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ufojoe

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: July 02, 2010, 02:59:43 PM


http://www.politicsdaily.com/2010/06/30/australias-new-leader-is-an-atheist-americans-dont-try-this

Australia's New Leader Is An Atheist: Americans, Don't Try This At Home!

David Gibson
Religion Reporter

06/30/10

When Julia Gillard became Australia's first female prime minister last week she quickly earned international headlines and received a congratulatory call from President Obama for her accomplishment.

Now it turns out she's broken another barrier that, for American voters at least, would be far more daunting than her gender: She doesn't believe in God.

"No, I don't," she told an interviewer at Australia's national radio, ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corp.) who asked her point blank if she believed in God. "I'm not a religious person."


"I was brought up in the Baptist Church, but during my adult life I've, you know, found a different path. I'm of course a great respecter of religious beliefs, but they're not my beliefs."

Gillard was a studious Christian as a child, winning prizes for catechism lessons and for memorizing Bible verses. But, she noted, "I've made decisions in my adult life about my own views."

The new Australian P.M. is known for her razor-sharp debating skills and direct answers to direct questions, and that was also evident in her interview with ABC radio in Melbourne about her religion, or lack of it.

"I am not going to pretend a faith I don't feel," she said, according to the audio. "And for people of faith the greatest compliment I could pay to them is to respect their genuinely held beliefs and not to engage in some pretense about mine. I think it's not the right thing."

It's hard to imagine any U.S. politician saying such a thing about religion, or being so straightforward about most anything.


Our pols have their reasons, of course. Polls consistently show that even as Americans grow increasingly comfortable with voting for women, racial or religious minorities, or a homosexual, they are still not likely to back an atheist.

The latest Gallup poll on that question, posed in 2007, showed that 53 percent of American voters said they would not vote for an atheist for president -- the highest negatives of any of the categories. (Gallup has not asked about a Muslim candidate, and odds are that would score even lower. Cold comfort for atheists.) Some 43 percent said they would not vote for a homosexual candidate, and 55 percent said they would be willing to back a gay or lesbian for president.

In 2007, the Secular Coalition for America offered a $1,000 prize to anyone who could guess the name the "highest level atheist, agnostic, humanist or any other kind of non-theist currently holding elected public office in the United States." California's Pete Stark, a 19-term Democratic House member from the Bay Area, proved to be the correct answer, as he acknowledged he is "a Unitarian who does not believe in a Supreme Being."

But it's not like he created a rush on atheist candidates, and of course in the next year the victorious contender for president was Barack Obama, probably the most overtly religious Democratic candidate in years.

Julia Gillard, on the other hand, was able to say that she shared the values of her fellow Australians, if not their religious beliefs.

"What I can say to Australians broadly of course is that I believe you can be a person of strong principle and values from a variety of perspectives. And I've outlined mine to you."

And that seems to be working. An online poll at The Australian newspaper showed that two-thirds of the nearly 15,000 readers who responded to a question about Gillard's beliefs said they didn't care about her "lack of a religious faith."

dbucfan

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#1 : July 02, 2010, 03:22:36 PM

I am not bothered by her thoughts/beliefs.  Why are they important to you?  She is very clear on her respect towards the beliefs of others.  She should be emulated by many on this board. 

\"A Great Coach has to have a Patient Wife, A Loyal Dog, and a Great Quarterback. . . . but not necessarily in that order\" ~ Coach Bud Grant

ufojoe

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#2 : July 02, 2010, 03:43:59 PM

I am not bothered by her thoughts/beliefs.  Why are they important to you?  She is very clear on her respect towards the beliefs of others.  She should be emulated by many on this board. 

LOL. Leave it to you to get it wrong.

Who said her thoughts/beliefs were so important to me? What's impressive is the voters ignoring her Atheism and electing her. A female Atheist? Good for them.
Great to see people elect a non-Christian as their leader. Maybe one day, American thinking will progress enough to allow that to happen here.

cyberdude557

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#3 : July 02, 2010, 03:44:44 PM

Well Americans just voted a muslim in for president. So I think your argument is dead.

http://ivarfjeld.wordpress.com/2010/06/08/egyptian-minister-obama-told-me-he-is-a-muslim/

tatmanfish

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#4 : July 02, 2010, 03:47:55 PM

ive always presented this question in situations like this.

who would you rather have a a neighbor.....

a human rights defender, who helps out anyone they can with reason, and raises their children to have good moral value that doesnt believe in God....
or
a personal that has been convicted grand theft, beats their wife, and neglects their children, and attends your church every single Sunday.....

A persons religious beliefs does not make a person good/bad. their choices in life do.



Quote from: Illuminator
You were simply too smart for me.

ufojoe

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#5 : July 02, 2010, 03:58:40 PM

Well Americans just voted a muslim in for president. So I think your argument is dead.

http://ivarfjeld.wordpress.com/2010/06/08/egyptian-minister-obama-told-me-he-is-a-muslim/

LOL. If Obama really was a Muslim and came out (before the election) in the open and admitted it, he would not be president today.

My argument is alive and well.

Americans had problems with Romney and his Mormon faith.

It's mainstream Christian or bust at this point.

Congratulations to the Aussies.


dbucfan

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#6 : July 02, 2010, 06:31:41 PM

I am not bothered by her thoughts/beliefs.  Why are they important to you?  She is very clear on her respect towards the beliefs of others.  She should be emulated by many on this board. 

LOL. Leave it to you to get it wrong.

Who said her thoughts/beliefs were so important to me? What's impressive is the voters ignoring her Atheism and electing her. A female Atheist? Good for them.
Great to see people elect a non-Christian as their leader. Maybe one day, American thinking will progress enough to allow that to happen here.


LMAO - folks look past such issues regularly - did you notice who the current President is?  Folks made a discussion - without basis - about a Catholic not being a President of the US - then Kennedy.  Now Barak Hussein Obama - and you still want to make such a point - a black man, with a Muslim name - folks went out of their way to be fair and listen to him and his supporters.  Doesn't matter whether the outcome was right or wrong to you or me - the fact is folks didn't have the issue you want hang on them.  There is nothing to what you're saying - other than the obvious point you're making to support your own beliefs that the American people aren't as smart as you.  FAIL in the point. 

\"A Great Coach has to have a Patient Wife, A Loyal Dog, and a Great Quarterback. . . . but not necessarily in that order\" ~ Coach Bud Grant

ufojoe

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#7 : July 02, 2010, 07:08:06 PM

LMAO - folks look past such issues regularly - did you notice who the current President is? 

Laugh your AO as much as you want. You're wrong when it comes to religion. At least up until this point in time. Until Americans show otherwise, any claim you make is nothing but hopeful speculation. Neither party would allow an Atheist to make it far enough to be a serious contender. They know how Americans are when it comes to religion. Now, if an indie can make it that far, MAYBE he/she can do it.
Maybe.

Folks made a discussion - without basis - about a Catholic not being a President of the US - then Kennedy.  Now Barak Hussein Obama - and you still want to make such a point

Yep. And polls show that I am right. And the man with the Muslim name purposely made his Christianity part of who he was as a candidate. I wonder why he did that?

- a black man, with a Muslim name - folks went out of their way to be fair and listen to him and his supporters.  Doesn't matter whether the outcome was right or wrong to you or me - the fact is folks didn't have the issue you want hang on them.  There is nothing to what you're saying - other than the obvious point you're making to support your own beliefs that the American people aren't as smart as you.  FAIL in the point. 

You're still wrong. Like I said, when it happens, then you'll have a case. Until then, you FAIL. But nice try.


ufojoe

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#8 : July 02, 2010, 07:18:33 PM


On some fronts, we're making progress. When it comes to electing an Atheist, it seems we're going backwards. At least we were in 2006. Maybe it's gotten better in 2010?

This is from a Time Magazine article in 2006...

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/14638243/site/newsweek

Atheists "are seen as a threat to the American way of life by a large portion of the American public," according to a study by Penny Edgell, a sociologist at the University of Minnesota. In a recent NEWSWEEK Poll, Americans said they believed in God by a margin of 92 to 6—only 2 percent answered "don't know"—and only 37 percent said they'd be willing to vote for an atheist for president. (That's down from 49 percent in a 1999 Gallup poll—which also found that more Americans would vote for a homosexual than an atheist.) "



dbucfan

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#9 : July 02, 2010, 07:39:01 PM

LMAO - folks look past such issues regularly - did you notice who the current President is? 

Laugh your AO as much as you want. You're wrong when it comes to religion. At least up until this point in time. Until Americans show otherwise, any claim you make is nothing but hopeful speculation. Neither party would allow an Atheist to make it far enough to be a serious contender. They know how Americans are when it comes to religion. Now, if an indie can make it that far, MAYBE he/she can do it.
Maybe.

The fact that you missed it happening in doesn't mean it hasn't already.

Folks made a discussion - without basis - about a Catholic not being a President of the US - then Kennedy.  Now Barak Hussein Obama - and you still want to make such a point

Yep. And polls show that I am right. And the man with the Muslim name purposely made his Christianity part of who he was as a candidate. I wonder why he did that?

He shied away from his church if you want to think about it - something about a Reverend Wright.  Now given a time of war with Islam a push towards being Muslim would be a non-starter, but look around guy.  Bobby Jindal in Louisiana - Michael Steele heading the REPUBLICAN party... you don't give folks enough credit for their common sense, which of course is a habit of yours.

- a black man, with a Muslim name - folks went out of their way to be fair and listen to him and his supporters.  Doesn't matter whether the outcome was right or wrong to you or me - the fact is folks didn't have the issue you want hang on them.  There is nothing to what you're saying - other than the obvious point you're making to support your own beliefs that the American people aren't as smart as you.  FAIL in the point. 

You're still wrong. Like I said, when it happens, then you'll have a case. Until then, you FAIL. But nice try.

You're silly - look around guy - it has happened - for generations.  The labels you want to push are different - but the change has occurred in this country beyond most any other I can think of.  That's the melting pot term so often used.  As usual you don't back up an inch - even with repeated swings and misses.

\"A Great Coach has to have a Patient Wife, A Loyal Dog, and a Great Quarterback. . . . but not necessarily in that order\" ~ Coach Bud Grant

ufojoe

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#10 : July 02, 2010, 07:39:25 PM

2007...

I think an atheist has just a wee bit more of a difficult time getting elected than a black man. LOL.

http://www.gallup.com/poll/26611/Some-Americans-Reluctant-Vote-Mormon-72YearOld-Presidential-Candidates.aspx

                        Yes, would vote for                         No, would not vote for                     
                                    %                                                      %

Catholic                         95                                                     4

Black                             94                                                     5

Jewish                           92                                                     7

A woman                       88                                                   11

Hispanic                         87                                                   12

Mormon                          72                                                    24

Married for 3rd time       67                                                    30

72 years of age               57                                                    42

A homosexual                 55                                                    43

An atheist                        45                                                    53


dbucfan

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#11 : July 02, 2010, 07:43:11 PM

And even with the evidence right in front of you, you persist.  Folks will listen, as they did in Australia - and if the atheist makes them feel they will do the best job that is how it will go.  You really need to develop some confidence in the humans guy.  Just because you can't handle folks that think differently than you doesn't mean others can't look past that. 

\"A Great Coach has to have a Patient Wife, A Loyal Dog, and a Great Quarterback. . . . but not necessarily in that order\" ~ Coach Bud Grant

ufojoe

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#12 : July 02, 2010, 07:46:00 PM

You're silly - look around guy - it has happened - for generations.  The labels you want to push are different - but the change has occurred in this country beyond most any other I can think of.  That's the melting pot term so often used.  As usual you don't back up an inch - even with repeated swings and misses.

It might happen. But not for a long time. Americans love their religion. Feel free to continue swinging and missing. Or, better yet, turn it into "Americans aren't as smart as you" nonsense. When all else fails and you have no facts on your side, insult the poster. The facts don't back you up. Continue your speculation on what might happen in the future. That's all you've got. It's happened with blacks and women so it HAS to happen with an atheist? We'll see. For now, the Aussies get some kudos.

ufojoe

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#13 : July 02, 2010, 07:56:51 PM

And even with the evidence right in front of you, you persist.  Folks will listen, as they did in Australia - and if the atheist makes them feel they will do the best job that is how it will go.  You really need to develop some confidence in the humans guy.  Just because you can't handle folks that think differently than you doesn't mean others can't look past that. 

LOL. More insults. I can handle anything you throw at me. And 99% of my friends think differently than I do. Problem with you is, you don't like it when somebody points out your speculation for what it is, guy.

Australians listened because they are a lot different when Americans when it comes to religion and belief.

http://www.smh.com.au/news/world-youth-day/gods-ok-its-just-the-religion-bit-we-dont-like/2008/07/10/1215658037568.html

God's OK, it's just the religion bit we don't like

July 11, 2008

AUSTRALIA is one of the least devout countries in the Western world, although two-thirds of its population identifies itself as Christian, an international survey comparing religious expression in 21 countries has found.

Religion does not play a central part in the lives of many Australians: 48 per cent of Australians surveyed said they did not partake in personal prayer and 52 per cent said they rarely attended a place of worship for religious reasons.

The survey by Germany's Bertelsmann Foundation questioned 21,000 adults. It found that levels of religious identity in Australia were on par with Germany and Switzerland, significantly less than the US but greater than Britain.

Forty-four per cent of Australians considered themselves religious but said religion did not play a central role in their lives, a third said they did not believe in a divine power or in life after death. Half the Australians surveyed considered religion the least important when compared with family, partners, work and career, leisure time and politics.

Worldwide, the young are more religious than reputed, with only 13 per cent having no appreciation for God or faith in general, so expressions of faith during World Youth Day should come as no surprise.

Australians had a largely positive perception of God. Most thought of God as a loving, kind-hearted being and there was a strong religious vitality among the nation's youth, with one in five considered to be deeply religious, the survey found. This suggested that the Pope's mission to rejuvenate the Catholic faith in Australia may fall on fertile ground.

"Seventy-two per cent of Australia's young adults believe in God or a divine power and/or a life after death - this is even more than in the over-60 age group," said the project's leader, Dr Martin Rieger. "Almost half of those under 30 said that they partake in prayer on a more or less regular basis and the same proportion see God as a personal being. These figures clearly refute the assumption that religious belief is dwindling."

Census results show Mass attendance is continuing to fall. The percentage of Catholics attending Mass during a typical weekend dropped to just under 14 per cent in 2006, compared with 18 per cent in 1996. Rates of Mass attendance among young people are now thought to be less than 10 per cent. On average, Mass attenders are older, better educated and more likely to be female, married and born overseas.

Dr Rieger said Catholics represented the largest faith group and Christian denomination in Australia, but were not the most devout. That was left to a small group of free church and Pentecostal Protestants.


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#14 : July 02, 2010, 08:02:54 PM

You're right - that is why there is concern about folks leaving their religions.

Keep labeling - keep making stuff up.  You will impress some folks. Your efforts to denigrate folks in general while elevating others will be appreciated.  Keep targeting Americans - make them the foolish ones - that will get you far.  

Here you go -

Denomination   Number of Presidents    Percent of Presidents   Percent of Current U.S. Pop.   Ratio: % of Pres. to % of Pop.
Episcopalian   11                                   26.2%                       1.7%                                 15.4
Presbyterian   10                                   23.8%                       2.8%                                    5.1
Methodist             5                                   11.9%                        8.0%                                   1.5
Baptist             4                                     9.5%                      18.0%                                   0.5
Unitarian             4                                     9.5%                        0.2%                                 47.5
Disciples of Christ   3                             7.1%                        0.4%                                 18.7
Dutch Reformed           2                             4.8%                        0.1%                                 48.0
Quaker                   2                             4.8%                        0.7%                                   6.9
Congregationalist   2                             2.4%                        0.6%                                   4.0
Catholic                   1                             2.4%                      24.5%                                   0.1
Jehovah's Witness   1                             2.4%                        0.6%                                   6.0
TOTAL                  42                            100%                      57.0%   

So - here you go - there isn't an Athiest nor a Muslim YET - but now you can go and argue how folks are so close minded.  Hell, Americans will even re-elect crooks - forgiving as well as objective - so for now - kudos to Americans - as the world's melting pot.  

http://www.adherents.com/adh_presidents.html



\"A Great Coach has to have a Patient Wife, A Loyal Dog, and a Great Quarterback. . . . but not necessarily in that order\" ~ Coach Bud Grant
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