Go vote on which questions you want the presidential candidates to answer. I’ll make a pitch for my favorite of the questions, from the good folks over at Why Tuesday?:
There are lots of other good ones, although I’ll be curmudgeonly for a minute and say that I wish there was a question about religious freedom that came from someone a little less insufferable, and that didn’t reiterate the patent untruth that the “culture wars” are a divide between religious and non-religious people. There are plenty of religious liberals and moderates, and the truth is that the divide is between extremists and progressives. The whole “President Bush is a scary Christian, so what are you going to do for the Atheists?” line is really tiresome, and not particularly pressing or interesting.*
That aside, I’m actually kind of glad to see that there isn’t an abortion question in the current top 10. It’s not that it isn’t important — of course it is — but I think we have a pretty good idea of where all the candidates stand, and I’d rather see them pressed on the issues that they try to dodge (like, say, torture, the war, executive powers, and specifics about health care). And it would be nice to see this used as a forum to bring up issues that the mainstream media doesn’t usually touch on — like election reform.
*UPDATED to clarify by repeating what I said in the comments:
I didn’t mean that atheists don’t have problems or that their interests shouldn’t be addressed; I meant that acting as if the divide is between religious people and atheists is a false one, and it contributes to a really reductive and silly debate. Issues of religious freedom, and freedom from state-imposed religion, aren’t “atheist issues.” They’re issues for everyone who cares about Constitutional rights and religious liberties. Adapting a religious people vs. atheists framework accepts the debate terms as right-wing nutjobs have set them, and that’s both alienating and dangerous.