It would be possible to fall into the mindset that only atheists should become public servants. as nice as that sounds, i would certainly be happy to elect public servants of whatever faith or lack thereof who kept their personal beliefs personal and did not try to legislate, enforce or adjudicate them. one of my favorite public servants, keith ellison, a muslim, is leaving the u.s. congress in order to run for minnesota attorney general. i like him a lot; we've met several times. he NEVER tries to lay religion on anyone, and i know he would be fair in everything he did, just as he has been so far. compare and contrast to, say, mark green of tennessee, who says (and if elected would act on what he says!):
"… every person who came to Christ came to Christ with a physical need… People go to God because of a physical need and they walk away with a spiritual need met. That’s the story of the Gospels. And so government has stepped in, at least in this country, and done all the work for the church. And so the person who’s in need — they look to the government for the answer. Not God. And I think, in that way, government has done an injustice that’s even bigger than just the entitlement — creation of an entitlement welfare state. I think it’s even bigger. And in this setting, I’ll share the story… I think it interrupts the opportunity for people to come to a saving knowledge of who God is."
ellison is often asked about religion because he is a muslim, and his answers do not change my idea of his being a person who does not try to politicize religion. in one answer, he says that directly:
"People will politicize religion; we see it in every faith, in every religion. We see it with Pat Robertson, in my opinion, and we see it with the Taliban."
i am not posting this to tout ellison in particular, although i like him a lot and in a different setting i would not be averse to doing so. here i am using him as an example to contrast him to my other example, mark green, who quite obviously cannot separate his personal religious beliefs from how he thinks other people should believe and behave.
so i contend that we would be wasting our time trying to make sure everyone we elect is an atheist. that would be futile for one thing, and for another it isn't necessary. all we really need to do is to make sure that our public servants serve ALL of the public, and do not legislate, enforce or adjudicate religion, ANY religion, their own, someone else's or a generalized idea of religion. (and if we could elect atheists too, how cool would THAT be? so we need to change the laws in the states that don't allow atheists to run for or hold public office!)