Presidents and religion - smart enough to lie, or dumb enough to believe?

You’re right. Actually, you’re wrong too but less wrong than I was. He said

“And if there are a substantial number of genuinely religious Americans, why shouldn’t we assume the President is among their number?”

I got the impression that he didn’t think it was a problem if the post of the president was restricted to a certain rather limited part of the population. Previously the white, heterosexually married, christian man. Now* the heterosexually married, christian man.

That does of course not equal “demand” so I was way off there. But if he actually doesn’t think it is a problem (ie: he thinks it is how it should be), then I disagree with him.

  • If you wanted to go a bit extreme on it you could say that the definition of white has been widened to “Person raised in a predominantly white enviroment with at least one white parent”. But I think that Bill Cosby could get elected if he was a bit younger. Snoop, not so much.

do you mean by “should be”? I might want a certain characteristic in a president, but if the only way to get that is to go against the will of the electorate, then I don’t think it “should be”. At any rate, we can let **LN **speak for himself. I find it better not to try and read motive into someone’s post.

I’m sure it sounds offensive coming from an agnostic like myself, but I do believe that even if religion isn’t incompatible with innate intelligence it is incompatible with critical thinking and intellectual curiousity. Believing that of all the sets of myths put forth in human history, the ones of the culture you were born into just happen to be true requires a pretty low level of critical thinking and awareness of self, society, and your role in it.

And traits like critical thinking (which with religion would involve things like questioning where the beliefs you inherited from your parents originally came from, or why your beliefs are superior to anyone elses, or what you’d believe had you been born into a different society in a different time, or why the beliefs can be so incompatible yet others believe just as strongly as you, etc) are extremely important in being president.

That is why I think Obama is a closet atheist, I think he tries to get multiple POVs on an issue which would likely not sit well with thinking the established religious myths hold water.

This is not really a rebuttal. I may not have all the answers, but I can certainly recognize which answers are definitely false, and sky god answers are definitely false.

I know plenty of people who belong to a religion without believing that some guy on cloud watches your every move. Atheism doesn’t have to = not practicing a religion or adhering to parts of it. My Muslim friend is atheist and practices kind of like a lapsed Jew does - when he’s at his mom’s house in Saudi Arabia or when it’s Ramadan. :o But he’d never identify with something that wasn’t Muslim.

shrug IMHO, the idea of a god is neither rational or irrational. It’s somewhere in between…as though it were transrational. What you do with it may be completely irrational, though.

Threads like this always make me wonder, why is blatant bigotry so acceptable here?

All the Presidents of the USA have been theists-note, not Christians, but theists.

Religious beliefs are only opinions. If you’re going to make opinions sacred, and call any disagreement, or even mockery of opinions, “bigotry,” then no debate is possible.

You are not a victim of bigotry just because somebody thinks ypur religious beliefs are ridiculous. To take things to an extreme, would mockery of race religions also qualify as “bigoted?” If I say the religious belief that white people are descended from the devil (a real belief in the Nation of Islam) is moronic, am I a bigot?

People are entitled to the right to believe whatever they want (and for me that includes even racist beliefs), but that doesn’t mean people have to respect the beliefs themselves. You can either defend them or you can’t. Disrespecting specific religious beliefs is not more bigoted than disrespecting political beliefs.

You can’t possibly know this. None have admitted to being atheists, but more than one showed signs that they could have been (Jefferson and Lincoln in particular).

Without conceding to what you have said, threads like this have nothing to do with objecting to Christian or whatever other religious beliefs. You’ll notice both the OP and the post I quoted made statements not about religious beliefs, but about religious people. The former made it clear that no religious person could be intelligent, while the latter stated that no religious person could be intellectually curious.

These are bigoted statements, full stop.

Perhaps. I’ll concede it when it’s that absolutist. Atheists get bashed too, though, and bigotry of all sorts is allowed on the board.

You obviously don’t know many thoughtful believers. It’s extremely common and expected for young adults who have been raised in a religious home to question and examine their parents’ religion. Many of them decide to keep in, many others adapt it for themselves, and still others drop it altogether. Just because someone some retains all or part of the faith they grew up with is no evidence that they lack “critical thinking” skills. Your conclusion is not supported by your observation. They just simply did not come to the conclusion you thought they would/should.

My faith is different than my parents’. It been changing and growing since I was a teenager, and I think I’ve done a pretty good job of critically evaluating it over the years. You don’t know what you’re talking about.

Good on you. I know bigotry is allowed here — it just bothers me when it’s socially acceptable. I don’t think atheists should be bashed, either. It’s important to recognize that smart, thoughtful people can believe things we think are ridiculous, disgusting*, or whatever else.

*N.B. although I am very much not an atheist, I don’t think atheism is ridiculous or disgusting. Nor, for that matter, do I think most “other” religions are incoherent or ridiculous. I had to learn a bit about a number of religions for my job a while ago, and it was striking how most of the major religions had fairly reasonable and coherent understandings of what the world was about. There are exceptions, of course, but “don’t agree” really doesn’t mean “thinks it’s stupid”.

Both did believe in a higher power.

Agreed. Jefferson was most definitely not an atheist.

While T. Roosevelt never claimed to be an atheist, he is a President who didn’t swear in with a Bible…and John Q. Adams swore in on a book of law.

Yes, it is. Religion - all religion - is baseless and incredibly stupid. Anyone who has any religious belief whatsoever by definition lacks critical thinking skills or is refusing to apply them on that subject, which amounts to the same thing. That’s what it takes to buy into something so ridiculous, so blatantly fake. That’s why skeptics use examples like the Flying Spaghetti Monster - to underline just how ridiculous the whole idea is. Just how foolish would you need to be to actually believe in the FSM? No more foolish than believing in any “real” religion, less than some.

The former called Thomas Paine “a filthy little atheist” though.

This kind of attitude makes you look incredibly incompetent when it comes to critical thinking skills.

It is the nature of man to wonder about the things he does not know and better what he sees as wrong. This is not only the foundation of religion, but of science as well.

Like the aforementioned Isaac Newton for example? Or most of our Presidents?