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April 9th, 2012
08:38 AM ET

Can a public servant be a non-believer?

(CNN)– Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, and Ralph Reed, discuss on State of the Union with Candy Crowley whether a public servant can declare be a "non-believer." Their answers may surprise you.

For more on State of the Union with Candy Crowley and the debate over religion and politics here.

Watch State of the Union with Candy Crowley Sundays at 9am ET. For the latest from State of the Union click here.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: 2012 Election • Atheism • Belief • Church and state • Faith Now • Politics • TV-State of the Union

soundoff (426 Responses)
  1. Remuel

    Howdy I am so excited I found your westbie, I really found you by mistake, while I was searching on Google for something else, Anyways I am here now and would just like to say thank you for a marvelous post and a all round thrilling blog (I also love the theme/design), I don’t have time to browse it all at the minute but I have book-marked it and also included your RSS feeds, so when I have time I will be back to read more, Please do keep up the excellent work.

    May 19, 2012 at 10:41 am |
  2. AtheismIsCrap

    And you've been very good in HYPOCRTICAL GUESSING (the atheists scientific way to determine something) using your half quark brain.

    April 16, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
  3. AtheismIsCrap

    And you've been very good in HYPOCRTICAL GUESSING (the atheists scientific way to determine something) using your half quark brain. You really love science.

    April 16, 2012 at 1:25 pm |
  4. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things .

    April 14, 2012 at 9:04 pm |
    • N. Onnimus

      Yeah, prayer changes things. It keeps you from taking responsibility for your own actions.

      April 15, 2012 at 4:54 am |
    • just sayin

      And it helped the 7 Korean bastage shot and killed recently in CA.

      April 16, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
    • WASP

      @just sayin': it also helped two christian korean parents starve their three children to death, because they felt the kids ate too much on a perticular holy day and had become possessed by demons. they prayed over their dying children, in other words they watched them starve to death! if prayer worked those kids would be alive and healthy, not tortured to death from lack of nutrition.

      April 18, 2012 at 9:27 am |
  5. Land Rover North London

    Thank you for every other wonderful article. Where else may just anybody get that type of information in such a perfect method of writing? I've a presentation subsequent week, and I'm on the look for such info.

    April 14, 2012 at 9:00 pm |
    • Ned99

      Croydon Massif represent!

      April 14, 2012 at 9:08 pm |
  6. johnfrichardson

    Cleaver is being sued by Bank of America for dead-beating a $1.5 million loan.

    April 13, 2012 at 10:44 am |
  7. Haime52

    The perception that a candidate should be a believer in a higher power is one that is, to an extent, well founded. It is only a perception, not reality, but it is somewhat comforting to think that the person we elect has deep moral convictions tied to a belief in someone greater than themselves and that that belief will guide and soften any tendencies to knee jerk reaction or violent urges they may experience in the performance of their duties. With an atheist, the source of such morality is a bit fuzzy, in the minds of the electorate, rightly or wrongly. It is, as I stated, a matter of perception, not one of reality, for the most part. My only concern would be whether or not the person in question is militant in their belief or non-belief.

    April 12, 2012 at 6:16 pm |
    • False Dichotomy

      I find myself a little put out by references to believing in a "higher power" or "something bigger than yourself." Both of those imply that a non-believer thinks they are the most important or the "highest" power in the universe, which is typically the polar opposite of non-belief.

      On the contrary, most non-religious people see themselves as relatively trivial organisms in an unfathomably large universe. Religious believers on the other hand believe that they are the special chosen ones of the greatest supernatural power in the universe, and that power fusses over their every thought and behavior, and has a special plan just for them – a perspective that is not humble in the least.

      So, next time you consider those phrases, please think about which perspective actually puts humans on a pedestal, and reflects an inflated sense of self-importance relative to the universe.

      April 12, 2012 at 9:48 pm |
    • Haime52

      Dear False,
      You may be right about how you and others might feel but the truth is that many atheists feel that, since there is no one to answer to outside of themselves or society, they are the current opitome of evolution and therefore the highest power. Not necessarily in their own right but congregately as a whole.

      No one should think of themselves as so small or trivial. ALL people are of great value. I believe that the God, the only God of creation, gave His life, HIS life, to save us. With that in mind, it makes each single human of great value, becuase, I believe, He would have come and died for just one, who had sinned. So, you see, our value was proven on the cross. Yours, mine, everyone's. My value, your value was not placed on us by ourselves but by the God of this universe.

      April 14, 2012 at 9:10 am |
    • Cold Splash

      You can almost see the guy put his hands on his ears and shout his magical words at you!

      Yeah, haime, keep shouting louder. It makes all the difference in the eyes of your psychosis. You forgot the caps-lock, btw.

      April 15, 2012 at 5:05 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke and Eric Marrapodi with daily contributions from CNN's worldwide newsgathering team.