A news story today has me puzzled, but being that it appeared in Glenn Beck's online news source The Blaze, perhaps that's not to be wondered at.
In this story, S. E. Cupp, a commentator who writes for The Blaze, states for the record (in an interview with MSNBC) that she is an atheist -- but then says that she wouldn't vote for one.
Cupp was describing her support for Mitt Romney, and was asked if she would still vote for Mitt Romney if he were an atheist. "No," she said. "Because he would have no chance."
Well, okay, I guess that falls into the "don't bother voting for someone who is clearly going to lose anyway," department, which I suppose I can understand. But then Cupp went further:
"And you know what?" she said. "I would never vote for an atheist president. Ever. Because I do not think that someone who represents 5 to 10 percent of the population should be representing and thinking that everyone else in the world is crazy, but me."
Well, I'm an atheist, and I don't exactly thing that "everyone else in the world is crazy but me." I think that the religious view of the world is unsupported by the available evidence, which isn't exactly the same thing, is it? For me, I'm perfectly willing to have a religious president -- unless part of his/her religion requires proselytizing of unbelievers (which, of course, a lot of them do). I would like to think that the opposite would be true -- that a qualified atheist would, in the eyes of the religious, be fine, unless (s)he were foisting atheism upon the rest of the world.
Cupp continued, "The other part of it — I like that there is a check, OK? That there‘s a
person in the office that doesn’t think he’s bigger than the state. I like religion being a check and knowing that my president
goes home every night addressing someone above him and not thinking all
the power resides right here… Atheists don’t have that."
Again... atheists don't think the power resides with them. I think Cupp may be confusing "atheism" with "megalomania." And honestly, what she accuses atheists of is exactly why the idea of an extremely devout president gives me pause -- it's because the extremely devout think they're in touch with a bigger power that is above them, and they know what that power wants them to do. It's the certainty that always makes me shudder, the starry-eyed statement "I'm doing god's will."
All of this makes me wonder how well Cupp understands what atheism actually is. The darker side of my brain wonders if she actually is telling the truth about being an atheist; frankly, it's hard for me to see Glenn Beck hiring an atheist as one of his personal spokesmen. But even if she is an atheist, she's not a very clear-thinking one -- which, as I said, should come as no surprise given who she works for.