Thoughts, essays, and writings on Liberty. Written by the heirs of Patrick Henry.

“Sir, I agree to this Constitution, with all its Faults, if they are such; because I think a General Government necessary for us, and there is no Form of Government but what may be a Blessing to the People if well administered; and I believe farther that this is likely to be well administered for a Course of Years, and can only end in Despotism as other Forms have done before it, when the People shall become so corrupted as to need Despotic Government, being incapable of any other.”     Benjamin Franklin,    Final Speech at the Constitutional Convention

July 22, 2007

America: More Likely To Elect A Gay, Muslim, Former Drug User Than An Athiest

by Doug Mataconis

That is the somewhat interesting result of a recent New York Times poll:

THE probing about his Mormon beliefs has by now become familiar to the Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney. But when Mary Van Steenis, a teacher at a local Christian school, took the microphone at a recent “Ask Mitt Anything” forum in Pella, Iowa, to ask her question, it still felt as if some sort of unspoken boundary of social etiquette had been breached.

Mrs. Van Steenis wanted Mr. Romney to say where the Book of Mormon would figure in his decision making as president.

“Where would the Bible be?” she asked. “Would it be above the Book of the Mormon, or would it be beneath it?”

Although the Constitution bars any religious test for office, if polls are to be believed, Mr. Romney, the former Massachusetts governor, faces a serious obstacle to winning the presidency because of his faith. Surveys show a substantial percentage of Americans would be less likely to vote for a Mormon, or for that matter a Muslim or an atheist. But how rigid is that sentiment?

Just take a look at the numbers and it seems pretty rigid.

This is why candidates appearing at churches and Presidents invoking God are part of the public religion of the United States. The voters expect it, heck in some parts of the country I’d go so far as to say they demand it. This is hardly surprising, since the United States has always been a far more openly religious country than most of the West.

And repression has often been part of the package.

The Puritans, for example, didn’t come to the New World for religious freedom so much as they came so that they’d be able to impose their own brand of religious tyranny free from interference by the Church of England. And it happened in other colonies as well, with the exception of Quaker dominated Pennsylvania. That’s why we have a First Amendment and that’s why the Constitution specifically provides that there is no religious test for holding office.

But Constitutional amendments can only go so far. Toleration for other’s beliefs is not something that can be imposed, it must be learned. And it would seem we still have a long way to go.

H/T: Althouse

TrackBack URI: http://www.thelibertypapers.org/2007/07/22/america-more-likely-to-elect-a-gay-muslim-former-drug-user-than-an-athiest/trackback/
Read more posts from
• • •

1 Comment

  1. Well, yes. When a religious nutjob goes on a murderous rampage, for example, they choose to interpret his deranged sermons as “railing against Christianity.” We’re probably the number one most slandered group of people in the entire country. They’d be willing to vote for an atheist, though. They just don’t know it yet. We’re just that cool. Pwn.

    Comment by Griff — July 22, 2007 @ 2:15 pm

Comments RSS

Subscribe without commenting

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

Powered by: WordPress • Template by: Eric • Banner #1, #3, #4 by Stephen Macklin • Banner #2 by Mark RaynerXML