Wednesday, April 09, 2008

No Atheists for President

According to Michael Medved's latest article. Apparently because most of us believe in Christianity and because some of our public ceremonies (notably the Pledge of Allegiance) invoke a creator, an atheist President would either not do those ceremonies or would be a hypocrite. Then he says this bit.
On one level, at least, the ongoing war on terror represents a furious battle of ideas and we face devastating handicaps if we attempt to beat something with nothing. Modern secularism rejects the notion that human beings feel a deep-seated, unquenchable craving for making connections with Godliness, in its various definitions and manifestations. For Osama bin Laden and other jihadist preachers, Islam understands that yearning but “infidel” America does not. Our enemies insist that God plays the central role in the current war and that they affirm and defend him, while we reject and ignore him. The proper response to such assertions involves the citation of our religious traditions and commitments, and the credible argument that embrace of modernity, tolerance and democracy need not lead to godless materialism. In this context, an atheist president conforms to the most hostile anti-America stereotypes of Islamic fanatics and makes it that much harder to appeal to Muslim moderates whose cooperation (or at least neutrality) we very much need.
What's hilarious here is that even the mention of making some of the substantive foreign policy changes that might make us slightly less hated in the middl east provokes cries of caving to terrorists, and the reminder that these people are crazy and we must accomedate them. Hell even the election of Keith Ellison, Muslim, to the U.S. Congress was portrayed in some right wing circles as a foolish capitulation to animals who would never stop hating us no matter what we do (and of course the only reason to elect a Muslim is to appease fanatics. It's not like Mr. Ellison could actually appeal to voters any other way).

So when it comes to invading their countries, maintaining bases over there, supporting oppressive regimes, supporting Israel, ignoring the plight of the Palestinian people and electing Muslims to the U.S. Congress, well we shouldn't let the terrorists affect any of those decisions because they are just animals and unreasoning. But elect an atheist President? We better not do that if we want to stay on their good side.

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