Okay, this is a title that is just designed to piss people off. I’m in that kind of mood, unfortunately. Sorry, Americans! You know I am fond of you really. Here is why I have chosen it:
Gallup (1999) took a poll asking Americans what factors they might vote against in an election. They proposed a candidate that the voter would agree with on policy, but would have a certain characteristic (for want of a better word) and they were curious to see how this would affect the voter’s likelihood to vote for them. Here are the results:
Woman – 95% would still vote for her
Roman Catholic – 94% would still vote for him or her
Jewish – 92% would still vote for him or her
Black – 92% would still vote for him or her
Mormon – 79% would still vote for him or her
Homosexual – 79% would still vote for him or her
Atheist – 49% would still vote for him or her
Hang on?! Being an atheist seems to be incredibly unpopular (I always wondered why I was so friendless, at least I have an answer now). Maybe God has something to do with it, he is never on our side.
So that is why I am feeling slightly anti-American today.
On a related note, here is George Bush Snr’s response to a question asked about whether he recognised the equal citizenship and patriotism of American atheists:
“No, I don’t know that atheists should be considered citizens, nor should they be considered patriots. This is one nation under God.”
I won’t go into detail about how he is wrong; when you consider the hyper-religiosity of the US today it seems incredible to think that Thomas Jefferson and his friends, whether they were theists or not, were so vociferous in their insistence that America be founded as a secular nation.