On MSNBC’s “The Cycle,” panelists discussed the role of religion in presidential elections. They were talking about GOP Presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s Mormon faith and how it my have affected his presidential chances, when co-host Krystal Ball asked, “What if he were atheist?” S.E. Cupp, a self-declared atheist, surprised the panel by responding:
“I would never vote for an atheist president. Ever.”
“You’re a self-loathing atheist,” someone joked.
She explained: “Because I do not think that someone who represents 5 to 10 percent of the population should be representing and thinking that everyone else in the world is crazy, but me,” Cupp said, pointing to her chest.”
Not a coherent or articulate atheist but one with forceful opinions.
Very interesting line of thought. Nobody on the panel thought of asking her how she feels about Senator Lieberman or Congressman Cantor “representing,” although they belong to a faith shared by less than 1% of the population. In all fairness, perhaps she thinks any religion is fine, be it Christian, mosaic or islam, but we will never know because she was not pressed for clarification
Asked what would be wrong if someone like herself represented Christians as president, Cupp said she “appreciates” religion and explained why the person she votes for needs to have faith:
“The other part of it — I like that there is a check, OK? That there‘s a person in the office that doesn’t think he’s bigger than the state,” she continued. “I like religion being a check and knowing that my president goes home every night addressing someone above him and not thinking all the power resides right here… Atheists don’t have that.”
Why bother with having a Constitution when all you need, as far as an atheist is concerned, is religion? Actually I think of all American presidents after JFK, whether they were christians or atheists faking it, the only one who appeared to think he had no one above him was the Puritan: Nixon. All the others seemed perfectly cognizant of having someone above. Not God though, a mere real estate agent, but rather AIPAC.
It is nevertheless interesting that this atheist, if she indeed is one, considers that a politician’s declared faith is the only trustworthy “check” on unbridled power.
She also appears to draw comfort from her constructed image of the politicians’ nightly prayers. She does not preoccupy herself further wondering: But if so, what it is they pray for? Perhaps Clinton, who strove to be seen most Sundays carrying his Bible around, was praying for a speedier destruction of Serbia, perhaps Bush Jr. (who had confessed that the religious tract given to him by Rove was the only book he ever read from cover to cover), was praying for a larger hecatomb of victims in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Plausibly they might all have been praying to enter a state of ZPC grace.
The spate of recent TV programs in the US that discuss faith –including Barbara Walters’ less than erudite or dispassionate program about “heaven” in different religions, complete with her interview of a Palestinian “terrorist” in an Israeli jail (cast as the theologian explaining Islam) is highly suspect.
Finally, we can agree that each people/nation should be completely free to choose the kind of leaders/presidents whom they wish to have and whom they trust.
Nevertheless, living in a country where it is very hard to ascertain the religion of the president or to assess his faith because he never uses it as a prop in his speeches must be nice. After the indigestion of all the toxic presidents served with all the trimmings, including their purported religion, I can well imagine that the reaction would be, as the old commercial went: Plop, plop. fizz, fizz, oh, what a relief it is!