U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Religion and Spirituality > Atheism and Agnosticism
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
Old 02-07-2013, 10:41 AM
3,574 posts, read 3,884,833 times
Reputation: 3049


I didn't consider it until I saw Bill Maher say he hopes Obama is lying about his faith. And I know during the 2008 election the Reverend Wright controversy plainly put him in the "believer" column as a church-goer. But today we never really see the Obama family attending church like we did with the Bushes, or even the Clintons. Has anybody ever seen reference to it in the last few years?

Then I start seeing the President consistently mentioning things like "secularism" and "non-believers" in his speeches when they broach the subject of religion. He even mentioned non-believers in his first inauguration speech which surprised the hell out of me.

Then today at the national prayer breakfast, he did it again:
Was Obama referencing atheists at National Prayer Breakfast? - Guest Voices - The Washington Post

He certainly has made reference to us more than any other president in history. I know it's political suicide for a president to say he's an atheist. It makes sense that he would mention us in a way that would not be politically damaging... yet he still makes the choice to mention us when given the chance. He could easily take the safe route and not mention us at all (like every other president).

I think if I were an atheist President, I would probably be forced by my cabinet to bite my tongue and do the same thing he is doing. Maybe this is his way of blowing a "dog whistle" in our direction? He might be a closet atheist, but I'm not sure.

What do you think?

Last edited by logline; 02-07-2013 at 10:53 AM..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

Old 02-07-2013, 10:47 AM
14,983 posts, read 16,060,283 times
Reputation: 14563
Interesting, actually, I found his comment about prayer more telling. Does anyone really believe that prayer has any effect?

READ: Obama's remarks at the 2013 National Prayer Breakfast | Religion News Service

I have to say this is now our fifth prayer breakfast and it is always just a wonderful event. But I do worry sometimes that as soon as we leave the prayer breakfast, everything we've been talking about the whole time at the prayer breakfast seems to be forgotten -- on the same day of the prayer breakfast. (Laughter.) I mean, you'd like to think that the shelf life wasn't so short. (Laughter.) But I go back to the Oval Office and I start watching the cable news networks and it's like we didn’t pray. (Laughter.)
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 02-07-2013, 10:50 AM
174 posts, read 122,750 times
Reputation: 139
I would guess that the United States has had a few closet atheists as President. Which ones? No way to know, of course. Mostly, Presidents (and would-be Presidents) understand that a show of religiousness is requisite, at least at present. If they're already religious, that's perfect for them politically. If not, they make a show of it when necessary.

Of the Presidents of the last several decades, I'd say the only undisputably religious were George W. Bush and Jimmy Carter. Most of the rest probably were, some may not have believed at all. No real way of knowing, though.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 02-07-2013, 12:29 PM
Location: Northeastern US
14,027 posts, read 8,063,837 times
Reputation: 5960
I would characterize Obama as a liberal Christian who wants to be perceived as a moderate Christian. That is to say, he does not take his faith very seriously and holds his beliefs pretty loosely. His connection with the likes of Rev. Wright I would interpret as an arguably misguided attempt to show solidarity with the politics of black anger, which from what I can tell is largely mediated by ministers of traditionally black denominations. Rev. Al Sharpton was one of those, for example, and has now remade his public image by becoming a fairly capable talking head on MSNBC with his own show, Politics Nation. I think that the fiery rhetoric of such people is much more threatening and provocative to traditional conservatives than it really should be -- it's meant to stir the pot both for the base and the opposition. So I don't take a bit of pandering to that on Obama's part as either avoidable or indicative of his own thinking. Quite the opposite; I wish Obama were a bit more passionate and angry sometimes than he typically is, he might avoid being misperceived as weak and vulnerable. But he's probably made a decision that it's worse to be seen as a Scary Angry Black Man than to be underestimated. And maybe he's right. His general persona is, slow and steady wins the race. This not only causes his enemies to think he's weak when he's not, it causes others to think he's a cold fish when he simply has learned not to be baited.

All in all I find him a good and decent man, who may well go down in history as one of our great presidents, at least in the eyes of hopefully more enlightened and egalitarian future generations. Whether that is in spite of closet theism or not, I applaud it.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 02-07-2013, 12:39 PM
Location: kind of North of the middle of nowhere, FL
4,360 posts, read 3,514,008 times
Reputation: 3573
I would have no problem with an openly atheist president. Of course, many theistic voters might, which is why we may not see one for a while.

I know many people claim that Jefferson was in fact an atheist, although he openly embraced Deism. There are conflicting arguments out there as to what beliefs Jefferson held.

If Obama is, then wait until the religious right get a hold of this. I have had a number of right wing Christians tell me in person that Obama is a Muslim, secretly plotting to overthrow America and establsih an Islamic Theocracy.
Makes me wonder what all these churches are teaching people.....or what shows they are watching? Something that comes on between "Ancient Aliens" and "Bigfoot Revealed" ?

I would have no problem if Obama was an atheist, I still respect what he is trying to do. He has one of the hardest jobs in the world, and even when he does something right, some 50,000,000 people are not going to be happy about it.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 02-07-2013, 02:54 PM
Location: East Coast of the United States
14,426 posts, read 17,197,393 times
Reputation: 9984
I think it's very possible that both President Obama and Vice President Biden are atheist/agnostic. They voiced their support for same-sex marriage so easily last year that it's clear they can't take Christianity or Christian traditions seriously.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 02-07-2013, 03:25 PM
Location: Space Coast
1,989 posts, read 4,328,192 times
Reputation: 2727
I can't put my finger on exactly why, but I strongly got that impression during his first campaign.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 02-07-2013, 05:01 PM
442 posts, read 373,060 times
Reputation: 882
I dont think he truly holds traditional Christian beliefs and I am certain he does not believe in nonsense such as virgin births or rising from death.

It is possible he is a closet athiest. I suspect he is something more similar to quasi-agnostic, deistic, or "spiritual".
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 02-09-2013, 02:12 PM
Location: Toronto, Canada
1,318 posts, read 1,073,487 times
Reputation: 581
Obama is an atheist it's obvious.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 02-10-2013, 05:28 AM
6,529 posts, read 7,087,663 times
Reputation: 3989
since no president has ever heeded christianity when it comes to policy , i think its likely obama and many of his predescessors were athiest , then again the majority of christians merley pay lip service to the teachings of christ , some have even managed to rewrite his teachings , according to fox news, jesus was against raising the minimum wage and raising taxes on the super wealthy
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.

Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Religion and Spirituality > Atheism and Agnosticism
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2017, Advameg, Inc.

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32 - Top