Keeping Albuquerque Atheist Free: City Council Member Runs On The Lack of Faith of His Opponent

harris200David PictureWe recently saw the outrage among fundamentalists when questions were raised whether a creationist can be a good mayor at St. Petersburg, here. Now Albuquerque City Councilor Don Harris is mailing voters to warn them that his opponent is . . . wait for it . . . an atheist. It appears that atheists cannot be good city council members since one cannot fill a pothole if your soul is empty of the Lord. The Godless office seeker, David Barbour, is shown on the right.

Harris sent out the mailer to inform people that “[Barbour] is a donor to Atheist organizations and speaker at Atheist events…”

Harris is truly a piece of work. Not only does he warn people that there is an atheist wanting to serve humanity, but Barbour has actually engaged in protests “even in foreign countries.” Oh my God. A man who exercised free speech in this and other countries wants to serve his community. Stone him, I say.

An atheist site asked Harris to explain what major speeches Barbour gave in support of atheism. Here is what was reported:


Harris responded to our post with information indicating that Barbour was a member of a Unitarian Universalist congregation, who gave a talk on atheism and donated money to a scholarship in honor of Charles Darwin.

So, the money he gave was in support of science education, not atheism alone.

And here’s a description of that terrible, horrible, no good, why-would-you-ever-want-to-vote-for-him? talk that he gave:

On July 2nd, 2003 Katherine Hepburn passed away. The world lost a fine person, an excellent actress and a confirmed atheist. This service explores Ms. Hepburn’s life, the positive aspects of atheism and the reasons why a Unitarian congregation is better off with some atheists and humanists. Along the way we find out about some atheist resources and what is happening locally in the atheist community.

I cannot believe that such a person got this close to serving on the Albuquerque city council.

Of course, Harris is following the rule books of both Democratic and Republican presidential candidates like Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, John McCain and Sarah Palin who ran on their faith and incorporated their religious beliefs as one of the reasons to vote for them. For an earlier column, click here.

What is astonishing is that Albuquerque’s alternative weekly paper, the Alibi, endorsed Harris. Whatever Barbour is lacking in policy, how can a newspaper endorse someone who engages in such campaigns? The Alibi needs to withdraw that endorsement if it is to retain any credibility as a newspaper, let alone an alternative newspaper.
For the story, click here.

16 thoughts on “Keeping Albuquerque Atheist Free: City Council Member Runs On The Lack of Faith of His Opponent”

  1. Wow that was odd. I just wrote an extremely long comment but after I clicked submit
    my comment didn’t show up. Grrrr… well I’m not writing all that over
    again. Anyhow, just wanted to say wonderful blog!

  2. “god has no place in his kingdom for all you people who vote for Harris.” steve morris

    you must be a prophet, since you speak on behalf of God

  3. god has no place in his kingdom for all you people who vote for Harris.

  4. Gyges,

    I understand that point. I am making a much deeper point. There are simply way too many people who do not honor the separation of church and state which is in our Constitution. Mr. Harris is an example of that. This is a basic tenant of our society. Obama’s faith based initiative also violates this principle. Anyone, of any religion who wants a theocracy does not understand this principle. I was using humor to make a point, but we must stand true to our Constitution. We see clearly the results of our failure in this regard.

    Of course it is not illegal for voters to base their choice on anything they wish, including seeing the face of a candidate on a taco. Still, no one may pretend they honor the Constitution while destroying it and expect to have that pretense ignored.

  5. There is quality journalism over there in the New Mexico Independent, “But lefties don’t seem to be falling all over themselves to support Barbour anyway. ”


    The Constitution doesn’t say that voters can’t decide based on religion. It’s generally a bad thing to base your choice on, but the Constitution is there to protect us against tyranny, not our own stupidity.

  6. Gyges,

    I agree with you. My point is this: Mr. Harris is the person proposing a religious test of office for his opponent. That means Mr. Harris neither understands nor respects our Constitution. It seems most of our elected officials and a great deal of our population has no respect for or understanding of our Constitution, otherwise, we would throw all the bums out!

  7. Jill,

    What I said about the Goose still holds for the Gander. Just because he’s legally able to run for office doesn’t mean he can get people to vote for him.

    A man’s religion should stay out of it, unless he plans on using his office to advance his religion. That was the crux of the issue with the Young Earth Creationist, he had already shown himself more then willing to attempt to use the State to force his beliefs on others.

    My response to the rumors that President Obama is a Muslim has always been “so?”

  8. AY,

    I’ve seen that quote attributed in a couple of different forms to both Mr. Lincoln, and S. Parkes Cadman.

  9. “Question with boldness even the existence of God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason than that of blindfolded fear.”

    –Thomas Jefferson

  10. Apparently, Mr. Harris is unable to read. “The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.”

  11. AY,

    I like that. I may occasionally substitute cat for dog, but I like it.

  12. So if an atheist does not believe in a being, then why do they meet?

    Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful. – Seneca the Younger

    I read this somewhere along time ago and it is true today. “I would not give anything for a man’s religion whose dog is not the very better for it.”

    I liked it then and it seems appropriate now.

  13. “It appears that atheists cannot be good city council members since one cannot fill a pothole if your soul is empty of the Lord.”

    What shall become of us pur atheists. We caint fill potholes nur foxholes…

  14. This is a very good example of the pernicious effects of the efforts of the Christian right to merge church and state. If anything, it emphasizes the importance of maintaining a bright line of separation. Mr. Harris would undoubtedly applaud the principals behind the project to convert the bible into a conservative political document.

  15. Oh God, give us atheists the strength to endure this pestilence of theists.

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