“The Bible is not my book nor Christianity my profession. I could never give assent to the long, complicated statements of Christian dogma.”.
These lines were used by Abraham Lincoln,the then American President. But was he an atheist? Did he go out of his way and totally discard his faith in God?
The reality was, as many critics point out, that America, the super power, cannot ever elect a president who does not believe in God. Furthermore, these critics also point out that even though he was passionate about humanity, the president of USA was not an atheist. Whereas his quotes seem to suggest that he believed in a supreme power, like many other human beings.
“With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us finish the work we are in.”
Although this has been quoted several times to prove that he was an atheist and believed in God, the question is alive once again. Can any President of the United States of America be an atheist? Ron Reagan, Jr., son of the late former US President Ronald Reagan, doesn’t seem to think so. When asked, in an interview with Larry King, whether he would ever run for office, he stated, “No, I’m not really cut out to be a politician… I’m an atheist. So there you go right there. I can’t be elected to anything because polls all say that people won’t elect an atheist.”
While the US Constitution states secularism as a religion secluded from the state, the President, the head of the state, still has to believe in that invisible power. When he/her comes to power, his every speech generally includes, ”God may bless the United States of America”. Does the truth not pinch when we know that the President believes in the Bible and still considers war in Iraq and Afghanistan to be necessary? Is morality missing from their religion or is this how they interpret their religion? Basically, the factor that drives every President to be a theist is the vote factor. For, in America, the least likely candidate to be chosen as the president is an atheist. According to a survey done by the Gallup poll, only 45 per cent of the people felt like voting for an atheist president. This is much below their preference for Catholics, Blacks, Jews, women, Hispanics, mormons, thrice-married and homosexuals. Where many observers do believe that “Religion is the Opium of masses “and that people are badly addicted to it.
Reasons can be drawn that earlier, America was a country that used to believe in racial injustice and when people started migrating from Asia and other parts of the world, native religion was shown as a necessity. This was a must to maintain the theist superior status. War was fought as against Islam, in the guise of fight against terrorism, which resulted in people believing Islam to be against Christianity and that America was leading the Christian side.
With the Presidential elections happening, this time (like every other time) the question has been raised if America can ever have an atheist president. This question is not only for America, but the entire world which is ruled by Science and yet believes in what Science calls superficial – The God. Can any country ever be headed by someone who is an atheist?
[Image Source :http://www.swivel.com/data_sets/show/1003940 ]