Atheist in the White House

Welcome to my blog. Today I would like to discuss this article by Max Boot in Washington Post: It’s for us to have an unapologetic atheist in the Oval Office.  His arguments are given in the bold letters.

Among the 21 candidates seeking the Democratic nomination, virtually every ethnic, religious and sexual identity is represented. There’s a gay man, six women, three African Americans, a Chinese American, multiple Catholics and Protestants, even a Hindu. (Hindus are 0.7 percent of the population.) But there is one conspicuous absence: Not a single candidate publicly identifies as an atheist. That’s not to say they are all religious believers. But if they aren’t, they are keeping it to themselves.

Yes, even, Bernie Sanders. Although raised Jewish, Sanders has acknowledged that he is “not actively involved in organized religion.” But asked about his faith during the 2016 campaign, he equivocated: “It’s a guiding principle in my life, absolutely. You know, everyone practices religion in a different way. To me, I would not be here tonight, I would not be running for president of the United States if I did not have very strong religious and spiritual feelings.” So a candidate who doesn’t mind calling himself a “socialist” refuses to say that he is a secular humanist — if, in fact, that’s what he is.

America was founded by individuals who fled England to practice their faith in freedom. They believed in God. They established this nation for the glory of God. Our religious freedom is a gift of God, not a privilege from the government.

The reticence is understandable given that animus against atheists is one of the last prejudices still acceptable in polite society. A 2015 Gallup poll found that more respondents would refuse to vote for an atheist for president (40 percent) than for a Muslim (38 percent), gay (24 percent) or Jewish (7 percent) candidate. Other surveys have shown that Americans don’t want atheists marrying their children or teaching them. Eight state constitutions even prohibit nonbelievers from holding public office.

American people are aware that, as Abraham Lincoln told in his Gettysburg Address, this is a nation under God. They celebrate Thanksgiving Day every year to express their gratitude to God. They are not comfortable to elect an atheist, who does not even acknowledge the existence of God.

Yet people who profess no religious identity (“nones”) are one of the largest and fastest-growing demographic groups in the United States. According to the Pew Research Center, 22.8 percent of Americans are “nones,” slightly fewer than the number of evangelical Protestants (25.4 percent) and slightly more than Catholics (20.8 percent). No other religious identification comes close. Of course, not all “nones” are atheists; Pew found that 27 percent of them believe in God. But not everyone affiliated with a religious faith believes in God. I am, for example, part of the 17 percent of American Jews who don’t believe in God. I identify with Judaism ethnically and culturally, but I’m not religiously observant.

America is not becoming a secular nation. It is still predominantly a Christian nation. Almost all ‘nones’ are coming from people who never took God seriously in the first place. They are ChrisEaster ‘Christians’, who go to church on Christmas or Easter. They don’t take God seriously and God does not take them seriously. Abraham Heschel said, ‘God is of no importance unless He is of supreme importance’. Either God is of supreme importance to you or no importance at all. There is no middle ground here. So, no one should be concerned with the increase of ‘nones’.

Conventional public opinion surveys are thus misleading when they find that only 3 percent of Americans are atheists. A University of Kentucky study suggests that as many as 26 percent of Americans are actually nonbelievers.

Atheists are looked down upon because of the erroneous assumption that you can’t be good without God. An international survey showed that people are likely to assume that a serial killer is an atheist. This is despite all of the terrible acts, such as the Easter Sunday suicide bombings in Sri Lanka, carried out by religious zealots. And it’s not just Muslim extremists who are culpable. The gunman who is accused of attacking a Poway, Calif., synagogue was a conservative Presbyterian who blamed Jews for the death of Jesus. No doubt the Catholic priests who sexually abused children also considered themselves to be paragons of faith.

Atheists are looked down upon because of the erroneous assumption that you can’t be good without God: An iphone does not have to acknowledge that it was created by Steve Jobs in order to function well. Similarly, no one has to acknowledge their Creator in order to live a morally good life. The ‘moral’ apps we have were given to us by God. You can use those ‘apps well even without believing in God.

Sri Lanka: carried out by Muslim terrorists who hated Christians.

Poway, California: Carried out by a Presbyterian young man who was caught into White supremacism. If he believed that Jews were responsible for the death of Jesus, he was wrong. Jesus died because of our sins.

Catholic bishops considered themselves to be paragons of faith: A doctor who abuses his patients might think he is a good doctor. But he is violating Hippocratic oath. Similarly, a Catholic Bishop abusing children might think of himself as a good bishop. Yet he is in violation of Jesus’ clear teachings: ‘But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and the he were drowned in the depth of the sea’ (Matthew 18:6)

There are too many examples of evil committed in the name of God to assume that people act morally because they are afraid of divine punishment. More likely, people are social animals who develop moral codes so they can live at peace with their neighbors. That’s why almost all societies, whether religious or not, have similar taboos against murder, robbery, rape and other sins.

People are social animals who camp up with moral codes based on social utility. Really? Naturalism has no basis for morality. Morality is what we should do in spite of social utility. A lion kills ten cows and while eating their meat thinks that killing has lot of social utility. Darwinism does not explain why it is immoral for a homo sapien to kill ten other homo sapiens. Social utility to whom? To the victim or the perpetrator?

Most of China’s 1.4 billion people have no religious affiliation, and fewer than 7 percent are monotheists. Is there any reason to believe that China is a less moral place than the United States, where 70.6 percent profess to be Christians? Or that Europeans act worse than Americans because only 27 percent of them believe in the God described in the Bible, compared with 56 percent of Americans? In fact, by many measures, such as crime rates and social welfare, Europe is actually a more moral place.

China is officially atheist nation. The government forces even kindergarten kids to strictly limit their metaphysical teaching to atheism. In spite of persecution, Christianity is growing very fast in China.

We are not morally superior to Chinese. But America and Europe reaped many benefits because of their Christian heritage. Our democracy, rule of law, freedom of speech, dignity of labor, free elections are cultural products of Christian faith.

Buddhism, with its presence in China, Vietnam, Myanmar provided a fertile ground for atheistic Communism in those nations. Christianity with its emphasis on God as the source of our freedom has always been a scourge to Communists. Read Bible in North Korea and you will find yourself on a death row.

Europe is moral: We shall not forget that Europe has two thousand years of Christian heritage. It’s political parties are still called Christian Democratic Party, Christian labor party etc. Atheists in Europe are still not a majority. So Europe’s moral stature can not be ascribed to atheists.

The outsize political role of pastors in U.S. politics has sometimes been good and sometimes bad; both segregationists and civil rights activists cited the Bible. Today, the consequences are often simply perverse. Some evangelicals condemn Pete Buttigieg, a Christian combat veteran, for being gay, yet insist that God selected Donald Trump — a thrice-married adulterer and serial liar whose life has been devoted to the pursuit of mammon — as president.

both segregationists and civil rights activists cited the Bible: subjective interpretations do not rule out objectivity of the text. God’s Word is like a sun. We might see the sun differently in different shapes, we might feel it in different temperatures but there is only one sun. Our views of the sun or our feelings about sun do not change the sun. In the same way, We might have different opinions about the Bible but Bible does not change.

Martin Luther King Jr profusely quoted the Bible and won the hearts and minds of his generation with his interpretation of the Bible.

Buttigieg and Trump: both homosexuality and adultery are sins. Criticizing homosexuality is not condoning adultery.

Trump shows how immorally a supposed Christian can behave. Winston Churchill is the flip side of the coin, showing how righteously a nonbeliever can act. Churchill was a nominal Anglican but he had no belief in God. “In the absence of Christian faith, therefore,” writes biographer Andrew Roberts, “the British Empire became in a sense Churchill’s creed.”

No serious historian would describe Winston Churchill as an atheist. He vehemently criticized Communist Russia and its officially atheist policies and he fought valiantly against the iron curtain. Most British leaders even though not Bible thumpers espoused a Christian world view.

If atheism was good enough for Britain’s greatest prime minister, it should be good enough for a U.S. president. We’ve had closeted freethinkers as president but never one who was out and proud. Thomas Jefferson, a deist who rejected the divinity of Christ, bridled when he was called an atheist by his opponents. Given how many taboos we have already shattered — making it easy to imagine a female president who is of Jamaican and Indian descent — I look forward to the day when we will finally have an unapologetic atheist in the Oval Office. But probably not in 2021.

atheism was good enough for Britain’s greatest prime minister….. Churchill was not an atheist. According to atheists Churchill was an atheist and Hitler was a Christian. Christian meta narrative is that we are all created in the image of God; we became sinners by breaking God’s laws; Lord Jesus came to this world to save us from hell; all sinners will be judged by God on judgment day. Did Hitler believe this Christian meta narrative? No he did not. He and Nazis followed the atheism of Nietzsche and tried to establish a 1000 year reich.

Winston Churchill fought against Hitler and Stalin, both atheists. Churchill believed that people should live in freedom. Churchill’s great-grandson Jonathan Sandys once said that he went through personal notes of Churchill and found that Churchill often prayed to Christian God.

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