A Child Asks: Why Hasn’t There Been an Atheist President? May 6, 2015

A Child Asks: Why Hasn’t There Been an Atheist President?

Kate Cohen‘s daughter wants to be the first woman President. But since Hillary Clinton may stand in the way of that goal, Kate suggested she aim for a different “first”:

“How ’bout you be the first atheist president.”

She replied, “What’s an atheist?”

This surprised me, and pleased me, too. Not believing in God is such a given in our house she doesn’t know it has a name. She might have said, “What’s an omnivore?” for the same reason.

“An atheist is someone who doesn’t believe in God.”

“There hasn’t been a president like that?”

“Nope,” I said. “Or at least none who has admitted it. You can’t say you’re an atheist and get elected.”

“Why not?”

Oh boy… Because people are prejudiced and ignorant and assume the worst about people whose non-belief they can’t wrap their minds around.

Because voters care more about whether you believe in their imaginary friend than how you would govern.

Because atheist candidates, if they exist, know better than to go public with that label.

Maybe, by the time Kate’s daughter grows up, some of that will change. In the meantime, you can read Kate’s thoughts right here.

(Image via « м Ħ ж » on Flickr)


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