According to a Gallup poll, Americans today would consider voting for a president who is a Socialist (47%), Atheist (58%), Muslim (60%), Gay, lesbian (74%) and Evangelical Christians (73%). While the U.S. Constitution clearly prohibits a “religious test” for those seeking the highest office in the land, past presidential candidates generally had to demonstrate their relationship with the Judeo-Christian God to even be considered as a serious contender.
So when Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders was asked if he believed in God on Jimmy Kimmel Live Wednesday night, the Vermont Senator dodged the question and turned his response into a summary of how the philosophy drives his run for president.
In a recent interview with the Christian Science Monitor, Sanders said he is proud to be Jewish but he’s not “particularly religious.” Growing up in a predominantly secular Jewish neighborhood in New York City, Sanders identified more with the cultural aspects of the religion rather than its religious aspects.
“He’s not what you would call rule-observant,” Richard Sugarman, Orthodox Jew who teaches religious studies at the University of Vermont and a friend of the Sanders family.“If you talk about his Jewish identity, it’s strong.”
It is unlikely Sanders will actually disclose any secular leanings anytime soon, considering he already portrays himself as a self-described socialist which doesn’t mesh well with voters, according to the poll.
Sanders’ poll numbers are already slipping following the Democratic National Debate on CNN and opponent Democratic front runner Hillary Clinton continues to make up for lost ground.
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