Would you vote for an atheist?

“…If your party nominated a generally well-qualified person for president who happened to be an atheist, would you vote for that person?”

53% of the voters polled said no. Fifty-three percent. That, my friends, is a majority. The only majority, in fact, who answered they would not vote for a candidate based on one particular trait. Even homosexuals are more likely (they, in fact, have a majority in their favor) to be elected president than an atheist.

That’s not a knock on gays. Fortunately, America is quickly becoming less and less homophobic. Unfortunately, it is clear that America is by and large still very much an “atheophobic” nation.

Frankly, every single one of the poll results disgusts me. Comparatively, since atheists “scored” so much lower than everybody else, and overall because the keywords should be “generally well-qualified,” and not whatever other aspect was brought into the picture. If a presidential candidate is “generally well-qualified,” then that’s just fine with me.

Now to be fair, if I had to choose between two generally well-qualified candidates – one who was atheist and the other who was religious – I would almost definitely vote for the atheist, since I know he (or she, since I’m not part of that 11% who wouldn’t vote for a woman) wouldn’t have any religious motivation for creating or supporting policies or laws; thus keeping church and state separate, as they should be.

Back to the poll, though. The obvious question here should be why? Why would 53% of American voters not want a generally well-qualified president, who also happens to be an atheist?

I would wager a guess that the answer has to do with morals. The religious are a-scared that if you don’t believe in a god – any god – then you are an immoral heathen who runs about raping virgins and murdering infants. And on that point, I can agree that I would not want a president who is known for raping virgins and murdering infants. Fortunately, the religious who feel that way are just being ignorant and silly.

Atheism, religion, and morality are a topic for another day, though.

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