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

What do Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton and Mark Zuckerberg have in common? They all profess to be religion. As a new study substantiates, parties conceive the most difficult of non-believers. What does this mean for US voters?

The notion that Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg is considering a run for president in 2020 seemed fanciful until the last days of last year, where reference is posted a message( on Facebook, naturally) that speak: Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah from Priscilla, Max, Beast and me, referring to his wife, his daughter and his dog. A generic festive letter from a CEO, you are able to recall. But then a commenter prompted Zuckerberg that he had long identified as an atheist. What had changed? The explanation was speedy: I was raised Jewish and then I went through a span where I interrogated concepts, but now I believe religion is very important.

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

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

The man behind the study, Will Gervais of the University of Kentucky, told the Times he had been induced to research specific topics by data that suggested US voters are less willing to elect an atheist than any other category of candidate, including gay or Muslim. Gervais said he believes that voters consider ideology in God essential for moral and see atheists moral wildcards who need self-control and be able to make anything, including knocking puppies, cheating at placards, light-footed cannibalism.

US political spies have long worked on this assumption. Witness the leaked Democratic party documents that demonstrated friends of Hillary Clinton in 2016 considering a is our intention to colour Bernie Sanders as an atheist, guessing it was able to overhead him critical percentage points in God-fearing nations such as Kentucky and West Virginia. Sanders, who is Jewish, rushed to assert that he was no atheist.

This is necessary that no openly non-believing campaigner has won the presidential nomination of either major party. Even anatomies whose personal morality has been famously doubt have hastened to assert their attraction for God. The most egregious illustration is surely the present incumbent of the White House. Despite preceding their own lives devoted to the love of mammon, Donald Trump was embraced by white evangelical voters, who admitted his declarations of piety and insured him as preferable to church-going Clinton. It suggests that, while Americans expect their legislators to claim faith in God, they hardly ask consistency.

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