Reader Justin Scott, an Iowan who takes his politics seriously, has been going to meet-and-greets with a number of candidates to ask why atheists should consider supporting them.
Yesterday, he went to a rally for Sen. Marco Rubio rally and asked him why atheists ought to vote for him, especially when he’s putting out Jesus-loving ads like this one.
He dodged the question, making the case that atheists have the right to believe whatever they want, but Rubio will share his faith as he sees fit:
… I’m gonna share my faith, especially when I’m asked, because my faith influences who I am in every aspect of my life.
First of all, I believe you can’t really understand America unless you don’t understand… If you don’t believe that Judeo-Christian values influenced America, you don’t know history…
This nation was founded on the principle that our rights come from our Creator. If there’s no Creator, then where did your rights come from? And so that’s why it’s important for us to understand that. We’re gonna protect the right of Americans to continue to believe that.
We’re also gonna have a country where no one is forced to violate their conscience. Which means no one’s going to force you to believe in God. But no one’s gonna force me to stop talking about God.
I’m not gonna force you to pray, I’m not gonna force you to go to church, I’m not gonna force you to… espouse beliefs you don’t have. But no one’s gonna take away my right and your right to live out the teachings of your faith. No one.
Besides the fact that God didn’t write the Constitution (or the Declaration of Independence), none of this addressed Justin’s question. Protecting people’s freedom of religion is a given. Atheists aren’t taking that away from anybody. Of course Christians can believe what they want. So can atheists. That was never in doubt.
The question is really about where the line falls between church and state. Should Rubio be asking people to vote for him simply because he’s a Christian and not because of his ideas, as his last ad suggested? As President, would he be making religious pronouncements on behalf of the government?
Based on his answers, Rubio says he can’t get away from that because there’s no way for him to separate the two worlds.
He went on:
… I know that, if I’m lucky, I’ll get to live to be 85 or 90… but I’m more interested in eternity, and the ability to live forever with my Creator… That’s what I aspire to more than anything else.…
I believe that God, our Creator, became a man, and He came down to Earth and lived among us, suffered like a man would. Emotions. Physical suffering. Emotional suffering. Pain. Illness. Sickness. Sadness. And then He died. And He died to remove sins that we couldn’t remove up to that point. They could only be covered but they couldn’t be removed. And, as a result, I now have the free gift of the opportunity to live forever with my Creator. And I believe that passionately, and it influences every aspect of my life.
That’s… fucking frightening.
This is religious delusion at work: Rubio has no aspiration greater than living for eternity next to his fictional friend. Sure, let’s give him the nuclear codes. Why not. Let’s give control of the military to a man who cares more about the next life, not this one.
In every other civilized nation, those comments would be reason to keep him out of politics. In the United States, those are the magic words he needs to say to get elected to the highest office in the land.
Rubio then said it’s good that his faith influences him because that makes him do wonderful things, like love his neighbor.
I repeat: Rubio, who said his Supreme Court selections would unravel marriage equality and roll back transgender rights, thinks his God makes him more compassionate.
If that’s what God’s love looks like, I want nothing to do with it.
Not that any of you were thinking about supporting Rubio, but his response just solidifies the fact that he doesn’t care about what atheists want. He’s a President who cares about Christians more than everyone else. And if his faith ever conflicts with the Constitution, he’ll pick faith every time.