Despite lamentations from some that America is becoming increasing secular, the majority of the public still has qualms about embracing atheist presidential candidates.
In fact, a recent poll by the Pew Research Center found that atheism continues to be the most negative trait when it comes to the public’s views on prospective electoral prospects.
Fifty-three percent of those surveyed said that they would be less likely to support an atheist presidential candidate. This trait was, in fact, is seen as more negative than an extramarital affair (35 percent), past marijuana use (22 percent) and a candidate having never held office before (52 percent).
Only 5 percent of those surveyed said that a candidate’s atheism would actually make them more likely to offer support. It should be noted, though, that 41 percent feel that an individual’s non-belief makes no difference.
Pew notes that 70 percent of Republicans would be less likely to support an atheist presidential candidate, whereas only 42 percent of Democrats would have the same reservations.
Generally speaking, though, the public has become increasingly more supportive of secular candidates over the past few decades. A 2012 Gallup poll found that 54 percent of Americans were willing to vote for an atheist presidential candidate, up from just 18 percent in 1958.
This latest Pew survey is based on telephone interviews conducted in April among a national sample of 1,501 U.S. adults, aged 18 and older. Read the complete results here.
(H/T: Christian Post)
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