I find it almost strange that no one has mentioned something in relation to the U.S. Presidential elections. Governor O’Malley’s Catholic and Senator Sanders is Jewish. Senator Rubio is Catholic as is Senator Santorum. Governor Pataki seems to avoid saying, but he might be Catholic, which is how he was raised. Governor Bush converted to Catholicism as did Governor Jindal.
As an atheist, I don’t really care myself as long as they believe in the importance of a secular government. I find it interesting, though, because in the history of the United States there has only been one president who was not a Protestant. I’m old enough to remember when President Carter’s Baptist faith raised quite a few eyebrows, however President Clinton and the younger President Bush normalized the sect that had been so persecuted during the early years of this country. Still, I have always thought that religion was a bigger barrier in this country than race or gender, so I find it interesting that the press hasn’t commented much on that, at least not as far as I can see.
I can remember idly saying to someone sometime shortly after the year 2000 that the U.S. could have a black president if the right person came along. I had people telling me I was wrong almost up until election day in 2008. I’m a little less certain of whether or not the country could vote for a woman overall, but it is within possibility. However, I cannot see this country electing a Jew. Now, don’t put words in my mouth. It doesn’t make me happy to say it, but I’m just being honest about what I see and hear around me. Personally, on the small number of subjects where it might come into play, assuming an atheist is out of the question, I’d prefer a Reformed or Conservative Jew to just about any other group, with the possible exception of an Episcopalian with an agnostic temperament.
We shall see. With such a small sample, it’s impossible to make any definitive pronouncements, but in a field with so many non-Protestants it will be interesting. The apparent diversity in leadership brought about by President Obama might only be skin deep. Obama is related to Presidents George W Bush, his father George H. W. Bush, Gerald Ford, Lyndon Johnson, Harry Truman and James Madison, and, most famously, Vice-President Dick Cheney. Through his mother’s side he belongs to the same religious and ethnic group that has always dominated the top positions in this country.
Do Bobby Jindal and Bernie Sanders even have a chance?
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Last night, I was reminded by some Canadians that they have an election going on there too. This is the year for political junkies I suppose.