Congressman urges respect for nonbelievers … but doesn't think atheists truly exist in America
By D. Beeksma
On May 5, 2012 At 12:00 pm
Responses : 25 Comments
According to MO Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D), there aren't any true atheists in America, but candidates who profess to be nonbelievers should not be judged just because they do not profess have a religious faith.
The United Methodist pastor who represents Missouri's 5th congressional district and Ralph Reed of the Faith & Freedom Coalition both sat down with CNN's Candy Crowley on April 9 to discuss whether a person can successfully run for national public office, declaring to be a "non-believer."
Cleaver did not think so, explaining:
Unfortunately, I think any person who did that would have a difficult time winning. Actually, I don't believe that there is such thing as an atheist because no respectable atheist would walk around with something in his pocket that said 'In God We Trust.' Nonetheless, I think that those of us who understand that we live in a pluralistic nation, we've got to be the ones who tell people openly, in public, on national TV, that we cannot tolerate that, where people make decisions about people who don't have a faith.
Reed said it was possible to successfully run as a non-believer, just like it is possible to run as a Muslim or Hindu and be elected, because voters make decisions based on their shared values with candidates and the candidates' qualifications for office. The People for the American Way's Right Wing Watch blog points out that Reed, who came to national prominence as the first executive director of Pat Robertson’s Christian Coalition, has been linked to numerous charges of corruption, tainting his image with the GOP. His Faith & Freedom Coalition was created to rehabilitate his image in the wake of his deep involvement in the Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal.
One of the growing crowd of American "nones" herself, Deborah is a prolific writer who finds religion, spirituality and the impact of belief (and non-belief) on culture inspiring, fascinating and at times, disturbing. She hosts the God Discussion show and handles the site's technical work. Her education and background is in business, ecommerce and law.
Seek and you shall find …
Notes and Announcements
GodDiscussion.com is a news and review service targeted for the growing number of people who are not associated with organized religion (we're a Google news site). Our mission is to inform and to get people having all points of view communicating. Our writers and contributors are theist, atheist and maybe somewhere in between. See our about page.
This week's poll: Will humankind ever evolve beyond war? Take a second to vote in our current poll.
Dimensions, with Sheri Lawson: The spiritual path and Mayan calendar are Sheri's topics for the New Age segment of the God Discussion show on December 4.
View the calendar for upcoming shows and guests.
Get Our Daily Feed
Get our daily news and article headlines by email or RSS feed. Subscribe to God Discussion
Recently posted …
- Parents who killed their child for not reading the bible have been arrested
- Firearms classes offered by Texas church to fend off imaginary Mexican enemies
- Republican Congressman refuses service to Muslim couple in his restaurant
- Creationist Indiana GOP Senator demands teachers prove evolution
- Blasphemy laws to be revoked in the Netherlands
- Atheist oaths proposed for UK Boy Scouts
- Republican Senate votes against UN disabilities rights treaty
- Virginia gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli's extremist views
- Baptist Pastor still in hot water over sexual assault suit