On the show O'Reilly there was a segment with David Silverman (President of American Atheists) and Pastor Robert Jeffress that was fascinating but also showed Christian privilege in action.
Laura Ingraham was filling in as host and you could see the rage that David Silverman evoked in her. Jeffress and Ingraham were saying that Obama has launched an attack on Christianity and that Christians felt like second class citizens under his administration.
Ingraham opened the segment with these statistics:
Ingraham noted some new numbers from Gallup to preface the segment. According to the poll, 34 percent of respondents said they believed Obama is Christian. Eleven percent said they believed he’s a Muslim, and 44 percent said they don’t know. In another poll, 54 percent of respondents said they would vote for an atheist president, compared to 43 percent who said they would not.
The disheartening numbers aside, does it really matter what faith group Obama belongs too?
David Silverman said that the numbers show a 'de-bigoting of America' and that the numbers don't mean that America is in danger of becoming an anti-religious nation. The host jumped in by asking Silverman if he would prefer that and Silverman responded by saying that we need to “get to a point where people can be who they are and not be judged simply on that fact.”
I agree with Silverman. A candidate (ideally) should be judged on the merits of their platform and past performance.
But let's say for arguments sakes that Christian values are important enough to people that they want their President to champion them. What exactly are these Christian values that an atheist couldn't possess? Here's a few that I found on some Christian websites:
1. Fidelity in marriage: Atheists can believe in fidelity just as much as any Christian. Besides that, how many Christian politicians have been caught sleeping around on their spouse? Obviously, being a Christian is no guarantee that someone won't be unfaithful.
2. Renunciation of worldly goods: I don't know too many politicians who are broke or willing to give away their worldly goods. Most are power hungry rich folk. I guess the Christian politician isn't so good at keeping this 'Christian value' either. Also, there are atheists who aren't materialistic.
3. Non-violence: Atheists can be non-violent just like a Christian. Both the GOP and Democratic parties are or can be war mongers and both parties are made up primarily of Christians so I guess this Christian value has been thrown out the window as well.
4. Forgiveness of sins: Well, 'sin' is a religious construct but that doesn't mean atheists can't be every bit as forgiving in nature as a Christian. Another swing and miss for Christian values.
5. Unconditional love: The GOP likes to trumpet about how religious they are, yet I don't see a whole lot of unconditional love coming from that party. Do you?
6. Honesty: Atheists can be every bit as honest as a Christian. Besides that, there aren't a whole lot of politicians (religious or otherwise) who are honest. Lying and keeping secrets seems to be a needed 'skill' if you want to be a successful politician.
7. Be humble: Atheists can be humble. Not many politicians are.
8. Be generous with time and money: Atheists can do this as well and they'll do it without believing that they're going to get an eternal reward for doing so.
9. Don't be self-righteous: Huh...you mean like trying to force your religious views on the populace? Don't judge other people? Sounds good but I don't see too many of the loudest religious politicians practicing this piece of good advice. There are atheists who aren't self-righteous.
The one thing that Atheists aren't that is in tune with 'Christian values' is to believe (or love) in God. That's it and when it comes right down to it, it doesn't seem to matter anyways because that belief in God that so many politicians like to brag about, doesn't seem to matter in the behavior department anyways.
Hell, that interview on O'Reilly destroyed a few of the 'Christian values' listed above. For example, the host (supposedly a good Christian woman) said:
Ingraham didn’t buy the argument, referring to a culture that calls into question Christianity and belief in God — pointing to shows like Modern Family, Glee and Desperate Housewives (not exactly “Christian fare”).
Doesn't sound very humble to me. Pretty self-righteous statement as well. The statement doesn't show unconditional love or a willingness to forgive perceived 'sins' either.
Even if you talk about a hot topic like abortion, which many Christians oppose, you can find atheists who feel the same way, although probably not for the exact same reasons.
So what exactly does a Christian bring to the Presidency that an atheist couldn't again?