Atheism, as American as Apple Pie

Photo Credit: Debate.org

According to Ron Millar in The Humanist, in an ideal implementation of the US Constitution, there would be zero formal or informal religious tests for public office. Indeed, this would not impact the politics of this powerful state actor.

However, one of the big taboos within American politics has been the idea of a non-religious, even atheist, candidate running for public office. Those athiests who run for public office remain rather brave in the face of the stigma and distinct prejudice against them.

However, Millar notes some of the more recent research is showing that there is a reduction in the former levels of the bias or xenophobia against non-religious political candidates. This is based on research done via a poll.

A poll conducted through the American Humanist Association (AHA) and the Centre for Freethought Equality via the Lake Research Partners with funding by the Stiefel Freethought Foundation showed some interesting or intriguing results.

As it turns out, there is a distinct improvement of the perception of the non-religious, agnostic, and atheist candidates within the electoral process. Thus, the atheist community, if wanting to run for

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political office, can begin to square off on a fairer, but not entirely even, playing field with religious candidates.

With the ongoing political costs throughout much of American history for any atheist political candidates, this became the basis for the need of the poll.

As stated, “A candidate in a very red district, where the last Democratic opponent received less than 20 percent of the vote against the Republican incumbent, said he couldn’t possibly identify as an atheist because he couldn’t afford to lose any more voters. He said he automatically lost voters by identifying as a Democrat, more since he is pro-choice, and even more with his support of LGBTQ equality.”

This becomes the grounds upon which atheist candidates lose out.  Next, the survey was done. In fact, the survey showed data potentially heartwarming to some of the members of the Atheist Republic community living within the United States or looking at the American Empire from afar in one of our consulates.

In terms of the results of the survey or the poll by Lake Research Partners, 72% of the respondents stated that the atheism does not make a difference in terms of their vote. The “nontheistic, progressive Democrats in non-swing districts,” according to Millar, “should no longer feel hesitant to be public about their religious identity.”

In other words, the taboo is dropping relatively smoothly within the United States. This can be seen in some of the political campaigns.

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