Wednesday, May 27, 2009

72 years old, gay, and atheist? Don't run for president

A Gallup Poll on who Americans would never vote for.

11 comments:

PersonalFailure said...

Yeah, well liked we are not.

In fact, in 6 states, atheists are specifically barred from holding office.

And people ask me why I blog.

unkle e said...

"In fact, in 6 states, atheists are specifically barred from holding office."I have great news for you PersonalFailure!

Yes it is true, technically, that 6 states have such laws, but:

1. Ever since a 1961 Supreme Court ruling ("We repeat and again reaffirm that neither a State nor the Federal Government can constitutionally force a person 'to profess a belief or disbelief in any religion.'"), it has been well known that these laws cannot be enforced.

2. As far as I can discover, no-one has ever attempted to enforce them, probably because of #1.

3. There are in fact many such anachronistic and unenforceable laws on the books of legislatures around the US and around the world. They are not particularly aimed at atheists, and you need not feel discriminated against by them - they are just detritus that no-one has bothered to clean up yet.

So if that was the reason why you blog, you can take a rest! : )

Best wishes.

Gordon Knight said...

Nevertheless, the idea that being an atheist somehow makes one unfit for office (which 53% of the people apparently believe) is quite disturbing, as well as irrational

Anonymous said...

Maybe it has something to do with atheism being (and not completely unjustly) perceived as anti-theism. And that whole thing about God-given rights.

Ilíon said...

Maybe it has something to do with the fact that 'atheists' tend naturally to ... hmmm, to have a flexible relationship with truth -- as witness the first comment.

Ilíon said...

Slightly OT and sure to cause a few heads to explode, but well argued --
John C. Wright: Down the Slippery Slope to Sodom

SE said...

Ilíon said...
Maybe it has something to do with the fact that 'atheists' tend naturally to ... hmmm, to have a flexible relationship with truth -- as witness the first comment.

Is the cherry-picking well-poisoner being deliberately ironic?

unkle e said...

"Nevertheless, the idea that being an atheist somehow makes one unfit for office (which 53% of the people apparently believe) is quite disturbing, as well as irrational".

Gordon

I can understand you might not be pleased by this, but are not militant atheists just as opposed to theism in public life, and even in academic life? Perhaps you even feel the same?

Isn't that our democratic right?

For myself, as a christian, I would be slightly biased against both strong atheists and fundamentalist christians (because of both of their intolerance), just as I would be biased against people who were militaristic, anti-environment, intolerant, uncaring, etc. We all have our ideas, that's what democracy is about.

I honestly think that modern atheists, quite possibly in reaction to some intolerant christians, are their own worst enemies - calling people delusional, irrational, enemies of humanity, intolerant, etc, doesn't seem to me to be fair or evidence-based. Some christians are those things, some are not, just the same as with non-believers, and I mistrust people who make such intolerant and unjustified claims.

I think both sides could do more to promote harmony.

Gordon Knight said...

uncle:

I did not mean to imply I would vote for a candidate with an anti-theistic platform. you are right, such a person is a mirror version of Jerry Falwell.

Of course is person's atheism impacts their political views in a way you disagree with, its relevant. But its the political views, not the religion, that is relevant.

I know that there are atheists who live in small towns in the "Bible belt" who are not all welcomed by their community, indeed, shuned. Some people even talk about being an "uncloseted" atheist. Certainly they would lose an election! But this is no more justified than prejudice against Christians or any other religious faith.

Ilíon said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ilíon said...

This is OT, but this thread is the best fit of the current threads.

A 'Gay Pride' Party at a U.S. Emabasy in a Muslim country? -- which item references this at the Washington Post: For One Night, Baghdad Gets a Pink Zone

What *is* it with these people, these Obamatrons?