Gallup: 54 Percent Of Americans Would Vote For Atheist For President

sisteen chapel ceilingThere is good news and bad news in the latest Gallup poll on atheist politicians. For the second time in less than a year, Gallup reports that a majority of Americans would vote for an atheist for president. However, the 54 percent who would vote for an atheist are offset by 43 percent who said they would not vote for an atheist even if she or he was well-qualified.

The 54 percent polled is a remarkable advance since in 1958 only 18 percent said they could vote for a nonbeliever. Not unexpectedly, the highest opposition became from Republicans (58 percent).

For those who argue for faith-based politics, the poll is likely to fuel their warnings of a secular conspiracy. However, for those of us who believe in a high wall of separation, the poll shows that people could be finally moving away from the use of faith by politicians to secure votes and to obscure their record. This is not a trend to reject faith. This remains a deeply faithful country. Rather, it is a slow recognition that civic leadership does not depend on leaders necessarily believing in your God or any God. Notably, there are also many secular leaders who are deeply religious but believe in strong separation of church and state principles. We have many leaders of faith who are deserving of support and this poll suggests that more Americans are willing to consider leaders who are agnostic or atheist rather than impose a religious litmus test. Yet, with 43 percent still saying that they will vote on the basis of religious prejudice, there remains work to be done.

Source: USA Today

35 thoughts on “Gallup: 54 Percent Of Americans Would Vote For Atheist For President

  1. LoL In Illinois they voted for a guy that didn’t campaign, was in a mental hospital, and was awaiting criminal charges.

    After he won, he resigned, and they had another election….

    It is really pretty embarrassing that voters are so ignorant. And then we wonder why politicians have us in the mess we’re in.

  2. Would any God do for these purposes, or would it have to be one of the Christian interpretations of God?

    For example, a person might look favorably on a politician that believed in a loving cuddly God, but not on one who believed in a venegful Jehovah who was in the habit of smiting people for the tiniest transgression.
    The two extremes might be expected to result in very different faith-based politics.
    Should the poll not cater for cuddly/vengeful aka loving/toughloving?

    What about an American Indian politician who was not a Christian?
    Native cultures embody spirituality but AFAIK do not center on a Deity.

  3. Please be advised that the opinion survey organization spells the name GALLUP. The spelling of the family name changed sometime in the 18th century. Although I am connected to the family, but not the survey, I can offer independent opinion on almost anything a lot cheaper, ask anyone who has served me a drink.

  4. Good news. Is there not an argument against the term “Atheist” because it presupposes a Divine Being as an actual possibility? Count me in that crowd.

  5. Far too often religious belief is idolatrous in nature. The priest, cleric, minister, pastor, rabbi are often lifted by the members of their congregation to the point that their dictates are never questioned but followed as if coming directly from their deity which is pure idolatrous behavior on the part of the congregants. Thus, a highly religious commitment to a belief/personage often leads to a weaker commitment to democratic institutions which eventually leads to political intolerance which stands at odds to the tolerance that is necessary for the democratic process to work.

    Although this latest Gallup poll shows the continued movement in acceptance (toleration) of the atheist, 58% up from 18% the year the poll was first conducted, that progress could be stopped in its tracks by another Jerry Falwell, highly motivated Pope, radicalized Cleric, or an instigating Rabbi.

    The intolerance of the highly religious for each other and has been well documented throughout history which is why it is so necessary to maintain our separation of Church and State.

  6. Ask not what your Christian can do for you. Ask what your Christian will do for your country.

    How does that good Christian candidate for President stand on the Ten Commandments? How does Mitt Romney stand on the Sixth Commandment of Thou Shalt Not Kill? Where is Ricky Boy Perry on that one? As Governor of Texas he was out hobknobing with the Christians on the Sunday electoral party circuit and a guy on death row had his name come up for pardon. Ricky was too busy with his Christian pals and caused the guy to die on death row. A human being killed by The People of The State of Texas. It turned out he was innocent.

    The stand a candidate takes on The Sixth Commandment is a test. If the schmuck says he is a good Christian then ask him what his position is on the death penalty. If he says he is for the death penalty then he is not a Christian but a poser. If she says she is agin it then she is a real Christian in that aspect. I went thru the Ten Commandments and could not find one on same sex marriage so skip that one and go to the question for the candidate on fornicating with animals.

  7. Gene: Wow, who’d a thunk?

    I really did see a poll a few years ago that put atheists on the rung below convicted felons when asked about trustworthiness. I wonder how that paradox can be reconciled?

    Actually, I am waist deep into thinking about an alternative route to liberalism, in which lawyers will save the world. Buckle up!

  8. Andy, On being able to give an opinion on any topic: anyone here can do that and most of us don’t need a drink:-)

    Tony, Lawyers saving the world? LOL See, Andy?

    Given the mood these days, I’m sure an atheist would be elected over a Muslim.

  9. The community of Beverly Hills elected a muslim mayor. Lots of jews in B.H. Los Angeles elected an idiot. lots of idiots in L.A.

  10. bettykath: Tony, Lawyers saving the world? LOL

    I am pretty much in the business of counterintuitive solutions, bettykath. Because in science, all the intuitive solutions have been known forever. If you want to make any progress, you have to think outside the box and invent something non-intuitive or counter-intuitive. I believe the same is true for politics. Petitions, donations, voting, marches, protests, outrage, phone calls, all seem to me like complete wastes of people’s time and money. I repeat: Seem to me.

    Because when it comes to legislation that would restrain or jail the rich, or interfere with a mega-corporation’s ability to earn a profit, I see essentially nothing in the legislation that ever helps. 90% of citizens can be in favor of criminal background checks; virtually everybody except the criminals themselves, and nothing happens. Zero.

    We get thrown table scraps, like repealing DADT in the military, or health care that perpetuates the corporation’s ability to hold us hostage and rob us blind. A petition or call to your Senator isn’t ever going to change that, there is far too much money at stake.

  11. My counterintuitive thought would be to have plumbers, electricians, school crossing guards, cab drivers, delivery guys, save our world before attorneys.

  12. Thank you for making the spelling correction. I will be able to sleep tonight.

    As for who could be elected president, I think the only disqualification is having any trait that hints at ethics.

  13. it looks like everybody sat on their watch and JESUS CHRIST,!, the GOD GODAMNED motors still running in the display cases… *
    “uhm-bill-I-call, a sir-I- eu s tar…
    …sum-malli-ya , morerocko too.ore-land oh in bein atom an eve and a snake in dizz an knee world.waltz in a limbo pair a dice, with a bad back.both built a world from the ground up swamp…

    … a-gnat-to-me…, the wholey land
    x- sperie-ants built on his expert-ice.
    one is for please-sure, the other for pay’ne. pay-n the gate-ores is wrong. mount-tease pie-thons are are all over and devour sm. souls, knot knowing when they receive them…
    … ‘ says that you are bourne in sin and you can go to hell for that in a rapeture…

    sew how can the Miss conception be pure or Mary. all thies P on GOD weighting with a cutting tongue…
    …all blessed children come from GOD…
    …with D’N’An who would be late…
    …their C U P runneth over with blessings…

    …in the end times…

    …start askeying QUEstions.

    …would they just simply stare at the word of GOD,
    …IF jesus blood ran down and atoms skull came to life

  14. nick spinelli 1, April 23, 2013 at 12:32 pm

    My counterintuitive thought would be to have plumbers, electricians, school crossing guards, cab drivers, delivery guys, save our world before attorneys.
    There you go trying to cull favor again Nick.😉

  15. * the watch tower has many jewalls in the 666-ties brink of disaster bi the HUE of Phu Ket with chet and david through history . s ‘ watch !

    … with Say-tan is like living in an ocotillo.
    have you ever scene a dog pull teddy bear’ss from it’s feat, or poor-key pine quills from a whiz-stol stop. they always go back to tri to kill the little p i gee. the whistle stops comeing the loco.motive is a petty coat junk-shun.Canonbal expapie-ruse. copy rite by Jonknee cash.and chinook saulmon carreed their seed U P stream.

  16. Nick: If you want to fight for the world, you are better off using those trained for the battle. I am not a lawyer, but I have had some very positive (even life changing) experiences employing them. Lawyers can be victorious in battles my pizza delivery guy would not even comprehend. And those are the battles to be fought.

  17. Tony C. I guess we’ve had different experiences with lawyers. Most members of Congress are lawyers and you can see what they’ve brought us.

  18. Does the people who were polled know that any polietricker in a high a office is a freemason or eastern star and and their only higher power is satan itself?

  19. Attorneys depend on conflict to succeed. If there is no conflict, they are quite adept @ creating it. That is maybe what they are best at doing. bettykath just astutely pointed out that basic fact.

  20. bettykath: Lawyers or not, members of Congress are elected officials that cannot be dismissed for failing to do a job, because they have no defined duties at all; they do not have to show up, vote, report, or do anything else.

    Once elected, they can spend their entire term campaigning to be re-elected, and many do. That isn’t a lawyering job, that is a politician’s job. Their failure is not a result of them being lawyers, their failures are a result of them being elected politicians, and perhaps by virtue of being presented with, um, irresistible opportunities as a result of their power.

    Of the half dozen lawyers in my life, all are honorable people that have successfully protected me, kept members of my family out of prison, put criminals threatening my family in prison, recovered money stolen from me and negotiated contracts and insurance settlements on my behalf to my great benefit (and sometimes unexpected benefit).

    I have been a client several times, and although the cases are by their nature fraught, I have not had a bad outcome yet. Lawyers rock.

    BTW, most members of Congress are male, most are over fifty, most are white, none of those commonalities are the cause of their failures either.

  21. anecdotal experiences w/ a few barristers means “Lawyers Rock?” Although it certainly does sound like a litigious family, it is hardly dispositive.

  22. Nick: Well, I am pretty much the litigious one, not my family. I have been litigious on their behalf. I don’t trust our justice system to deliver justice without a lawyer or two demanding it. That’s just the reality of the world we live in, and I am a pragmatic person.

  23. Well, I would say you can’t get any worse than what we have now. But yes, an atheist president would be worse. Why would you want someone that has no foundation. If you are going to build a house, for example, you don’t build one on shifting sand, you want some sort of solid foundation. Atheism is devoid of logic and common sense, and has no moral compass, and no foundation. That would be a horrible mistake to have someone in the driver’s seat who is an atheist.

  24. Hubert: I am an atheist, I have a foundation. It is just not based upon a fantasy or on received wisdom that is full of unproven (and unprovable) ideas. The religious foundation is the one of shifting sand; it rejects the very idea that life and consciousness are precious (by claiming they do not really ever end, and cannot really be harmed, that nobody is really ever gone).

    It is religion that claims the purpose of life is just the pointless slavery of pleasing a superior being, with “praise” or “worship” so you can buddy around with the big guy and spend eternity as a begging child.

    It is religion that tries to remove all choice in life with the blackmail threat of eternal, horrific pain if you fail to “choose” as you are told you must. The choice “Obey Me or I’ll burn you alive” is not a “choice,” it is coercion under the threat of endless torture.

    Most atheists have a moral compass; we understand better than you that life and consciousness are precious, because we do not believe there is anything AFTER life.

    We are more forgiving than you, because we do not imagine people are breaking the arbitrary and capricious laws of an imaginary being, by being gay, or getting an abortion, or getting divorced, or having sex out of wedlock, or working on a Sunday.

    We are more generous than you, because we do not make the mistake of suspecting bad luck, misfortune, poverty or disease are some kind of punishment from God.

    We are less awe-struck than you, because we do not assume good fortune, wealth, riches or fame are the gifts of God upon those he favors, and we are more resilient than you, because we do not assume we are being cosmically punished if our time on Earth gets difficult.

    And we are more responsible than you, because we do not assume there exists some master plan, or that we will be supernaturally protected or guided. We take responsibility for our own lives, and our own choices, and our own safety, and the safety of our children and family.

    I do not have to believe in God to believe that my fellow humans should be treated fairly, and equally, and that we are all in this together. That is the true North for my moral compass.

  25. I will also point out that an openly atheist politician would be more trustworthy than one claiming to be a Christian. Logic would tell you that, if you could process it. A person trying to deceive the religious into voting for them would not hesitate to call themselves a Christian, there is no way you can test it, and no actual penalty for lying about it.

    A politician that openly admitted to being an atheist is putting the truth above their selfish interest. They could keep their atheism a secret, they would have nothing to gain by alienating the true believers, which outnumber atheists at least ten to one. Which would only mean they are brave enough to suffer that loss in the interest of telling the truth, and not gaining votes under false pretense.

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