For the first time, the Secular Coalition for America (SCA), a 501(c)(4) group that seeks to "amplify the diverse and growing voice of the nontheistic community in the United States," has graded all of the presidential candidates on a variety of issues that are important to atheists and non-believers.
As you can imagine, GOP presidential candidates -- many of whom hold their Christian values dear -- didn't fare too well. In fact, the marks were so grim that Urban Christian News quipped, "If kids brought home grades like this, they'd be grounded."
With atheists seemingly seeking a greater role in American politics, this scorecard is noteworthy, as it provides insight into the issues and stances that are important to America's growing atheist population. The nine issues that the candidates were rated on ranged from church-state separation to views on civil rights and evolution.
Below, view an overview of the SCA's scorecard:
The introduction of the group's political report reads:
In 2012, voters will make a decision that will have a profound effect on our country: who will lead America through the year 2016. During a time when secular values are under constant attack by many religious leaders and political candidates, the Secular Coalition for America presents the 2012 Presidential Candidate Scorecard. This card reviews each of the major candidates in both the Democratic and Republican parties and examines their views on issues that are important to the nearly 50 million secular and nontheistic Americans who will help choose our president this upcoming November.
Bachmann, who bowed out of the presidential race earlier this week, came in last place with Fs in every category. Following closely behind her was Sen. Rick Santorum, who surged this week and has been attempting to ride the support he garnered in the Iowa caucuses to success in other states. The rest of the GOP field, aside from Romney (who was able to score an A for his stance on evolution) fared poorly.
President Barack Obama performed best with three As, three Bs and a C. Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, a Republican who has yet to gain much support thus far, came in second place with all Bs and As.
It's no surprise, though, that Obama received such glorious grades. The majority of "unaffiliated" religious Americans tend to favor Democrats over Republicans (55 versus 23 percent).
On the first indicator -- attitudes toward "nontheists" -- the candidates' past statements were used to grade their standing in this area. Obama's past comments, “We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus, and non-believers and “Veterans’ Day is our chance to honor those Americans who’ve served on battlefields…They are Americans of every faith, and station. They are Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus and nonbelievers," earned him a B.
Romney, on the flip side, earned a C. Gingrich, though, received an F. One of his comments, "There is no attack on American culture more deadly and more historically dishonest than the secular Left’s relentless effort to drive God out of America’s public square," likely explains why he isn't resonating among non-believers.
You can read the rest of the atheists' presidential report card here.
Scorecards are used by a variety of organizations. They generally provide information about where candidates stand so that specific groups (in this case, atheists and non-believers) can make more educated decisions at the polls.
(H/T: Urban Christian News)