Atheist candidates still less popular than Muslim candidates.

The results from the latest Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life show that atheists politicians are still the least likely to get votes:

WASHINGTON (AP) — One in four people in the U.S. said in a recent poll that they would be less likely to support a presidential candidate who is Mormon, an ominous sign for Republican contender Mitt Romney.

Yet the survey found two groups, atheists and Muslims, were even less likely to win votes.

Sixty-one percent of those questioned said they would be less likely to support a presidential candidate who did not believe in God. Forty-five percent said the same for a Muslim contender.

Only 5 percent or fewer said they would be likelier to support candidates who were atheists, Muslims or Mormons, according to the poll by two nonpartisan research groups, the Pew Research Center and the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life.

We’re behind Muslims for crying out loud. Hello?? Muslims flew the fucking planes into the Twin Towers, remember? And they did it because they believed god was on their side. You don’t have to worry about atheists doing stupid shit because they think god wants them to, we don’t believe in gods!

Of course the real reason why we’re so unpopular is the simple fact that we won’t favor one religious group over another and for many Christians that’s not a good thing if you want to get those pesky Ten Commandments on the court house wall or prayer back into public schools again.

9 thoughts on “Atheist candidates still less popular than Muslim candidates.

  1. I’ll play something of Devil’s Advocate here, and note that while putative Muslims flew planes into the World Trade Center, putative Atheists (i.e., “Godless Commies”) ran the Cold War against us sfor many more decades, and are still (as “Godless Chinese Commies”) considered a threat.

    As for me, I’m less concerned with the label on someone’s ideology than in how they apply that ideology (or adapt it) to the leadership challenges they would face as president.  I don’t care if a candidate is a Mormon, a Muslim, a Jew, a Christian, an Atheist, or a Jedi—how do they approach international relations, science, economic growth, climate change, health care, etc. 

    Knowing the formal basis for those actions (their beliefs) can help predicting that, but as the wide variety of actions by various Christian presidents over the centuries amply demonstrates, just knowing the religious/ideological label doesn’t tell you a whole lot about what a candidate will actually do.

  2. Dave,

    it’s important to distinguish between committing an atrocity and being an atheist (or Christian), and committing one BECAUSE of atheism (or Christianity, or any other religion).

    As far as I know, no evil was ever committed “in the name of atheism”. In fact, just say the phrase outloud, and it will sound absurd.

    Religion isn’t to blame for the actions of religious people… except when they do it in the name of their faith / god. Which was the case with 9/11, the Crusades, the Inquisition, and so on. Or the banning of stem cell research, or the war against the parts of science that contradict their beliefs…

  3. As far as I know, no evil was ever committed “in the name of atheism”. In fact, just say the phrase outloud, and it will sound absurd.

    Per se, no.  Were murders performed “in the name” of the communist ideology?  Certainly. Was that ideology (looking at states like the USSR, PRC, North Korea) explicitly (and proudly and intentionally) atheist?  Yes.

    Does that mean I think atheists are commies, or murderers?  Certainly not. 

    But anyone who puts an ideology first in their dealing with other people is liable to place human life as a lesser value than the advancement of that ideology, whether it’s a religion, a political movement, nationalism / patriotism, or whatever.

  4. The holocaust was not done in the name of religion.  One could almost claim it was done in the name of evolution.  The killing of “inferiors “, though not done in the name of science,  is done with the presumption
    certain races or peoples are superior and by law of natural selection should be the main race of humanity.

    There were a number of scientist at the turn of the twentieth century that believed that the Caucasian race
    was the epitome of evolution.  Darwinism was the main basis for these writings and what some would call laws.

  5. One could almost claim it was done in the name of evolution.

    Funny how Hitler had Darwin’s books burned, but praised Martin Luther as an exemplary German patriot.  Luther was all for killing people for mere heresy, had no problem using the Church to back the State, and was no small anti-Semite in the bargain.  In that light, I think that a far, FAR stronger case could be made that the Nazis’ spiritual heritage (if you can dignify it with that term) is far more easily traced to Luther than any other single source.

  6. One of those cases, I fear, where you can’t just draw lines and point to a single cause/motive/justification or another.  Among the factors involved:

    – Yes, “Darwinism”—or the extension of natural selection into artificial selection—was certainly on the table. Of course, at the same time, the US was busy sterilizing “mental defectives” for the same cause, among other parallels.

    – Yes, anti-Semitism had a strong root in Christianity, including Luther—though, of course, the official Nazi line on Christianity varied over time.  It was more of a cultural prejudice in Germany (and elsewhere) than something the Nazis specifically promulgated.

    – Racism and tribalism don’t actually need either science or religion to work.  Those just provide an external justification for a social evil.

  7. The holocaust was not done in the name of religion.

    As ***Dave points out, there were lots of factors behind the Holocaust.  But the Nazi’s most certainly sought after, and claimed, religious support:

    I believe today that my conduct is in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator.

    – Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf, Vol. 1 Chapter 2

    [Adolf Hitler is] the tool of God, called upon to overcome Judaism…

    – Father Senn, a Catholic priest, writing in a Catholic publication, May 15, 1934

    My feelings as a Christian points me to my Lord and Savior as a fighter. It points me to the man who once in loneliness, surrounded by a few followers, recognized these Jews for what they were and summoned men to fight against them and who, God’s truth! was greatest not as a sufferer but as a fighter.

    In boundless love as a Christian and as a man I read through the passage which tells us how the Lord at last rose in His might and seized the scourge to drive out of the Temple the brood of vipers and adders. How terrific was his fight against the Jewish poison. Today, after two thousand years, with deepest emotion I recognize more profoundly than ever before the fact that it was for this that He had to shed his blood upon the Cross.

    – Adolf Hitler, from a speech on April 12, 1922

  8. Certainly Hitler and the Nazis appealed via religion to support the anti-Jewish laws and the Holocaust (though, of course, the details of the Holocaust were not specifically broadcast nor approval from the public sought).

    At the same time, as has been noted here and elsewhere, both German nationalism and a pseudo-scientific eugenics were also used.  As was a call for internal order and standing against the threats from the outside.  Thus, too, the death camps swept up gays, trade unionists and socialists and communists, Gypsies, and anyone else who crossed the regime.

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