Bernie Sanders on Sunday went on CNN to respond to the 20,000 leaked DNC emails, some of which suggested the DNC planned to attack him for supposedly being an atheist to sway some Christian voters in southern states during the primary.
In an email sent in early May of 2016, DNC Chief Financial Officer Brad Marshall said that it might “make several points difference to my [Southern Baptist peeps]” in West Virginia and Kentucky if they could “get someone to ask” if he believed in a god.
Nothing eventually came of this suggestion, even with CEO Amy Dacey saying “AMEN” to the idea, but it is quite telling of the desperation many in the Democratic Party may have been feeling to ensure Hillary Clinton won the nomination. It’s also quite telling of how the DNC views atheists in America, or at least how the DNC thinks Democratic Christian voters view atheists.
During the CNN interview, Sanders repeated what he has been saying since he was first asked about his religions beliefs, “I’m not an atheist.” He identifies as culturally Jewish but that organized religion is not important to him.
The Senator went on to say that it was an “outrage” that the DNC was essentially out to get him from the start. For months, Bernie Sanders’ campaign and his supporters claimed that the DNC was violating its own charter by seeking to “undermine” them and help Clinton.
Despite all this, Bernie Sanders still showed his support for Hillary Clinton, who he endorsed only a few weeks ago, saying that she was much better qualified to be President than businessman Donald Trump (no duh).
In other news, CFO Brad Marshall took to Facebook to apologize for his email. It wasn’t through official (or even public) channels, as it seems the DNC is doing its best to just ignore this whole issue. It was through his private Facebook account that was set to private, but Politico managed to snag a copy of the post through a source:
“I deeply regret that my insensitive, emotional emails would cause embarrassment to the DNC, the Chairwoman, and all of the staffers who worked hard to make the primary a fair and open process. The comments expressed do not reflect my beliefs nor do they reflect the beliefs of the DNC and its employees. I apologize to those I offended.”
Nowhere does he apologize directly to Sen. Bernie Sanders, his supporters, or the millions of atheist Americans out there (who by and large support the Democratic Party). No, it’s just to the DNC, the Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, and to “those I offended.” Yeah, whatever.
The Democratic Party certainly has a long way to come before it will fully accept atheists into its ranks. It’s already accepted the LGBTQ community, so what’s stopping it from accepting atheists?
Sure, 40% of Americans say they would not vote for an atheist for President, but maybe if a major political party actually openly accepted us it wouldn’t be an issue. Maybe if they didn’t treat atheism behind the scenes as something to be worthy of an attack against one of its own candidates, that number might go down significantly like it has for Jews, blacks, and lesbians and gays.
Hint hint, Democrats.