Atheists and Politics
I read in the paper today that in the state of Texas, where I reside, the state constitution prohibits people who do not believe in God from holding public office. Unbelievable! Of course I realize that the electorate is biased against atheists and agnostics, but I had no idea that an American state could legally discriminate against a candidate based on his/her lack of faith.
I’m new to the free-thought movement, so maybe some of you readers can help me out here. Is this the last frontier in the expansion in human rights? How can Americans be more bothered by a hypothetical candidate’s lack of faith than by Mitt Romney’s whacked-out Mormonism?
I found it rather hilarious the other day when a prominent Evangelical pastor made headlines by calling Mormonism a cult. That’s the pot calling the kettle black. How can people argue over imaginary things? I should know since I used to do it. But it seems so mystifying to me now.
Americans today say that they would be far more likely to vote for a Muslim, a Hindu or a Buddhist than they would for an atheist. How do we turn the tide?
The ironic thing is that American Christians are even more restrictive and narrow-minded than their tradition requires them to be. In the 1600’s Martin Luther saw no correlation between ruler’s religion and his ability to rule. He is alleged to have said, “I’d rather be ruled by a smart Turk than a stupid Christian.” I’m not sticking up for Luther or anything, but at least on this point he seems a little more open-minded than many 21st American Christians.