I’m not sure why this surprises me

(Alt title: My dear friend The Cheap Chick‘s webmaster told her to start making her blog titles SEO-friendly.  I am not there yet.)

I actually can’t remember why I started thinking about this.  Maybe it’s because of something I saw zooming past me on Google+ (yes, Virginia, there are people on Google+; and I follow so many of them that I miss 75% of what’s being posted).  Maybe it’s because I had Oh My Darlin’ Clementine stuck in my head and I went looking up lyrics (though this has nothing to do with the lyrics, it’s just the last thing I remember before this.  My brain is sort of haphazard like that).

Fact, I am full of parantheticals today.

Fact, I’ve been reading Let’s Pretend This Never Happened, so my brain is a little more disjointed than usual.

Fact, this blog post is supposed to be slightly more serious than usual, and perhaps I’m avoiding it.

Okay, so here’s what I’m wondering.  From what I can gather, there has only been one person to ever hold office and be “out” as an atheist.  Not only that, but there are no fewer than 7 states that specifically state in their constitutions that atheists are forbidden to hold office (Google that shit, hooker; it’s not obscure).

Now, despite the fact that I may or may not have just called my seven readers hookers, I would actually like to have a conversation about this.  My blog may not be the place to do it (as in, I only have seven readers), but maybe I’ll throw this out into the Google+ sea and see what I might see see see.  My question is this:

Atheists vote for theists all the time.  We have no other choice, really, but I also think that we are firm enough in our beliefs that we realize putting our lives in the hands of theists is not necessarily going to shake our foundation.  Still, we often have to give up certain rights because our lives (big picture, not the day to day stuff) are run by people who generally subscribe to a whole separate set of beliefs from us.  And after that rambling preamble, my real question is to theists:  Would you ever vote for an atheist?  I want an honest answer of why you think it would be bad to have an atheist represent you.  Would you rather have someone who you believe has your best interest at heart lie to you about their faith just so they don’t lose your vote (think about it: statistically, given the number of politicians with advanced degrees, there are bound to be atheists in Jesus’ clothing)?  And how can you be truly patriotic if you deny someone the basic right the Founding Fathers set forth (Here, I won’t even make you Google it this time)?

I guess that was three questions.  Whatev.  I hope some of my “friends of faith” (or even perfect strangers of faith) can step out on a limb and answer these questions for me.  I realize that there are some rather liberal and groovy people of faith (most likely the ones that are friends with me fit in that category, otherwise they’d probably have a hard time being friends with me), and that not all peoples of faith would be completely against an atheist in office.  But I think that most are, and I’d kind of like to get some perspective on that.

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6 thoughts on “I’m not sure why this surprises me

  1. I wouldn’t have the least problem with voting for an athiest, at all. Truth of the matter is, I think it would more likely to see an athiest on the ballot than someone of my own belief system. Afterall, to most “mainstream” theists, my belief system equates to devil worship, even though we don’t believe in the guy. It really ticks me off that there are laws in the good ol’ U.S. of A. that don’t allow athiests, or any specific belief (or non-belief) system, for that matter, to run for office. I thought freedom of religion is what the country was based on, and in my mind, that also includes the freedom to not believe in ANY religion, if that is what fits for you.

    • I would suspect that most theists probably wouldn’t know the difference between you and me. They think atheists hate god and love the devil, but again, we can’t hate or love things we don’t believe in.

  2. Even though I’m sitting in the same pew you are (ha! Get it! eh, well) I have a theory. Most religions tell their followers that it is only because of the religion that they are the good and moral upstanding citizens that they are. Anyone not of their religion is most likely to be some shade of grey-to-black, depending on how far removed they are. Atheists, therefore, can NOT have any moral center, any goodness to fall back on and therefore are not to be trusted with government. Or teaching your children. Or anything like that.

    IMO, the belief that only religion can mold good and moral citizens is part of the “marketing” of religion to the followers, a way to distinguish the good moral upright wonderfulness of “Us” from the bad evil lazy no goodness of “Them.” As long as the criteria for voting for someone is that such a person seems more like Us than like Them, most atheists won’t be considered for public office.

    • Honestly, I feel bad for people that don’t believe they are capable of being moral, good people without the threat of hell. Thinking so little of one’s self isn’t being humble, it’s just sad. Maybe some day when we’ve finally won the battle for gays, we’ll be able to show people once and for all it’s possible to be moral without god.

  3. And because I just found this, here is an example of the “good” and “moral” type of things that religious people *can* stand for: http://freethoughtblogs.com/rodda/2012/04/24/womens-prayer-group-praying-that-the-women-at-mrff-all-get-incurable-breast-cancer/

    Please note, I said “can.” Thankfully, not all religious people are like that, of course, as evidenced by your first commenter. But the types that would never vote for an athiest because they are “immoral” are also the types to pray that women they disagree with should die of breast cancer.

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