An Atheist for President, by God!
Are you plumb worn out from all the television commercials you’re seeing touting "Christian" candidates for president, each one vying to be holier than their opponents? Me, too. Have you noticed that these sanctimonious sermonizers all seem so dag nab uncharitable towards one another?
Well, my fellow Americans, you deserve a choice. I’m an atheist and I’m running president. Let me make myself perfectly clear. I don’t believe in God. Neither do I worship Buddha. I don’t pray to Allah, kneel to the Holy Trinity, or bow to the Dalai Lama, although, just in case, I continue to capitalize their names. For the record, I don’t believe in Zeus, Juno or Old Scratch, either. I was only born once, and it wasn’t yesterday.
Hours upon hours of Catholic catechism notwithstanding, the concepts of transubstantiation and the Holy Ghost have always eluded me. I don’t even subscribe to Intelligent Design, for heaven’s sake. I confess that I am a dyed-in-the-wool, Katy-bar-the-door, eight-ways-to-Sunday unbeliever. Call me Infidel.
I’ve been working on campaign slogans: “Vote for Dave: your apo-state-of-the-art candidate!” I’ll bet this one gets a rise out of more than a few of my Christian rivals: “I may be an infidel but I don’t practice infidelity.” I adapted this gem from Bush 41: “Pull Dave’s lever for a kinder, gentile presidency.” Here’s a pithy one: “Vote for Dave, damn it!”
I know you’re a wee bit leery about installing an iconoclast in the White House. But I won’t be the first. Thomas Jefferson was hardly a Christian by today’s holy rolling standards. He studiously avoided the word Christian in the Declaration of Independence. Can you imagine Mike Huckabee passing up that proselytizing opportunity?
Doubting Thomas went so far as to edit the Bible (he took the miracles out!), and he once wrote: “But it does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods or no God. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.”
Today, of course, Jefferson wouldn’t make it past the Iowa caucuses. His Bible-thumping opposition would fracture his political legs and beat his freethinking campaign into a bloody pagan pulp.
But let’s get back to my candidacy. You obviously have many questions for me. What would a secular President Dave mean for you and your loved ones? What would I say at the end of my State of the Union address? Here’s how I’d finesse that one: “If there is a God, which I firmly doubt, may She bless you and the United States of America – and to hell with all those other no-count nations.”
Heck, I may wax inclusive on you and instruct your God to sanctify the whole world. Have you noticed how our Christians leaders tend bless this country exclusively, as if their God is a jingoistic, flag-waving American, and more than likely a red-state, meat-eating Republican in favor of hermetically sealing our borders as well as abolishing the progressive income tax and social security? So much for the least of our brothers and sisters.
And what, pray tell, would the First Family of scoffers be doing on Sunday mornings? Would the heathen Holahans be communing with nature like a passel of wild druids? I can’t speak for my anarchic nuclear family, but this impious president would be catching up on his sleep so that he doesn’t’ sound like Mrs. Malaprop at his next press conference.
And could an ungodly president be strong enough to start a war of choice while denying health care to needy children? Could the Disbeliever-In-Chief prosecute said pre-emptive war as if God was on our side – and therefore due human diligence and competence were not required? I fervently hope not on both counts.
My fellow Americans, if I am your president and things go well, I will not thank God. I will take all the credit.