November 9th, 2015
Senator asserts anyone who does not pray is not qualified to be U.S. President
For Immediate Release
(Washington, DC, Nov. 9, 2015)—The Center for Freethought Equality, the only secular organization in America with an active political action committee dedicated to supporting secular political candidates, decries U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (TX) for his assertion that anyone who does not pray is not qualified to be U.S. President.
Senator Cruz made his remarks this weekend in Des Moines, Iowa, at the 2015 National Religious Liberties Conference, organized by Generations with Vision. When asked how important it is for the President of the United States to fear God, Cruz responded that “any president who doesn’t begin every day on his knees isn’t fit to be commander-in-chief of this nation.”
“By claiming that those who do not pray are not fit for office, Senator Cruz is perpetuating the prejudiced myth that humanists and atheists are not moral people,” said Bishop McNeill, manager of the Freethought Equality Fund PAC. “There are a number of recent studies that show that despite how religious Americans remain, a majority of people would vote for a qualified atheist for President.”
McNeill referenced a 2015 Survey by Gallup that shows 58 percent of Americans saying they would vote for an atheist as President. The survey also highlights how younger voters are even more accepting of atheist candidates, with 75 percent of people under thirty saying the same.
“In his callous dismissal of humanists, atheists and other secular Americans, Senator Cruz also shows that he is out-of-touch with the growing number of Americans who are not affiliated with any religion,” McNeill continued, in reference to the 2014 Pew Religious Landscape Study released last week that reported 23 percent of Americans do not identify with any religion.
Currently, there are no open atheists or humanists serving in the U.S. Congress. However, the FEF is currently endorsing State Senator Jamie Raskin for U.S. Congress for Maryland’s 8th congressional district. Raskin is a self-identified humanist and a strong supporter of the separation of church and state.
More information about the FEF’s activities to elect secular candidates can be found here.
The Freethought Equality Fund (FEF) aims to increase secular, humanist, and atheist representation in public office so that our government accurately reflects the people it serves. The FEF will support progressive candidates that are strong advocates for the separation of religion and government and the protection of Americans civil liberties.