Gov. John Kasich: I’d Get Less Attention Right Now If I Said “I Was an Atheist” August 17, 2020

Gov. John Kasich: I’d Get Less Attention Right Now If I Said “I Was an Atheist”

One of the more surprising speakers at the Democratic National Convention tonight is Ohio Governor John Kasich, a Republican who plans to support Joe Biden in November.

I’m not a fan of Kasich. I’m happy he’s voting for Biden, but Democrats shouldn’t take any of his awful policy ideas seriously. They can do much, much better than that.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said it well today when she said “a Republican who fights against women’s rights doesn’t get to say who is or isn’t representative of the Dem party.”

Kasich responded to that comment during an interview on CNN tonight by saying, among other things, that he would’ve received less attention if he were coming out as an atheist.

… Well, I’m not trying to represent the Democratic Party. I’m just trying to talk about unity, and kind of what I said was she gets an oversized amount of attention but doesn’t have that kind of oversized amount of policy chops. And that’s fine! Listen, she works hard. She’s very articulate. And I don’t denigrate her at all — no way. But look, I’m there to try to tell people, again, think about country. Is this the path we want to go down, of disruption and fighting and all those kinds of things, or is there a better way to address the big problems?

The other thing is, Erin, that I’ve noticed, and I hope you’ve noticed this too, it’s gone from politicians fighting with one another, to families fighting with one another, and neighbors fighting with one another, and friends fighting with one another — over what?!

And I swear to you, if I’d come out and said I was an atheist, it would get a lot less attention than it does when I am gonna say that I’m gonna say some good things about a Democrat at a Democrat convention. It’s kind of crazy…

If Kasich got no attention for coming out as an atheist, that would be… great? I mean, why should that be newsworthy? It’s telling that Kasich believes coming out as non-religious would be a bigger bombshell than a Republican admitting to having basic human decency.

For what it’s worth, which coming out as atheist might be surprising if an elected Republican did it, 13% of Democrats don’t believe in God. There’s one Democrat in Congress who’s openly non-theistic and a dozen Democrats in the Congressional Freethought Caucus.

What Kasich thinks would be revolutionary is already happening. He’s just out of the loop.

By the way, not that you need more reasons for not liking Kasich — his policies are bad enough — but in 2016, in response to actor Daniel Radcliffe saying he was an atheist, Kasich’s reaction was, “What a weird thing. Why would a guy who has had all that success just, I mean, what the hell is wrong with him?”

When he was running for president in 2015, in a primary later won by Trump, Kasich said he wanted to create a government program to spread “Judeo-Christian values” around the world. He also said, separately, that if we lived in a secular society, “we will be in a very severe crisis point.”

He’s not the hero anyone is looking for.

Again, accept his vote and endorsement. But don’t listen to anything else he has to say.

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