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If Obama’s An Atheist, He’s Sure Got A Funny Way Of Showing It

I’m certain Obama’s an atheist
The clues are all there, if you search—
Like the way he supports public praying
And the way he has long gone to church
His support for the faith-based initiatives
And his scripture reflections each day
Yes, I’m certain Obama’s an atheist
Cos the clues are all there on display.

You’ve likely heard by now–Richard Dawkins, on Bill Maher’s show, expressed his confidence that President Obama is actually an atheist… which, in the context of the show, put him in the company of other good atheists… like Pope Francis.

It all makes sense now. The Obama administration’s support of town council prayers in Greece, NY, is part of an elaborate scheme to disguise Obama’s atheism so that he can be elected for a third term…

When Oprah denied Diana Nyad’s atheism, the godless movers and shakers didn’t much like it. You don’t get to simultaneously deny and appropriate someone else’s beliefs when you can’t wrap your head around the fact that someone you admire holds views you disagree with. This goes for Oprah, and it goes for Dawkins and Maher, too.

For my thinking, I really don’t care what Obama (or Diana Nyad) believes; I care what he (or she) does. When they do admirable things, I admire those accomplishments; when they do deplorable things, I deplore them. People are complex; few, if any, are all good or all bad. Looking at actions, rather than pinning a label on the actors, allows us to recognize the good and the bad, and hopefully support the former and not the latter–in those we admire and in those we… not so much.

Comments

  1. Linda Grilli Calhoun says

    Thank you for this.

    I have an absolutely foolproof means of determining what people believe, and I never have to ask anyone anything. Just observe their behavior.

    I don’t believe in god; I believe in results. L

  2. trucreep says

    “I don’t believe in god; I believe in results. L”

    That sounds like another “L” I know of ;]

  3. Becca Stareyes says

    I think there’s a danger in assuming that of course, any intelligent person must agree with you. (Or the converse: that anyone who disagrees with you is stupid.) While I suspect that a closeted atheist politician could exist, I don’t know how well sie can advocate for others if sie is afraid of being ‘outed’. Goodness knows, it seems like the Religious Right pounces on anything less or differently devout than themselves as a godless heathen and/or Muslim*.

    * I can either assume that because they say ‘atheists believe God exists, but hate him so say they don’t’ and ‘anyone who doesn’t worship Our God in the Correct Way might as well be an atheist**’, or that I should just mentally substitute ‘Stranger Danger!’ anytime I hear these words used as a pejorative, since they have stopped meaning anything but xenophobic, bigoted dog whistles.

    ** Exceptions for Jews who apparently have to exist so they can fulfill End Times beliefs, then get to go to Hell with the rest of us, and Jewish/Christian political allies who believe the right things about gays and abortions, so let’s keep quiet about the ‘going to Hell’ thing for now.

  4. says

    I really don’t care what Obama (or Diana Nyad) believes; I care what he (or she) does.

    O…K… But it would seem obvious you recognize that people’s actions are informed by what they believe, otherwise you would not have mentioned “the Obama administration’s support of town council prayers in Greece, NY” to make your point. Sorry to break it to you, but if you care what people do, then you actually do somewhat care about what they believe by extension.

  5. Cuttlefish says

    Um, Leo, the Obama administration’s support for town council prayers has come in the form of an amicus brief in the court case. This is behavior. This is what they are doing, what they have done.

    The relationship between expressed attitudes and public behavior is a huge area of interest within Social Psychology, and it is absolutely not a given that attitudes are what drive behavior. Every bit as supported are models that show attitudes as conforming to behavior, and of both attitude and behavior being driven by the situational variables.

    So, while it may seem obvious, a great many things seem obvious that are not so.

  6. says

    Seriously, this dig at Dawkins by showing that Obama, a US politician is not overtly an atheist is a cheap-shot.

    Dawkins’s observation was based on Obama’s intelligence. And it is just that. You are picking on him because Obama obviously is not denouncing Christ? C’mon.

    What’s next? S.E. Cupp is not an atheist because she’s a funny way of showing it?

  7. Cuttlefish says

    It’s not a dig at Dawkins; he’s engaging in the same sort of behavior as Oprah did–it is not a dig to point out one’s behavior. Obama is not merely “not denouncing Christ”, he’s actively engaging in the behaviors that other Christians do, and he says he’s a Christian. Yes, Dawkins is basically just calling him intelligent–but of course there are intelligent Christians, just as there are wonder-struck atheists despite Oprah’s attempt at complimenting Diana Nyad.

    Your last sentence is, of course, precisely the opposite of my message. I don’t care what S. E. Cupp’s beliefs are. I’ll take her at her word, as I do Nyad and Obama, and judge her actions separately from her self-identifying label.

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