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Enlighten The Vote

Last night I attended the monthly meeting of the Freethought Society. This month’s guest speaker was former American Atheist President Ellen Johnson. Johnson was promoting her new organization called “Enlighten the Vote” and she said a lot of very interesting things.

First, I want to point out that while I think what Ellen Johnson said was very interesting and definitely worth hearing, it wasn’t anything new. I have been saying much the same as have many others. The problem is that many in the atheist community just don’t listen.

Enlighten the Vote was previously named the Godless PAC and a few years ago they made a lot of headlines when Elizabeth Dole used them in an attack ad against her opponent who did her best to distance herself from the Godless PAC. Enlighten the Vote is a re-branding of that Political Action Committee.

They goal is to create an atheist voting block so that politicians will be more willing to support our issues. The PAC is also actively looking to support atheist candidates for local, state, and national offices. They endorse candidates, donate to candidates, and even advice candidates if needed.

As I talked about in an Examiner article, there is currently an open atheist running for Congress in Virginia, Dr. Wynne LeGrow. Enlighten the Vote is trying to get atheists to donate to their organization which will in turn pass those contributions onto LeGrow’s campaign. Donating through Enlighten the Vote will help to show the strength of the atheist community and if we can show that we can really help a campaign, then other politicians will attempt to solicit our support.

I agree with this plan, but there are a few problems with it. First, atheists are very cheap. We give Jews a run for that stereotype. There are always excuses like “donating money is too much like religion” and “I’m poor.” I have of course discussed these before. I am unemployed and poor and still have a few dollars to donate. Enlighten the Vote isn’t asking for a fortune, but if you really want to fight the Religious Right, you need to put up or shut up. Freedom isn’t free and we all need to make small sacrifices (not vicarious blood sacrifices like Christians). So get over being cheap and donate a few dollars to Enlighten the Vote.

Second, there are the nay sayers. I talked about this one pretty recently already, so I will just put a link to that blog HERE.

If every atheist in the country donated to an atheist running for political office, we would have a powerful voting block and we would be able to elect more atheists and convince non-atheist politicians to take us seriously and actually listen to what we have to say. So I am asking you to buy two less beers, one less pack of cigarettes, go to one less movie, etc. and donate $5, $10, $20 to Enlighten the Vote.

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  • http://intensedebate.com/people/ChristopherTK ChristopherTK

    Staks,

    I discovered Wynne LeGrow with a post by Mojoey at Deep Thoughts that referenced your article. I have attempted to comment regarding Wynne whenever it makes sense to do so, and probably often when it does not.

    I comment often at Vjack’s Atheist Revolution which has great readership participation and at Hemant’s Friendly Atheist.

    Thank you for bringing Wynne LeGrow to my attention.