Why?

Why is it that we require our candidates to profess a religious faith, but not that they demonstrate even minimal scientific literacy? Our representatives in Congress make critical decisions on science policy and science funding, and yet are often hostile to the entire scientific enterprise. In 2012, Rep. Paul Broun, R-Georgia, while serving on the House science committee, famously said that evolution and the Big Bang are “lies from the pit of hell.”
As one prejudice after another has fallen by the wayside and we have elected women, African-Americans, gays and lesbians, and Jewish people to represent us, we have seen that the world has not come to an end. Life continues, and our debate is enriched by the diversity of opinions. It is time to end the prejudice that keeps qualified people without faith from considering a run for public office and keeps atheist officials from being honest about their beliefs.
http://www.cnn.com/2014/08/31/opinion/moreno-atheists-unelectable-congress/index.html?iid=article_sidebar

I have a similar question but his one is more regarding the public than about politicians.
Why is that any person can be allowed to vote, even without any basic knowledge about how the government system in the US works?
An ignorant population can only vote for an ignorant representative.
To take some examples, courtesy of the CATO institute
http://www.cato.org/sites/cato.org/files/serials/files/policy-report/1999/7/cpr-21n4.html
A month after the 1994 congressional election handed Congress to the Republicans, 57 percent of Americans never heard of “Republican revolution," leader Newt Gingrich

most people had never heard of the Contract with America, let alone understood and agreed with its contents.

at the height of the Cold War, 62 percent of the U.S. public failed to realize that the USSR was not a member of NATO.

70% the public doesn’t know the names of either of their state’s senators

The problem is much deeper than anyone being being prevented from running for an office.
If anything, a lot people need to be prevented from voting.
I am in favor of lifting the voting age to 35 and after citizens take an annual test showing they know enough to be considered a good voter
Maybe a bit extreme, but hey is it really worse??

I have a similar question but this one is more regarding the public than about politicians. Why is that any person can be allowed to vote, even without any basic knowledge about how the government system in the US works? An ignorant population can only vote for an ignorant representative. To take some examples, courtesy of the CATO institute The problem is much deeper than anyone being being prevented from running for an office. If anything, a lot people need to be prevented from voting. I am in favor of lifting the voting age to 35 and after citizens take an annual test showing they know enough to be considered a good voter Maybe a bit extreme, but hey is it really worse??
I like the way you think IJ. I don't necessarily agree with this particular stance(although the root problem is glaringly obvious as you point out). I like that you are open to change. Radical change. The knee-jerk reaction you will receive here is that the "Sacred Right to Vote" should never be tampered with. That could be right... But it illustrates how new ideas and calls for real change get stamped out by a blind obedience to a meme or some old musty idea that is obsolete.
I have a similar question but his one is more regarding the public than about politicians. Why is that any person can be allowed to vote, even without any basic knowledge about how the government system in the US works? An ignorant population can only vote for an ignorant representative.
The consequences of our ignorance are obvious. The questions are, how do you decide what goes on the voting test? How do you make sure it is properly administered? Age alone does not guarantee intelligence. If we raise it to 35, then we should raise the minimum age to go to into the military along with it.

Atheist candidates would be no better.

Atheist candidates would be no better.
How can you know? Lois

Abdul Hakeem wrote:
“Why is that any person can be allowed to vote, even without any basic knowledge about how the government system in the US works?”
Who would be in charge of testing or deciding who is intellectually qualified? And who would represent the less intelligent? Don’t they deserve to have governme run in a way that s fair to them?
The whole idea of democracy is that everyone gets a vote and nobody is considered “more equal” than anyone else. Many less educated people have more sense than the so-called educated ones. Who should decide who is smart enough to vote?
Lois

Atheist candidates would be no better.
How can you know? LoisAtheists haven't shown themselves to have any special leadership skills.
Atheist candidates would be no better.
How can you know? LoisAtheists haven't shown themselves to have any special leadership skills. They've hardly been able to demonstrate them. You could say the same thing about any group of disenfranchised people. Black people, women--any group that is the object of discrimination--have never shown themselves to have any special leadership skills--most certainly before they've been given a chance to demonstrate them. Do you think most of the people in charge now have shown that they have much in the way of leadership skills? Do you think you have them? Lois
I have a similar question but his one is more regarding the public than about politicians. Why is that any person can be allowed to vote, even without any basic knowledge about how the government system in the US works? An ignorant population can only vote for an ignorant representative. To take some examples, courtesy of the CATO institute http://www.cato.org/sites/cato.org/files/serials/files/policy-report/1999/7/cpr-21n4.html A month after the 1994 congressional election handed Congress to the Republicans, 57 percent of Americans never heard of “Republican revolution," leader Newt Gingrich .... most people had never heard of the Contract with America, let alone understood and agreed with its contents. .... at the height of the Cold War, 62 percent of the U.S. public failed to realize that the USSR was not a member of NATO. .... 70% the public doesn’t know the names of either of their state’s senators The problem is much deeper than anyone being being prevented from running for an office. If anything, a lot people need to be prevented from voting. I am in favor of lifting the voting age to 35 and after citizens take an annual test showing they know enough to be considered a good voter Maybe a bit extreme, but hey is it really worse??
I agree we should be better educated on politics. I disagree we should "If anything, a lot people need to be prevented from voting." It should be mandatory education every year of junior and senior high school to have credits in a political education class. This is equally import as reading/writing/arithmetic. You cannot make people vote, nor should you. You should not have to pass a test to vote, it is your right as a tax payer and I agree but.... I see nothing wrong and many benefits to the forced education of our upcoming generations to the minimum of expected citizenship responsibilities we may exercise as adults in the US. This is where we are lacking, IMO. MzLee
Why is it that we require our candidates to profess a religious faith, but not that they demonstrate even minimal scientific literacy? Our representatives in Congress make critical decisions on science policy and science funding, and yet are often hostile to the entire scientific enterprise. In 2012, Rep. Paul Broun, R-Georgia, while serving on the House science committee, famously said that evolution and the Big Bang are "lies from the pit of hell." As one prejudice after another has fallen by the wayside and we have elected women, African-Americans, gays and lesbians, and Jewish people to represent us, we have seen that the world has not come to an end. Life continues, and our debate is enriched by the diversity of opinions. It is time to end the prejudice that keeps qualified people without faith from considering a run for public office and keeps atheist officials from being honest about their beliefs. http://www.cnn.com/2014/08/31/opinion/moreno-atheists-unelectable-congress/index.html?iid=article_sidebar
The "why" is because religion has saturated our culture, much to the detriment of it. It has become the pat answer for politicians. Our country is on the brink of a political revolution. The educated and more secular are the incoming generation and this will provide a new stricter guide for the BS meter in politics. The anti-science movement is on its way out and more and more young people are getting interested and calling "BS"! I am happy to welcome the new younger overlords, myself. lol MzL

I think there probably have been atheist Presidents and other officials but they have only kept up the religious image as a PR stunt…historically, they have wanted to relate to the people, as more citizens leave religion, the less pressure officials will feel to also connect them self to a religion. When you think about winning an election, you won’t be the most popular if you stand before the citizens of the US and state you’re atheist or unaffiliated. Politicians know how to play the game to get the votes and if that means throwing in some references to a god, they’ll do it. My opinion at least.

Atheist candidates would be no better.
How can you know? LoisAtheists haven't shown themselves to have any special leadership skills. They've hardly been able to demonstrate them. You could say the same thing about any group of disenfranchised people. Black people, women--any group that is the object of discrimination--have never shown themselves to have any special leadership skills--most certainly before they've been given a chance to demonstrate them.The self proclaimed atheists who have been in those positions have been hit or miss - just like the theists. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_atheists_in_politics_and_law
Do you think most of the people in charge now have shown that they have much in the way of leadership skills?
No, but that doesn't mean we should demand non - believers in their place.
Do you think you have them?
Somewhat.
Atheist candidates would be no better.
How can you know? LoisAtheists haven't shown themselves to have any special leadership skills. They've hardly been able to demonstrate them. You could say the same thing about any group of disenfranchised people. Black people, women--any group that is the object of discrimination--have never shown themselves to have any special leadership skills--most certainly before they've been given a chance to demonstrate them.The self proclaimed atheists who have been in those positions have been hit or miss - just like the theists. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_atheists_in_politics_and_law
Do you think most of the people in charge now have shown that they have much in the way of leadership skills?
No, but that doesn't mean we should demand non - believers in their place.
Do you think you have them?
Somewhat. So does everyone else. So where does that get you? The point is whether voters think you have them. Lois
I think there probably have been atheist Presidents and other officials but they have only kept up the religious image as a PR stunt...historically, they have wanted to relate to the people, as more citizens leave religion, the less pressure officials will feel to also connect them self to a religion. When you think about winning an election, you won't be the most popular if you stand before the citizens of the US and state you're atheist or unaffiliated. Politicians know how to play the game to get the votes and if that means throwing in some references to a god, they'll do it. My opinion at least.
Ypu're right, FD. It's a cat and mouse game. LL
I think there probably have been atheist Presidents and other officials but they have only kept up the religious image as a PR stunt...historically, they have wanted to relate to the people, as more citizens leave religion, the less pressure officials will feel to also connect them self to a religion. When you think about winning an election, you won't be the most popular if you stand before the citizens of the US and state you're atheist or unaffiliated. Politicians know how to play the game to get the votes and if that means throwing in some references to a god, they'll do it. My opinion at least.
Exactly this! Politicians feed the people what they want/need to hear. Being an atheist isn't perceived as a vote winner at the moment so few admit to it.
Who would be in charge of testing or deciding who is intellectually qualified? And who would represent the less intelligent? Don't they deserve to have governme run in a way that s fair to them? The whole idea of democracy is that everyone gets a vote and nobody is considered "more equal" than anyone else. Many less educated people have more sense than the so-called educated ones. Who should decide who is smart enough to vote? Lois
I completely agree here. I don't know who my senators or representatives are either, because I never really hear about anything they do. I gave up watching the news a long time ago because it did nothing but depress me. When voting time comes, I do the best with what information I have. Generally speaking, the attack ads from the other side tell me all I need to know. :)