Forget the Mormons…

For all the talk about how people might not vote for a Mormon, let’s not forget that atheists consistently rank at the bottom of all those “who would you not vote for?” lists.

According to Gallup, 22% of Americans say they wouldn’t vote for a Mormon (even from their own party). But 49% wouldn’t vote for an atheist. So theists can cry me a river — At least Mormons can be considered viable candidates. Hell, Romney’s currently seen as the Republican frontrunner, with Huntsman not that far behind being taken seriously by a number of pundits, as well as the Obama reelection team.

We have a long way to go before thinking rationally is seen as an asset.

(via NPR — Thanks to Kelly for the link)

  • Cents

    Now you know why America will continue to fall behind the rest of the modern world. A significant number of its voters believe in fairy tales and think that rational thought, reason, and science are an anathema. Education, innovation, science and technology are sure to increasingly suffer. It seems that a significant minority in the West wants to be like the East and vice-versa.

  • http://www.ooblick.com/weblog/ arensb

    And yet, I think this is a step up: I remember a similar poll that showed that a majority of Americans wouldn’t vote for an atheist, even of their own party. So at least we’re now at the point where an atheist can theoretically win a party’s nomination.

  • Ben

    “Romney’s currently seen as the Republican frontrunner, with Huntsman not that far behind.”

    Huntsman not that far behind??? Did he get another 20% in the last 24 hours or something? Polls I’ve seen showed that something like 60% of Republican voters don’t know who he is, and he only has like 2% of the vote, putting, I believe, every single other announced candidate (and I’m sure several unannounced) ahead of him.

  • Canadian Atheist, eh!

    “We have a long way to go before thinking rationally is seen as an asset.”

    This is sort of right but falls short. It’s not that those folks don’t value rational thinking per se, it’s that they place a greater premium on what they think of as moral thinking. They are still, yes, mistaken that appeals to divinity is how that cashes out, but we will continue to see our efforts fail (or not succeed as well as they might) if we persist in chalking it all up to delusion and irrationality.

  • http://standardspicywhatnot.blogspot.com/ Naomi

    so many ‘religious people’ think those that are not are immoral. How could a non-theist person not be doing the devil’s work? Of course they don’t get we don’t believe in the devil either.

  • http://www.frommormontoatheist.blogspot.com Leilani

    If more Americans educated themselves on what Mormonism really is, I am sure that number would jump up and be closer to our lovely 49%…

  • http://www.facebook.com/staks Staks Rosch

    You really piss me off when you post this crap. The fact is that it is a myth that atheists are unelectable. I have addressed this many times on my blog (http://www.DangerousTalk.net). The main thing stopping atheists from getting elected is this myth that atheists are unelectable. It’s bullshit and we need to prove it by getting Cecil Bothwell elected to Congress.

  • Cheri

    I think it is absurd that religious folks think being religious keeps people moral. Look at all of the sexual deviance that has taken place over the past several decades! Add to that all of the corruption – the hands in all the deep pockets – that takes place as if it is part of the job. They are nearly all religious – so what’s happening with religious morality? ;)

  • http://onhech.blogspot.com/ Onhech

    Leilani – Mormons are not any weirder than any other religion. America is just conditioned to accept the oddities of mainstream Christianity. Every religious system looks very weird from the outside I know, I believe in one. Catholics resurrect and cannibalize their God every week! That’s a lot more bizarre than anything I have heard of Mormons.

  • fiddler

    @Staks
    Sure, totally electable. I mean really people, the handful that have been elected out of many, many HUNDREDS that have ran is evidence of that…

    And they’d never face recall for not swearing on bibles either…

  • Zac

    Welcome to America.

  • http://hoverFrog.wordpress.com hoverfrog

    Someone today on the facebook page of a friend said that “the only source of … good values [is] God. Without Him, we have nothing within ourselves to produce those.” and later. “[t]he source of these qualities came from God creating them. They are not by nature ‘human’ qualities. we didn’t come up with them ourselves. There had to be a moral source.”

    This is what an atheist is up against when it comes to being elected. An unquestioned assumption that God = Moral and No God = Immoral. Despite the evidence that godly people do occasionally do bad things and ungodly people good things the assumption remains a strong one.

  • http://criticallyskeptic-dckitty.blogspot.com Kev Quondam, Kevque Futurum

    What hoverfrog said: “An unquestioned assumption that God = Moral and No God = Immoral.”

    Christians have been taught since youth that atheists are immoral and evil. They’re self-righteous, self-worshiping, and selfish. In a country like America with a Christian majority, an atheist candidate would immediately be seen as that, and they would think the worst of them.

  • http://www.facebook.com/staks Staks Rosch

    @fiddler “many, many hundreds?” Really? I only know a few who ran in long shot campaigns and who didn’t reach out to the greater community of reason for help. Cecil Bothwell did win city council as an open atheist and now he is running for Congress. Due to the demographics of the area, he actually has a good chance of winning… if we as the greater atheist community work together to help him. But most won’t because of this myth that atheists are unelectable. This myth stops us from trying and it stops us from running. We can fight and we can win, but we have to do it together. Are you part of the solution or part of the problem?

  • DarkCanuck

    “We have a long way to go before thinking rationally is seen as an asset.”
    This is where the problem lies. To the majority of the populace of North America, not believing in a god of some kind is seen as an irrational state of mind. If they don’t view it that way, they are forced to question their own beliefs. Just think about how many times you’ve heard a theist say; “What do you mean you don’t believe in god?” or “How can you not believe in god?” Or, my favourite, “That just means that you are mad at god!”
    I would truly love to see a poll of Canadians similar to the Gallup one referenced.

  • http://www.banalleakage.com martymankins

    That political cartoon is spot on, which is sad. I would want a candidate that had no religious ties.

  • http://www.correntewire.com chicago dyke

    i would have liked to run for office, but there’s no way i’m electable in this country, and atheism is only one reason. it’s really depressing to contemplate all the “flaws” that prevent sane, rational people from running while grifters and morons are seriously considered for national office.

    what is ironic to me is that most americans have no clue just how personally irreligious most elected officials really are. turn off the cameras, and few of them give jeebus and the sky fairies a second’s thought. you almost never hear religious talk at DC parties and social events the political class practically lives in round the clock. even in conservative circles, there are large numbers of atheists who put on the i love gawd show exclusively for the rubes.

  • http://hoverfrog.wordpress.com hoverfrog

    Kev Quondam, Kevque Futurum

    Christians have been taught since youth that atheists are immoral and evil. They’re self-righteous, self-worshiping, and selfish. In a country like America with a Christian majority, an atheist candidate would immediately be seen as that, and they would think the worst of them.

    Thankfully I do not believe that ALL Christians are so shortsighted and vile. My hope is that the arsehats will learn some tolerance from the good ones.


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