Do We Need an Atheist President?

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Well, did Obama getting elected solve all racial issues? No.
Would an Atheist getting elected solve all secularization issues? No.

It would be a step in the right direction, but it wouldn't really be an actual solution, more an indication of a beginning change in the public consciousness. Plus, just because that president would be an Atheist, wouldn't mean I'd agree with their policies or think that they'd take the USA in the right direction. I mean, Ayn Rand was an Atheist, for example, and there are few things I could disagree more with her on, especially economically of course. Lastly, what Godavari said: There are plenty of religious people fighting for secularization as well.

We don't need an atheist president, we just need a president without his head up his ass.

Shouldn't be being an atheist be a requirement of the job? The USA is suppose to have a secular government with a seperation of church and state, so for this to be truly the case the president needs to be able to be completely seperate from the church themself.

Seekster:
Do we need an atheist President? Like we need another cheeseburger.

I'd love to hear that reasoning.
OP: It'd be nice. Not really a need, though.

We need a no party, lesbian, married to woman, atheist, had an abortion, went hunting allot, minority race president.

There.

Vausch:

Actually in 7 or 8 states it's illegal for an atheist to hold public office. So yes, in some places there are rules.

Doesn't that break the entire constitution? Isn't one of the key pillars of the US government that religion (or lack there of) is irrelevant and cannot be used as grounds for prejudice? How did that not get squashed years ago?

Karma168:

Vausch:

Actually in 7 or 8 states it's illegal for an atheist to hold public office. So yes, in some places there are rules.

Doesn't that break the entire constitution? Isn't one of the key pillars of the US government that religion (or lack there of) is irrelevant and cannot be used as grounds for prejudice? How did that not get squashed years ago?

Yes, it does violate the constitution. And because no one's challenged it. Presumably, the laws haven't blocked anyone from holding office or, as in one state (I forget which, but Seekster mentioned it in another thread), are just ignored.

Karma168:

Vausch:

Actually in 7 or 8 states it's illegal for an atheist to hold public office. So yes, in some places there are rules.

Doesn't that break the entire constitution? Isn't one of the key pillars of the US government that religion (or lack there of) is irrelevant and cannot be used as grounds for prejudice? How did that not get squashed years ago?

These have been shot down in a supreme court case in the 60s, but there are people that would willingly use the state law against somebody running in one of them.

Vausch:

Karma168:

Vausch:

Actually in 7 or 8 states it's illegal for an atheist to hold public office. So yes, in some places there are rules.

Doesn't that break the entire constitution? Isn't one of the key pillars of the US government that religion (or lack there of) is irrelevant and cannot be used as grounds for prejudice? How did that not get squashed years ago?

These have been shot down in a supreme court case in the 60s, but there are people that would willingly use the state law against somebody running in one of them.

And the law would immediately be struck down by a court. Stupid laws that are unconstitutional are often forgotten about or ignored. The moment someone tries to enforce one, however, a court will take care of it.

Vausch:
Let me say right now: I am an atheist and I am one that does not like religion and I feel money donated to churches would be better put to use in a charity, but I am able to tolerate it as long as someone doesn't try to convert me.

It just has me thinking, would an atheist president be able to get things done without any "My religion says" or "God told me..." interferences? With an atheist president, we don't have a person who opposes gay marriage because it's in a book that was written a couple thousand years ago to explain things we now have solid explanations for like why languages differ and the like.

We wouldn't have religious laws of prohibition of certain substances passed, less funding for drug wars and potential legalisation to bring in money that would boost the GDP billions.

Abortion laws would be looked at for logical and thought out reasons beyond "it makes Jesus cry".

I know there could be some backlash if they are a religious intolerant atheist, such as churches potentially being taken off the tax exemption list and there being outcries if a religious figurehead were asked to be taken down in a public display even if they had nothing to do with it, but I really think it's time. Since the Tea Party is now more hated than us and Muslims, I think it could happen too. Yes I'm looking at it with optimism and I'm sure that's how almost all these threads begin before somebody raises their hand with a "But...", but that's my optimistic opening.

Thoughts?

EDIT: I'm not trying to say "atheists are the only ones that can do things", I'm just saying it would help to avoid any religious biases that seem to plague a lot of policies, at least on the executive level.

Congress. The president tries to be secular only to be blocked by whatever political force that has money. This is the fundamental flaw in the US government. All it takes is one rich man to get pissy to block all progress.

Basically, the only way we can get past this is another age of Deism. However, on the bright side Deism is exploding in America in terms of popularity so its only a matter of time now. The only bad side is that it may prompt a backlash, and re-surge of organized religion plunging the US back into the dark ages. The last time that happened the US was scared into a religious paranoia that lead to widespread circumcision (fear of masturbation) and a suppression of anything non-christian (much like movies and media are now). Basically, history repeats itself.

The short answer is "No." The long answer is "Nooooooooooooooooo."

if you want a better world and not just a better country what you need to do is remove religion altogether. believing in shiny powerful sky goblins because you're afraid of what might happen after you die tends to make people into very insecure/spastic/irrational beings. it leads to wars, arguments and death. if people just stopped and thinked for themselves once in awhile, instead of "wishing, hoping and praying" to the Almighty One who apparently loves us all because an old black book says so, we might all get along a little better.

having an Atheist president probably wouldn't change a whole lot. other than that he'd have had to rig the fucking election in order to get past the entire South and that filthy Bible Belt. (same thing?) anyhoo, i'm not Atheist, i'm Agnostic.

Seekster:

Do we need an atheist President? Like we need another cheeseburger.

Vausch:

Karma168:

Sure an atheist might not care about religious qualms on an issue but he would never be elected; the religious nutjobs are more scared of Atheists than hell itself.

Actually in 7 or 8 states it's illegal for an atheist to hold public office. So yes, in some places there are rules.

I am fairly sure it violates the federal constitution to try and enforce any of those laws.

Hey! I like cheeseburgers! But, we've got plenty of people in public office who, even if not athiest, are not fundamentalists. Religious dogma does not dictate to them their public governing positions.

You are correct, such an anti athiest law would likely not hold Constitutional muster.

ITMT: Most apparant athiest Presidential candidate of which I can think: Adlia Stevenson. At a minimum, he did what he could to distance the idea of religion from governing more than any candidate I know of. Even a Howard Dean, to my knowledge, was not as vocal about the issue.

Seekster:
Do we need an atheist President? Like we need another cheeseburger.

I'm hungry. Is the answer to that one, both in the literal and the punny sense.

Well I wouldn't mind if we had an agnostic president or an atheist president but I know most people in the U.S wouldn't take kind to that. In fact the whole system is sort of rigged that people HAVE to know what belief a president has when they go into office in the U.S.

You can just run for president in the U.S then say 'Oh I'm an atheist' a few months after you've been in office...or at least I assume.

In Australia we have an atheist woman president and she is doing an okay job (despite a few shitty dealings and the carbon tax lie) but then again Australia is really multicultural, a lot of Muslims and Chinese people here (most of them speak good English though fortunately.)

lol

Even if Obama fit those descriptions, he's not a dictator. He couldn't just change these things instantly. The President isn't America's problem.

Also, Australia has an Atheist leader. Does it make a difference? No, she's still not pro-homosexual marriage.

Gorfias:
You are correct, such an anti athiest law would likely not hold Constitutional muster.

ITMT: Most apparant athiest Presidential candidate of which I can think: Adlia Stevenson. At a minimum, he did what he could to distance the idea of religion from governing more than any candidate I know of. Even a Howard Dean, to my knowledge, was not as vocal about the issue.

How about Barry Goldwater? Maybe not in the campaign of '64, but later he seemed fairly outspoken against the corruption of his party.

"A lot of so-called conservatives don't know what the word means. They think I've turned liberal because I believe a woman has a right to an abortion. That's a decision that's up to the pregnant woman, not up to the pope or some do-gooders or the Religious Right."

RedEyesBlackGamer:

Seekster:
Do we need an atheist President? Like we need another cheeseburger.

I'd love to hear that reasoning.
OP: It'd be nice. Not really a need, though.

Id love to share it with you. You take a bite thinking its a great idea simply because we are electing somebody that goes against what Europeans think of America (racist, religious, arrogant, and fat) and it tastes good when you are eating it up but then later you regret it but try to act like you dont.

Really, things like race, gender, and religious beliefs are not important qualities in a President and I dont see why people make it so. Stop electing people because they assuage cultural guilt and elect someone who is qualified to do the job. If that person happens to be a minority, female, or a heathe...atheist then fine thats cool (by the way if an atheist President ever is elected, have fun trying to convince people its ok to violate Washington's first precedent, they will never let that go I assure you).

I doubt there will be a president that identifies as atheist for many years. But a secular, or non-religious, person will. As soon as they make a pro-atheist statement they will suffer heavily.

Seanchaidh:

Gorfias:
You are correct, such an anti athiest law would likely not hold Constitutional muster.

ITMT: Most apparant athiest Presidential candidate of which I can think: Adlia Stevenson. At a minimum, he did what he could to distance the idea of religion from governing more than any candidate I know of. Even a Howard Dean, to my knowledge, was not as vocal about the issue.

How about Barry Goldwater? Maybe not in the campaign of '64, but later he seemed fairly outspoken against the corruption of his party.

"A lot of so-called conservatives don't know what the word means. They think I've turned liberal because I believe a woman has a right to an abortion. That's a decision that's up to the pregnant woman, not up to the pope or some do-gooders or the Religious Right."

He did plenty of G-d talk...

http://www.claremont.org/publications/crb/id.1237/article_detail.asp

Though he took on the religous right as you reference.

TC has a point though. Even Obama references church a lot. I wonder when America will have a major candidate expressly stating that there is not any Church doctrine is not what governs his thinking.

Vausch:
It just has me thinking, would an atheist president be able to get things done without any "My religion says" or "God told me..." interferences?

Funny, I don't recall Obama having any of those "interferences".

You're just engaging in tribalism, pretending that a candidate who comes from your "group" would be better for everyone than a candidate that comes from outside your "group". There is absolutely nothing wrong with us having an openly atheist President. But we don't need one any more than we need a President from my "group". And try as I might, I just can't convince people of the merits of starting an "eat Cheetos and watch a Babylon 5 marathon" political party.

Polarity27:

Godavari:
There's a group, whose name I forget, that advocates for the separation of church and state and is headed by a pastor. One doesn't have to be an atheist in order to advocate for the things you mentioned, and an atheist won't necessarily get the job done. Ultimately, as always, the answer is "it depends."

Americans United for the Separation of Church and State?

Yes! That's it!

RedEyesBlackGamer:

Seekster:
Do we need an atheist President? Like we need another cheeseburger.

I'd love to hear that reasoning.

Well everybody likes cheeseburgers, unless you're Un-American.

Are you Un-American?

Senator Blutarsky:

Delsana:
Every president is sworn in via the bible and a priest... so...

No, they're not.

For starters, it's not a priest that does the swearing in, it's generally the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. And there's no law that says they have to be sworn in on a Bible. There's also no law that says that they have to "swear in," per se. Franklin Pierce "affirmed," rather than "swore," due to his objection to taking an actual oath.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Affirmation_in_law

Actually they are always sworn in during a private ceremony using an Affirmation (the same is true of Congressmen and Senators). The public swearing in is just for show.

We've almost certainly had an atheist president before, but you can't run as an open atheist because the country won't vote for you and will turn on you if you're elected and suddenly decide you're an atheist. The problem isn't that we need an atheist president, the problem is that the religion of a candidate matters so much to so many people.

Vausch:
Let me say right now: I am an atheist and I am one that does not like religion and I feel money donated to churches would be better put to use in a charity, but I am able to tolerate it as long as someone doesn't try to convert me.

It just has me thinking, would an atheist president be able to get things done without any "My religion says" or "God told me..." interferences? With an atheist president, we don't have a person who opposes gay marriage because it's in a book that was written a couple thousand years ago to explain things we now have solid explanations for like why languages differ and the like.

We wouldn't have religious laws of prohibition of certain substances passed, less funding for drug wars and potential legalisation to bring in money that would boost the GDP billions.

Abortion laws would be looked at for logical and thought out reasons beyond "it makes Jesus cry".

I know there could be some backlash if they are a religious intolerant atheist, such as churches potentially being taken off the tax exemption list and there being outcries if a religious figurehead were asked to be taken down in a public display even if they had nothing to do with it, but I really think it's time. Since the Tea Party is now more hated than us and Muslims, I think it could happen too. Yes I'm looking at it with optimism and I'm sure that's how almost all these threads begin before somebody raises their hand with a "But...", but that's my optimistic opening.

Thoughts?

EDIT: I'm not trying to say "atheists are the only ones that can do things", I'm just saying it would help to avoid any religious biases that seem to plague a lot of policies, at least on the executive level.

Be "we", I assume you mean the US, to which my answer is:
You already have one. It's just that he can't publicly admit it but trust me, he is (or at least agnostic). Either way, I'm sure Obama isn't a person who would resort to "religious logic" when it comes to public affairs.
What you need is for atheism to be accepted and ancient outdated dogmas to be frowned upon among general public. Once that would happen, you would see a lot of politicians "come out of the closet" with their non-religiousness.

Katatori-kun:
And try as I might, I just can't convince people of the merits of starting an "eat Cheetos and watch a Babylon 5 marathon" political party.

You have your first member right here.

OT: We don't "need" an atheist president any more than we need a Zoroastrian president. Meaning, we don't need one at all. It would be interesting to have one, yes, but we don't really need it.

I wouldnt like someone to vote for a candidate just becouse they are atheist but i would like if ppl would stop not voting for someone just becouse they are atheist.

My teacher in 8th grade once said "if u work hard enough u can end up being the president one day"
I responded "never gonna happen cuz im an atheist"

sansamour14:

My teacher in 8th grade once said "if u work hard enough u can end up being the president one day"
I responded "never gonna happen cuz im an atheist"

Nice, good and pointed comeback there.

I think it would be a good thing if an atheist president of America was elected, for the same reasons that it was good that a black president was elected. It would show that irrespective of your race or creed, so long as your an American citizen you can be president.

But beyond that i don't really think that there are any bonus' to electing an American president. Atheists are a diverse bunch, it's possible for an atheist to have a fiscally conservative neo-con whom opposes abortion. Alternatively, you could have an atheist president whom has the same political outlook as the OP, but may be powerless to change anything if congress doesn't approve.

It doesn't really matter what the beliefs of a president as long as they don't influence their actions. All that needs to be remembered is that they are representing millions of people, not all of whom share your religious beliefs or biases.

Zekksta:

RedEyesBlackGamer:

Seekster:
Do we need an atheist President? Like we need another cheeseburger.

I'd love to hear that reasoning.

Well everybody likes cheeseburgers, unless you're Un-American.

Are you Un-American?

If atheists become as popular as cheeseburgers in America in my lifetime, I'll eat my shoe. And you got suspended? That was a obvious joke.

thtool:
I doubt there will be a president that identifies as atheist for many years. But a secular, or non-religious, person will. As soon as they make a pro-atheist statement they will suffer heavily.

Eh, people claimed a Catholic could never get elected president in the US...until he did.
People claimed a Black Man could never get elected president in the US...until he did.

If its the right person for the job, they will get the job.

Yes, if only because their preconceptions will be made from personal choice instead of an old book, and will more likely based in logic instead of belief.

What America needs is a situation in which there would be no difference if an atheist was president or not.

Katatori-kun:

Vausch:
It just has me thinking, would an atheist president be able to get things done without any "My religion says" or "God told me..." interferences?

Funny, I don't recall Obama having any of those "interferences".

Yes he does. Gay Marriage. He won't outright say "I support gay marriage to be recognised on a federal level". He dances around the issue.

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