On Russia Today's Show and Tell segment of The Alyona Show, viewers were asked, "Do you think the power of atheists as a group is strong enough to influence public debate and rival the religious right?" The answer appeared to be no.
The show's producer, Patricia Innocenti, took the streets of Washington D.C. to find out if people agreed or disagreed with the responses that Russia Today received. Here's what she found out (the video is embedded below the transcript):
Innocenti – Do you think that the power of atheists to influence public policy and the public debate will ever be able to rival the religious right? I am going to read you a response from Chirag. On Facebook he wrote in say, "Perhaps eventually. Definitely not for at least a decade or two." So do you believe it will take that long, do you want to keep it or delete it?
Man on the Street — I would agree with Chirag. I would say at least 10-20 years.
Innocenti – I'm going to read you a response from Giles on Facebook. He believes that "Christianity will always dominate the politics of this country." Do you want to keep it or delete it?
Man on the Street — I would kind of agree with that statement. It's always going to be a major sector of American politics and they're going to have a lot of influence.
Woman on the Street — I think that the size is there but they just need to have a larger voice.
Innocenti (to the same woman) — I'm going to read you a response from Classy Mark on Facebook. He said, "No. Atheists typically don't offer up millions of dollars every year to a Pat Robertson / Rick Santorum type of figure." Do you want to keep that comment or delete it?
Woman on the Street — I think I would keep it, I think that's true. I think that the religious groups are the ones that contribute the most money so that translates into power in the election, so as of this point, I don't think atheists would have a lot of power in the election.
Man on the Street — In today's political climate, I think that yes, we are mainly a 2-party system, so it comes down to that.
According to Russia Today, most people thought that atheists, as a group, do not have the money, power or influence to make a major impact on politics.