10 Questions

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.

So head over and get votin’.

*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.

16 comments for “10 Questions

  1. Cecily
    November 10, 2007 at 3:23 pm

    It’s still open for submissions, right? So one of us who has a video camera (thus, not me!) could do a reasonable question on separation of church and state.

  2. Mandolin
    November 10, 2007 at 4:11 pm

    Thanks for telling us atheists that. We’ll remember it next time we get shit for our nonpressing problems.

  3. November 10, 2007 at 5:05 pm

    Thanks for telling us atheists that. We’ll remember it next time we get shit for our nonpressing problems.

    Oh come on. 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 v.s atheists framework accepts the debate terms as right-wing nutjobs have set them.

  4. November 10, 2007 at 5:07 pm

    I am a feminist and an atheist. And, like you, I wish someone a little less annoying asked the religious question, but I don’t believe its a non issue. Too much of this country’s social policy and foreign policy is based on superstitious bronze age nonsense, and we’re a little sick of it. Your primary focus is on feminist issues but if you visited an atheist blog you might have a better understanding. Think how you would feel if an atheist website said that feminism is a non issue because we have the right to vote now. Everything is relative to someones perspective, I guess.

  5. November 10, 2007 at 5:10 pm

    Hey, your new comment just came up. That soothes my atheist anger..thank you:)

  6. November 10, 2007 at 8:44 pm

    I am agnostic, and symphathize with a lot of what athiests go through in this country.

    However, voting up guys like the guy who has two videos in the top ten of this really is helping noone. He was pretentious, pandering and had the exact same attitude as your average chrstian conservative about his beliefs.

  7. Mandolin
    November 11, 2007 at 12:54 am

    “Adapting a religious people v.s atheists framework accepts the debate terms as right-wing nutjobs have set them.”

    Sure, but the language you use in this post is really alienating.

  8. Entomologista
    November 11, 2007 at 1:30 am

    For a better understanding of exactly why bittergradstudent’s comment is so offensive, please see PZ Myers.

  9. Mandolin
    November 11, 2007 at 10:39 am

    Thanks for the update; I didn’t see it before.

    Sorry to reply snappishly, but after the recent kerfuffle on this blog about whether or not atheists have a choke hold on the discourse, I felt it necessary to point out that we don’t.

  10. November 11, 2007 at 10:56 am

    I hear ya, Mandolin. Sorry for being unclear earlier. Atheists do get really marginalized in political discourse, so I wasn’t trying to contribute to that. Thanks for pushing me to clarify.

  11. November 11, 2007 at 1:53 pm

    Entomologista–

    There is a strain amongst the organized athiest movement that is very aggressive, and goes beyond demanding rights, or even establishing an athiest culture, and just rants and raves about how stupid all religious people are. His pompous attitude really, really reminded me of that.

    But apparently criticizing a particular person is now offensive.

  12. November 11, 2007 at 4:50 pm

    Speaking as a Jew, holler on the update. Though in the public eye we’re fading more into “Judeo-Christian” everyday (“Judeo-Christian” = “Christian supercessionism in an outwardly friendly shell”), I’m reasonably confident I have a unique religion, and I’m reasonably confident it’s often threatened by Christian social and political hegemony.

  13. Mandolin
    November 11, 2007 at 5:22 pm

    No, semantic condensation between the ways in which atheists are annoying and the ways in which religious pepole are annoying, in an inaccurate way, is offensive.

  14. November 11, 2007 at 7:42 pm

    It’s the exact same way of being annoying. It’s this underlying attitude of having the one, complete truth, and that everyone else is either too unenlightented or too ignorant to accept it. Tone is important.

  15. Mandolin
    November 11, 2007 at 11:27 pm

    “Tone is important.”

    Then take your own sanctimonious advice.

  16. November 12, 2007 at 1:12 am

    I would like to alert all those wanting to reach their candidate to
    check out Straight2theCandidates.com.

    Our set up a) allows you to simply film yourself directly via our
    platform with your webcam, b) allows you to address a particular
    candidate directly (and not all candidates at once), c) enables you to
    post/look at the questions by category, d) and does not skew the
    ranking by indirectly favoring the most recent submissions.

    I would invite you to check out the video function in particular, and
    then send Romney
    (or anyone else) a message by clicking “video” once his portal loads.
    After that, have your friends and colleagues vote the question up in
    the rankings to make sure it gets to his (or her respective) campaign!

Comments are closed.