Atheists and Christians

This activity is designed to raise awareness of the stigma associated with atheism.

Objective

This activity is designed to raise awareness of the stigma associated with atheism. Participants will decide whether a descriptive statement was made by an atheist or a Christian and will rate how positive or negative the statement is. They will then learn which statements were actually made by which group members and will reflect on whether their personal biases influenced their ratings. There are two versions of the handout; either or both can be used. '

Objective

This activity is designed awareness of the stigma associated with atheism compared to Christianity. Through this activity, participants will consider how their own beliefs and values affect their perceptions of members of these two groups. 

Estimated Time

20 minutes

Group Size

This activity works well with all class sizes. For larger groups, break participants into groups of 5-8 to promote a more active discussion. After the small group discussion, the instructor can lead discussion with the whole group. 

Instructions

Participants should individually complete either Handout A-1 or Handout B-1. The handout consists of personal statements made by people who identify as atheist or Christian; the participants decide which group the person who made the statement belongs to. They also rate how positive or negative each statement is. The participants then move into groups and are given a copy of Handout A-2 or Handout B-2. These handouts identify the speakers' actual group membership and also include additional information about the speaker. The participants compare their responses to the information on the handouts and answer the discussion questions. There are two versions of the activity. Either or both can be used.

Materials

Handout A-1

Handout B-1

Handout A-2

Handout B-2

Discussion Questions