Atheist Questionnaire for Candidates
Last week a questionnaire focusing on issues important to many members of the atheist community was emailed to both Representative John Kline, and his opponent Ms. Paula Overby.
A big thank you to my fellow Washingtonians at the Ask An Atheist podcast for use of their questionnaire. Below is my email to both candidates, unfortunately only Ms. Paula Overby has responded. I have placed her responses in bold.
My email and the responses as follows:
Thank you for your time, I know it is valuable.
Just looking for an agree or disagree for the following statements; you may of course feel free to elaborate as you see fit. All answers will be posted to the http://www.transatheistpod.com blog, and a copy of this questionnaire has being sent to Representative John Kline.
I do believe that anyone wanting to represent the citizens of our district has an obligation to respond to legitimate questions. In my experience our current representative, John Kline, screens questions, offering his own editorial in support of his own agenda. I do not consider that to be representative government.
Thank you for your inquiry.
1. The planet Earth is closer to 4.7 billion years than it is to 6,000 years old.
2. The diversity of life on Earth is best explained through biological evolution by natural selection.
True, though the term natural selection is not precise and a simple response to this question is clearly not a thorough response.
3. Vaccinations are not responsible for childhood autism.
True. 14 studies including millions of children in several countries consistently show no significant difference in autism rates between children who got the MMR vaccine those who didn’t. The anecdotal evidence suggesting a link in no way justifies the fear that it generates about vaccines and the enormous benefits derived from vaccination.
4. Deckard was a Replicant.
I don’t know. If you are asking about Blade Runner? Yes, I’ve seen it.
5. It is very unlikely that the United States government is hiding flying saucers or alien bodies.
True. though it’s still fun to imagine.
6. Atheists and agnostics are just as capable of living happy, rewarding, and moral lives as religious believers.
That has been my experience with Atheists I have known.
7. A well-qualified candidate’s atheism would not prevent me from voting for or endorsing their candidacy.
True. Though I am Christian myself, I fully support separation of Church and state. As a participant in transgender ministries I have worked with faith leaders in Judaism, Islam, Buddhism and Native American spirituality.
8. I believe that a strong separation between church and the state is the best way to preserve religious liberty.
True. It is apparent to me that the strong government intervention in religious traditions has had a very negative impact on faith communities in the United States. I find that faith communities are seeking greater autonomy and higher levels of responsibility for the values of their own communities.
9. I believe that the United States of America is not officially a Christian nation.
True. According to separation of church and state there can be no national religion. It is not even clear that Christians are a majority. It depends on widely variant definitions.
10. I would support legislation that would remove “Under God” from the Pledge of Allegiance and restore it to its pre-1954 version.
It would not be a priority but I would certainly be willing to vote in favor of it.
11. George Lucas was mistaken to make prequels to his “Star Wars” trilogy.
Can’t really agree with this one. My son absolutely loves “Star Wars” and I love my son.