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Getting God-Talk Out of Politics

According to the Bible, one cannot serve two masters. So my question to politicians is, “Are you a public servant or a servant of God?”

I think it is time for the greater community of reason to start throwing our weight around in politics. We need to start making it clear to politicians that we will not tolerate the God talk.

Politicians are free to talk about whatever they like of course, but there will be a price to be paid. We should no longer tolerate a politician’s use of religion and any such use will not only be grounds for criticism and will result in a lack of support and votes for that politician.

This will put politicians in a difficult spot. If they use religion, they may gain votes from the religious (especially Republicans) but in doing so they will lose votes from people within the greater community of reason which is about 10 to 15 percent of Americans. Democrats will be forced to weigh this cost carefully and even Republicans might lose a few votes too. Those few votes could cost elections especially then the Republican knows that the religious will vote for him or her religiously anyway.

While the Constitution demands that no religious test is required for public office we all know that there is a religious test imposed by the public. It is time we impose our own public religious test and insure that our politicians are secular. If a candidate uses religion in their political rhetoric, we should call them out on it and withdraw our support.

On the local level that would be very effective. Local politicians need every vote and usually take criticisms like this very seriously. This will say in their minds as they run for higher offices. When dealing with candidates for higher office, we will need to set up letter writing campaigns to voice our criticism.

We must hold these politicians accountable!

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  • http://www.atheistrev.com vjack

    Unfortunately, I think the national Democratic Party has made it fairly clear that they are not interested in our votes and would rather chase religious voters. If we are going to change that, we are going to have to overcome our reluctance to organize and get politically active.

    • http://twitter.com/DangerousTalk Staks Rosch

      We can start small. If your candidate for school board, town council, mayor, or county level offices use God, write them a letter. Get other local atheists you can find to do the same. You might be surprised at how fast they start backing down. They might not make pro-atheist statements, but they will certainly think twice about invoking God for no reason.

      • http://www.laughinginpurgatory.com/ Andrew Hall

        I agree it all hinges on local organization for atheists to get political respect. However, atheists are just anyone else and most want to avoid the hard work of community organization.

        • http://twitter.com/DangerousTalk Staks Rosch

          That’s true Andrew and I am a pretty lazy person sometimes too. But on a local level five to ten people complaining is enough to make a difference. So we can just ask some friends to write letters, call the candidate or politician, or just say something at a meeting or public event. Hopefully soon I will be able to talk more about why I am talking about this topic in particular, but I promised a friend I wouldn’t yet.

  • Mattprorok

    I’m with you 100%. I intend to run for President on a secular, independent platform in 2020.

  • http://twitter.com/GrandLizard Grand Lizard

    … and? What then? Let’s say we’ve held all the politicians accountable and after a a struggle they finally abolished all use of religion by public officials. From the president to the garbage man no one is allowed to say bless you while serving the public. Victory? I don’t think so. Although, that depends on what you were trying to achieve.

    Two possible outcomes:

    1) When the religious, which are currently the majority, realize that God himself did not pick the government, they will have dire consequences in bearing the responsibility of electing an official and will see government is not a holy entity but rather has a sole reason of existence in serving us. I think this would create a conflict of interests causing their minds to overheat and just explode. Is that what we want?

    2) The majority, again, all the religious people will revolt, fight us and they will win, as usual. For now freedom of religion will beat the separation of church and state.

    I completely agree with you on the core of the story and want you to know that by no means am I trying to argue your point of view. You sort of left me hanging in what I thought was the middle of the article, I am really curious as to what you envision the end-end result to be?

    • http://twitter.com/DangerousTalk Staks Rosch

      It isn’t about make mentions of religion illegal. I just think that thee should be a price to be paid. Sam Harris talked about this in a debate awhile ago. If someone came into a job interview and talked about how he believed that Elvis was still alive, there is no law against it, but there is an immediate price to be paid… namely he wouldn’t get the job.

      When candidates stop trying to court the religious, they will be more focus on actual results. We see this in nearly every other country on Earth. Will is solve all the problems? No, but it will solve a lot of them.