In God we trust: why Americans won’t vote in an atheist chairwoman

What do Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton and Mark Zuckerberg have in common? They all declare to be religion. As a brand-new consider demonstrates, beings thoughts the most difficult of non-believers. What does this mean for US voters?

The notion that Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg is contemplating a run for president in 2020 seemed extravagant until the last days of last year, when he posted a word( on Facebook, naturally) that speak: Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah from Priscilla, Max, Beast and me, referring to his wife, his daughter and his hound. A generic gala meaning from a CEO, you are able to consider. But then a commenter reminded Zuckerberg that he had long identified as an atheist. What had changed? The rebuttal was swift: I was parent Jewish and then I went through a stage where I interrogated situations, but now I accept religion were critical.

This statement, more even than his proposed journey around all 50 countries or his much-hailed visits to key, first-in-the-nation nations such as Iowa, suggested that the tech hotshot was eyeing the White House. For Zuckerberg was tacitly recognise one of the golden rules of US politics: Americans wont vote for an atheist for president.

That maxim has been reinforced by a brand-new survey, which shows that people across the world are prepared to think the worst of atheists, expressed his belief that those without faith are more capable of immoral behaviour than those who have it.

The man behind such studies, Will Gervais of the University of Kentucky, told the Times he had been induced to study the topic by data that suggested US voters are less willing to elect an atheist than any other category of nominee, including gay or Muslim. Gervais said he suspects that voters consider creed in God essential for morality and see atheists moral wildcards who absence self-restraint and are capable of anything, including knocking puppies, cheating at posters, light-colored cannibalism.

US political spies have all along been worked on this assumption. Witness the leaked Democratic party documents that testified allies of Hillary Clinton in 2016 contemplating a plan to colour Bernie Sanders as an atheist, speculating it is unable to payment him decisive percentage points in God-fearing districts such as Kentucky and West Virginia. Sanders, who is Jewish, rushed to assert that he was no atheist.

This means that no openly non-believing candidate has won the presidential nomination of either major party. Even digits whose personal decency has been famously suspect have rushed to postulate their attraction for God. The most abhorrent lesson is surely the present incumbent of the White House. Despite preceding a life dedicated to the adore of mammon, Donald Trump was embraced by grey evangelical voters, who accepted his declarations of adoration and pictured him as preferable to church-going Clinton. It suggests that, while Americans expect their legislators to claim faith in God, they just demand consistency.

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