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Would you run for office as a non believer?

The long held believe in the US is few would vote for you; less true now

By rosscann5
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13 comments

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I couldn't handle all those dull meetings and having to deal with a room full of lawyers who've been trained to argue black is white and win at all cost !

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In my states constitution, it says something like " there are no religious tests required to qualify a person for possible election, but they must acknowledge the existence of a supreme being." So basically atheists need not apply. Running for office isn't my style though so that and the law makes it a no.

Zachary Level 4 Jan 7, 2018

which state is that?

@markdevenish Texas. 7 states have banned atheists from holding office, but I only remember Texas cuz that's home.

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If I were living in my hometown of Portland, Oregon, perhaps smile001.gif ... Here in SW Virginia.. Thanks for the laugh! smile002.gif The best we get in this neck of the woods are ‘Independents.’ I sat in on a recent candidate search with local Democrats when a fellow’s name came up -- instantly negated with, “He can’t run, he’s an Atheist.”

That’s one I’ll no doubt remember for a while… ‘Welcome to Virginia - it’s for Lovers (but not Atheists)’...? Makes me sick. Public meetings ‘opened with prayers,’ as some a-hole no doubt makes a list as to who doesn't participate... Knew what I was getting into, Blacksburg and VA Tech were an option. But not here ~

Varn Level 8 Jan 7, 2018
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No, I don't want to be part of the problem. A rational government that discounts votes of those ignorant of the subject at hand, whether intentional or not, would be the only government I'd ever want to acknowledge or be a part of. The old US motto of: one man, one vote clearly demonstrates that this won't ever likely happen here.

mt49er Level 7 Jan 7, 2018
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Not unless I kept my mouth shut as to my beliefs because if I dind’t I would sure as hell loose

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I wouldn't run in the first place, but if I did want to...well, then I'd want to lol.

Neraven Level 6 Jan 7, 2018
1

I HATE the fact that people running for office are even asked this question! I care about whether the believe in helping those who need it, good educations for all, universal healthcare, legalizing marijuana, etc etc etc. Unless they are a flaming evangelical, in which case they will not shut up about it, none of anybody's business!

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In the UK it would be a knotty constitutional issue, as we do not separate church and state. The Queen is both head of state and head of the church of England. Before Tony Blair it was the prime ministers job to pick COE archbishops but he delegated the task (permanently) as he was a closet Catholic. We did have an agnostic run for office, Neil Kinnock (he did not win).

I appreciate answers and perspective beyond our often ‘US centric’ discussions... As a US citizen, it’s definitely time we begin considering what’s working around the world. So you described the Prime Minister, how about ..local officials? Is there a spoken or unspoken disqualification if one lacks a religion, if be that the COE?

@Varn Only where sectarian politics might be in force. Most noticeably in Northern Ireland or maybe Glasgow. Otherwise it does not come up unless it`s someone like Sadiq Khan mayor of London.

is corbyn religious? I find that hard to take

@markdevenish No I dont think he is either but then most people in the UK arent. COE attendances are less than 2%. Yet every session of parliament begins with prayers and it would be compulsory for any PM to attend some church events as it is now for Corbyn as leader or the opposition.

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Few years ago (I don't remember the state) an Atheist guy run and won a position in his state's Legislature. Many of his constituents wanted him to resign even before taking office.

DUCHESSA Level 8 Jan 7, 2018

We’re the last Minority!

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No. I don't have the stamina to fight. Then again, I wouldn't vote for anyone who has religious ties. Perhaps it's unpopular but there's no way I could support Bernie because of his waffling on Palestine. When confronted on a few occasions, he got defensive and threw tantrums -- just like Orrin Hatch.

Goat Level 5 Jan 7, 2018
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I would, thought about it, then got carried away on the medical bath I'm on. If I did, I would have openly run on a platform of agnosticism. I think an agnostic would do better than an atheist. We already know that there is a strong theist majority in voting. As such, an agnostic that doesn't deny their beliefs would be better tolerated than an atheist that does. At the same time, an agnostic would not "throw the baby out with the bath water" and would be willing to accept theist ideas if they felt they were better for the community while on the flip side, by not being a theist, an agnostic would not be willing to accept fringe religious idea or ideas that would harm the community at large. The other advantage is that one could declare to be not only theistically agnostic but also politically... In that they neither believe nor disbelieve the left or the right but rather endorse that which evidence tells them is best.

Ironically, no doubt thousands of Atheists hold office ..they just can’t admit it… Maybe that’s a good question for around here -- Is a closet Atheist an Atheist..? Anyway, there’d be no reason for you to make ‘Atheism,’ or Agnosticism’ your platform… Just run as the intelligent, caring and energetic person you are ..with a quick disarming line when quizzed about your lack of religion. ‘I’ve never considered it relevant to public service’ smile001.gif

@Varn

Thing is for me, personally, a persons view on religion is relevant to public service so that answer wouldn't be honest. Secondly, a persons religious views are relevant to the public as well, so that answer won't endear me to the public. I would no more eschew my beliefs on religion as I would my beliefs on science in other words.

Remember, as an agnostic, I would admit that I hold not opinion either way, that I neither believe nor disbelieve, but that in itself is relevant to how I will serve and how I will be viewed by those that believe and those that don't believe

@TheMiddleWay Well, that’s why you’d not be elected, you’re too analytical… The public’s not going to parce that. And, my dismissive line was a ‘quick example.’ I’ve watched some smooth one’s dodge religion, including numerous terms in congress.. It can be done. You speak of your views on religion and science as if they are ‘a religion,’ I wouldn’t. Anyway, there are plenty of ‘closet atheist’s’ in office ..but I could never be one of them...

i'd vote for you!!

1

I have considered a run for office, but I would not make my beliefs an issue.

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Of course!!

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