This I Believe

Emily - Olive Hill, Kentucky
Entered on December 14, 2006
Age Group: 18 - 30

I believe religious people need to be less prejudice towards atheists. I recently read on a website that the majority of the American public would not vote for an atheist for president. Why not? One of the founding principles of this country was the separation of church and state. The president, nor any member of the government, is supposed to be making laws based on religion, rather laws are supposed to be based on basic human rights and protections. Why then is it required, in the eyes of many people, that the leader of the country be a person of faith? Do they feel that just because one does not worship a higher power, and does not have the threat of eternal torment constantly in the back of their minds, they must not have any morals? I, for one, do not require the threat of burning in some hell dimension to make me be a generous, law abiding citizen.

And since when does claiming to be religious mean the person is trustworthy? Ask the prison population if they believe in God, and the majority of them will probably tell you yes. Does that stop them from being immoral? Apparently not, or else why would they be where they are? Religion does not always play a major role in the way people live their lives, even if they say it does. I know a lot of religious people who attend church every Sunday and claim to be a servant to God, yet they lie, cheat, treat people with disrespect, and engage in other activities they, being a Christian, believe to be a sin. Just last year, my grandmother hired some people to paint our house. My mother talked to one of them, a guy who claimed to be a good old, God fearing Christian. That same guy, along with his friends, ended up stealing two chainsaws and some other stuff from our property before they left. Clearly, just because a person claims to be a Christian, it does not make them a better person than someone who is not one. So just because a presidential candidate claims to be a Christian, does not automatically make them a better person, or a better potential leader, than another candidate who is an atheist.

People need to be looking for other clues about how good a person is, not just going by their religious beliefs, or lack thereof, because their religious affiliation does not necessarily determine the type of person they are. Being an atheist is not a good reason to automatically dismiss someone as non trustworthy.