Atheists, how do you vote for president?

I just checked the Wikipedia article for every presidential candidate, and they are all religious. I spent several hours watching videos of the most popular democrats and republicans as the polls stand, and found myself agreeing and disagreeing with issues presented by both sides. But in the back of my mind, I can’t help but be unsatisfied with my available options. I disagree with all of them where it seems to count the most.

If you vote, how do you reconcile this dissociation between attitude and behavior? Do you stick to the issues, close your eyes and check the ballot, or withdraw from voting altogether? I feel torn, because the POTUS holds a tremendous amount of power and will shape our country in very important ways. Thus it would be irresponsible for me to abstain. At the same time, I feel as if I have no voice. One way to express my voice would be to withhold from voting, but this puts me on the same level as all the ignoramuses who don’t vote because they choose not to know any better.

What’s a guy to do?

If all other factors were the same, I would go for the one who downplays religion - but I’ve never found there to be that close a race. I care too much about too many other issues to let religion cause me to throw my vote away.

I don’t totally follow the problem; are you saying that you feel off about voting for someone who believes in an Invisible Pink Unicorn to run the country?

All I can say is that many many people have demonstrated ability to be rational, intelligent, and wise human beings despite strange beliefs in IPUs or other such errata. In fact, I’d say that most of my friends, family, and people I interact with every day seem to be able to act almost like normal people despite those strange beliefs.

So, I don’t sweat it too much.

I am only agnostic, not atheist, but I do get turned off by any candidate who is strongly and openly religious. Even the basically harmless and inept Jimmy Carter bothered me. I rather pick a candidate that does not talk about their beliefs or God. So if two are close, I guess the least openly religious wins the tie breaker.

So far policy issues have always superseded this tie breaker however.


I punch the chad with the horns on my head.

All things being equal I would vote for a non-believer. However all things are not equal. That being the case, as long as a candidate is not a raving nutjob about it, I have no problem ignoring his or her religious beliefs. Go to church/mosque/temple try to live a good life fine with me. But if you start claiming to heal people by touching them or that your god tells you jews/gays/atheists(sp?) are evil or that you want to see sinners piss there pants at the pearly gates as they are being condemned to everlasting damnation, you get no vote from me. With a side order of contempt.

I don’t really get the question. That would be like asking if you would vote for someone of a different faith. As an atheist, I will try to change the world locally WRT religion. I know my vote cannot drive God out of the USA, nor would I want it to. I will, however, reserve the right to refrain from voting for Pat Robertson or Jesse Jackson based upon their beliefs.

SSG Schwartz

How about a creationist?

I find myself automatically dismissing any candidate that is a creationist. Mike Huckabee seems like a nice guy, but I would not vote for him or even check further into what he represents once I realized he is a creationist.


“Creationist” takes you off. “Having god talk to you” takes you off immediately.

Really, having the support of the super Catholics takes you off immediately as well.

I agree with you LOUNE and What Exit?, but I also rule out people who have been abducted by aliens (from another planet).

SSG Schwartz

McCain cozying up with creationist was enough for him to lose my vote.

Messing with science in the name of religion would also lose my vote. I don’t mind people using religious principles to justify moral actions, but try not interfere with the scientific method when you want results.

As an atheist, you’re essentially screwed.

Neither party decides most of their decisions towards any issue on an internally consistent logic or morality. So things are just divied up randomly. And ultimately, you’ll only have the choice between two individuals, not all those who would be capable of doing the job. So for any election, the odds are that both options fairly well suck in terms of being logical parties.

The less I hear about god from a candidate, the more inclined I am to vote for that candidate.

Also, the less I hear about the party and the platform from a candidate, the more I am inclined to vote for that candidate. I want pragmatists, not dogmatics. Is that a word?

Religion isn’t much of a factor for me as long as they aren’t an obnoxious dick about it. I’ll also vote against anyone who is a creationist, but that’s not so much a matter of religion as simple good sense.

I mostly stick to the issues or vote for whoever pisses me off the least.

I’m an atheist, and to be honest, I didn’t think about this before. See, I have only voted a few times, being a young’un, and honestly did not even think about the religion of the person voting. I don’t plan on thinking of it in the upcoming election either. I’ll admit, if they were extremist in any manner, I don’t believe they are worthy of my vote, but if I refuse to vote for a Christian, Muslim, or Jewish candidate, that means I’m rather prejudice. Just because they hold those beliefs does not mean they are bad people. That means that just because I don’t believe doesn’t mean I’m a bad person. It has more to do with how they will be as a leader than what denomination of which religion they are, at least in my eyes.

Brendon Small

I simply vote for the Democrat, because I regard the Republicans as so much worse that nothing else really matters. I despise both candidates, always. Both are always suckups to religion, but the Republicans are much more in thrall to the dangerously insane faction on Christianity, so as far as my atheism affects my voting it makes sure I vote Democrat. Since both sides are dominated by theists, I always operate under the assumption that both parties fear and hate me for being an atheist.

I vote for the person who I believe will do the job best, whether or not they’re also religious.

Please note that ‘doing the job best’ involves not making policy based on religious beliefs. A good leader needs to be able to separate his public life from his private life.

I vote for Kucinich, because I agree with him on most things and he’s as “Christian” as I am (baptised, but no more information overtly forthcoming, perhaps. Not flogging it, in any case. I see his award from the Quakers as a nice non-religious feat; Quakers are sane, IMO) until someone else wins the primary, then I hold my nose.

Why ask how atheists vote for President? Why not ask how women or blacks or Hispanics or Asians or Jews or Muslims or immigrants or open gays or single children have voted for President? You vote for the person you believe has the best political ideas. If you insist that a candidate has to resemble you as much as possible, just write your own name in the ballot.

How would y’all feel about a candidate who identified as religious but who spoke out about the rights of atheists in America, etc? Even if it was embedded in a larger blanket statement about the rights of religious minorities?