The first reader:
As an atheist, I take issue with this line of yours: “How ironic that it’s the faithless who are the most able to appreciate the struggles of other minorities.” How so? It’s only ironic if you ignore the fact that all of the world’s major religions preach persecution and victimhood to their flock – and not just that they are persecuted, but that they are UNIQUELY persecuted above all others.
I’m reminded of that old anti-drug ad with the father and son: “Where did you get this persecution complex?!!”
“You Jesus! I learn it from watching you!”
Those findings aren’t surprising, and they certainly aren’t ironic. Atheists pass by default. We never need do anything that marks us as atheist – we don’t look atheist, dress atheist, or attend atheist parties, or have atheist names. So we never feel vulnerable, unless we intentionally open ourselves up to it. Any discrimination we encounter is theoretical, and we can hide from it anytime we like without compromising our beliefs. This isn’t true of any other group on that list.
And another notes:
It’s probably worth adding that also according to Pew, Americans have the most negative associations with Atheists and Muslims. It’s a bit ironic that the most popular groups think they’re under attack while groups that empathize the most are perceived as the least positive/trustworthy.