Title

The New Moral Entrepreneurs: Atheist Activism as Scripted and Performed Political Deviance

Document Type

Book Section

Publication Date

1-1-2014

Publication Title

The Death and Resurrection of Deviance

Publisher

Palgrave Macmillan

First page number:

168

Last page number:

191

Abstract

Social media have become an arena for religious discussion, debate and downright vitriol (see Lovheim, 2007; Borer and Schafer, 2011). Anonymous comments can be made and left for others to find without the demands or accountability of face-to-face interaction. Imagine, for a moment, stumbling upon a Facebook page or Twitter feed filled with hateful and threatening comments such as “I’m gonna drop an anchor on your face!” or “#thatbitchisgoingtohell, and Satan is gonna rape her!!!”1 How might a person react if those comments were written about a complete stranger? About one’s friend? About one’s family? Mark Ahlquist, a firefighter and engaged community member in Cranson, Rhode Island, did not have to imagine how he might react. These comments, and a slew of other equally damning ones, were directed at his teenage daughter, Jessica.

Keywords

Moral panic; Civil religion; Political performance; American Civil Liberties Union; Moral entre

Disciplines

Social and Behavioral Sciences | Sociology | Sociology of Religion

Language

English

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