Four ways 9/11 changed America's attitude toward religion
Criticism of all religion, not just fanatical cults, was no longer taboo after 9/11, says Daniel Dennett, a philosophy professor with Tufts University in Massachusetts.
"Atheist-bashing is now, like gay-bashing, no longer an activity that can be indulged in with impunity by politicians or commentators," Dennett says.
Admittedly, I wasn't paying much attention to atheism back in 2001, but in my experience it is still "taboo" to criticize religion. Atheists are still being bashed, and while it's true that we're yelling back louder than we used to, I don't think it's 9/11 that made this possible. All it takes is a few loudmouths who refuse to back down to start a movement. We (atheists) have many loudmouths now, and quite the movement going on. It's great, but I'd rather credit the loudmouth atheists and the forever evolving societal tolerances that have made it commonplace to see Penn Jillette on Piers Morgan and David Silverman on FOX News.
Crediting an act of terrorism is indulgent and a bit overly-dramatic.