The attitude to atheists in the US is slowly changing. Now only 85% of Americans equate atheists with Satanists and devil-worshippers.
The quotations in the following are from an essay by Mark Twain, that I happened to be reading this morning.
Christianity is a highly reactionary religion. Perhaps most religions are.
Slavery was, and still is, encouraged in the bible and when slavery was being abolished in the USA, among the last people publicly advocating its continuance were Christian ministers...
"There was no place in the land where the seeker could not find some small budding sign of pity for the slave. No place in all the land but one - the pulpit. It yielded at last; it always does. It fought a strong and stubborn fight, and then did what it always does, joined the procession - at the tail end. Slavery fell. The slavery text remained; the practice changed, that was all"
The killing of witches was, and still is, advocated in the bible. When the witch hunts were finally being stopped, who wanted them to continue? Christian ministers...
"Then it was discovered that there was no such thing as witches, and never had been. One does not know whether to laugh or to cry. Who discovered that there was no such thing as a witch - the priest, the parson? No, these never discover anything. At Salem, the parson clung pathetically to his witch text after the laity had abandoned it in remorse and tears for the crimes and cruelties it has persuaded them to do. The parson wanted more blood, more shame, more brutalities; it was the unconsecrated laity that stayed his hand. In Scotland the parson killed the witch after the magistrate had pronounced her innocent; and when the merciful legislature proposed to sweep the hideous laws against witches from the statute book, it was the parson who came imploring, with tears and imprecations, that they be suffered to stand.
There are no witches. The witch text remains; only the practice has changed."
Homophobia was, and still is, encouraged in the bible.
There is little doubt in my mind that when homophobia finally goes the same way as slave-owning and witch-hunting it will be the Christians who will be the last to change. Sulking and muttering... and leaving the homophobic bible texts unredacted.