Standard 4. Understands conflict, cooperation, and interdependence among individuals, groups, and institutions
Standard 11. Understands the role of diversity in American life and the importance of shared values, political beliefs, and civic beliefs in an increasingly diverse American society
United States History
Standard 31. Understands economic, social, and cultural developments in the contemporary United States
Standard 4. Gathers and uses information for research purposes
Standard 7. Uses reading skills and strategies to understand and interpret a variety of informational texts
Standard 9. Uses viewing skills and strategies to understand and interpret visual media
Standard 4. Displays effective interpersonal communication skills