Can an Atheist make it to The House of Representatives, The Senate or perhaps even the Presidency?
Answering my own question:
Presently, no. In the future, possibly(25% or so).
Please share your thoughts
Over 70% of voters identify as christian in the US. To me that translates into no chance for the Presidency being openly Atheist in the foreseeable future. An Agnostic may pull it off prior to an Atheist due to their (I don't know) position on the existence of gods. Congress will slowly grow it's non religious population as religious generations die off.
We couldn't even keep a non-protestant Christian in the Oval Office without him being assassinated. (And yes, I am aware that this is a gross oversimplification of the factors which likely led to his assassination, but the fact that he was the first Catholic president seemed to be a sticking point for a lot of people.) A non-Christian in office would cause the seas to run red with blood and a 40-day rain of frogs.
Mudslinging about/involving dubious claims regarding Obama's religion was a major tool in attempts to hamstring both his candidacy and his presidential administration.
I would love for this country to progress to the point that an overt non-Christian could successfully run for and hold federal office (or a couple SCOTUS seats) but given that "America is a Christian nation" is still a relatively popular sentiment I fear it won't be until all the fundamentalist Federal incumbents still playing Cold War politics currently older than 60 are dead, assuming they haven't all been replaced by their proteges. Given the high incumbency rates at the federal level, it could be as far away as 20-40 years, when the children of GenX and Millenials are old enough to have a controlling interest in the federal political arena.
I think presently, yes. Bernie was pretty clearly not a believer in a literal deity and he had enthusiastic support. All it would take is for the candidate to also be a no-BS straight shooter (like Bernie) and an open acknowledgement of non-belief could actually go in her/his favor. People (enough of them to elect a president anyway) are ready for honesty. It could happen in 2020. That’s not to say there wouldn’t be a ton of dissenters, but we have that now.
I have no doubt that there are non-believers in congress or any other branch of the government. But they can't come out and say that because they know that they simply get elected.
What I would love to see is any government official that has finished their term and not trying to go for another. To actually come out and admit that 'yes, I am a non-believer' I always have been.
An atheist yes to all those posts. An atheist activist? No. I don't think personal beliefs should be discussed at all as long as their beliefs conform to the Constitution. This would prohibit religious activists from holding leadership positions as well.