I was listening to Herman Cain, a man who has stated that local governments can ban Islamic mosques if they so choose. Cain said he didn't know what atheists believe, at least in terms of morality.
I thought to myself, did he ever go to an atheist website? Did he even consider it? Atheists make up roughly 5% of Americans, a number that is higher than the number of Jews and Muslims combined. Can one imagine someone stating he has no idea what Jews or Muslims believe? He would be considered a fool. Most atheists are humanists. Humanism is simply the belief that morality and ethics should be based on meeting human needs, and not religious dogma.
Humanism is a statement that society is best runned when it is runned for us, not because of the fear of some invisible being punishing society through natural disasters. It is a statement in support of human reason, the greatest known computer in the universe. It is a statement in support of the right of consensual adult sexual behavior, no matter the sexual orientation of the individuals involved.
For a presidential candidate to state, without any embarrassment whatsoever, that he has no idea what atheists believe when it comes to ethical values, makes me want to almost bang my head in frustration. Indeed, the man took pride in not knowing.
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Christian conservatives commonly state that atheists should shut up and let the Christian right dominate the discourse, but it is quite clear by the gross ignorance of the religious right on the most basic things that atheists and/or humanists believe, the utter one sided discussion on religious and moral issues in our nation.This ignorance is just not expressed by Cain, a would-be leader of the religious right, but rank and file members. Many on the Christian right actually believe that atheists believe in and worship a devil. Which makes as much sense as Christians worshiping Zeus, of course.
Herman Cain is a man who many on the right rally around in order to spread their theocratic yearnings. I don't believe he is as much a theocrat as Pat Robertson or Jerry Falwell. He seems to have some appreciation for keeping government/ religion separate, at least to some degree. But, if he wants to be president, he should get off the anti-intellectual thrill that many Republicans still seem to have, in taking pride in their ignorance.
We as Americans deserve a president who is at least halfway educated. As an atheist and a humanist I have an absolute need to know not only about Christianity but the desires of the Christian right. Indeed, because Christianity is such a strong force in society, atheists usually know more about Christianity, than Christians themselves. Well, Christians should return the favor.