July 22, 2019

Jesus for President

Jesus for President

Prior to the 2008 U.S. presidential election, a group of evangelical Christians in Pennsylvania started an unusual campaign: Jesus for president. The idea of electing someone who is either fictional or who has been dead for over 2,000 years did not seem to bother them. They had the ultimate third party candidate.

Skip ahead to 2012, and we had another effort to elect Jesus. This one seems to have caught on in a way that the 2008 effort did not. I suspect that had a great deal to do with the lack of enthusiasm for both of the two main candidates. By the beginning of November 2012, 1,656,730 people had signed on online pledge indicating that they would vote for Jesus as a write-in candidate in the 2012 election. Sadly, this did not take place. Nowhere near that many people followed through on their pledge.

As Jobsanger noted at the time, the people behind this effort seemed to be motivated primarily by their belief that Mormonism is a cult. I may not agree with them, but it was nice to see that at least some evangelical fundamentalist Christians said they were willing to stand for something (even if few actually did so). If they truly believed that Mormonism was a dangerous cult, perhaps they should not have voted for Mitt Romney. In the end, it seems that political allegiances won out over religious delusion.

Surprisingly, I do not recall there being a big "vote for Jesus" effort in 2016. Evidently, evangelical fundamentalist Christians were far less bothered by the prospect of a Trump presidency than they were by the thought of a Romney presidency. Go figure.

In any case, I hope we'll see an effort to elect Jesus in 2020. If a million evangelical Christians would vote for Jesus as a write-in candidate in the 202 U.S. presidential election, this atheist is convinced that they really would be making America great again.

An early version of this post appeared on Atheist Revolution in 2012. It was revised and expanded in 2019.