Friday, February 6, 2009

John Stewart: When Did "Good Person" Get Intricately Linked to Faith?

February 5, 2009 - Youtube copy
Partial Transcript:
Jon Stewart: Do you think we could ever elect an atheist?… Now, we have a black president. Could an atheist — What will come first: black, woman, Hispanic, gay, Jew, Atheist? Where do you go?

Randall Balmer: I think, pretty much, in that order…

JS: [Laughs] I hope somebody wrote that down!

RB: And I think atheist is probably at the end. Because we Americans want to know about our candidates’ faith. What we really want to know is: Are they good people? Are they moral? Are they trustworthy?

JS: But when did “good person” get intricately linked to faith? Why can’t goodness be a virtue without fear of Biblical punishment or any of those other…

RB: Well, it certainly can. But in America… religion is a proxy for morality… the only way we can frame the question is ask, “Do you go to church?” “Are you a religious person?” And I think the problem is that we, as the voters, take those kind of blithe responses at face value and we should interrogate those claims…
(via Friendly Atheist)

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