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 religious. As a brand-new analyse shows, people speculate 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 extravagant until the last days of last year, where reference is posted a letter( on Facebook, naturally) that read: Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah from Priscilla, Max, Beast and me, referring to his wife, his daughter and his bird-dog. A generic joyous meaning from a CEO, you might reckon. But then a commenter prompted Zuckerberg that he had long identified as an atheist. What had changed? The react was swift: I was promoted Jewish and then I went through a span where I interrogated acts, but now I feel religion is very important.

This statement, more even than his proposed travel around all 50 districts or his much-hailed visits to key, first-in-the-nation territories such as Iowa, were of the view that the tech wizard 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 new consider, 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 vile behaviour than those who have it.

The man behind the study, Will Gervais of the University of Kentucky, told the Times he had been motivated to research the topic by data that suggested US voters are less willing to elect an atheist than any other category of campaigner, including gay or Muslim. Gervais said he suspects that voters consider impression in God essential for righteousnes and regard atheists moral wildcards who scarcity imprisonment and be able to make anything, including knocking puppies, cheating at cards, light cannibalism.

US political spies have all along been worked on this assumption. Witness the leaked Democratic party documents that demonstrated allies of Hillary Clinton in 2016 considering a plan to cover Bernie Sanders as an atheist, imagining it was able to expenditure him decisive percentage points in God-fearing countries 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 representations whose personal morality has been famously suspect have rushed to hold their affinity for God. The most egregious pattern is surely the present incumbent of the White House. Despite producing a life devoted to the venerate of mammon, Donald Trump was is adopted by white-hot evangelical voters, who consented his declarations of fondnes and considered him as preferable to church-going Clinton. It suggests that, while Americans expect their legislators to admit faith in God, they barely challenge consistency.

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