The Victimology Game – And The Empathy Of Atheists

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Here’s a fact you kinda know already if you watch Fox News, but it’s good to see it quantified in a new Pew poll. 50 percent of white evangelicals believe they are subject to a lot of discrimination, while only 36 percent of them believe the same thing about African-Americans. So it’s not just Bill O’Reilly who’s whining. White evangelical Fox News viewers really do believe they are subject to more discrimination than blacks. But this is not entirely about evangelicals; the belief that your own group is especially persecuted is pretty damn endemic:

While 61 percent of Hispanics say “there is a lot of discrimination against” blacks, 71 percent say the same of themselves … And while Catholics are less apt to see discrimination against their own, fully 33 percent agree that they face “lots” of discrimination. No other group sees Catholics facing even close to that amount of discrimination.

The data has some other little nuggets. When you look at the aggregate views, the balance seems about right to me. The victim pecking order goes like this, from the most victimized to the least: gays; Muslims; blacks; Hispanics; Jews; evangelicals; atheists; Catholics. The most empathetic group? The religiously unaffiliated. They believe that gays, Muslims, blacks and Hispanics have a harder time than they do. How ironic that it’s the faithless who are the most able to appreciate the struggles of other minorities.