By Lee Christie
In a recent CNN interview, Emanuel Cleaver, pastor and congressman for Missouri, revealed a lack of believe in those who lack belief in God, stating:
I don’t believe that there is such thing as an atheist because no respectable atheist would walk around with something in his pocket that said ‘In God We Trust’.
The topic of discussion was whether an atheist would have a difficult time running for office in the United States. The US has a famous constitutional clause which states that “no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.”, however, the religious climate of the US leads to much doubt as to whether an atheist could be elected at the current time. A famous Gallup poll in 2007 showed that 53% of those surveyed would not vote for an atheist.
Despite his scepticism of the existence of atheists, the congressman thankfully goes on to urge respect for non-believers, as does fellow interviewee Ralph Reed of the Faith and Freedom Coalition, who seemed optimistic that voters would not discriminate against non-Christians.
As for Cleaver’s comments on there being no atheists in America, I’m sure that American Atheists, or any of the other numerous national and local atheist and secular organisations would beg to differ.
You can watch the clip of the interview here uploaded by YouTube user wimsweden: