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A President with Ketchup, Fries and Religion, Please

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!

7 Responses to A President with Ketchup, Fries and Religion, Please

  1. who_me July 7, 2012 at 10:34 pm #

    se cupp seems to be a good representation of a jewish athiest. 😀

  2. Ariadna Theokopoulos July 7, 2012 at 11:20 pm #

    She is a poor impersonator, that’s for sure.
    What nonbeliever worth his atheist salt would say he/she trusts a religious leader more because he prays at night?
    Since she is totally implausible in her assigned role, one suspects an agenda, but because I have absolutely no idea who owns the media I cannot venture any guesses…

    • who_me July 7, 2012 at 11:42 pm #

      “but because I have absolutely no idea who owns the media I cannot venture any guesses…”


  3. who_me July 8, 2012 at 1:51 am #

    an irony here is that america’s founders, the famous names american kids learn in skool about the “founding fathers”, were not especially religious. some were even atheist, or just about there. religion wasn’t that big a deal in american presidential politics till after the civil war. i believe lincoln was the last american president that didn’t claim religious affiliation as part of his campaign.

    it’s strange to look at the history of that time. americans are brought up on the pablum that the country is politically advancing in the sphere of religious freedom, but it is the exact opposite. political candidates are now required to be religious to run, before it wasn’t really a factor.

    back in the 70’s it looked like the usa might finally return to a less politically religious state, but jp decided they needed sheep and goats, and ramped up the superstition – and religious bigotry to match it.

  4. Ariadna Theokopoulos July 8, 2012 at 2:45 am #

    I see a distinction between religion/faith as a personal or community belief system and religion as a political tool of manipulation.
    America was always more steeped in religion than Europe. Make that religionS. That’s why all kinds of religions and sects came to America: to be able to practice their faith freely, without interference by the state. Thye did so for a long time, some opting to protect their religion from interference by the state by isolating themselves in like-minded faith communities. They did not seek political power. There is Mennonite Lobby.

    As a political tool it started being used most visibly after WWII when communism became the bête noir, most succcinctly described to the American people by the media, not as the system of the gulags or of the Holomodor, but as “godless communism.”

    The biggest change came with the capture of the born again by Christian zionism which impacted upon the freedom of religion: see the demands for “reforming” Islam.

  5. Deadbeat July 17, 2012 at 3:04 am #

    I think agenda of the Atheism not really about being against religion but to create a mindset against religion in order to maintain an ignorance of the historical criticisms targeting usury and Jewry.

    • who_me July 17, 2012 at 3:18 am #

      depends on the atheists and whether they are jewish or not. 😉