30 Stories in 30 Days #11 – “Priorities”


“… Those are my Christian values, and I will not stand for anyone taking them away.  God bless America.”

The auditorium erupted in applause.  Once they died down, the moderator said, “Senator Cole, same question.”

Senator Cole thought for a moment, then began.  “Governor Bilton, I have never discussed your personal religious beliefs – other than to say I don’t share them – for two reasons.  The first is, I really don’t care.  I feel that people can believe whatever they want, as long as they don’t harm others.  If a group of people want to dance naked in the light of the full moon and sing ‘Kumbaya,’ that’s fine.  I would only ask that they do it in private.  The other reason I never discuss your beliefs is we are running for President of the United States, not … Chief Executive Theologian.”

Waving at the audience he continued, “If people want to watch a theological debate, they can easily find one.  But where do they go if they want to watch their politicians debate repairing our decaying infrastructure, moving America towards energy independence, creating jobs, maintaining a robust military, and reducing the deficit?  Those are my five key campaign points that I am running on because I feel those are five huge problems this country faces and I want to find solutions to those problems.  Yet you have made my atheism your key campaigning point.  Not a day goes by where you’re not pounding the pulpit against me, or palling around with people who make idiotic claims that if I win, after I’m sworn in I’ll start bulldozing churches and throwing Christians into concentration camps.  You focus on me being an atheist as if that fact alone renders me unqualified to be President, even though the Founding Fathers wrote, ‘no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.’ But your intense interest in my atheism leads me – and I’m sure many Americans as well – to wonder, what if you win?  Will you continue to harp on atheism, or will you suddenly, at the last minute, have to figure out how you’ll run the country?”

Senator Cole paused and looked out at the audience.  Turning back to the Governor he said, “I know that there are many out there who will not vote for me simply because I’m an atheist.  I concede their votes to you.” Pointing at the audience he added, “But I will fight for the votes of all the Americans who are looking for a job, or worried about putting food on their table, or how they’ll afford sending their kids to college, or any other of the 8,000 problems a President needs to deal with.  Those are the votes, those are the Americans I will fight for.  And Governor, to be frank, it feels like I’m the only one doing it.  So you can run for Chief Executive Theologian if you want, but I’m running for President of the United States.”

One Response to “30 Stories in 30 Days #11 – “Priorities””

  1. Someday an atheist will run for President. I’m betting their opponent will make a big deal out of it, which I’d say says more about the weakness of their own campaign than anything else.

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