New Survey Says Being an Atheist is the Most Negative Trait for a Presidential Candidate

For decades now, Gallup has been asking voters about their dealbreakers when it comes to electing a President:

If your party nominated a generally well-qualified person for president who happened to be ________, would you vote for that person?

And every time, “atheist” has been at the bottom of the list. In 2012, there was cause for celebration simply because more than half of those surveyed said they wouldn’t hold atheism against a politician.

Yesterday, the Pew Research Center released the results of their own version of this question. They wanted to know which qualities would help and hurt potential 2016 presidential candidates.

They asked voters whether certain characteristics would make it more or less likely that a politician would get their votes. For example, if the candidate were a woman, 19% of those surveyed said they would be more inclined to vote for her while 9% said less, for a net positive of 10%.

So Pew ranked the characteristics from highest net positive traits (served in the military, was/is a governor) to the highest net negative (take a guess):

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Why More Graduate Schools Need Secular Student Groups

When I first become involved with the atheist movement, it was during college — the age when a lot of people I know first became activists. When I joined the board of the Secular Student Alliance, one of our main goals was to establish more groups on college campuses. We had fewer than 50 affiliated groups at the time.

While the organization’s mission has since changed (it’s now more focused on the quality of groups rather than merely quantity), that initial goal has been realized many times over. There are now more than 300 groups across the country:

It made perfect sense to want to create groups on college campuses. That was the age when students were more likely to want to meet/date/hang out with other atheists, they had the opportunity to get money from their school for their events, and they were really able to think critically about their own beliefs (without parental interference).

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Young Girl’s Life Could Be Saved with Chemotherapy, but Her Parents Prefer a Faith-Based Alternative

We hear too many stories about faith-healing parents who think prayer has a better chance of curing their sick children than modern medicine. Too often, those children die because of their parents’ faith-based negligence.

Makayla Sault (below) is an 11-year-old with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. It’s a treatable disease with a survival rate of nearly 90% — if you go through two years of chemotherapy. She obviously has a tough road of her, but getting the treatment at McMaster Children’s Hospital (in Ontario, Canada) may be her only viable option.



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Ken Ham Is Furious That My Book Will Be Handed Out to High School Students in Kentucky

Uh-oh. Either Creationist Ken Ham reads my site regularly, or his Google Alerts found me. Either way, he’s not happy that the Tri-State Freethinkers are giving away copies of my book The Young Atheist’s Survival Guide on the last day of classes in the Boone County school system in Kentucky.

Since Ham hasn’t read my book — it’s not anti-Christian at all and simply explains to all audiences how they can help young atheists — he has to resort to quoting excerpts from my blog that criticize his beliefs (without linking to them because FSM-forbid his readers make up their own minds about what I write). Still, thanks, Ken, for giving my critiques a new audience!

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A Compilation of Christopher Hitchens’ Best Comebacks

I never get tired of these, and it’s only part one:



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