Essay: Bernie Sanders is a closet atheist

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In many religious countries and even irreligious countries there is a stigma related to atheism and as a result many atheists are reluctant to: call themselves atheists and/or be outspoken atheists (see: Stigma of atheism and Closet atheist and Views on atheists).

Jon Green wrote about Bernie Sanders:

Bernie Sanders is, as he’s suggested before, Jewish with an emphasis on the ish. His Jewish heritage has informed his morality and his politics, but he doesn’t claim to be observant in any officially religious sense.

In an interview with the Washington Post published this morning, Sanders went a step further, making that point as clearly as he ever:

“I am not actively involved with organized religion,” Sanders said in a recent interview.
Sanders said he believes in God, though not necessarily in a traditional manner.
“I think everyone believes in God in their own ways, “ he said. “To me, it means that all of us are connected, all of life is connected, and that we are all tied together.”

As atheist blogger Hemant Mehta pointed out, that’s basically a really PC way of saying you’re an atheist. Sanders may have used the word “God” to describe his belief system, but it’s pretty clear that his version of God isn’t an old man in the sky. There’s no actual deity involved — no theism — just a generalized interconnectedness.[1]

Deseret News declared:

Speculation about Sanders' religious views ramped up last October after an appearance on "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" during which he was directly asked whether he believes in God.

It was the nature of the candidate's response that piqued the interest of some viewers.

Kimmel cited Sanders' claims that he is "culturally Jewish" and that he doesn't "feel religious" and then asked about a belief in God. He also questioned whether Sanders thinks it is important for Americans to embrace a higher power.

"I am who I am and what I believe in and what my spirituality is about is that we’re all in this together," Sanders responded. "That I think it is not a good thing to believe that as human beings we can turn our backs on the suffering of other people."

He continued, "This is not Judaism — this is what Pope Francis is talking about — that we cannot worship just billionaires and the making of more and more money. Life is more than that."

A few months later, speculation once again raged after Sanders did an interview with The Washington Post in which he said that he doesn't necessarily believe in God in a traditional sense.

"I am not actively involved with organized religion," he told the outlet. "I think everyone believes in God in their own ways. To me, it means that all of us are connected, all of life is connected, and that we are all tied together."

His brother Larry Sanders also told the outlet that the candidate was "quite substantially not religious."[2]

Bernie Sanders spent his honeymoon in the Soviet Union which was a regime which practiced militant atheism (see: Atheism and communism).[3]

Bernie Sanders spent his honeymoon in the Soviet Union which was a regime which practiced militant atheism (see: Atheism and communism).[4] According to the University of Cambridge, historically, the "most notable spread of atheism was achieved through the success of the 1917 Russian Revolution, which brought the Marxist-Leninists to power."[5]

The Religion News Service states: "Presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders dashed the hopes of some atheists when he declared he had 'very strong religious and spiritual feelings' at a Democratic town hall."[6]

Sanders denies he is an atheist.[7]

Atheists/agnostics who supported Bernie Sanders in the 2016 Democratic presidential primary

The Amazing Atheist

TJ Kirk, self-called The Amazing Atheist, has pled to all Hillary supporters to stop supporting her, and to support Bernie, instead, because he believes the Socialist has integrity.[8]

Hemant Mehta

The atheist Hemant Mehta voted for Bernie Sanders in the Democratic presidential primary.[9]

David Pakman Show

David Pakman, of the David Pakman Show, is an agnostic.[10]

Pakman hints at Bernie support while portraying Hillary negatively, where he shows his bias,[11] and calls the Best of Conservative politicians "the Best (Worst?)", indicating his negative bias toward conservatives. David Pakman often pretends to be unbiased, but is, in fact, biased against conservatives.

The Humanist Report

Mike Anthony of The Humanist Report has produced many videos in favor of Bernie Sanders, against Hillary Clinton, and against Donald Trump.

Jaclyn Glenn

Kyle Kulinski at the political convention Politicon 2018. Kulinski is the individual on the left.

Jacklyn Glenn, a militant atheist, vegan, angry feminist, and closet lesbian, makes fun of people who are voting for Hillary just to put the first female President in the White House (while wearing a Bernie Sanders t-shirt),[12] and endorses Bernie Sanders.

Secular Talk

Kyle Kulinski is an atheist who describes himself as a new atheist and a progressive atheist.[13]

Kyle Kulinski, of Secular Talk, promotes Bernie Sanders in several of his videos,[14] attacks Hillary Clinton and Republicans, and compared Barack Obama to a Republican.

The Secular Vegan

Isaiah, of The Secular Vegan, tells atheists to vote for Bernie, merely because he would be the first non-Christian President.[15]

The Young Turks

Cenk Uygur, of The Young Turks, is a self-described "fervent agnostic".[16]

Cenk Uygur speaks highly of Bernie Sanders,[17] while dismissing Hillary Clinton and Republican politicians as "robots", and practically every week, they release a video disrespecting Conservatives.[18]

Why Bernie Sanders is a closet atheist rather an open atheist

See also: Atheism and politics

Atheism and U.S. presidential politics

See also: Distrust of atheists

In 2015, National Public Radio (NPR) indicated:

In a 1958 poll of Americans, only 18 percent of respondents said they would vote for a generally well-qualified presidential candidate nominated by their political party if that person happened to be an atheist. In 2015, that number has jumped to 58 percent.

Yet, even today, 40 percent of respondents say they would not vote for an atheist.[19]

In 2012, the Gallup organization reported: "While more than nine in 10 Americans would vote for a presidential candidate who is black, a woman, Catholic, Hispanic, or Jewish, significantly smaller percentages would vote for one who is an atheist (54%) or Muslim (58%)."[20]

Atheism and U.S. congressional politics

USA Today indicated in 2014:

Guess how many of the major-party candidates in next month's congressional elections are openly atheist. Hint: You can count them on one finger.

It tells you something that in a time when "no religion" is the category of roughly 20% of Americans, virtually none of the hundreds of Democrats and Republicans vying for congressional seats identify as a religious "none."

.... atheism and related forms of non-belief are about the worst thing a candidate can be associated with.[21]

Bernie Sander's antipathy towards evangelical Christians holding public office

Related article:

References

  1. Bernie Sanders is mainstreaming atheism in American politics
  2. Is Bernie Sanders an atheist? by Billy Hallowell, Deseret News, 2016
  3. Pro-Beto group leader posts video of shirtless Bernie Sanders 'drunkenly' singing in Soviet Union in 1988, Washington Examiner, 2019
  4. Pro-Beto group leader posts video of shirtless Bernie Sanders 'drunkenly' singing in Soviet Union in 1988, Washington Examiner, 2019
  5. Investigating atheism: Marxism. University of Cambridge (2008). Retrieved on July 17, 2014. “The most notable spread of atheism was achieved through the success of the 1917 Russian Revolution, which brought the Marxist-Leninists to power. For the first time in history, atheism thus became the official ideology of a state.”
  6. Bernie Sanders disappoints some atheists with his ‘very strong religious’ feelings, Religion News Service
  7. Sanders: ‘I am not an atheist’, The Hill, 2016
  8. [1]
  9. Bernie Sanders Was Wrong to Punish a Nominee for His Religious Beliefs by Hemant Mehta
  10. Caller: Does David Call Himself an Atheist?
  11. [2]
  12. [3]
  13. New Atheists Vs Progressives | Proposing A Ceasefire by Kyle Kulinski (video)
  14. [4]
  15. [5]
  16. Uygur, Cenk (April 29, 2008). "Six Degrees of Barack Obama". The Huffington Post. Retrieved February 28, 2011. I am a fervent agnostic. I have argued vehemently against religion .... I went to school in Turkey until I was eight."
  17. [6]
  18. [7]
  19. Would Voters Entrust The White House To An Atheist?, NPR
  20. Atheists, Muslims See Most Bias as Presidential Candidates, Gallup organization
  21. Can atheists be elected? Column