New Survey: Atheism, Inexperience Top List Of Negative Trait For Presidential Candidate

While many argue that America is getting more secular, the public appear to still find atheism a negative characteristic for an aspiring politician, joining inexperience at the top of bad traits. Military experience top the list of positives, ahead of experiences as governor and business executive.

The new Pew Research Poll indicates the public’s opinions headed into a heated 2014 election cycle and a looming 2016 presidential race.

“A new national survey testing candidate traits finds that 30% would be less likely to support a candidate with “many years” of experience as an elected official in Washington, while 19% would be more likely to support such a candidate. About half (48%) say it would not matter if a candidate had long Washington experience,” the report states.

It’s a sad fact that this is the case… Especially since “there shall be no religious test” to hold office.

People “test” for positive qualities all the time. There is no law in this country that says a politician has to belong to a certain religious group, if any.

Obviously, Americans don’t care very much about either of these qualities anymore. What they say and how they vote are two different things. :whacky:

I actually can see why this might be, I think Voltaire was the first person to identify this problem.

Regardless as to what the religion might preach (Pointing at Romney’s Mormonism here) people will assume in the west (from their Judeo-Christian heritage) that a religion entails the concept of a final judgement, and that a politician who fears divine punishment is more likely to do good. Of course this doesn’t account for faiths which call for the stoning of women and the like…

The Atheist, a prejudiced view or not has no fear of Divine wrath, so hence is deemed more likely to do bad, because he can get away with it.

It’s a really common assumption, and I can see why it exists. I can’t say it would be a deciding factor for me but with two candidates with a similar manifesto I would be more inclined to vote in a theist than an atheist; would influence me as well to a degree.

Oh, I agree that there is no law against them doing that. I just find it sad that they do so.

I think it will be the proverbial freezing day you-know-where before an avowed atheist is elected President. That said, I think we may have had a few who were practical atheists.

This might be a backlash resulting from the actions of the some of the more militant and vocal members of the atheist community. Organizations like the AHA paint all atheists in a bad light. I know several people who wouldn’t identify with any particular religion, and who wouldn’t consider themselves spiritual, who dislike atheists for that very reason.If atheists want better PR, they need to get better at policing their more annoying devotees.

Well we know they don’t really care about inexperience. They elected Obama twice.


Because I don’t think someone’s proclaimed religion has any bearing on their ability to serve in office.

I have to say for me, whether or not a person is an atheist or not makes no difference to me at the polls; In fact religion plays no part as well; as long as they subscribe to the values that are important to me, that will determine who I support in any election whether its local, state or federal.

We see what happens when a President has no morals. In the 90’s, many young girls were convinced by the Predator in the White House that oral sex was not really sex, therefore not immoral. Girls as young as pre-teens were doing it to young boys. Hey, their parents were defending the guy! Also, this buffoon sold top secret tecnology to the Chinese for campaign contributions. So, it is very important that any leader look to God in this dangerous world. Rob :cool:

I have to be honest. I don’t think I would trust an Atheist to be President of the United States. I fear that secularism would become even more severe under an Atheist President of the United States. Perhaps that fear is irrational but then again, it might not be. I think their personal moral values would have to weigh heavily into whether or not I would consider voting for an Atheist candidate for President of the United States.

These polls are nonsense. The American public rarely votes the way they claim to believe. Obama was as inexperienced as one gets, and won two terms. How can anyone who voted for Obama even once rate experience as a key factor? Congress has been at historic lows and trending down since 2006, and yet the incumbents are still usually the victors. Half the country polled wants to throw them all out, ye watch how many incumbents win in November. Their will be turn over, but based on these polls, every incumbent should lose. We as a people are all talk.

Atheism I can believe, since it is so foreign to most Americans. The majority still believe in God, and probably don’t trust or feel comfortable with someone who does not.

Regardless, the American people are foolish, fickle, largely ignorant people, who vote their own wallets (generally, just tricked into believing they are doing so…) over any long held principles.

For example, I will always choice the candidate that best espouses Catholic teachings on life first and foremost, coupled with a concern for truly helping those in need (read: not simple words or just more handouts). I don’t care if the candidate pledged to sign a 0% income tax on white males in their thirties, he wouldn’t even be a consideration if he didn’t meet those basic, essential standards. It appears that this is not the case with millions of voters, though.

This is a new poll, taken after 5+ years with an amateur at the controls.

HC01 may be onto something here.

The number one religion of politicians is power, no matter what they claim it is.

I will always vote for the person who will represent my interests, regardless of religion.

But the American people crack me up. We don’t want an “inexperienced” president, but we don’t want a “Washington insider” either.

But I’d be willing to bet that the people here deriding Obama for his lack of experience supported McCain. Palin, arguably the most inexperienced politician in the country, would have been one elderly man’s heartbeat away from the presidency.

Yes, almost as inexperienced as Obama in his first stab at the presidency.

Really? You just blindly hate Obama.

Palin flunked out of several colleges before finally getting a bachelor’s in communications. She was a city council member, mayor, and then governor for less than two years when she was chosen as a running mate. She left the country for the first time in 2007

Obama has a law degree from Harvard, served as a state senator for 8 years, and then as a US Senator for 4. He had published many academic works and had traveled extensively abroad.

One of these people is far more experienced than the other.

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