On Securing the Atheist Vote

Are there any Presidential candidates who will campaign for the atheist vote?

It’s a question that needs to be asked.

Presidential candidates pander to the religious vote.

John McCain called Washington, DC, “the city of Satan” yesterday at a campaign stop, explaining that it’s difficult to get “the Lord’s work” done there.

“The Lord’s work”? What does that even mean?

Or take former candidate Mitt Romney. I wasn’t inclined to vote for Mittens anyway, but his speech that “freedom requires religion” struck an ill chord. What does that mean?

What does “the Lord’s work” mean to an atheist? From where I sit, there is no “Lord.” And because I’m an atheist, am I somehow not free under Romney’s construction?

Even Barack Obama’s political rallies have the cast of a religious revival.

It reminds me of the post-9/11 world, when President Bush was going around making speeches about how religion was a sign of a civilized people.

There are millions of atheists in the United States. We don’t want to feel belittled by our political leaders, or made to feel like lesser Americans.

Can a political candidate reach out to the atheist community and make them feel welcome?

I don’t know.

A Republican probably won’t. Why antagonize the Religious Right?

A Democrat? I don’t know.

The social stigmas still attached to atheism may make reaching out to the atheist community a negative, something that can be exploited by an unscrupulous or opportunistic opponent.

Yet, I can’t help but think that the atheist community can be an important voting bloc.

There’s millions of us.

And no voter wants to be marginalized for who they are.

2 thoughts on “On Securing the Atheist Vote

  1. It’s kinda interesting, since in the UK, Tony Blair actively hid his religious convictions from the public. In New Zealand religion’s rarely brought up, and the parties which use it as a point (Christian Heritage, mainly) don’t do too well in either the polls or elections. Yet in the US, you have to proclaim yourself Christian to get elected.

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