It’s not like this is news really, but Americans would still rather vote for someone who is Muslim, gay or lesbian, has smoke marijuana or is in their 70s for President, than to vote for an atheist. Not that I think being gay or lesbian, smoking dope, or being a really old fart should necessarily disqualify anyone from being President. But it is interesting that there still seems to be this association in the minds of many Americans that being an atheist somehow means that you don’t have morals.
One could compose a very long list of Christians who have been far from models of moral virtue. That list would include Jimmy Swaggart, the former Pentecostal televangelist Jimmy Swaggart, who cheated on his wife with a New Orleans prostitute named Debra Murphree; former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who cheated on his first two wives, and asked his first wife, Jackie Battley, for a divorce while she was in the hospital recovering from cancer surgery; former Senator David Vitter, who was a client of the Washington, DC escort service operated by Deborah Jeane Palfrey; former Congressman Larry Craig, who was arrested for lewd conduct in a men’s room stall at the Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport; former crystal meth smoking evangelical minister Ted Haggard, who was also a client of a male escort named Mike Jones; Jim Bakker, another married televangical minister who cheated on his wife with church secretary Jessica Hahn, and was subsequently convicted of federal fraud and racketeering charges in relative to his mismanagement of his ministry, and former California State Assemblyman Michael D. Duvall who, during a lull in an appropriations committee meeting, bragged to another member that he had been cheating on his wife with two different women, one of them a lobbyist.
I would be remiss if I didn’t include in the list of people who espouse Christian values the beloved Sarah Palin, who according to well-sourced biographies is a liar and opportunist who would throw just about anyone under a bus, no matter how loyal they’ve been to her. Palin also famously tried to fire Alaska Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan when the latter refused to fire state trooper Michael Wooten who just happened to be involved in a nasty divorce with Palin’s sister.
This list doesn’t even begin to deal with the corrupt popes and other church authorities, the Kings and Queens and Princes of the middle ages, or men like Adolf Hitler, who believed himself to be a good Christian. There is, needless to say, all kind of violence currently being perpetrated in the name of Allah in many parts of the world.
But it is us, the atheists, who are singled out by American voters as not having a moral center. Oh, if I could have a nickle for every hypocrite who lives in the United States, I’d be sitting on top of about $1.5 billion in cash.