Atheism and politics 18

There seems to be a general assumption that atheists are on the Left.

Why?

In America it may be because the militant atheists who protest against crosses, the Ten Commandments, and the motto “In God We Trust” being displayed in such public places as government offices and law-courts, are on the Left. At least we are never told that they are conservatives. And they probably are not, because conservatives by definition respect relics of the past, even those they don’t like.

It may also be because there is another widespread assumption that the Right is religious and the Left is not.  “The Religious Right” is a shadowy body created and invoked by progressives. It consists, in their minds, of hicks who “cling to their god and their guns”, to recall Barack Obama’s memorable declaration of contempt for millions of American voters who did not vote for him.

So it is not surprising that when American Atheists undertook to conduct a “Study of Atheists in America”, they did not bring their questions to us atheist conservatives. We probably do not exist in their minds. Or we exist only as an oxymoronic cabal that doesn’t know what it’s talking about.

No members of Republican Atheists were consulted. Their president, Lauren Ell, wrote on their Facebook page, May 6, 2020:

I am seeing a lot of content being posted about a recent “secular survey” American Atheists conducted. American Atheists never contacted Republican Atheists about this survey, and we were unaware of it. If AA did not take the time to contact atheist groups outside of its circle about the survey, I consider it to not be reflective of the US atheist community, but more so AA’s following, and groups associated with AA.

Towards the end of an article titled 6 Takeaways from the Largest-Ever Study of Atheists in America by Hemant Mehta at the Leftist website Friendly Atheist, these sentences appear:

At some point, Democrats need to recognize we’re a valuable voting bloc and stop avoiding us. It’s to their advantage to engage with us and support our (fairly mild, totally sensible) policy issues.

So we learn that the Left’s concept of “intersectionality” does not go so far as to recognize atheists.

The Right is far more tolerant. A representative of the still young organization Republican Atheists was warmly received at CPAC this year:

For the first time Republican Atheists attended the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), one of the largest conservative-oriented political events in the United States. CPAC took place February 26-29, 2020, in National Harbor, Maryland. This was a great opportunity for the organization to network and connect with recognized speakers and organizations in the conservative arena.

According to a chart drawn by Pew Research, both parties have very nearly the same number of atheist supporters.

Here’s their chart:

Generational cohort among atheists by political party

% of atheists who are…

Party affiliation Younger Millennial Older Millennial Generation X Baby Boomer Silent Greatest Sample Size
Republican/lean Rep. 28% 16% 32% 20% 4% < 1% 143
No lean 30% 25% 28% 14% 2% < 1% 146
Democrat/lean Dem. 27% 21% 27% 18% 6% 1% 793

 

But other charts of theirs give a far higher percentage of atheists to the Democrats. Follow the link to find the whole story.

Is the contradiction explained by the imbalance of the sample sizes? (Why do pollsters so often consult far more Democrats than Republicans?)

There is nothing about atheism as such that places it logically on either the Left or the Right.

Posted under Atheism, Conservatism, Leftism, Progressivism, United States by Jillian Becker on Sunday, May 10, 2020

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