#1 Posted by Contrarian (1143 posts) -


#2 Edited by Contrarian (1143 posts) -

The thing that always strikes me about America is that is pretty much the most religious country in the world, leaving out Sharia law countries. The absolute overload you hear from Americans across the board about their faith in God is staggering to us in other Western nations, who long ago, stopped caring about religion.

Now we have had a Black President, things have changed as not many would have seen that coming even 10 years ago. I thought you would get a woman President first. But Obama is a Christian, even if too many stupid people actually believe he is a closet Muslim.

Next we have a Presidential race that pits that Black Christian against a member of a religious cult. But, it is a Christian cult, so that kind of makes it okay. Let's not mince words here, Mormon is a cult. I studied extensively within the church and still have Mormon friends. I am not anti-Mormon per se, but they are a fringe group at best. Any one who studies up on its creation would see it for the falsehood that it is.

That kind of leaves us with the Female President to go, but what will there be as a first after that? A gay Christian or a straight Atheist (leaving out a Scientologist or heaven forbid, an actual Muslim). Now, I would vote for anyone who is intelligent and looks like they could lead, whilst leaving their religious bias aside. We have a female Atheist leader of our country. However, I really don't think Americans can vote in enough numbers to elect an Atheist. The media would melt down. Not that they would like a gay President, but at least they could hang onto that person's Christianity to feel a little more comforted. Americans love to praise God.

Do you think Americans could vote for an Atheist? Would an Atheist have even the slightest chance? Would that Atheist stand a chance against a gay Christian? In 50 years time perhaps? I personally don't see it in my time.

A Gallup Poll study on the subject for interest:

The 2006 University of Minnesota study made a lot news about its revelation of how atheists are the most despised minority in America, but this wasn't news to atheists — it was just the most recent in a long series of surveys showing that Americas are very bigoted and prejudiced against atheists. For as long as organizations have been asking Americans about atheists, Americans have been responding that they wouldn't treat atheists as equals to theists and Christians.

A 1999 Gallup poll conducted to determine Americans' willingness to tolerate a Jewish president (Joseph Lieberman was the Democratic candidate for Vice President at the time). Here are the percentages of people saying they would refuse to vote for "a generally well-qualified person for president" on the basis of some characteristic; in parenthesis are the figures for earlier years:

    Catholic: 4% (1937: 30%)
    Black: 5% (1958: 63%, 1987: 21%)
    Jewish: 6% (1937: 47%)
    Baptist: 6%
    Woman: 8%
    Mormon: 17%
    Muslim: 38%
    Gay: 37% (1978: 74%)
    Atheist: 48%

Gallup has been asking people about whether they would vote for atheists for president for quite some time. Here are the numbers who have said "no" over the years:

    February 1999: 48%
    August 1987: 48%
    April 1983: 51%
    July 1978: 53%
    December 1959: 74%
    September 1958: 77%
    August 1958: 75%

It might be argued that there is some cause for hope here, since the number of Americans who would refuse to vote for someone solely on the basis of being an atheist has dropped from 75% to "merely" 48% over the course of 40 years. It's not much hope, though. First, the numbers of Americans whose prejudice would prevent them from voting for members of other minorities has dropped much farther much faster over the same period of time. Second, the numbers of those prejudiced against atheists hasn't really dropped in the past couple of decades — almost all the progress was made between 1959 and 1978.

Finally, other studies and surveys indicate that prejudice against atheists is going back up. A March, 2007 survey done by Newsweek shows that 62% of people would refuse to vote for any candidate admitting to being an atheist. Republicans were, predictably, the most bigoted at 78%, followed by Democrats at 60% and independents at 45%. Among those surveyed, 47% claimed that America is more accepting of atheists than in the past. I wonder where they got that idea? The only positive results from this survey were that 68% of the people felt that atheists could be moral — but this begs the question of why people won't vote for atheists.

In 2003, the Pew Research Center conducted a poll on "religion and public life" which asked people about their attitudes towards a variety of groups, including atheists. People's opinions of atheists break down:

    Very Favorable: 7%
    Mostly Favorable: 27%
    Mostly Unfavorable: 19%
    Very Unfavorable: 33%

So, only 34% of Americans have at least a mostly favorable attitude towards atheists; 52% have a mostly unfavorable or worse attitude. Opinions about people who are not religious are better:

    Very Favorable: 9%
    Mostly Favorable: 41%
    Mostly Unfavorable: 19%
    Very Unfavorable: 14%

So, 50% of Americans have at least a mostly favorable attitude towards the irreligious and just 33% have a mostly unfavorable (or worse) attitude towards them. Compare these figures with attitudes towards Muslims:

    Very Favorable: 9%
    Mostly Favorable: 38%
    Mostly Unfavorable: 19%
    Very Unfavorable: 12%

Muslims are thus regarded a bit worse than the non-religious, but much better than atheists. Attitudes towards "Muslim Americans" were even better than this. All of these attitudes translated into whether people are willing to vote for a person for president. Here are the percentages of Americans who, according to this Pew Research Center survey, would refuse to vote for someone based on the relevant characteristic:

    Catholic: 8%
    Jewish: 10%
    Evangelical Christian: 15%
    Muslim: 38%
    Atheist: 50%

The 50% who would refuse to vote for an atheist is higher than the 48% who answered the same in a 1999 Gallup survey, suggesting that perhaps attitudes towards atheists are getting worse. These overall American attitudes are largely, but not entirely, the product of Christian attitudes. A 1995 study done by Barna revealed that the prejudice and bigotry of born-again Christians towards atheists was almost universal, but still very high among non-Christians.

Here are the numbers of born-again Christians who regard the impact of these groups as negative:

    Islam: 71%
    Buddhism: 76%
    Scientology: 81%
    Atheism: 92%

Here are the numbers of non-Christians who view the impact of the same groups as negative:

    Islam: 24%
    Buddhism: 22%
    Scientology: 30%
    Atheism: 50%

There is a large drop for each group, but the drop for atheists is smallest and the final number of people who remain prejudiced against atheists is significantly higher than for every other group — so much higher, in fact, that non-Christians are more prejudiced against atheists, relatively speaking, than they are against the other groups. Born-again Christians are more prejudiced in absolute terms, but they are generally more prejudiced against everyone.

#3 Posted by Morningstar (2150 posts) -

World will end before you get either I would think.

#4 Edited by Flawed_System (388 posts) -

I don't like the tone of this thread; it's rather condescending, overly sarcastic, and it makes sweeping generalizations. This thread will not end well.

To answer: As far as I know no other country has had a gay or atheist leader either. What's the excuse for every other country?

Also, there's never been a strong atheist or gay contender. Thus, none have been elected.

#5 Posted by stonepawfox (236 posts) -

i vote for gay, because you can always get a dude who comes into office thinking he's straight and then finds out/reveals later that he's gay. i don't think many people have a dramatic coming out of the closet as an atheist reveal.

#6 Edited by Sooty (8082 posts) -

@Flawed_System said:

I don't like the tone of this thread. I think this will not end well in the near future.

To answer: As far as I know no other country has had a gay or atheist leader either. It may happen when England has a gay/lesbian/atheist King or Queen.

I don't think the atheist thing in England is of any significance, being gay probably isn't that big a deal either. No atheist leader is more a by chance thing than people being unwilling to vote I'd imagine, religion is mocked constantly here. (England)

Reginald D. Hunter said it best "America is still impressed by religion, where as England has gotten over it a little bit"

The two go hand in hand for the US. Religious zealots will despise both gay and atheist people, of course there's plenty of religious folk that are cool with either of them, but there's still too many ignorant people.

Edit: Also you should mean Prime Minister because the King/Queen actually seem to do absolutely fuck all for the most part.

#7 Posted by Contrarian (1143 posts) -

@Flawed_System said:

I don't like the tone of this thread. I think this will not end well in the near future.

To answer: As far as I know no other country has had a gay or atheist leader either. It may happen when England has a gay/lesbian/atheist King or Queen.

It isn't about bashing anyone. It is that Americans are very religious and I really wonder about the probability of an Atheist President. And yes, Australia has an Atheist leader, a female at that.

#8 Posted by TheDudeOfGaming (6078 posts) -

Atheist. Most presidents are i think, they only use religion to get the votes, so that already happened.

#9 Posted by Akeldama (4244 posts) -

I'd be willing to bet we have already had a president who was an atheist who claimed he was a Christian just to avoid the hassle. Probably had a gay president do the same.

#10 Posted by Subject2Change (2966 posts) -

There has been Atheist governors and such, religion plays less of an influence than sexually in America. Someones religion not a religious group. Unfortunately most of the USA is full of bigots and will never vote in a gay president, at least in my lifetime unfortunately.

#11 Posted by Hizang (8532 posts) -

Obama could be bi-sexual, there is no proof either way.

#12 Posted by TaliciaDragonsong (8698 posts) -

Atheist for sure.
 
I'm thinking a lot of simpletons will simply shoot themselves, or others, if there's ever a gay president.
Silly.

#13 Edited by Contrarian (1143 posts) -

@TheDudeOfGaming said:

Atheist. Most presidents are i think, they only use religion to get the votes, so that already happened.

@Akeldama said:

I'd be willing to bet we have already had a president who was an atheist who claimed he was a Christian just to avoid the hassle. Probably had a gay president do the same.

You would think they would admit it after they finished in office. Still, some would want to maintain their legacy, so I could see them keeping the secret to their grave. Still, I am talking about the openly gay and Atheist.

#14 Posted by mandude (2669 posts) -

I often wonder about the integrity of politicians claiming religion. I halfway think most in Ireland are atheist, but they don't admit it, since they still want old people votes.

#15 Posted by Contrarian (1143 posts) -

@Hizang said:

Obama could be bi-sexual, there is no proof either way.

Either way, I heard Joe Biden say Obama has a big stick. Silly Joe, of course he has, he's black.

#16 Posted by FourWude (2261 posts) -

A stinking homogay commie in the US of A..... over my cold, dead body.

#17 Posted by PSNgamesun (406 posts) -

the world will end before that happens that for dame sure

#18 Posted by Azteck (7449 posts) -

Why can't we have a Gay Atheist president for the US? That'd be exactly what they need

#19 Posted by Contrarian (1143 posts) -

@mandude said:

I often wonder about the integrity of politicians claiming religion. I halfway think most in Ireland are atheist, but they don't admit it, since they still want old people votes.

Didn't Tony Blair come out of avoiding religion after office and claim what a big Christian he was? It seems that religion in England is more a liability - keep it to yourself stuff. I imagine Ireland as being very religious though.

#20 Posted by Contrarian (1143 posts) -

@Azteck said:

Why can't we have a Gay Atheist president for the US? That'd be exactly what they need

Them folk down South would vote for that in droves!

#21 Posted by Azteck (7449 posts) -
@Contrarian said:

@Azteck said:

Why can't we have a Gay Atheist president for the US? That'd be exactly what they need

Them folk down South would vote for that in droves!

Those guys love gay people and atheists. It can only go well
#22 Posted by Tim_the_Corsair (3065 posts) -

I'll be impressed if the US is still around in its current form long enough for this to be a concern to be honest.

If games have taught me anything, it's that you guys are going to get invaded by Russians, North Koreans, the Chinese, and possibly aliens of some kind.

Oh yeah and mythological creatures, if that one shitty game was anything to go by.

#23 Posted by Contrarian (1143 posts) -

@Tim_the_Corsair said:

I'll be impressed if the US is still around in its current form long enough for this to be a concern to be honest.

If games have taught me anything, it's that you guys are going to get invaded by Russians, North Koreans, the Chinese, and possibly aliens of some kind.

Oh yeah and mythological creatures, if that one shitty game was anything to go by.

You forgot Zombies!

#24 Posted by ez123 (1956 posts) -

I think the people who would vote for an Atheist would also vote for a Muslim if he/she was qualified so I see both as equally unlikely.

An openly gay Christian seems much more likely to happen first. At least they're Christian, I honestly think that's the #1 criteria for people here.

@Subject2Change said:

There has been Atheist governors and such, religion plays less of an influence than sexually in America. Someones religion not a religious group. Unfortunately most of the USA is full of bigots and will never vote in a gay president, at least in my lifetime unfortunately.

Whuh? The only reason sexuality has any influence is because of religion.

Also, where are all of these atheist governors?

Online
#25 Posted by Contrarian (1143 posts) -

@ez123 said:

I think the people who would vote for an Atheist would also vote for a Muslim if he/she was qualified so I see both as equally unlikely.

An openly gay Christian seems much more likely to happen first. At least they're Christian, I honestly think that's the #1 criteria for people here.

@Subject2Change said:

There has been Atheist governors and such, religion plays less of an influence than sexually in America. Someones religion not a religious group. Unfortunately most of the USA is full of bigots and will never vote in a gay president, at least in my lifetime unfortunately.

Whuh? The only reason sexuality has any influence is because of religion.

Also, where are all of these atheist governors?

Jesse Ventura was the only one Google helped me with - Minnesota. He was a wrestler right? Celebrity had something to do with it if so.

#26 Posted by face15 (1297 posts) -

Neither never.

#27 Posted by AhmadMetallic (18955 posts) -
@Contrarian said:

A gay Christian or a straight Atheist (leaving out a Scientologist or heaven forbid, an actual Muslim).

What does that mean?
#28 Posted by sungahymn (1007 posts) -

Atheist, unless the person kept his/her homosexuality a secret.

#29 Posted by Contrarian (1143 posts) -

@AhmadMetallic said:

@Contrarian said:

A gay Christian or a straight Atheist (leaving out a Scientologist or heaven forbid, an actual Muslim).

What does that mean?

Sarcasm ..... that Americans are generally too bigoted and fearful (irrationally) of anything Muslim. I hope you didn't take that as an insult to Islam? It is the very opposite. It would take a very soft, ultra moderate Muslim to even get started.

#30 Posted by SeriouslyNow (8534 posts) -

@FourWude said:

A stinking homogay commie in the US of A..... over my cold, dead body.

@TaliciaDragonsong said:

Atheist for sure. I'm thinking a lot of simpletons will simply shoot themselves, or others, if there's ever a gay president. Silly.

Just wonderful.

#31 Posted by Contrarian (1143 posts) -

Y'all might find this interesting - thank you Google:

The 2006 University of Minnesota study made a lot news about its revelation of how atheists are the most despised minority in America, but this wasn't news to atheists — it was just the most recent in a long series of surveys showing that Americas are very bigoted and prejudiced against atheists. For as long as organizations have been asking Americans about atheists, Americans have been responding that they wouldn't treat atheists as equals to theists and Christians.

A 1999 Gallup poll conducted to determine Americans' willingness to tolerate a Jewish president (Joseph Lieberman was the Democratic candidate for Vice President at the time). Here are the percentages of people saying they would refuse to vote for "a generally well-qualified person for president" on the basis of some characteristic; in parenthesis are the figures for earlier years:

    Catholic: 4% (1937: 30%)
    Black: 5% (1958: 63%, 1987: 21%)
    Jewish: 6% (1937: 47%)
    Baptist: 6%
    Woman: 8%
    Mormon: 17%
    Muslim: 38%
    Gay: 37% (1978: 74%)
    Atheist: 48%

Gallup has been asking people about whether they would vote for atheists for president for quite some time. Here are the numbers who have said "no" over the years:

    February 1999: 48%
    August 1987: 48%
    April 1983: 51%
    July 1978: 53%
    December 1959: 74%
    September 1958: 77%
    August 1958: 75%

It might be argued that there is some cause for hope here, since the number of Americans who would refuse to vote for someone solely on the basis of being an atheist has dropped from 75% to "merely" 48% over the course of 40 years. It's not much hope, though. First, the numbers of Americans whose prejudice would prevent them from voting for members of other minorities has dropped much farther much faster over the same period of time. Second, the numbers of those prejudiced against atheists hasn't really dropped in the past couple of decades — almost all the progress was made between 1959 and 1978.

Finally, other studies and surveys indicate that prejudice against atheists is going back up. A March, 2007 survey done by Newsweek shows that 62% of people would refuse to vote for any candidate admitting to being an atheist. Republicans were, predictably, the most bigoted at 78%, followed by Democrats at 60% and independents at 45%. Among those surveyed, 47% claimed that America is more accepting of atheists than in the past. I wonder where they got that idea? The only positive results from this survey were that 68% of the people felt that atheists could be moral — but this begs the question of why people won't vote for atheists.

In 2003, the Pew Research Center conducted a poll on "religion and public life" which asked people about their attitudes towards a variety of groups, including atheists. People's opinions of atheists break down:

    Very Favorable: 7%
    Mostly Favorable: 27%
    Mostly Unfavorable: 19%
    Very Unfavorable: 33%

So, only 34% of Americans have at least a mostly favorable attitude towards atheists; 52% have a mostly unfavorable or worse attitude. Opinions about people who are not religious are better:

    Very Favorable: 9%
    Mostly Favorable: 41%
    Mostly Unfavorable: 19%
    Very Unfavorable: 14%

So, 50% of Americans have at least a mostly favorable attitude towards the irreligious and just 33% have a mostly unfavorable (or worse) attitude towards them. Compare these figures with attitudes towards Muslims:

    Very Favorable: 9%
    Mostly Favorable: 38%
    Mostly Unfavorable: 19%
    Very Unfavorable: 12%

Muslims are thus regarded a bit worse than the non-religious, but much better than atheists. Attitudes towards "Muslim Americans" were even better than this. All of these attitudes translated into whether people are willing to vote for a person for president. Here are the percentages of Americans who, according to this Pew Research Center survey, would refuse to vote for someone based on the relevant characteristic:

    Catholic: 8%
    Jewish: 10%
    Evangelical Christian: 15%
    Muslim: 38%
    Atheist: 50%

The 50% who would refuse to vote for an atheist is higher than the 48% who answered the same in a 1999 Gallup survey, suggesting that perhaps attitudes towards atheists are getting worse. These overall American attitudes are largely, but not entirely, the product of Christian attitudes. A 1995 study done by Barna revealed that the prejudice and bigotry of born-again Christians towards atheists was almost universal, but still very high among non-Christians.

Here are the numbers of born-again Christians who regard the impact of these groups as negative:

    Islam: 71%
    Buddhism: 76%
    Scientology: 81%
    Atheism: 92%

Here are the numbers of non-Christians who view the impact of the same groups as negative:

    Islam: 24%
    Buddhism: 22%
    Scientology: 30%
    Atheism: 50%

There is a large drop for each group, but the drop for atheists is smallest and the final number of people who remain prejudiced against atheists is significantly higher than for every other group — so much higher, in fact, that non-Christians are more prejudiced against atheists, relatively speaking, than they are against the other groups. Born-again Christians are more prejudiced in absolute terms, but they are generally more prejudiced against everyone.

#32 Posted by mandude (2669 posts) -

@Contrarian said:

@mandude said:

I often wonder about the integrity of politicians claiming religion. I halfway think most in Ireland are atheist, but they don't admit it, since they still want old people votes.

Didn't Tony Blair come out of avoiding religion after office and claim what a big Christian he was? It seems that religion in England is more a liability - keep it to yourself stuff. I imagine Ireland as being very religious though.

Ireland hasn't been religious for a long time. A lot of people who claim Catholicism use it similarly to the whole Jewish ethnicity thing, which I assume is a remnant of making themselves distinct from Protestants. I've never actually met a practicing (or believing) Catholic my own age. Even the old pagan culture is outlasting the religion...

#33 Posted by ez123 (1956 posts) -

@Contrarian: There's this at the bottom of his wikipedia page from 2011 on Howard Stern.

"Actually Howard, I can't even run for office anymore. [...] Like George [Takei] I've come out of the closet. [...] I'm an atheist. [...] I don't believe you can be an atheist and admit it and get elected in our country."

So ... nope.

Online
#34 Posted by tescovee (356 posts) -

You could probably add Jewish to that too, Im almost 100% sure ill never see one of those three become president. But of those three I would bet on a gay individual.

#35 Posted by RazielCuts (2952 posts) -

@Sooty:

#36 Edited by RPGee (759 posts) -

I'll answer this how I answer all questions about voting: no. Fuck politicians. I can support some politics to an extent, but ask me to vote and I'll ask you to go jump.

Also, don't know how you feel, but I'd say we have some pretty slim pickings right now. Can't say anyone's winning me over in the "I don't feel like you'll mislead me" category.

EDIT: Just to clarify, I'm also Australian.

#37 Posted by Contrarian (1143 posts) -

@AhmadMetallic: Seems I was wrong on the Muslim vs Atheist thing. Americans would likely vote a Muslim President over an Atheist one. I probably shouldn't be, but I am surprised.

@RPGeesus: Politicians have always misled us. They say anything to get voted in, no matter who they are. I don't vote for either major party, I vote Independent or Green. Trying to dislodge the duopoly a little.

#38 Posted by egg (1456 posts) -

I read halfway, but what is with irreligious and atheist being treated differently? Atheism isn't basically just a title for being irreligious?

#39 Posted by RPGee (759 posts) -

#40 Posted by Paulus (175 posts) -
#41 Posted by ShiftyMagician (2129 posts) -

I wish you didn't provide the C option. I would be curious of the results of a pure 'one or the other' poll as C just lets people run away from the issue privately if they choose to vote in my opinion.

#42 Posted by Contrarian (1143 posts) -

@RPGeesus said:

He's a dick.

@egg said:

I read halfway, but what is with irreligious and atheist being treated differently? Atheism isn't basically just a title for being irreligious?

Perhaps the irreligious believe in God, but not religion? Atheism denies the existence of God. The whole denying God thing bothers religious people most.

#43 Edited by Contrarian (1143 posts) -

@Paulus said:

@Flawed_System: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elio_Di_Rupo

According to the wikipedia article he also describes himself as an atheist, didn't know that.

Wow, an openly gay atheist leader of a significant nation. Didn't know that either. Go Belgium.

@ShiftyMagician said:

I wish you didn't provide the C option. I would be curious of the results of a pure 'one or the other' poll as C just lets people run away from the issue privately if they choose to vote in my opinion.

I added it at the last moment thinking people would rag on me for not giving another option. We will consider C to be the fence sitters, the undecided.

#44 Posted by Jimbo (9804 posts) -

@Contrarian said:

@Jimbo said:

Gay Christians just want to have their cock and eat it too if you ask me.

No, they want to eat their cock and have it too!

I never understood why people say 'can't have your cake and eat it too'. I can have cake and eat it, however, I 'can't eat my cake and have it too' as the cake is gone when I eat it. I always say it the 'correct' way and people correct me. You are all saying it wrong!!!!!!!!!!

You contrarian motherfucker. You've got my vote.

#45 Posted by Jimbo (9804 posts) -

@egg said:

I read halfway, but what is with irreligious and atheist being treated differently? Atheism isn't basically just a title for being irreligious?

You can believe in 'God'/gods/a creator without being religious. Or you could be agnostic.

#46 Posted by Positrark (316 posts) -

I'm pretty sure our prime minister Jens Stoltenberg (Norway) is atheist, at least if his Wikipedia article is to be trusted. Regardless, the fact that I don't know says a lot about the importance of religion in Norway with regards to winning an election, i.e. an atheist would have no problem winning. It frankly makes me proud that the leader of my country doesn't believe in fairytales. I'm pretty sure Obama is a closet atheist as well, or certainly a very moderate Christian.

#47 Posted by TaliciaDragonsong (8698 posts) -
@SeriouslyNow said:

@FourWude said:

A stinking homogay commie in the US of A..... over my cold, dead body.

@TaliciaDragonsong said:

Atheist for sure. I'm thinking a lot of simpletons will simply shoot themselves, or others, if there's ever a gay president. Silly.

Just wonderful.

I think I can see the future!
Or that was just common sense! ^^
#48 Posted by Contrarian (1143 posts) -

@Positrark: Religion just shouldn't matter. I admit that I do not trust a strongly religious politician. I want them to vote free of religious influence - gay marriage, abortion and euthanasia for starters. They have nothing to do with religion.

Why is that when I read you are from Norway, I started reading it with an accent in my head? Silly me. It wasn't a mocking accent.

#49 Posted by McGhee (6094 posts) -

The number of atheists in the U.S. is growing rapidly. Just give it another generation or two and things are going to look quite different here.

#50 Posted by Contrarian (1143 posts) -

@McGhee said:

The number of atheists in the U.S. is growing rapidly. Just give it another generation or two and things are going to look quite different here.

I hope so. Maybe the death of mainstream media may aid in that cause. Too many people believe what they are told to believe - Fox, I am looking at you!