Can An Atheist Get Elected President?
Megan McArdle was amused at a BBC interviewer asking, “Can you be elected to higher office in America without being a Christian?” Megan quips, “I sure hope Senator Lieberman wasn’t watching.”
Indeed. But there is an interesting discussion ensuing in her comments section as to whether someone who doesn’t appear to be religious in the Judeo-Christian sense could get elected to higher office, let alone president. For a variety of reasons, I’d say the answer is clearly No absent a drastic change in the political climate.
This isn’t surprising, really, or even quite the same as asking if a black or a woman could be elected. The American people are, by far, the most religious in the West these days and it’s not unreasonable that they would decline to elect someone to represent them who disagreed on such a fundamental matter. It also doesn’t help that most atheists look upon the religious as superstitious morons.