Americans would vote for a homosexual before they’d vote for an atheist
It’s remarkable that as a middle class heterosexual white male I can still claim membership to the most hated/distrusted/discriminated minority in America (or however you want to interpret the results, anyway).
While I can’t say I’m surprised, the psychology behind this fascinates me. Why is there a perception that faith (or at least, the god-belief) is so virtuous, and why are reason and rationality so devalued?
Personally, I’d like a guy in charge of a nuclear arsenal capable of blowing up the planet ten times to be a rational kind of fellow – not someone who hears voices in his head, as George W Bush has claimed on more than one occasion.
But just looking at the American political scene, being able to convince the electorate that you’re a person of strong faith seems able to make up for a lot of other (what should be disqualifying) moral faults: alcoholism, hard drug use, and going AWOL on national guard duty, for example.
Not being a religious person, this is one of the mindsets of the religious that truly baffles me, and thus I find it interesting. Professing faith strikes me as the ultimate in non-action from a politician, but people seem to so strongly equate religious belief with being a good person that it overwhelms other considerations – like what they actually do. Shouldn’t the ultimate basis for judging a person’s morality be by what they do rather than what they say they believe?
So suffice to say, I don’t get it.