Gingrich says atheists can’t be trusted, disregards 50 million secular Americans

The Secular Coalition for America condemns Newt Gingrich’s statements attacking secularists in government and public office. Gingrich made the anti-atheist statements October 18 at the Republican presidential debate in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Gingrich, a former U.S. Representative and 58th Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, said an atheist has no business in the White House. “Does faith matter? Absolutely,” Gingrich said. “How can you have judgment if you have no faith? How can I trust you with power if you don’t pray?” He continued, “the notion that you are endowed by your creator sets a certain boundary of what we mean by America.” Gingrich said that Americans should value religion first, above morality and knowledge.

Gingrich’s statements encourage precisely the type of mingling of religion and politics that threatens the secular character of our government and is counter to the Constitution Gingrich has in the past pledged to uphold. Unfortunately, not a single one of the Republican candidates on stage dissented from Gingrich’s statements.

“His remark that those of us without faith are untrustworthy and lack judgment is a battle we fight all too often,” said Herb Silverman, president of the Secular Coalition for America. “We may be the last minority against whom intolerance and discrimination are not only permitted, but also sometimes promoted by politicians.”

Gingrich’s comments are egregiously offensive to those atheists, agnostics, secularists, humanists and freethinkers who guide their lives according to principles and morality that are not derived from religion. According to the American Religious Identification Survey as many as 15 percent of Americans do not believe in a deity and have no religious preference. These are citizens who deserve representation in the government they support with their tax dollars and should not be vilified by the politicians that are supposed to represent them.

“For too long, our nontheistic constituency has been considered politically inconsequential,” Silverman said. “The Secular Coalition for America had to be founded because of ignorant and biased opinions like those of presidential candidate Newt Gingrich.”

“There is only one member of Congress (Rep. Pete Stark, D-Cal) who acknowledges being an atheist,” Silverman said. “We know of many more who are afraid to speak out because of political consequences. The Secular Coalition works to change such biased attitudes so that legislators and citizens in all walks of life can be open about their non-beliefs.”

See Gingrich’s statements here:

16 Responses to Gingrich says atheists can’t be trusted, disregards 50 million secular Americans

  1. So by his logic Rick Perry is the most qualified to lead our country because he believes praying for rain works? (it doesn't)

  2. avatar Przemyslaw Zychowski

    It sounds so reasonable and yet it is so very poisonous.

  3. "It sounds so reasonable and yet it is so very poisonous. " It does not sound reasonable and it is very very poisonous!

  4. From E Pluribus unum to In god we trust. TO MY FELLOW-CITIZENS OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: I PUT the following work under your protection. It contains my opinions upon Religion. You will do me the justice to remember, that I have always strenuously supported the Right of every Man to his own opinion, however different that opinion might be to mine. He who denies to another this right, makes a slave of himself to his present opinion, because he precludes himself the right of changing it. The most formidable weapon against errors of every kind is Reason. I have never used any other, and I trust I never shall. Thomas Paine

  5. "Americans should value religion first, above morality and knowledge." So to conform to your religion, you might have to ignore your moral code? So to conform to your religion, you might have to remain ignorant? Those are some scary priorities. What I hear is: Please remain ignorant and just do what I tell you. I don't care if you think it's immoral or have evidence that it's wrong. It's in the name of the church so that makes it justified. It's just another government trying to manipulate it's people through religion. Some things never change.

  6. I must begin with an apology to anyone who actually rides a bicycle, if I could draw cartoons I´d better off, but the idea is too good to leave out: The Newt demands of all of us to be bicyclists – defined as the stance where one is bowing to the above and treading down. That is an ideal in states where kings, imperators or dictators are in power, and wish to stay so. Democracies need people with a backbone each. That anyone could VOTE for somebody expressing such a demand is beyond me.

  7. It's just posturing, people. That doesn't make it right, but it's clear that these idiots are engaged in a war of piousness. Just goes to show what I always say- never trust a man named after an amphibian.

  8. I think the figure is 34 million Americans, not 50 millions. The American Religious Identification Survey says 15% of American ADULTS – which is 34,169,000. It says so right in the report.

  9. Where do these odious Republican politicians keep coming from? Since they can't be racist anymore, they have to make do with simple prejudice against a group they can get bully without raising eyebrows. Nasty piece of filth. I call on all Americans not to vote for bigots.

  10. Pingback: Politics, Asleep at The Wheel | Atheist Oasis – A Rational Refuge

  11. An atheist is a person who is mad at God because, although 'He does not exist', nevertheless still has the audacity to pretend that He exists. Conceded, this is enough to drive just about any atheist crazy and suck him/her into Darwinism.

    • That is quite possibly the most bizarre, irrational thing I have ever seen put in writing. And I read Judson Phillips' rants on Tea Party Nation. An atheist is someone who does not believe that the evidence justifies belief in your, or any, god. You, of course, do not believe that the evidence justifies belief in gods which were worshiped before yours was invented.

    • You are aware, child, that Christianity and what you call darwinism are not actually opposed to each other? The theory of evolution, child, is not anti-God or anti-Christian despite your delusion to the contrary. And most atheists are far more moral then you are.

  12. no, YOU have the audacity to pretend he exists based on nothing more than a book of fairy tales and the support of millions of the similarly deluded. being angry at something that doesn't exist is irrational. being angry at the bullshit done in the name of a non-existent deity is perfectly reasonable. and you show your astounding ignorance when you use useless terms like Darwinism. the belief of rattional persons in evolution is based on mountains of evidence supporting it, and not "anger" at a non-existent Abrahamic god.

  13. posit "god" as merely a crutch, to get these animals to their just beyond….

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