Atheists Rank at the Bottom. Again.

Here are the answers in order:

Women.
Mormons.
Jews.
Muslims.
Hindus.
Gays and lesbians.
Atheists.

What’s the question?

Which minority group has the best chance to win the White House next?

*sigh*

Here’s what Mark Oppenheimer of Slate said about us:

When the lion lies down with the lamb, when the president is a Republican Muslim and the Democratic speaker of the House is a vegan Mormon lesbian, when the secretary of defense is a Jain pacifist from the Green Party, they will all agree on one thing: atheists need not apply. A 2007 Gallup poll found that 53 percent of Americans would not vote for an atheist for president. (By contrast, only 43 percent wouldn’t vote for a homosexual, and only 24 percent wouldn’t vote for a Mormon.) As Ronald Lindsay, executive director of the Council for Secular Humanism, told me in an e-mail: “Atheism spells political death in this country.”

Indeed. Only one current congressman has confessed to being an atheist: Rep. Pete Stark, a Democrat from the lefty East Bay region of Northern California. If he ever ran for president, he would need God’s help just as surely as he wouldn’t ask for it.

I’m still optimistic that we’ll see more Congresspeople come out as atheists during Barack Obama‘s adminstration, during this time of a Democratic majority. We’ll move up in the ranks in the coming years. We just need non-religious people to come out as such so others can see it’s possible. As more Americans get comfortable with the idea of atheists holding public office at all — even locally — it’ll be easier for us to get elected to higher office in the future.

(Thanks to Javier for the link!)

  • Cathy

    So I guess as a queer, female, atheist, I’m really screwed.

  • noodleguy

    Yeah, that list doesn’t seem quite right from my experience I always thought it ranked:

    Women.
    Jews.
    Hindus.
    Muslims.
    Mormons.
    Gays and lesbians.
    Atheists.

  • Eliza

    I’m willing to wager that there already has been at least one gay president & at least one atheist president – they just didn’t admit it to the public or press.

  • Larry Huffman

    Cathy, you ain’t getting elected dogcatcher!!

    …sadly.

    I wonder if the question was asked like this: Would you vote for an unqualified christian or a qualified atheist? At least make them show how stupid their prejudice is.

  • mikespeir

    What happened to pedophiles? Don’t they rank above us, too?

  • Pseudonym

    It’s surely a no-brainer that a woman is likely to win the White House next. We even know which one it’s likely to be.

    Having said that: For the 1000th time, women are not a “minority”! Quite the converse, in fact.

  • J Myers

    It’s surely a no-brainer that a woman is likely to win the White House next. We even know which one it’s likely to be.

    And which one is that?

  • http://mcdevzone.com/ Mike Hussein Cohen

    Jews & Mormons would be near the bottom of my list. I would have no problem voting for a Hindu, Muslim, Buddhist, or Atheist.

  • Freak

    It’s been speculated that William R. King (VP to Franklin Pierce) and James Buchannan were lovers.

  • Catherine

    Cathy, I know the feeling.

  • noodleguy

    I’m willing to wager that there already has been at least one gay president & at least one atheist president – they just didn’t admit it to the public or press.

    Eleanor Roosevelt was a lesbian, she just stayed married to FDR for political reasons, I believe. So a first lady, anyway. And I’d bet at least four or five presidents were actually atheists, or at least agnostics.

  • noodleguy

    And which one is that?

    Agreed. It is too late for Clinton, and I sure as hell hope that it won’t be Palin. So…I’m not seeing a good female president anytime soon, unless someone comes out of the blue.

  • Jen

    Having said that: For the 1000th time, women are not a “minority”! Quite the converse, in fact.

    The article mentions that.

    And we may not be minorities, but we sure are being held down by a glass ceiling.

  • http://mattstone.blogs.com Matt Stone

    Interesting. We have already had a number of Atheist prime ministers here in Australia, and I can’t recall there being any significant debate about it. Another indicator of just how different the Australian political and religious climate is to yours. I wonder, is our situation the more odd, or is yours? It would be interesting to compare both to Europe to gain more objectivity. What is it about the American context that makes religion and irreligion such a hot potato do you think? I get the impression American theology about manifest destiny has something to do with it. Where do you Atheist stand on the manifest destiny of America?

  • http://gaytheistagenda.lavenderliberal.com/ Buffy

    Ironic. Those surveys consistently show that atheists rank below gays. Yet it’s gays that are the target of the organized RRRW efforts to engender hatred and eradicate civil rights.

    Of course as a gaytheist I’m doubly screwed, yet I definitely feel the anti-gay bigotry more than the anti-atheist bigotry. Then again maybe the RRRW is just trying to get The Gays out of the way before they go to work on the atheists. They’re not so good at multitasking you know…

  • llewelly

    It is too late for Clinton …

    Probably – but even in 2016, she’ll probably have more Alzheimer-free years ahead of her than Reagan did in 1980.

  • llewelly

    Where do you Atheist stand on the manifest destiny of America?

    I really doubt there’s much convergence among atheists about the manifest destiny of America.

    ‘Manifest Destiny’ was not only used as an argument for expanding to cover the breadth of the continent, it was used as an argument to mine and log indiscriminately. It went hand and hand with the notion that ‘god put the animals and trees and gold here for us to use’. It is one of the foundation stones of pseudo-scientific anti-environmental hacks like Fred Singer, Fred Seitz, and Julian Simon. It’s a dangerous delusion which has caused us to profligately waste our vast natural resources (after it caused our ancestors to steal said resources from Native Americans) and to unwisely and abuse the environment we require to live in.

  • http://blueollie.wordpress.com ollie

    It depends on how open and “pushy” someone is about their atheism.

    Example; I went to belief.net to take the “what sort of Christian are you” quiz and fully expected to score as “an atheist”.

    My score (based on honest answers): “Liberal Christian, like Hillary Clinton”!!!

    Why? When asked about New Testament stuff, I denied every miracle but said that these were allegories to prove a point.

    So, I did not believe in supernaturalism of any kind and yet was rated as “a Christian”.

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  • http://mollishka.blogspot.com mollishka

    So, Hemant: who should be at the bottom of that list?

  • http://blueollie.wordpress.com ollie

    Mollishka: “who should be on the bottom of that list”?

    a) creationists
    b) religious wingnuts
    c) social conservatives
    d) Republicans. (ok, just kidding.. I think)

  • dannyness

    What sucks is that for us to move up the list, someone has to take our place at the bottom. It would kick ass if someone got elected DESPITE identifying as a member of the bottom-ranking group.

  • Spurs Fan

    Jews & Mormons would be near the bottom of my list. I would have no problem voting for a Hindu, Muslim, Buddhist, or Atheist.

    With the little knowledge I have of these four, I can say that I probably would not have an issue voting for an Atheist or Buddhist. With a Hindu or a Muslim, I might at least try to understand their “theology” first. Would I vote for Keith Ellison? Yep. Muqtada al Sadr? Nope. (I realize that the latter is not an American citizen, but the point remains).

  • http://mattstone.blogs.com Matt Stone

    llewelly, I suspected and hoped that was the case. The manifest destiny stuff does not sit well with non-American Christians either. I wonder why I have never heard an Atheist attack it though. Is there a concern it may make you seem less patriotic? Would it open up a battle front you don’t need?

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  • http://friendlyatheist.com Hemant Mehta

    So, Hemant: who should be at the bottom of that list?

    Obviously, no one *should* be at the bottom of the list.

    But someone has to be, and I’m inclined to say that if your beliefs involve ostracizing a large number of Americans, you shouldn’t be president.

    I think there are several religious sects who fit the bill.

    I’m fine with a religious president. As long as religion is kept a private matter and the president’s policies are made with secular values in mind. This is one of the reasons I supported Obama despite his strong involvement with a church.

  • http://mattstone.blogs.com Matt Stone

    The problem is Hemant, saying religion should be kept a private matter is akin to saying science should be kept a private matter. The way we view the world effects the way we act in the world. We can’t just switch off our worldview, anymore than you can. Democracy does not require irreligiousity or religiosity, it just requires one vote for all.


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