Most American Christians Hate Atheists

Hat-tip to Jim: Gallup has just released a new “Would you vote for a well-qualified ___ Presidential candidate?” poll where the blank can stand for any political minority. As expected, atheists are the most hated.

If Your Party Nominated A Generally Would You Be Comfortable In Voting Well-Qualified Candidate For WH ’08 For A WH ’08er Who Was ___, Would You Vote For That Person?

                          Yes No
Catholic                  95%  4%
Black                     94   5
Jewish                    92   7
A woman                   88  11
Hispanic                  87  12
Mormon                    72  24
Married for third time    67  30
72 years old              57  42
A homosexual              55  43
An atheist                45  53

Nonreligious people were about 14% of the American population in 2001, up from 8% in 1990, so by extrapolation we can assume that 17% of Americans are nonreligious and that all of them would vote for an atheist. That means that of the remaining 83%, 64% wouldn’t vote for an atheist compared with 34% who would.

On another note, Romney is a Mormon, Giuliani is married for the third time, and McCain will be 72 in November 2008.

21 Responses to Most American Christians Hate Atheists

  1. Neil says:

    I am not sure how you infer that Christians “hate” atheists. I am a Christian. I disagree with the worldview of atheists, but I don’t hate them. In fact, I’d rather have a well qualified, competent atheist working in government than an incompetent person of faith.

    Some people confuse “atheist” with “immoral,” and that is an unfair characterization.

  2. muppt says:

    what about the satanists?

  3. Neil says:

    That is very cool that 94% of people would vote for a well-qualified black candidate. I wish it was 100%, but 94% is higher than I would have expected.

  4. Alon Levy says:

    Well, not all Christians, obviously – only about two-thirds.

    The figure for blacks is probably inflated, because people realize that hating blacks is unacceptable, largely due to James Earl Ray. If you start looking for similar forms of marginalization, like not letting one’s kids date people of the wrong race or religion, you get that blacks are behind Jews and about at the same position as Hispanics.

  5. PB and J says:

    there was a stat recently in newsweek that might shed some light on the situation. when asked if they would vote for a qualified black candidate (something like, bc i forgot the exact number off the top of my head) 85% said they would vote for a black candidate. however, when asked about the likelihood of a black person being elected, they said something like 35%.

    so while our biases may be less than we would think personally, we view the rest of the population as bigots. pretty sad i think.

    personally while i am not a democrat (or republican) i think obama is the most electable of the present candidates on both sides. just my opinion


  6. Alon Levy says:

    Did they ask about the likelihood in general or in 2008? I’m asking because I estimate Obama’s chances of clearing the Democratic primary at only 25% to Edwards 25% and Clinton’s 50%; in case he wins the primary, he still has at best even odds to win the general election.

  7. SLC says:

    RE McCain

    It might also be pointed out that McCain is on wife # 2.

  8. SLC says:

    Re black candidates

    It is well known that many white people are reluctant to tell pollsters that they would not vote for a black candidate. The case of Douglas Wilder, the former Governor of Virginia and the first black governor in the US is typical. Polls taken before the election showed him winning in a landslide. The final result was a narrow victory in which he ran considerably behind the other two Democratic candidates on the statewide ballot.

  9. Ran Halprin says:

    Re black president, I think the guy from 24 gave a strong shift in public opinion to consider such a thing. Actually, I think the actor has a good shot at presidency himself… He’s quite convincing and likable. 🙂

    Re the title, I again think u exaggerate with your titles (not the first time) – This doesn’t show that most American Christians “hate” atheists, it just shows that they don’t want atheists to navigate their country. It’s just like I (and I would bet most Judeo-Christian-Atheist population of the western world) would NEVER vote for a Muslim president, but it doesn’t mean we hate Muslims or would have a problem working with one or being friends with one – I just don’t want a Muslim to lead my country.

    I am, btw, a strong atheist.

  10. Alon Levy says:

    It’s just like I (and I would bet most Judeo-Christian-Atheist population of the western world) would NEVER vote for a Muslim president, but it doesn’t mean we hate Muslims or would have a problem working with one or being friends with one – I just don’t want a Muslim to lead my country.

    Are you really trying to convince me that you don’t hate Muslims?

    • cyanmanta says:

      Oh, grow up. I’m an atheist, and people hate me much more than they hate you. People won’t vote an atheist for president, I say, well that’s just people for you. You, on the other hand, angrily try to put people on the defensive. On second though, keep it up; I’d be happy for you muslims to be hated more than us atheists, for once…

  11. SLC says:

    Re Levy

    I have not seen evidence that Mr. Halprin hates Muslimes. He may be somewhat prejudiced against them, but no more so them most non Muslimes.

  12. Pseudonym says:

    I’d like to see that survey redone with “Scientologist” added to the list.

  13. Ran Halprin says:

    Are you really trying to convince me that you don’t hate Muslims?

    I’m not trying to convince you of anything, I just brought my thought on the subject. Why are you constanly on the defense?

    I don’t hate Muslims. I don’t hate people because of their race, gender, faith or nationality. I do have prejudice, just like everyone else (A human can’t exist without prejudice, it’s an important basic mechanism. If you think you have no prejudice on race or faith, prove it to yourself by taking your choice of IAT here:

    I do dislike people who say I should be killed because I don’t share their beliefs. Is that also wrong in your opinion?

  14. Alon Levy says:

    You didn’t say, “I wouldn’t vote for an Islamist,” but “I wouldn’t vote for a Muslim.”

    I do have prejudice, just like everyone else

    But unlike most other people, you’re proud of it. You’re like the rapist who justifies his actions to the judge, “I do want sex, just like all other men.”

  15. Don Kennedy says:

    Whew, glad I’m only 60! I shudder to think about being “hated” by 43% of Americans when I reach 72! Maybe God will be merciful and only let me live till…say 71 or so.

  16. Ran Halprin says:

    Now you have moved to the offensive, sure enough – comparing me to rapists. I committed no felony, which makes any such comparison a simple case of personal level attack. A more reasonable comparison would be to man who WANTS sex, but instead of feeling all ashamed of it, walks up proud and says that he wants it. I understand in your view, this is wrong? Any man who wants sex must subdue his desires in shame? Any man who has prejudice must hide it and act as though it does not exist?

    And true, I said I wouldn’t vote for a Muslim. I don’t want a Muslim to lead my country. Simple as that. I don’t see a clear difference between Muslim and Islamist (which btw is not a word, according to the spell checker here).

    I think Don Kennedy spelled the point excellently. I don’t hate 100 year olds, but I probably wouldn’t vote for them. I also don’t hate bunny rabbits or retarded people or animated characters, but I wouldn’t vote for any of these as well. I do hate clowns, but I’m sure non-clown-haters would still not vote for a clown.

  17. Ran Halprin says:

    Combining the discussion of rape and prejudice, don’t forget that prejudice doesn’t appear out of nowhere. It is usually based on something (again, its a mechanism we have built in our heads for a reason), for instance note this discussion:

  18. David Smith says:

    I dont think that the majority of America, Christians, would vote for an atheist. My reason being is that, with most people, our leaders of America must be guided by some ultimate rule. Im an atheist, but i also believe in intelligent design(there was a reason for us becoming so smart in such short of time, evolution sped up….that sort of thing…my opinion only) Mankind is an extremly faulty race and we make big mistakes. So why would a Christian leave it to a non-God person to rule when another Christian candidate could take office and rule with a divine presence over his back…even if they do become a bit fanatical. I hope that made sense.

  19. Cameron says:

    I don’t think all Christians hate atheists, but there are A LOT who do. Most of them do not talk openly about it. This is part of why I am happy for the new militant atheism and hope it continues. The lies, misinformation and discrimination’s levied by the religious “right” should be tackled head on and dispelled.

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