Cory Booker: ‘I’d rather hang out with a nice atheist than a mean Christian any day of the week’

U.S. Democratic Senator and presidential candidate Cory Booker participated in a town hall hosted by CNN this Wednesday night in Orangeburg, South Carolina, where he covered a broad range of topics.

Among the things he discussed was his willingness to consider mass commutations and pardons for federal marijuana offenses. He also praised the Green New Deal, comparing it to NASA’s trips to the moon.

Booker suggested that lowering drug prices would be a better short-term solution to the healthcare problem than pursuing single-payer healthcare. He also seemed to be cautious on the subject of impeachment and said that America needs to see the full Mueller report — not just the summary of a Trump-appointed attorney general.

When asked about the Electoral College, Booker said that the presidential candidate who gets the most votes should win the election, but added that Democrats should currently focus on winning the White House in 2020 under the rules that are currently in place.

At one point, a questioner in the audience asked Booker how the subject of religion would influence his presidency.

“I just want to say upfront that I’m a person who often says that before you tell me about your religion, show it to me in how you treat other people,” Booker said.

“I was raised in a church where my mom taught Sunday school and I’ll never forget learning that verse, ‘Faith without works is dead,'” he added. “And I’ll tell you what — this is what often bothers me — I would rather hang out with a nice atheist than a mean Christian any day of the week.”

While Booker identifies himself as a religious person, some observers are noticing that Democratic candidates for the 2020 presidential election are relying less on religiosity to get their message out. As The Atlantic’s Peter Beinart points out, candidates such as Beto O’Rourke, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and Kirsten Gillibrand all declined to mention God in their campaign announcements.

Today’s white liberals don’t only talk about faith less than their predecessors did. They talk about it in a strikingly different way. Earlier Democrats invoked religion as a source of national unity. Bill Clinton declared in his 1992 convention speech, “There is no them; there’s only us. One nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.” In his 2004 convention keynote address, Obama famously announced, “We worship an awesome God in the blue states.” The implication was that religious observance was something Americans of both parties shared.

Today, by contrast, progressive white candidates more often cite religion as a source of division.

H/T Friendly Atheist

Featured image via screen grab 

Sky Palma

Before launching DeadState back in 2012, Sky Palma has been blogging about politics, social issues and religion for over a decade. He lives in Los Angeles and also enjoys Brazilian jiu jitsu, chess, music and art.