Lori Lipman Brown, Director of the Secular Coalition for America, on the PEW report showing that a surprising number of atheists claim belief in God:

When atheists are telling you they believe in God and Catholics are admitting they don’t, that’s evidence of the stigma our society puts on nontheists. Americans repeatedly tell pollsters that an atheist is the last person they’d want their children to marry, the last person they’d vote for as President. This prejudice also appears in the widespread impression that atheists lack ethics and values.

A commenter on an atheist blog remarks on the obvious problem with this argument:

The Secular Coalition says that they gave mixed answers to the questions because of the stigma. But why would some people be afraid to say "atheist" but not "don't believe in god" while other people are afraid to say "don't believe in god" but not "atheist?" Though there is a stigma, that answer doesn't satisfy me.

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