Debate and Discussion

Non-Christian in the Oval Office
megan_rose at 3:37PM, Jan. 12, 2009
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With all the hubbub about Obama's picks for inaugural prayers (Rick Warren, Gene Robinson, and Sharon Watkins), it's made me think of something.

Obama may be the first black president, but he is still just another in a long line of Christian presidents. There have been a few that weren't particularly belonging to any certain denomination, but 100% of US presidents were Christians. No Jews. Definitely no Muslims. Buddhists getouttatown. The most controversial religion any president ever had was JFK's Catholicism.

Sure, a majority of the country is Christian, but it certainly isn't all there is. This will mark the 44th Christian president out of 44 presidents. You'd think in the 200+ years we've been electing people, maybe a Jewish person might squeak in.

So do you think we'll ever see a non-Christian president in the next 50 years? What do you think the first non-Christian president will be? (Jewish, Muslim, etc.) Do you think we'll ever have an Atheist president, or is any religion better than nothing when it comes to the American voting public?
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:59PM
Hawk at 4:43PM, Jan. 12, 2009
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I don't want to let this detract from very valid point you're making, but I always felt like race and religion serve as distractions from the real issues that would help us choose the right president. Unfortunately I do think there are people who voted Obama just because of his race, and I don't doubt that throughout history there have been people withheld their votes from non-Christians. Both cases would be examples of ignorance.

But I would just about bet money on there being a non-Christian president. I think it's more of a matter of how long before it happens. I'm not sure what religion or denomination it would be, though. If you made me guess, I'd think maybe an Atheist.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:46PM
StaceyMontgomery at 5:00PM, Jan. 12, 2009
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Based on the polling I've seen, there will never be an Atheist president.

http://www.outsidethebeltway.com/archives/black_president_more_likely_than_mormon_or_atheist_/
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:55PM
megan_rose at 5:02PM, Jan. 12, 2009
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Hawk
I don't want to let this detract from very valid point you're making, but I always felt like race and religion serve as distractions from the real issues that would help us choose the right president.

Well, race shouldn't matter, because nobody chooses their race. But they do, to a certain extent, choose their religion, and it defines a lot of who a person is. I think religion is a small, but totally valid thing to consider in a candidate.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:59PM
Hawk at 5:56PM, Jan. 12, 2009
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StaceyMontgomery
Based on the polling I've seen, there will never be an Atheist president.

http://www.outsidethebeltway.com/archives/black_president_more_likely_than_mormon_or_atheist_/

Wow, interesting poll! I never would have guessed those kind of numbers. What's funny is that I can see where people might get hangups on multiple divorces or being older than 72 years old, but I don't think anything on that list should cause anybody to automatically not vote for a person. Very interesting poll, indeed.

megan_rose
Well, race shouldn't matter, because nobody chooses their race. But they do, to a certain extent, choose their religion, and it defines a lot of who a person is. I think religion is a small, but totally valid thing to consider in a candidate.

You actually do have a good point there. Knowing a candidate's religion could give you a ballpark figure on what their beliefs might be. But my line of thinking is that there are a LOT of different kinds of Christianity, and within each religion a wide array of people within. Do they take their religion seriously? Do they only attend on Easter and Christmas? Are they the kind of person to politically act upon their religious beliefs (as opposed to their personal beliefs, which don't always coincide)?

To me there are too many variables to use religion as a single factor for a candidate's quality. I know that's not what you were suggesting, but that's sort of my rationale on why it isn't as big a factor as the candidate's political track record.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:46PM
isukun at 7:46PM, Jan. 12, 2009
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To me there are too many variables to use religion as a single factor for a candidate's quality.

That may be the case for a rational, educated voter, but it is not always what drives the American public. People get hung up on particular rumors, race, and religion. All it takes is one sticking point to turn off the American public and religion IS a big issue for many people in this country. This country may someday elect a non-Christian president, but I fear that it likely won't be within our lifetimes. We would need a major shift in how the public views the world. We would need to stop viewing every enemy as a representative of a particular region, race and/or religion and I really don't see that happening anytime soon.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:04PM
arteestx at 9:39PM, Jan. 12, 2009
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megan_rose
So do you think we'll ever see a non-Christian president in the next 50 years? What do you think the first non-Christian president will be? (Jewish, Muslim, etc.) Do you think we'll ever have an Atheist president, or is any religion better than nothing when it comes to the American voting public?
50 years ago was 1959. There was a huge controversy that year over whether America was ready for a catholic president. Forget about being black or a woman, that wasn't even an option. 50 years later, we have a black president and very nearly had a woman president. 50 years from now, I'd like to believe that we will be able to put a non-Christian into the presidency. I'm not holding my breath, but then again 50 years ago, I wouldn't have held my breath for a black or woman as president either.

My prediction is that the first non-Christian president will be Jewish and I do think that's possible in the next 50 years. I doubt an atheist or Muslim will be president in that time, but again I would've been wrong about a black or woman as well.

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last edited on July 14, 2011 11:02AM
ozoneocean at 10:42PM, Jan. 12, 2009
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Yeah, it'd be lovely if you guys elected someone and never even knew what religion they were. ;)
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:33PM
bravo1102 at 4:16AM, Jan. 13, 2009
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ozoneocean
Yeah, it'd be lovely if you guys elected someone and never even knew what religion they were. ;)

We've already had an atheist president. (maybe) That was back before the USA was so rigidly declared a Christian country. By many definitions of atheism; Jefferson would be considered an atheist. He was called that in his own day and much of his writings deny religion even if they give lip service to a supreme being. Religion in America was not then what modern Christians would have us believe. After all there is no mention of “god” in the US Constitution. Would any modern US Christian ever proclaim that? Could it be written that way today?

Once upon a time in America the most popular speaker was known as “The Great Agnostic”

Ask yourself if the USA could ever have another unmarried president?
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:33AM
Ochitsukanai at 1:48PM, Jan. 14, 2009
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bravo1102
By many definitions of atheism; Jefferson would be considered an atheist. He was called that in his own day and much of his writings deny religion even if they give lip service to a supreme being.

Hey, yeah! He denied miracles and viewed Jesus only as a great philosopher. He wasn't precisely ungodly, but he can't really be called Christian. It was more like deism.

That said, conservative Christians often don't consider Obama a Christian either, since “you will know them by their fruits” and his political standing is extremely ‘liberal’ (read: pro-choice). So from the vantage point of some, it would look like a non-Christian's gotten in, eh?

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last edited on July 14, 2011 2:20PM
Senshuu at 4:39PM, Jan. 15, 2009
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I really don't care what religion (or not-religion) our future presidents are, so long as they don't try to make over America with “in Gaia we trust” coins or perform sacrifices in the oval office after-hours…and even then I wouldn't really care, as long as things are running smoothly for everyone else.

I'd say it's not very likely, but I dunno. There'll probably never be a Scientologist president, though.

I'd prefer to have someone who believed in anything than nothing, but then again I make my judgments on a case-by-case basis. I voted for Obama because I liked him, and for no other reason.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:27PM
Xiam at 2:42PM, Feb. 15, 2009
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What are you talking about? Obama is a Muslim (ahurr-hurr-hurr).

Oh, I should probably note since it's not obvious - I was being sarcastic. People were all “HE'S A MUSLIM, HE'S A TERRORIST, WAAAH!” throughout the elections, and I kept having to say:

1) He's not a Muslim, and
2) Why the heck should it even matter?

I personally care very little about presidents and their religion. All I really care about is if they are capable and moral enough to do the job properly.

When watching the inauguration, though, I said to myself, “If I ever became president, I'd want to be sworn in on a copy of The Lord of the Rings.”

Now that I think of it, though, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy may be even better, to prove that I mark my religion as “Geek.”

(Technically Jedi, but I can't think of a book good enough to serve as Scripture, lawl.)
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:52PM
lastcall at 3:08PM, Feb. 26, 2009
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I don't care who or what they are, just as long as they get the job done.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:28PM
Faliat at 10:08AM, Feb. 28, 2009
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bravo1102
Ask yourself if the USA could ever have another unmarried president?
I hope I live long enough to see a GAY president. lol.

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last edited on July 14, 2011 12:25PM
megan_rose at 6:04PM, Feb. 28, 2009
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Polls are actually showing that people would rather vote for a gay Christian than a straight atheist. So… maybe in 500 years?
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:59PM
mlai at 3:59AM, April 25, 2009
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Wow, surprising to see so much poll approval for a Jewish president. Really surprising. Unless the global political situation changes, one of the worst things America can do for itself is get a Jewish president.

Xiam
(Technically Jedi, but I can't think of a book good enough to serve as Scripture, lawl.)
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last edited on July 14, 2011 2:06PM
Ryan_Scott at 6:44PM, May 1, 2009
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It's quite interesting really… I've heard it said that the US would never (at least not in the forseeable future) vote for a president without a firm faith in god… Here in New Zealand any polition who DID have a firm faith in god (or at least public acknowledged that they did) would never have a shot at being the head of the country.

We generally view devout christians in this country to be crack pots and fair game for a bit of a piss take!
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:15PM
Orin J Master at 8:59PM, May 1, 2009
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christian relegion has a very strong ‘following’ (read: effective money pumps for funding many lobbyists) that smears the hell out of anyone that isn't seen to be for their religion. so yes, you pretty much couldn't get elected to most any post because of it.

they're all crazy, the leaders constantly spew horrible shit about people and they're too intrenched in power for them to go away anytime in the forseeable future.
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:22PM
Product Placement at 2:03AM, May 2, 2009
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Someone's religious beliefs isn't even discussed during the elections where I live. It's not something that should affect an educated man. Normal criticisms that I'm used to listen to are things like “will his experience and or education serve him in office” We have a gay prime minister and honestly, I didn't even know about it until I heard that foreign media was making a big meal out of it. Stuff like that should be considered peoples privacy and not be used as bulletins in why this person is fit or not to run for office. Concerns of these nature are a bit backwater in my opinion and shouldn't belong to an educated discussions like “who are you gonna vote for”.
Those were my two cents.
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last edited on July 14, 2011 2:50PM
Niccea at 8:07AM, May 2, 2009
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Sadly, you lose your priavcy when you throw your lot in for office.

This is something I have said to my Woman Studies teacher two years ago:

Dr. Brainwash: Why haven't we had a woman president yet?
Me: Because women have only actually tried to run a few times and gave up before the party nominations?

No wonder I got a low particpation in that class. The correct response would have been.

Brainwashed Me: *outrage* Yeah damn the men!

So my point in this thread is that same in this. Someone actually has to run to be president. You should start smaller. Like when will there be a Non-Christian candidate for the president?
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:13PM
bravo1102 at 11:47AM, May 3, 2009
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Faliat
bravo1102
Ask yourself if the USA could ever have another unmarried president?
I hope I live long enough to see a GAY president. lol.

The USA probably already had one, but it was in the 19th Century when no one talked about those things and therefore they didn't matter.

Obama is the first president to acknowledge non-believers in his inaugural speech! Atheists are still the #1 most hated minority in the USA. There'll be a gay black Muslim woman president before there's an(-other) atheist. ;)
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:33AM
Hawk at 12:52PM, May 3, 2009
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bravo1102
Atheists are still the #1 most hated minority in the USA.

Somehow I find that hard to believe, and would like to know where you heard that.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:46PM
Skullbie at 1:57PM, May 3, 2009
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Hawk
bravo1102
Atheists are still the #1 most hated minority in the USA.

Somehow I find that hard to believe, and would like to know where you heard that.
On a place that's bible/god bias centric, guarantee it.

Edit: Found something on it: http://www.goddiscussion.com/4755/discrimination-against-americas-most-hated-group-atheists/comment-page-1/

Despite the name ‘god discussion’ the article is really interesting, it's the usual fair of Christians being intolerant and then hating others who are intolerant but the article itself isn't too biased.

Also the discussion below is refreshing, i'm so used to seeing narrow minded turd fest threads on 4chan (I swear the ‘christians’ that swarm into those threads are so ignorant and feeble minded half the time i hope it's atheist trolling) that i've forgotten the normal ones actually know how to form a thought provoking and flame free debate.
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:47PM
Croi Dhubh at 3:17PM, May 4, 2009
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megan_rose
With all the hubbub about Obama's picks for inaugural prayers (Rick Warren, Gene Robinson, and Sharon Watkins), it's made me think of something.

Obama may be the first black president, but he is still just another in a long line of Christian presidents. There have been a few that weren't particularly belonging to any certain denomination, but 100% of US presidents were Christians. No Jews. Definitely no Muslims. Buddhists getouttatown. The most controversial religion any president ever had was JFK's Catholicism.

Sure, a majority of the country is Christian, but it certainly isn't all there is. This will mark the 44th Christian president out of 44 presidents. You'd think in the 200+ years we've been electing people, maybe a Jewish person might squeak in.

So do you think we'll ever see a non-Christian president in the next 50 years? What do you think the first non-Christian president will be? (Jewish, Muslim, etc.) Do you think we'll ever have an Atheist president, or is any religion better than nothing when it comes to the American voting public?
You know he was raised Muslim…and both his brother and father swear that Obama is still a Muslim, he only claimed to be Christian to run in the elections, right?
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last edited on July 14, 2011 11:55AM
bravo1102 at 6:13PM, May 4, 2009
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Hawk
bravo1102
Atheists are still the #1 most hated minority in the USA.

Somehow I find that hard to believe, and would like to know where you heard that.

It was just recorded in several opinion polls on who an American would vote for and who they would trust. Atheists always finish on the bottom.

It's also tongue in cheek humor because I have a long perspective on things that goes back before the invention of the internet. Outside of a college campus being an atheist gets you stares and scowls and unending questions about how you can lead a moral life. Even when filling out a form in a doctor's office. Never ever admit it in a job interview. It's nearly as bad as admitting to being Communist in the 1950s. (Now that was funny, after the fact. At the time it was awful, but afterward it was funny. A definite life lesson.)

So out comes the tongue in cheek humor. Admitting to being the #1 most hated minority. People demonize secular humanists atheists but they like humor.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:33AM
jissai at 5:25PM, May 17, 2009
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megan_rose
With all the hubbub about Obama's picks for inaugural prayers (Rick Warren, Gene Robinson, and Sharon Watkins), it's made me think of something.

Obama may be the first black president, but he is still just another in a long line of Christian presidents. There have been a few that weren't particularly belonging to any certain denomination, but 100% of US presidents were Christians. No Jews. Definitely no Muslims. Buddhists getouttatown. The most controversial religion any president ever had was JFK's Catholicism.

Sure, a majority of the country is Christian, but it certainly isn't all there is. This will mark the 44th Christian president out of 44 presidents. You'd think in the 200+ years we've been electing people, maybe a Jewish person might squeak in.

So do you think we'll ever see a non-Christian president in the next 50 years? What do you think the first non-Christian president will be? (Jewish, Muslim, etc.) Do you think we'll ever have an Atheist president, or is any religion better than nothing when it comes to the American voting public?

hold on, wasnt lincoln an atheist, and several of the first presidents deistic? o.0
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:09PM
Mr Lostman at 6:03PM, May 17, 2009
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You'd be right, but christians would have you believe otherwise. lol!
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last edited on July 14, 2011 2:07PM
jissai at 6:17PM, May 17, 2009
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just for a news reference:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DRwgvzg-wA4

i would post something like a report on lincoln, but the first thing that came to my mind was “look up olbermann!”
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:09PM

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