July 2, 2015 by Darius
According to a 2012 poll profiled in The New York Times recently, more than 90% of Americans would be willing to vote for a black, female, Catholic, or Jewish president. That’s a good thing. However, there remains a seeming necessary qualification for national office in the eyes of the voters: religion in some form. Only 54% of American adults would be willing to vote for an atheist president.
Despite the apparent emphasis placed on it by voters, it’s hard to believe that religion has actually played a role in the day-to-day actions of most US presidents over the last century. However, all of them went through the motions of publicly declaring themselves to be Christians of one kind or another and attending church periodically.
The US has already elected its first black president and could well elect its first woman in 2016. In today’s political climate, though, it’s hard to see an atheist passing muster. As someone who has been living openly as an atheist for several years now (even though part of my family can’t accept who I am 🙂 ), I hope to see the day when an atheist takes the Oath of Office. Perhaps he/she could swear the oath on a copy of the Constitution for a change.