I begin to wonder in what time period will people begin to realize that America is not a “Christian nation.” Sure, the majority of people practicing a religion in America may be Christian but if one were to check the Constitution, the supreme law of the land, the book we use to govern this country, they would find that this country does not and will not ever have an established religion. Amendment 1 of the Constitution literally reads: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…” The United State is a beautiful boiling pot of different cultures and religions, and as a country of so many different cultures and races and languages, I find it wonderful that everyone is granted the right to practice whatever they believe in and that the government should not favor one over the other or deny someone the right to practice what they want.
According to the Pew Research Center, roughly 70% of the country identifies as Christian and it is the biggest piece of the pie. This is a very large portion of America, but as someone who identifies as Agnostic or maybe Atheist, I would not want to be forced into believing Christian ideology, or Islamic, or Hinduistic. Do I believe everyone who wants to practice it should be allowed to? Yes, and I think everyone should want people to practice what they believe in. We live in a country that is known as “Land of the Free.” Why call it free if we aren’t able to freely worship or not worship who/what we want?
Apparently, every elected US President has been of some form of Christian descent. We have yet to have a Jewish president (We could have if Bernie had gotten the nomination) and we have only had one Catholic president. We have never had a Muslim president, Hindu president, Buddhist president, Agnostic president, Atheist president, or any other religious affiliation to become president. It seems weird when I think about it. Now according to the Article 2, Section 1, Clause 5 of the Constitution, the law of our land, it says: “No person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any Person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty-five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States.” So, what does this mean essentially? It means you don’t have to be a Christian to become president…but is Christianity an “informal qualification?”
When doing research, Vincent Hallinan is the only known Atheist who I can find who ran for president, and he did not win. This could have been because he ran as a Third Party candidate in the 1952 election, but why have no other Atheists ran for president? Apparently America wouldn’t be too thrilled about a non-Christian president. People were outraged when the rumor of Obama being a Muslim began to spread because they assumed he would be destructive to America based solely on his religion, and to this day people still believe that.
2016 GOP candidate, Ben Carson, stated that: “I would not advocate that we put a Muslim in charge of this nation. I absolutely would not agree with that.” He later said that electing a Muslim in Congress was a different story, but why not elect a Muslim as president? Why not elect a Buddhist? Why does a person’s religion matter whether or not how well they know their economics or public policy? My question is, does the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission not reach the employment of the presidency? Of course this job is an elected job, but it does call into question, how much does a person’s religion affect their chances of winning an election. Isn’t it time to end this chain of White male Christians as presidents? When will we get an Atheist president who will not abuse the separation of church and state mentality?
Research has been conducted and found that many citizens want their president to be Christian because they want to know that that candidate has a consistent set of morals and will look to something in a time of need, and it resonates with them when they quote scripture, or the fact that they feel more intimate with the president who identifies with their religious affiliation. My question to that then is, what about the Secular Citizens? A whopping 22% of America is Non-religious in a sense that they are either Atheist, Agnostic, or nothing in particular. 22% is a lot in my opinion…3 more percentages and it would be a quarter of America. When cannot ignore these people’s religious ideologies. What about the people who support the government, but don’t want religion to be a part of it because not everyone is of the same religion?
As someone who identifies as Agnostic, and a lot of people don’t actually know what that means, but it means the truth is unknowable, in my own personal belief, I find the under representation of Agnostics and Atheist in government disappointing. Secularism is a concept that I find very important as it relates to our government because we don’t–or at least we shouldn’t–force people to be a certain religion. So for the last time, America is not a Christian nation. It is a nation full of different religions and you can choose whichever one you want or none of them at all.Tweet
Self-Published Author & Personal Blogger
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