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Poll: Would you vote for an atheist?

voting iconOne of the fastest growing 'religious' groups in America is the non-religious, which makes up at least 13% of the population. Among younger people, the percentage is even higher, at 35-40%.

This group is poorly represented in Congress, where the majority of members claim that they are Protestant, followed by Catholic as the second highest faith claimed by Congress members. Congress has only one atheist, Rep. Peter Stark of California.

Bias Toward Atheists and Agnostics.

Isaac Asimov, Katherine Hepburn, John Malcovich, Mark Twain, Stephan Hawking, Gene Roddenberry, Bill Gates, Albert Einstein, Warren Buffett, Larry King, Carl Sagan, Ernest Hemmingway, Diane Keaton, Jodie Foster, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Edison, and J. Craig Venter are just a few of the many well-known American atheists and/or agnostics who have made contributions to society.

As reported by American Atheists, George H. Bush said, "I don't know that atheists should be considered as citizens, nor should they be considered patriots. This is one nation under God."

Would you vote for an atheist? Be honest. No one knows who you are in our poll.

It's been said that it will be a very long time before America will have an atheist president. Given the current numbers in Congress, it might also be a long time before the percentage of non-religious in Congress matches the percentage of non-religious in the population.

Out of a list of qualified candidates for local, state or federal office — including that of the presidency — who you liked and generally agreed with, would you vote for an atheist? Or would you change your mind as soon as you found out that he or she was an atheist and/or agnostic?

It takes a second to vote in the poll. Your identity remains anonymous, although your IP is recorded to avoid double voting.

The poll will remain open until the early morning of Sunday, January 30, 2011. Comments are welcome!

Out of a pool of qualified candidates, would you vote for an atheist?

  • Yes. (93%, 304 Votes)
  • No. (6%, 19 Votes)
  • Not sure. (1%, 4 Votes)

Total Voters: 327

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  • I'd vote for an Atheist, sure, if one were running. I almost never hear of an Atheist running for office anywhere in the USA, much less in my state, city or county.

    I don't believe Atheists would make good politicians because we tend to be more honest than that. Not that Atheism guarantees honesty, but that religion guarantees dishonesty, and politics seems to also rely on dishonesty as well.

    Plus, in order to serve in the Texas Legislature, one must be willing to work underneath the phrase "In God We Trust," in all-caps in gold letters 12" high. That's on the wall of the legislative chambers, both the house and the senate, thanks to a state law respecting an establishment of religion. It would probably take more than a majority of state/church separationists elected to the legislature in order to remove those two religious endorsements.

    In that case, I wouldn't want to be a member of any club that doesn't want me. It is good however, that some Atheists are willing to try.

    • Was it in New Hampshire that an atheist city council member got all sorts of flack because of a similar thing in the state constitution? I can't quite remember and frankly, my computer is going so slow at the moment that I don't have the energy to wait for the search results to show up … but you make a good point.

      Frankly, I would like to see a better balance of representation. It won't be long until a quarter of the American population is not religious, yet the religious govern them.

      Like you said, it takes a great deal of courage for a non-believer to run for office. Look at the criticism that Obama is getting for his faith … and he's a Christian. The one or two Muslim members of Congress have outrageous accusations said about them by the Christian right.

      Although the Constitution bans a religious test of office, I think there is one, but it's played out in the media, the debates, and an unspoken prejudice.

      Thanks for your comments, Joe!

  • I'd vote for an atheist, sure. It doesn't matter to me what someone believes or doesn't believe–I believe in a country that allows freedom of belief, whatever those beliefs are. At least, that's the kind of country my dad fought for.

  • Grace

    Not only I would vote for an atheist, I would prefer to vote for an atheist. That means a politician who is objective, has a logical & scientific mind, has his or her 2 feet firmly planted on the ground as well as higher intelligence & stabiliy. I thnk we have an Atheist president. I think Obama's too smart for being a Xian. His parents were Atheists. Obama had to pander to the religious majority in the country in order to win.

  • COinMS

    I think it's a pretty safe bet that our country wouldn't be in the sad shape it's in if there had been more atheists elected to counter the right wing religionists. I'm a believer and would rather have atheists in office than dominionists or christian deconstructionists.

  • Mriana

    As a humanist, I'd be a hypocrite if I said no. lol Seriously though, if they were qualified and I thought they were the best person for the job, yes, I'd vote for them. We do have a couple of atheist in office though. Pete Stark and Ernie Chambers are atheists. So it's a start, but few succeed if they admit outright they are atheists. Stark admitted recently during a Secular groups seeking of an atheist in office and Ernie, well he sued God for a purpose, and that was when I found out he was an atheist. It was funny because the court threw it out because they didn't have an address on God in order to serve him. lol I have it though, 888 Heavenly Drive, Cloud City Sky God, 77700

    Sorry, I just have to make a few funnies on that one that Chambers pulled.

    • Oh yes, how could I have forgotten about Ernie Chambers? Thanks so much for the reminder. His lawsuit was a classic.

      Good one, Mriana!

      • Mriana

        Thank you. I was hoping there were people who liked that one. 🙂

  • kellyofsiam

    For sure. Maybe an atheist would serve the people and the nation, unlike the christers.

  • Abel

    I would vote for anybody with common sense. Somebody who dont let the Banks and the Capital control Politics, Cause otherwise this is not democracy… this is: we vote someone who´s gonna be controled by banks and capital… crazy eh?

    Didnt know about this blog.
    Rss it! Keep the good work!
    blog de camisetas

  • gadgetguy

    It is amazing how naive our people of faith are to believe the political leaders and captains of industry are believers.

    Just an example Mr. George W. Bush had a single advocate for faith in his advisers. He wrote a book about how people just rolled their eyes whenever he spoke and it is just a bunch of ruthless competitors looking to win. If a little demagoguery let you pick up some votes, that's great.

    Just lock up the liquor cabinet and send home the prostitutes before the Jesus freaks show up.

  • Of course I would vote for an atheist, without a doubt.

  • I think voting for an atheist is something weird, but I could vote for an atheist if his wishes for America as the same as me. However, America is too puritan, so no chance to see an atheist in the White House.

    Thanks, Paul

    • Mriana

      Why is it weird? As long as that isn't your main reason for voting for that person, I really don't see the issue with it. It's like the last election IMO. Some people tried to say I was voting for Obama and working on his campaign only because my sons are half Black, just like Obama. No, but that was an interesting factor. The truth is, that did not exempt him from running for president, but his values… that was what I was looking at and at the time, they seemed to be similar to mine. He is a very charismatic man and I knew that at the time, but still, as I listened to him talk, I thought we shared some common ideas, dreams, and thoughts about the U.S. and the way it ought to be. Unfortunately, I don't see it working out the way I had hoped, but that doesn't mean I think any less of Obama. There are other people involved in politics that sort of hinder some of the things he wanted to do for this country- so I don't see the way things are going as entirely his fault.

      I think it would be the same for a person who is an atheist too. There would be some common thinking, which would attract me to voting for him or her, but it would not be that one common factor alone. In other words, I would not be voting for the person just because s/he is an atheist. There would be more to it than that, but it would be a start in which to get me to listen more closely to what they have to say, just like Obama- "There's someone interesting. Now what do they have to say that is different? What are they offering/proposing? Is there more that interests me about that person and the position they are running for?" Palin is a woman, sure, but she has never once said anything that peeked my interest in voting for her. If anything, she has annoyed me, angered me, and even at times frightened me with the things she says, not to mention how stupid she can be. So there you go- one single commonality is not a factor in voting, at least not for me. The person can be a cat running for office for all I care and if they don't have anything worthwhile to say, forget them. Not that a cat can run for office, but I love cats. Does this mean, if they were humanoid, like on Star Trek, say, I'd vote for them? Depends on what they have to say and offer. Free kitty litter for all cat caregivers, while the cat is in office, is not enough for me to vote for them. It might be enough to say, "What else you got?" Even then, that doesn't guarantee my vote.

      So I don't think it is weird at all to vote for an atheist, as long as there is more to base one's vote on than just that alone.

  • Sure, I'd vote for an atheist … as long as their political views were at least close to mine. I'd never vote for a Conservative no matter
    what their religious beliefs or lack of them were.

  • Of course I would… The religious beliefs of someone have nothing to do with his political skills!

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  • chris barrett

    I don't see where to vote but I say yes,yes,yes.

    • The poll closed awhile ago on this one, Chris, but thanks so much for "the comment vote."

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