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Log Cabin Atheists

Many well reasoned atheists disagree on issues of taxation, foreign policy, states rights, etc. So I can understand why not all atheists are politically active and that all the atheists that are politically active may not all be Democrats. But what I can’t understand is how any well reasoned atheist could possibly be a Republican.

While the only thing that all atheists have to have in common by virtue of being an atheist is a lack of belief in deities however most modern atheists tend to also be humanistic atheists who value reason over faith.

The Republican Party has become the political party of faith over the last 30 or 40 years. It isn’t just that the vast majority of the current Republican Party are fundamentalist Christians. It isn’t even just that the Republican talking heads use religion as a wedge on just about every issue. It isn’t even just that the Republican Party focuses on issues like being against things like gay rights, abortion, and stem cell research. It is all of those things and more.

The Republican Party has waged a war on non-believers. The fact is that during the 2008 Republican Primary, three prominent candidates raised their hands as rejecting the science of evolution. John McCain was not among them, but had to take a moment to clarify his acceptance of evolution with his religious belief that God created the sunrise or something or other. It is also significant that McCain was advised to pick an overly religious vice-presidential candidate to help him empower the extremely fundamentalist religious base of the Party.

I can’t understand how any non-believer could possibly support a political party or a politician who believes that atheists are un-American and immoral simply because we lack a belief in a deity. I’m not saying that all atheists have to be Democrats, but just don’t understand how an atheist could support a party that hates them. It is like being a black member of the KKK or a Jewish Nazi. Those maybe extreme examples, but the point is that they illustrate that the Republican Party actively works against the rights and freedoms of atheists.

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  • 1225truth

    And yet there are Atheists of low profile who remain Republican despite its current face of disregard for the separation of church and state and overt hostility to anyone who does not embrace belief and faith in one of the Abrahamic religions.

    Public relations is the method by which powerful elites gain public support for their mercenary aims and objectives. It is not the position on the issues that Atheists such as these focus on, but the utility of the issues in the public forum that can be manipulated to favor their personal vested interests.

    As a science, public relations was formulated by Atheists Edward Bernays and Walter Lippmann who were probably Republican at one time or another. Noted Atheist neo-conservative power broker, William Kristol is a Republican as have been most of the Atheist neo-conservative intellectual crowd. Remember Karl Rove announced when he resigned from the Bush White House that he is not a “believer”.

    Eventually, I will write a blog on MySpace that Atheist, historically and contemporaneously, does not equate to humanist. far from it. Ideologically elitist Atheists find great utility in the advancement of the Republican Party, even now.

  • http://Yahoo.com Edward Baker

    Most of us are not politically active because of the prejudice against us .I don`t Spew my knowledge, as I don`t want to hear about others BELIEFS! Let`s face it we are thought of as less than human .They would accept a Christian Pedophile who atoned than an Atheist that doesnt accept B.S.

  • PRG

    Most issues I don’t see how an atheist could take the republican position, although I could see how an atheist could be against abortion. When it comes to gay rights, some people are against gay marriage because they are against all marriage–which could be a liberal or conservative position. Other issues like evolution, I don’t see how an atheist could be against.

    Otherwise, the person could take the old-school style of conservativism, which is the less government, the better. Even so, most of these atheists are libertarians, because the Republican party hasn’t really created less government–less regulation for corporations, but more intrusion into people’s personal lives in the name of (psuedo) morality.

  • http://whyihavenomonument.blogspot.com/ Brian

    As a Republican-leaning atheist, I posted a response on my blog here.

    • http://www.dangeroustalk.net Staks

      Really? That’s a pretty weak response Brian.
      “Isn’t McCain’s response what Clinton, Biden, and Obama presumably believe?” I don’t think Clinton, Biden, or Obama needed to give sure a public response to appease potential primary voters. That Brian is the point.

      • http://whyihavenomonument.blogspot.com/ Brian

        I hope it was clear that my response was limited to attempting to show how what you asserted were insuperable barriers to supporting Republicans are in fact only reasons not to, on par with other reasons to vote for a Democrat.

        It is a good point that the Republican Party has more members than Democrats who are of the class: irrational, order: religious, family: Christian, genus: fundamentalist. However, it’s just myopic to focus on the harm that system of belief causes and ignoring that from others.

        It’s also worth noting that we do not live in a direct democracy, and fundamentalist Christians do not comprise anything close to a majority of the country. Those primary voters will exist regardless of how atheists divide themselves among the parties, and it’s simplistic to suggest always opposing Republicans as much as possible to reduce the influence of the party with more of them. Lessening their influence in a primary also adulterates fundamentalists’ influence in politics.

        • http://www.dangeroustalk.net Staks

          For the record, according to the Harris Poll, Creationists make up 40% in America. According to the ARIS Poll, 34% identify themselves as “born again.” while that isn’t a majority, it isn’t all that far away. Sadly, I would guess that almost all of those people are Republican.

          • http://whyihavenomonument.blogspot.com/ Brian

            In this CBS poll dividing people by Kerry/Bush voters (first thing I found), 47% of Kerry voters and 67% of Bush voters believe God created man in its present form. 27% of Kerry and 22% of Bush voters believe God guided evolution. Similar results for both.

            You knowingly staked out an extreme position: that certain Republican traits make the party so odious that no rational atheist can be a part of it. To back this up you presented some facts that do actually present a decent case against being an atheist Republican, but I don’t think the problems are of a quality or quantity to abandon the political inquiry at that point and declare the Republicans anathema .

            Your position didn’t logically require you to discuss the Democrats, but I see their problems as being similar in the areas we are discussing now and greater in unrelated areas.

            A point I haven’t yet brought up is that my political positions most resemble those of a significant subset of Republicans more than it does any group of Democrats I know of. I see myself as perhaps equidistant from the average or Democrat or Republican, but I identify more with the Republican party because of this.

            • http://www.dangeroustalk.net Staks

              I think this issue is that that the Democratic Party can be reasoned with on these issues while the bulk of the Republican Party are fundamentalists. Also, Democratic candidates may mention god here or there, but the Republican candidates have to convince their base that they really believe strongly in fundamentalist Christianity. If they can’t do that, then they have a much larger up-hill climb. McCain is the perfect example. He won the nomination based on polls showing he was the only candidate who could win against Obama. It was thought that McCain could win moderate Democrats and independents. However, his victory alienated the Republican base because he was not religious. So the first thing he did was prop up wacky religious preachers to support him. Obama did the same thing with Rick Warren because Obama wanted to get Republican votes. McCain had to eventually sign Palin on board because of her outspoken religious views. This of course failed because moderate Republicans were scared shitless of her stupidity and Obama courted their votes with promises of bi-partisanship.

              The point is that anyone who claims that the Democratic Party is just as religious as the Republican Party is divorced from reality.

              • http://whyihavenomonument.blogspot.com/ Brian

                I think this issue is that that the Democratic Party can be reasoned with on these issues while the bulk of the Republican Party are fundamentalists.

                These are not mutually exclusive categories. If by “fundamentalists” you mean creationist Christians, obviously Republicans have more of them. But Democrats have a great many as well, and the overwhelming majority of both parties are religious moderates. Religious moderation is almost as intellectually bankrupt as fundamentalism, uniquely religiously dishonest, and has a negative impact on the world (though not currently as much as fundamentalism does).
                Most people can be reasoned with, I’m not sure what you mean there.

                Also, Democratic candidates may mention god here or there, but the Republican candidates have to convince their base that they really believe strongly in fundamentalist Christianity.

                This is an unfalsifiable assertion and I am not convinced. There is little difference between the average candidate of the parties in how they treat religion. More to the point, this difference is swamped by the differences in how individual candidates of both parties treat the issue.

                The point is that anyone who claims that the Democratic Party is just as religious as the Republican Party is divorced from reality.

                I am obviously claiming nothing of the kind. I cited a poll showing slightly more Republican voters believe religious nonsense than Democratic ones, for crying out loud. My point is that you haven’t met the burden of proof required by your ambitious post. You asserted that there is a huge problem in quality and quantity of how Republicans treat religion that ought to preclude an atheist from being one, instead of being a Democrat or independent. Many of the problems you cited are shared to a significant extent by Democrats and are not present in Republicans nearly as much as you seem to believe.

                • http://www.dangeroustalk.net Staks

                  If by “fundamentalists” you mean creationist Christians, obviously Republicans have more of them. But Democrats have a great many as well

                  Democrats don’t have anything close to the number of Fundamentalist or Creationists as the Republicans do. Few Democratic candidates need to advertise their religious credentials. On the national stage, it would be absurd to deny that the Republican Party plays up the religious rhetoric more than the Democratic Party.

                  Do you really think that a Republican politician has science in mind when they talk about global climate change? Stem Cell Research, etc.? How many Democratic politicians pushed to put Creationism into science classes? Which political party has been more against Gay Marriage on purely religious reasoning? Next time you go to one of those teabagger Republican Rallies, let everyone know you don’t believe in god, support evolution and equal rights for gays. Let me know how that works out for you… if you survive, I’ll even go to an anti-war protest and say the same thing. I don’t think I’ll have much of a problem.

                  • http://whyihavenomonument.blogspot.com/ Brian

                    Apparently nothing I have said is clear. I will correct a few misunderstandings of my position.

                    Democrats don’t have anything close to the number of Fundamentalist or Creationists as the Republicans do.

                    True. They have other types of crazies. All told, this is a reason to be Democrat or better independent rather than Republican. However, it does not carry the day alone, or even in conjunction with your other points. Consider this: how could a rational atheist be a Democrat rather than independent, in light of the large proportion of Democrats who believe in nonsense dogmas, including fundamentalist Christianity? The same type of answer will be apply while considering being a Republican rather than a Democrat.

                    On the national stage, it would be absurd to deny that the Republican Party plays up the religious rhetoric more than the Democratic Party.

                    To the extent there is a difference, it is small. If the Democrats do it less, that would be a reason to support them, all else being equal-which it isn’t.

                    Do you really think that a Republican politician has science in mind when they talk about global climate change? Stem Cell Research, etc.?

                    My point was that the cost to society of this policy is that funding goes to less worthy science because of the religious dogmas, not that anyone had science in mind. Society is less efficient. Federal funds go to other science, while state and private funds still advance stem cell research. The world continues to spin on its axis.

                    How many Democratic politicians pushed to put Creationism into science classes?

                    In the pivotal Texas school board kerfuffle, there were ten Republicans and five Democrats. All five Democrats voted for science. Kudos, bravo, their unanimity here makes them the superior party on this issue. Three Republicans did as well. Now, this is Texas, deep in the South. Shall I oppose all Republicans, everywhere because of this? How many Republicans in the North East would have voted for creationism, if in Texas seven of ten did? Almost none. And if I agree with those three Texas Republicans and many other Republicans on every issue, why not call myself Republican? It fits me as well as the label “Democrat” does any social worker or plaintiffs lawyer or environmentalist or what have you, who disagrees with the average position of his party on some issues.

                    Which political party has been more against Gay Marriage on purely religious reasoning?

                    Will voting for Democrats advance gay rights? Not really, they do little but talk about it, so little is lost by supporting Republicans in general. It is only a small reason to be a Democrat, in other words. This issue is primarily generational, gay rights are inevitable with time and popular among young Republicans. Most young Evangelicals support at least civil unions, much more so atheist and moderate Republicans.
                    Again, if you’re saying any significant involvement in religious oppression disqualifies a party from being a member of polite society, you have to exclude the Democrats. If you’re saying this is a core Republican value much more than it is for the Democrats, that’s a distortion of reality as almost half of all self described conservative Republicans favor civil unions. If you’re saying Republicans do it more, that’s a reason to prefer the Democrats: but not irrespective of all other positions on all other issues!
                    I hope you can avoid misrepresenting and demonizing those with whom you disagree.

                    • http://www.dangeroustalk.net Staks

                      Will voting for Democrats advance gay rights? Not really, they do little but talk about it,

                      So your issue with the Democrats is basically the same as mine, they lack balls. However, even though Democrats lack the political will to push for Gay Marriage and other such issues, it would be a moot point if Republicans weren’t so diametrically opposed to those issues in the first place. If you could charge that from inside the Republican Party, then I would say good for you, but as the title of this blog implies you are in the extreme minority in that. All the loudest voices within the Republican Party (especially the pundits) are pro-fundamentalist and anti-atheist.

                    • http://whyihavenomonument.blogspot.com/ Brian

                      I think on many issues for both parties there is a rhetoric-action gap, and often it is systemic and predictable.

                      As a liberal, on the issue of gay marriage, the Democrats’ gap makes me less likely to vote for them. On abortion, the Republicans’ gap (they had substantial control of government and did little to oppose abortion rights, and only halfheartedly) makes me more likely to vote for them.

                      As a conservative, on military policy the Democrats’ gap makes me more likely to support them. On immigration, the Republicans’ gap makes me less likely to support them.

                      On other issues, the parties stick to their promises more, but the ones I listed are abandoned by politicians after the votes are tallied with particular regularity. Note: I don’t just want Democrats to grow balls/fulfill their promises in general, as I favor some of their betrayals of their voters, just as I do with the Republicans’.

                      The gay marriage issue troubles me less than others because gay marriage is not abortion-it is favored by Republicans my age in my area and is more of an age issue than anything else. Everyone who changes their mind on it goes from opposition to support (sometimes with a stop at civil unions), unlike in abortion.

  • Chuck V

    It depends on how much importance people put on different aspects of their life.

    Someone’s stance on abortion or taxation may be more important to them than being an atheist. Also, they may not consider themselves atheists thereby not falling in the hated category. They might consider themselves agnostic or something similar.

    People compartmentalize like this on all kinds of subjects. Why should atheism be any different?

    • http://www.dangeroustalk.net Staks

      The point is that it is irrational to support a group that hates you.

      • http://whyihavenomonument.blogspot.com/ Brian

        Let’s not anthropomorphize: groups, like Soylent Green, are made of people. Well, maybe not quite like Soylent Green. In addition, they have official statements. There’s no denying that ceteris paribus, the Democrats’ platforms are better than the Republicans’ on this issue. But hatred of atheists by Republicans is non existent where I live. Your interpretation of the facts suffers from not having an accurate view of them, i.e. you don’t have a totally accurate picture of Republicans.

        Republicans almost everywhere are totally reliant on the moderately religious to be relevant electorally.

        As a second point, it’s usually true that it’s irrational to support a group whose members hate you, but not always. For example, Jews in Axis aligned countries did much better when their leaders were allied to Hitler than when they resisted and came under Nazi administration. That’s even before considering the prospect of change from within, a real possibility in our two parties.

  • http://myspace.com/scott888 Scott

    Back when I was 18 and I first started getting into politics, I saw Bush bring up God in a speech and I figured he added that in because he knows the masses are idiots and that as a politician who became president, he couldn’t possibility be that dumb to truly believe in God seriously. For the longest time I assumed that the republican party doing the religious thing was an act to manipulate the masses into voting for them.

    One must consider mind control potential of religion. Christianity, Judaism, and Islam has served leaders well for thousands of years and continues to do so today.

    I think it is safe to say that back in the bronze ages, the nations that produced stronger religions made stronger nations. Egyptians thought the Pharaoh was a living God. Each local government had their own Gods but Egyptians invented nationwide Gods and a king of Gods (Amon I think his name was) to unite the nation.

    Eventually Hebrews stole ideas from the Egyptian one but fixed things. There would only be one God, which meant one government and less power to the local government. The book was meant to stop people from questioning things and to follow their leaders. The Tower of Babel story gave the Hebrew government an excuse to not waste resources of ridicules religious structures. It also encouraged faster reproduction by banning things like homosexuality and masturbation. The Hebrews got conquered but their religion still had use and eventually someone modernized it into Christianity and eventually it found it’s way to Rome. From then on, the religion dominated Europe until more recent times.

    Some atheists like republicans for other issues and see their religious catering as a tool that works in their favor.

    If one knows what religion is doing, one can either join in on the manipulation and reap of the benefits from it, or they can fight against it. Are the masses ready to be set free of religion? China has banned religion if I recall so it appears that the use of religion is expiring due to it’s anti-knowledge nature which has no use in today’s society.

    Our nation probably isn’t going to wake up until our religious politicians get out of control doing atrocities. Europe had the back history of the Spanish inquisitions and the French revolution where the people realized that their current government system crap. Those that crossed the sea to the Americans missed that history and since our nation does a shitty job at teaching European history our citizens are easily manipulated by religion while yet maintaining much of the ideals of the founding fathers (since most of the US public does have some understanding of the constitution and such due to US history being taught to us 2-3 different times in grade school).

    • http://www.myspace.com/diana_graves Diana

      That’s how I see religion, as a tool to control…

      I’ve thought about what sort of religion I would make up if I decided to. I know I can do a better job than those Bronze Age people.

      ….

      I’m with Chuck V.

      People can be dumb in one aspect of the lives and smart in others or compromise one position for another. And, while it might be self-defeating to be an Atheist Republican people have their reasons–as good or bad as they are: family tradition, they’ve invested a great deal into the party, still hold out hope for the party, make excuses for the party, they are atheist but they think religion is good for people who need it or they have superior ability to ignore things…etc.

      I suppose it’s for the same reason we have religious Women, Gays and Lesbians even though all religions damn and/or degrade them.

  • SmilodonsRetreat

    What I find interesting is how many people’s religious beliefs match exactly what they seem to believe anyway. In spite of the declarations from the church and in spite of the direct commands from the Bible, people still do what they want and still say that they are following their church/religion/whatever.

    It’s almost as if they are using religion to justify their beliefs rather than the other way round.

  • Graham Martin-Royle

    I’ve always said that if you’re going to believe part of the bible then, to be consistent, you need to believe all of it. To my way of thinking, YEC’s have a better rationale to their beliefs than the more wishy washy do.

  • baal

    Aside from the bible scholar types and some methodists, whenever I talk with believers about their religion I have to ask them to lay out what they consider it to be. Anything in that person’s core religious belief set (usually what ever their preferred protestant brand likes) gets the ‘how dare you question’ response whereas the rest can be set into the ‘why are you taring all christians with the looney bits from a few’ line. It’s about then that I’d love to get 3-4 of them from different brands in the same room and poke at the parts that don’t intersect. The end of the fantasy has me pointing out that if they can’t agree with each other, why should I agree with any of them?