Gingrich, a former U.S. Representative and 58th Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, said an atheist has no business in the White House. “Does faith matter? Absolutely,” Gingrich said. “How can you have judgment if you have no faith? How can I trust you with power if you don’t pray?” He continued, “the notion that you are endowed by your creator sets a certain boundary of what we mean by America.” Gingrich said that Americans should value religion first, above morality and knowledge.
“His remark that those of us without faith are untrustworthy and lack judgment is a battle we fight all too often,” said Herb Silverman, president of the Secular Coalition for America. “We may be the last minority against whom intolerance and discrimination are not only permitted, but also sometimes promoted by politicians.”
Gingrich’s comments are egregiously offensive to those atheists, agnostics, secularists, humanists and freethinkers who guide their lives according to principles and morality that are not derived from religion. According to the American Religious Identification Survey as many as 15 percent of Americans do not believe in a deity and have no religious preference. These are citizens who deserve representation in the government they support with their tax dollars and should not be vilified by the politicians that are supposed to represent them.
Regardless of the actual proportion of those 50 million Americans that explicitly acknowledge a lack of belief in a god or gods, Gingrich was very clear that merely lacking faith makes you untrustworthy. I’ll go one step further though — considering Newt’s predilection for one specific set of Palestinian mythologies, I’ll suggest that anyone who believes in a different god than his is untrustworthy. Which makes… what percentage of the population?
(BTW: Hi RationalWiki editors!)