Good Without God in 2016

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Source: US NEWS

By Robyn Blumner

Now that news editors have assembled and disseminated their end-of-year lists – Top 10 of This, Worst 5 of That – I’d like to mention one of the Most Missed Stories of 2015: how religious privilege plays out in American politics. You can’t escape it, and yet it is almost always escaped.

What I mean by religious privilege is the presumption that being a member of a Judeo-Christian faith is better than having no religion or being a nonbeliever. This is something the news media routinely and uncritically accept.

The results are predictable: Nonbelievers can’t run for office as openly secular, which skews public policy on issues such as women’s reproductive freedom and whether evolution is taught in school, and politicians compete with each other to broadcast their sanctimony.

Here is a partial list of ways GOP presidential candidates have made explicit or implicit claims that their Christian faith makes them better people and more qualified to be president.

  • Carly Fiorina told an audience in Iowa: ” I think people of genuine faith, whatever their faith is – I’m a Christian – but people of genuine faith, I believe, make better leaders.”
  • Ted Cruz: “Any president who doesn’t begin every day on his knees isn’t fit to be commander-in-chief.”
  • A variation on that theme came from The Donald himself, who showed up at this year’s annual Values Voter Summit waving a Bible (his favorite book, by the way).
  • Mike Huckabee told the same gathering a year prior that nonbelievers should be rooted out of government saying, those who “refuse to hear God’s heart” should be fired and replaced by those who hear it.
  • Marco Rubio says when the Bible and civil law come into conflict “God’s rules always win.”
  • And Seventh Day Adventist and retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson subscribes to a literal six-day creation of Earth and suggests Darwin’s theory of evolution was inspired by Satan “to make people believe there was no God.” He talks about his religious beliefs regularly on the campaign trail.

In a poll by the Des Moines Register in October, 89 percent of likely Iowa caucus goes said Carson was an attractive candidate because he vowed his actions would be guided by his faith in God. (Because it worked out so well after God allegedly told George W. Bush to launch the Iraq War.)

There are plenty of religious Americans who don’t like all this God talk and are more comfortable with religion being a private matter.

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