Saturday Night Live Tackles Whether Black People Would Still Support President Obama if He Left Christianity

One of the sketches from last night’s “Saturday Night Live” featured three African-Americans discussing how President Obama is doing. The running joke was that no matter what Obama did, his support from the black community would never fade.

Actors Jay Pharoah and Kerry Washington consider dropping their support for Barack Obama

The best exchange involved contemplating what would happen if Obama became an atheist (at the 3:38 mark):

Actor Kenan Thompson: We move now to “What Would It Take?” Our weekly segment where we ask: What would it take for Barack Obama to lose your support? Would Barack Obama lose your support if he left the Christian church and converted?

Actress Kerry Washington: Converted to what?

Thompson: Islam.

Washington: … As-salamu alaykum, Barack.

Thompson: Judaism.

Washington: … Mazel tov, Baruch.

Thompson: Scientology.

Washington: … All hail Xenu, my thetan brother.

Thompson: What about Orthodox Judaism, where he wears the hat, the long coat, and everything?

Actor Jay Pharoah: The coat and everything? I mean, he’d just look like he was in Run–D.M.C. So that’s cool, you know. That’s fine.

Thompson: Right, right… well, what if he becomes an atheist?

Washington: Mm-mmm! No no, no no no. I do not think I could trust a godless man!

Thompson: So does he lose your support?

Washington: He does not.

Score! Forget what I said in the last post. Obama could become an atheist and, still, many communities wouldn’t even think about crossing over to the GOP.

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • islandbrewer

    I’m not sure if I should, but I find that pretty hilarious.

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/chidy/ chicago dyke, TOWAN

    that was cute.

    i’m one of those rare black folks who is not thrilled with him. i’m far too progressive and find his “centrist liberal” policies disgraceful. i am glad that america as a whole has grown up enough to elect a black man. that’s Major. so really, i’m more proud of american whites than i am of the President. also, i think he’s an asshole, because of the way he once treated a friend of mine. but i can respect folks who like him. a lot of good things have happened for gays since he was elected, too. i don’t deny that at all.

    • GubbaBumpkin

      a lot of good things have happened for gays since he was elected, too. i don’t deny that at all.

      Not that he led the charge on that issue.
      He is too far to the right for me. But then I have to lean back and ask, is he better than McCain/Palin or Romney/Ryan? The answer to that is hell yes.

      • islandbrewer

        Watch the whole clip (hitting “play” actually starts it in the middle).

        “Has there been a time in the past month when you wished you would have voted for Mitt Romney?”

        *pregnant pause*

        *gutbusting laughter*

        “I always like to start with a joke.”

      • bugdejour

        So you approve of a president who lied to the majority of Americans just to get reelected? You have no morals. I;m not gay, so he hasn’t helped me at all.

    • just a guy

      “a lot of good things have happened for gays”

      gay people, maybe? dont make us sound like a different species. i know it wasn’t the intended reaction, but shit like this really bothers me

    • JET

      I have generally been a supporter of the President, although I believe that there’s not much difference between him and a progressive Republican. I support the ACA, but would prefer single payer. I gave him some credit because I suppose you have to start somewhere. That being said, my opinion of him took a dive with all the corporate exemptions and the “If you like your current healthcare policy, you can keep your current healthcare policy” sound bites. That’s just political lying to further an agenda and it pissed me off.

    • Robert Sloan

      I can understand how you feel. I remember being really angry at Johnson for the Vietnam War, but forty years later I appreciate what he did in other areas. It took me awhile.

    • McAtheist

      Up here in Kanukistan we have universal health care, a guy called Tommy Douglas once thought it was a good idea that all Canadians should have access to health care. So he made it happen.
      He said,
      ” Seventy years ago we pledged to provide health care for every man, woman and child, regardless of race, colour or financial status… and by God we’re going to do it ! “.
      He also said,
      “I felt that no boy should have to depend either for his leg or his life upon the ability of his parents to raise enough money to bring a first-class surgeon to his bedside”
      Mr. Obama may be a disappointment in some of his policies, but if he did nothing else except give Americans and their children access to health care, that would be more than enough.
      I will never understand why Americans have allowed drug companies, insurance carriers and employers to determine the level of health care available to them, if it is in fact available. In these parts we let doctors and surgeons make decisions about a patient’s medical care.
      I also never quite understood why some US politicians think that universal healthcare for all Americans, regardless of race, gender, religion, age, ability, or financial means is a bad thing.
      Maybe it should have been called ‘Democratic Health Care’ instead of ‘Socialized Medicine’.

      • McAtheist

        Having trouble with posting, sorry about non-existent paragraph breaks

    • HollowGolem

      I wouldn’t feel too proud of American whites.
      Obama only got 39% of our vote in 2012.
      It just didn’t matter as much because we’re dwindling as a voting bloc. Which I’m okay with.

      http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-fix/wp/2012/11/08/president-obama-and-the-white-vote-no-problem/

      …since apparently 89% of the Republican party is white, the reduction of the segment of the population that’s white likely means losses for the GOP. And that makes the world a better place.

  • Sancheti

    This not an absence of rationality, this is just selfish nature, which no one cure not even an education. And it leads to ghettoized mentality.

    • ShoeUnited

      You use words, but I cannot comprehend your meaning.

      Are you a robot?

    • tracy two crows

      ” I hate Obama and Black people because POTATO!” = Your entire post.Seriously,see a doctor about those Fox-bies,you need to be inoculated,or at least quarantined for the publics’ own good and your own sanity…

    • Oranje

      Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the Fox News version of Deepak Chopra!

      How quantum!

  • RandomPerson

    So, from what I’m getting, he will still support him but won’t trust him? That doesn’t make sense to me nor does it seem like we won something. It just sounds like they’re blindly supporting him.

    • Ibis3

      Um. That’s the joke. It’s sending up the racist trope that black Americans are all foolish dullards who would support a politician (specifically Obama) no matter what as long as he or she has the right skin colour. It’s also secondarily satirizing the idea that any religion is acceptable and interchangeable in politics, but outright atheism is a step too far.

    • Conuly

      Which politicians, exactly, DO you trust? You have to support some of them, if only because they aren’t as bad as the others, but that doesn’t mean you have to TRUST them.

      • The Watcher

        I trust a great many politicians. But most of those whom I support I don’t trust and vice versa.

  • Robert W Ahrens

    I would make the comment that I don’t readily believe Obama is or is not on a particular spot on the political spectrum. He is espousing and pushing centrist policies – actually centrist CONSERVATIVE policies – because in the current political environment, that’s about all one can get passed, with the outsized and overdone influence of the far right wing. I’d like to see what he would push if we managed to gain control of the House and obtain a filibuster-proof Senate in 2014.

    • meko

      It probably wouldn’t be that different from 2009-2010. Keep in mind – the Senate rules are decided by the Senate, not the Constitution. They could have gotten rid of secret holds or the filibuster, or even required Senators to do the standing and talking filibuster.

    • Randay

      When Obama had a double majority, he didn’t repeal the Patriot Act nor end the Bush tax-cuts for the rich, among other things he could have done but didn’t.


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