“Mark Levin SCHOOLS atheist caller”

Mark Levin reminds me of an old battered car with bad brakes and stinky exhaust. He’s noisy and belligerent and obnoxious.

In his list of qualities he’d like to see in the next Republican nominee, Levin includes “faith.” Yes, the next president should not be afraid to stand up and express his belief in God. And if you don’t like it, too damn bad. Levin will “school” you and tell you to shut the hell up (right after telling you how intolerant you are), just as he did this caller. Are you rolling your eyes yet?

Levin doesn’t understand that our founders gave citizens freedom of religion and freedom from religion, that no religious test was required for our leaders. He asks the caller how many times God is mentioned in the Declaration. You can see for yourself how many times God, church or religion are referenced in the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence. Apparently, Levin doesn’t know himself.

I don’t have a problem with our president believing in God. If it brings her comfort to believe in a creator, if he holds out hope for an afterlife, fine. I just don’t want him or her to bring God to work. We don’t vote in a deity. We vote in a human. That human should be able to do his job without consulting God or Thor or his mum and dad. In fact, we shouldn’t even know if our leaders believe in God or not. That’s of little relevance.

While knowing a person’s faith is likely to inspire admiration in some Americans, it’s likely to repulse a growing number of us. (Ahem, Mitt Romney.) We don’t need to know your religion, your favorite past-time or if you believe in love at first sight. I don’t want to know what you do with your down time or if you get on your knees to pray at bedtime. I want to know instead: Are you competent? Are you honest with yourself and others? Will you do the right thing, even if it means you will face criticism? (Yes, every American should have access to the same healthcare they provide for their representatives.) Are you analytical, fair, diplomatic, wise? These are the qualities that will help all of us, regardless of what we do or do not believe.

Levin assumes that America’s founders had belief in God. But that’s quite an assumption—do we really know what our friends and family (and his listeners) believe about the existence of God, much less strangers who lived over two-hundred years ago? I’d bet that Levin is unaware of the atheists and skeptics living in his midst, perhaps even under his roof. I know some readers here can relate.

Levin may be shooting himself in the foot. As more of us move away from religiosity, we may perceive “a declaration of faith” as a declaration of weakness. Our president should not have to lean on his faith to do his job–or to get elected.

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22 responses to ““Mark Levin SCHOOLS atheist caller”

  1. I don’t have a problem with our president believing in God. If it brings her comfort to believe in a creator, if he holds out hope for an afterlife, fine. I just don’t want him or her to bring God to work. We don’t vote in a deity. We vote in a human. That human should be able to do his job without consulting God or Thor or his mum and dad. In fact, we shouldn’t even know if our leaders believe in God or not. That’s of little relevance.

    Yes, this is very much the point.

    Thanks for expressing it so well.

  2. Hey Deb,
    I’m pretty sure that Levin is Jewish, right?
    Either way, intolerant people calling others intolerant cracks me up … and makes me sad.

  3. Yes, my eyes were rolling but more than that I could barely get through listening to that clip. What a condescending and critical guy. He was accusing his caller of contributing nothing to the show but to the contrary, Levin was the one who didn’t have any substantive things to say. Thanks for another great post!

    • @aschlady…Thanks for your comment!

      _____

    • What a prick.

      Mr Levin was everything an unbeliever might expect of a deluded…religious person. Condescending is an appropriate word – he just epitomized that. Even though I consider myself a peaceful person, I’d like to punch that smirk (yes, you can see that just from listening) :-) off his face.

  4. Wow, I couldn’t take more than 15 seconds of that… I pulled the plug.

  5. No, we shouldn’t need to know what a president’s religious preferences and beliefs are. Yes, it should be irrelevant; it’s not supposed to be a factor. It’s not a test for running for office. And there was a time when I dismissed it as a factor. There was a big flap about JFK being a Catholic and concern about whether the Pope would end up calling the shots in Washington. I remember thinking that of course Kennedy would not take his religion into the Oval Office.

    But things have changed. The sad fact is, we do need to know a candidate’s religion because it is relevant. Our candidates and presidents have made it relevant. When George Bush, acting as president, announced that he answers to a “higher power,” one had to fear for the country. What might such a man do if he had to choose between his country and his god? How much do his religious beliefs influence his decisions about what legislation to promote or oppose, to sign or veto? Will he sign a religious tenet into law for the entire country?

    And lots of luck to any self-described atheist running for office. Of course his/her non-belief shouldn’t be at all relevant, but you know it will be. You know the attack ads will home in on that atheism, and the Christian majority will ensure he/she loses the election. Go ahead, count the number of atheists in Congress.

    So yes, we do need to know a candidate’s religion. We shouldn’t have to know, but we do.

    • I’d love to know the number of atheists in Congress, but sadly, none of us knows – because they all profess to being Christian. I’d bet the true number of atheists would be shocking, if only we could somehow ascertain the truth. But no one has the balls to admit to being a nonbeliever. Hopefully that will change in the not-too-distant future.

    • Good points, PiedType. I’ve often wondered, though, how many of the candidates simply use the god speak because they think their constituents want to hear it. It’s a little ironic that all of TX’s Lt. Governor candidates are pro-creationism. What are the odds in a population? The conservatives are very well-organized and well-funded. They seem to get a lot more voters to the polls. In some cases, I think declaring religious belief is just a tool to help them get elected, but you’re right, we don’t want that transferring into a leader who will push for new religious legislation. Even if it’s just ineffectual laws to make voters happy, it’s just a huge waste of time and money. (One example is the “Merry Christmas” law in Texas. That is basically worthless.)

  6. Yea, he’s in for quite a shocker, while the older generations are religious, they have “brought up” the generation with the biggest majority of ‘nones’ seen. People are moving away from religion as a basis for morality. I feel like in a generation or two, it will be less likely that this is relevant. It is currently relevant, because the society we stem from says it is. If more of us spoke up – and put a ‘normalcy’ to the ‘new norm’ we wouldn’t have to worry about how an atheist or a christian were perceived and we’d all go on merits and good works. Hopefully I live to see that day.

  7. Interesting piece all the way around. I wonder how Levin would react if the candidate in question mentioned Allah or Zeus or Satan. I wonder if he contends that the profession of faith in a god is limited to a small set.

    @Debbie Missed your posts during your hiatus. Welcome back!

  8. Religious apologists complain bitterly that atheists and secularists are aggressive and hostile in their criticism of them. I always say: look, when you guys were in charge, you didn’t argue with us, you just burnt us at the stake. Now what we’re doing is, we’re presenting you with some arguments and some challenging questions, and you complain.

    – A.C. Grayling

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