Secular Coalition responds to Hillary Clinton’s claim that the next president should be a ‘praying person’

Secular Coalition responds to Hillary Clinton’s claim that the next president should be a ‘praying person’ September 9, 2016
Image: Gage Skidmore / Creative Commons
Image: Gage Skidmore / Creative Commons

During a speech at the National Baptist Convention, Hillary Clinton told the crowd that the next president should be a “praying person.”

She said the next president needs to be someone who will “pray with you and for you.”

This sparked a response from the Secular Coalition of America, responding that prayer is not a prerequisite to being president.

“Secretary Clinton’s recent comments reinforce the de facto religious test imposed on nonreligious Americans seeking elected office. Americans do not ‘need’ a candidate to pray for or with them. They need a candidate who will lead effectively and represent the values shared by Americans of all faiths and of no faith,” responded Sarah Levin, Senior Legislative Representative at the Secular Coalition. “At the Democratic National Convention, Secretary Clinton emphasized the importance of being inclusive and we were thrilled to see the esteemed Reverend Barber lead by example when he included ‘those who have no faith’ in his speech. If Secretary Clinton claims to stand for inclusion, we urge her to follow the Reverend’s example and start walking the walk.”

The Democratic Party, which holds the majority of nontheist voters in the two-party system does a terrible job of representing them. They have already been outed for thinking atheism is a good weapon to use in order to ruin electoral chances, and now, in an effort to pander for religious votes, claims that a president needs to pray.

The Secular Coalition, thankfully, isn’t standing for it.

“Our mission is to hold lawmakers accountable to their nonreligious constituents, both when they are right and when they are wrong,” said Larry Decker, Executive Director of the Secular Coalition for America. “Secretary Clinton received an ‘A’ on our presidential Voter Guides because she has consistently supported science-based public policy and defended the separation of church and state. However, this track record does not excuse her statement suggesting that prayer is a prerequisite for the presidency. There is a very real prejudice against nontheists holding public office in the United States and Clinton’s remarks serve to reinforce this harmful stigma.”

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