Sunday, February 18, 2007

53% wouldn't vote for an atheist

* kleiman:
" Only 5% are willing to tell pollsters that they wouldn't vote for an otherwise well-qualified candidate of their own party if he were black; another 9% would have reservations. That strikes me as astonishingly good news, even if we take it at a discount. On the other hand, 53% wouldn't vote for an atheist; we've gotten more unpopular over the past eight years."

* xymphora:
"I keep saying that the United States is not going to attack Iran, but nobody believes me (six months from now, I’m expecting everyone to congratulate me on my prescience). One good indicator is the propaganda being churned out by the Bush Administration. It lacks all the conviction of the Iraq lies, and, even more telling, the mainstream media reports on it while simultaneously mentioning both that there are opposing views (something we never saw in the build-up to Iraq), and that the Bush Administration told similar stories about Iraq, stories which were all untrue and which led Americans into a disaster. The American Establishment has obviously ordered its lackies to try to tell the truth this time. "
i have to agree with xymphora here - there is a lot to point to that indicates that the iran war is , and has been, right around the corner - but it feels *completely* different to the iraq invasion buildup. i'm not sure whether the intent has changed, or if the rules have changed, or some other bloody thing - but it feels categorically different. otoh, we still hear lots of propaganda that points to an imminent invasion - where it stops, nobody knows.

* xymph:
"Robert Fisk, the best real Western journalist working in the Middle East, is consistently awful in writing about Lebanon, due to his friendship for Hariri and the Hariri clan. The facts on the ground are so obvious, however, that he finally seems to be getting it. "


steven andresen said...

This came up,

"...On the other hand, 53% wouldn't vote for an atheist; we've gotten more unpopular over the past eight years."

I suspect the reason people have strong opinions about atheists has to do with how people think of morality. They know next to nothing about the people who say they are atheists. But, they believe that people are dependent on religious convictions to be able to make morally justified decisions. The idea, I believe, is that atheists may be nice folks, but you couldn't trust them to do the right thing.

The general presumption that atheists are immoral needs to be addressed in order for anyone who is a professed atheist to get anywhere in politics.

Of course, they could always lie about having religious convictions, in order to appear to have a moral compas to these people. But, we wouldn't want to vote for them.

Don said...

Re: Religion

In a way, it's another face of the 'us vs. them' argument. It's human nature to pigeonhole others, and the nature of humans who devoutly follow (or think they follow) ideologies (political, religious, what have you) to define anyone else against whatever standards for existence their particular following defines for them, judge them (regardless of what their particular faith says of prejudice) and find them wanting. While I don't know the exact stats for the number of atheists kicking about (and I'm watching Shut Up & Sing and too lazy to Google/Wiki it right now) I'm comfortable saying they're in the minority.

Keep in mind also that whatever the stats, that 53% includes people of any faith (Christian, Muslim, Jew, Hindu, etc.) who disapprove of those not having any. Oddly, I'm encouraged that the number is only 53%, that 47% of respondents polled are possessed of enough free-will to consider other criteria despite the best efforts (political, religious, what have you) of some to quash it

(note previous reference to SU&S. Good flick so far. Natalie Maines just looked at the camera and called Shrub a "dumbfuck". Priceless...)

Re: Iran

I'm still on the fence on that one. The plays and the rhetoric are the same as Iraq, but the awareness of that mess and the tone are different (the media's amnesia notwithstanding).

That said, the question, as always, is what are they up to? If they aren't pulling some play in Iran to benefit the portfolios of their buddies, and this whole thing is a complicated and expensive shell game, what is the Administration up to and where?