Largest Catholic Country
Has Atheist As President
Huascar Terra do Valle (Brazil)

Cliff had written:


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Being an atheist is still "the most discriminated-against characteristic of the eight tested in the research," according to the latest Gallup poll asking who people would vote for for U.S. President. Only 49 percent would vote for an atheist, while 59 percent would vote for a homosexual, 92 percent would vote for a black, and 95 percent would vote for a woman. This figure is up from 1958, when only 18 percent would have voted for an atheist. No other group has ever gone lower than 26 percent, which was how many people would have voted for a homosexual in 1987 (when the homosexual category for this poll began).

As for religious preferences, 94 percent would vote for a Roman Catholic (Kennedy), 94 percent would vote for a Baptist (Carter; Clinton), and 92 percent would vote for a Jew (VP candidate Lieberman), but only 79 percent would vote for a Mormon (Orrin Hatch being the only one seriously considered by anyone to date). This makes our meager 49 percent look like something to be very concerned about.

Here is the URL to the story if you want to read it.

Unfortunately, Gallup now requires you to become a member in order to access the contributions they have made to human education. Able to appreciate the pressure placed on some officer who was hired to bring more money into the foundation, we have notified the foundation of our dismay that this is how said officer has accomplished her or his appointed task. The "text" of our notice, if you will, consists, in part, of our personal financial spreadsheet, showing how those who can afford to join every group that comes along that wants a membership in exchange for access to information are not the same people who would put such information to use -- specifically students and disabled activists (which many disable people are, since this work does not depend upon our ability to compete or even to perform day-in and day out). Perhaps if other similar folks do the same, we can regain this important source of information for use in our various quests to improve the world in which we live.

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Huascar responds:

From: "Huascar Terra do Valle" (Brazil)
To: "Positive Atheism"
Subject: Re: Gallup: Atheists "Most Discriminated-Against" Group
Date: Thursday, August 10, 2000 7:10 PM

Dear Mr. Walker.

Just out of curiosity: few people know that Brazil, the biggest Catholic country in the world, has an atheist president. Some years ago he confessed being an atheist and lost the election to the government of São Paulo state. Recently he has been elected for the second turn for the presidency, and no political enemy dared to take advantage of the issue. He is still president and, of course, an atheist, thought not an activist. He is a very learned man, a ex-sociology teacher and author. He belonged to the leftist movement but when in power he realized that he had to abandon leftist ideas, just as happened to Mitterrand, Felipe González and Carlos Menen.

Huascar Terra do Valle

Fernando Henrique Cardoso
President of Brazil

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