"Elizabeth Warren, Announcement Day" by Elizabeth Warren / CC BY 2.0

Elizabeth Warren Was Asked About Her Plan to Protect “the Rights of Atheists”

Dec 3, 2019

By Hemant Mehta

During a rally in Iowa City last night, Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren was asked by an audience member, “What is your plan for protecting the rights of atheists and other non-believers?”

Warren gave a roundabout answer that didn’t really answer the question. Instead, she spoke about the importance of religious freedom. Actual religious freedom. Where there’s no government discrimination against anybody based what faith they belong to, even if they choose not to have any at all.

Thank you, Anne. So it starts with the Constitution of the United States, right? It protects anyone to worship the way they want, or not to worship at all, and I think that is powerfully important.

You know, the way I see this is, I am a person of faith. I grew up in the Methodist church. It’s part of who I am. I was a Sunday School teacher. But I see it as a fundamental question about what it means to be an American. And I think what it means to be an American is that, at core, we recognize the worth of every single human being. That’s part one. And part two, we’re called to act on that. That we are responsible for our actions consistent with that. That we don’t take advantage of people, we don’t cheat people, we don’t hurt other people. And we do what we can to support other people, and to build opportunity for other people.

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11 comments on “Elizabeth Warren Was Asked About Her Plan to Protect “the Rights of Atheists”

  • “….what it means to be an American is that, at core, we recognize the worth of every single human being.”

    What I observe from across the pond is that this “worth” is strictly expressed in dollars to be extorted from every single human being. And if there’s no money to be made from these human beings, they are considered to be liabilities. Loss factors. That should not be there.

    Am I far off? I hope so…… Report abuse

  • Planetary Paul

    I don’t think you’re far off. I wish she hadn’t said that, even though she may wish it to be true. As an American, we don’t have to look far to see evidence of terrible injustice and suffering inflicted on our own citizens and residents, not to mention others outside our own borders. I’m so completely impressed with what the American revolutionaries stood for and accomplished and I recognize that the West has made great strides on human rights but it’s discouraging to see reactionary forces surging forward with apparent success. Many Americans are generous, fair minded and charitable but our health, justice, education, housing and financial systems are stuck in the previous century when the privileged few ran the place. It’s a strange balancing act that we’re doing here. I’m not sure how we’ll come out of it in the future and I’m worried now about you all there on your side of the pond too!

    Gripping on to my battered and dented natural optimism! Report abuse

  • I’m worried now about you all there on your side of the pond too!

    Politicians here are trying their best to screw things up by letting more and more money men run things. To them the US must seem heavenly. Not sure what the outcome will be. But as the majority of people tend to consistently vote against their own personal interests, I’m not too optimistic. Report abuse

  • Planetary Paul

    I was watching a TV news report of Johnson addressing a crowd where one of the women in the audience asked him what would happen to the national health service. He started exclaiming defensively that there was no way it would be changed or compromised. (Forgot his exact words). This was alarming to me that it even came up for discussion. I now imagine that wealthy elitists there must be trying to convince the rest of the population that it would be a good thing to privatize your health system. That is really depressing. I hope someone gets film footage of our American Emergency departments in the hospitals. Homeless people suffering and dying from perfectly curable illnesses and even middle class Americans losing their houses and savings over a car accident or necessary surgery.

    I imagine the national health service must need to be tweeked from time to time but to my mind, privatization would be a massive step backward. Report abuse

  • LaurieB says:

    I hope someone gets film footage of our American Emergency departments in the hospitals. Homeless people suffering and dying from perfectly curable illnesses and even middle class Americans losing their houses and savings over a car accident or necessary surgery.

    Those who are interested in facts can already find out about the US healthcare systems of the last few years!

    They can also compare them on these graphs, with how the civilised world deals with similar issues!

    https://www.nationalgeographic.com/magazine/2019/01/spending-money-health-care-may-not-extend-life/

    In 2015, despite the most spending per person, US life expectancy ranked the lowest in its peer group, due partially to poor preventative care for less well-off Americans.

    https://thesocietypages.org/graphicsociology/2011/04/26/cost-of-health-care-by-country-national-geographic/

     

  • Graphs?! Oh Alan, you must know that the people of the States and GB aren’t looking at graphs. The Americans who vote against their own interests are convinced that the UK national health system is an inferior shoddy system where people wait for months for surgery that they need and for which they are heavily taxed for. These Americans have been conned. Here I sit with a cadillac health insurance policy only because of an accident of birth while the truth is that so many poor Americans can’t have surgery they need, not because they have to wait for some time but they won’t have surgery at all because they have no insurance at all! A prescription medication they need may cost as much as one month’s rent! But still they are petrified of America falling into the dreaded European socialism. One step away from full blown communism to be sure! The poor conned masses.

    If our hoi polloi can be cleverly convinced to vote away their own health so that our super capitalistic health insurance companies can rake in even more obscene levels of profit, then why can’t the UK public suffer the same?

    All of the beautiful graphs in the world aren’t helping. I’m worried.

      Report abuse

  • Laurie #2

     I’m so completely impressed with what the American revolutionaries stood for and accomplished…

    I give’em credit for laying the foundation. Originally, those rights only extended to white, land-holding males. It takes education, social and cultural evolution, and a Supreme Court open to change based on evidence to interpret the intent of our laws.

    IMO, the only ball dropped in Warren’s answer was an emphatic belief in the separation of church and state. Beyond that, and a pledge to uphold the Bill of Rights, she shouldn’t be expected to paint herself into a corner for one demographic. Report abuse

  • @LaurieB 

    Umair Haque has a piece up on how the NHS is going to be americanised. Makes me feel very lucky there is a pond between me and the UK. Lucky for now that is;  Dutch politicians always look at the UK for directions, regardless of consequences. And as we have a government of money men, profits will be their guidance. The people will no doubt again vote with their underbellies and keep the money men on track.

    To money men the world is a simple place they can’t see beyond:

    “Do you put any money into my pockets right here and now? No? Then please die (and preferably in a way that makes me a profit).”

     

  • Planetary Paul says:

    I didn’t know they have about 100 thousand positions to fill.

    NHS vacancies are being “addressed” by loony brexiteers discouraging medically qualified EU citizens from working in the UK!

    But if you can’t find a doctor, maybe some of the “soon to be unemployed”  steelworkers, who voted for LEAVE can offer medical assistance! ☺

    BoJo has a cunning plan!

    A job’s a job! and some millionaires like to think of the price rather than the quality,  when it comes to providing public services for other people!☺ Report abuse

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