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We are a worldwide social network of freethinkers, atheists, agnostics and secular humanists.

Political Progress for Nonreligious Americans

Political Progress for Nonreligious Americans

By David Niose

Secular Americans, long ignored in the realm of politics, are finally starting to be seen as a group to be reckoned with. In a sign of the nonreligious sector’s growing numbers and political muscle, a resolution validating the group was enthusiastically passed by the influential LGBT Caucus at the Democratic National Convention in July. The resolution recognizes the “value, ethical soundness, and importance of the religiously unaffiliated demographic” and states that the nonreligious “are a group that, as much as any other, advocates for rational public policy based on sound science and universal humanistic values.” The full resolution can be seen here.

No major party or caucus has ever so expressly acknowledged the importance of the nonreligious sector (sometimes referred to as the “Nones,” for answering “none” on surveys asking for religious affiliation). Put forward by Massachusetts Democratic activist Stephen Driscoll, the resolution calls the Nones “important partners with the LGBT community in the fight against religious privilege and religion-based discrimination, which represents the next great civil rights battle.”

Those last words are key. With claims of “religious freedom” increasingly being used by religious conservatives to deny equality to the LGBT community, the value of the nonreligious demographic, which tends to be highly skeptical of religion as a tool for discrimination, becomes apparent. As Larry Decker of the Secular Coalition for America explains, “Now that the same-sex marriage issue is resolved, the next big battle for the gay rights movement is the issue of religious privilege.”

The issue has become a top priority for Decker and the SCA (full disclosure: I sit on the SCA board) and, as the resolution shows, LGBT activists are now starting to see that the growing secular demographic helps to push back against religious conservatives who oppose LGBT equality. A weaker religious right is a natural outcome of an expanding, increasingly visible and engaged nonreligious sector. An America where being openly nonreligious is considered as ethically valid as being deeply religious, where candidates need not claim religious affiliation to impress voters, is the Christian right's worst nightmare.

Read more= https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/our-humanity-naturally/201608/...

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Comment by Chris on August 24, 2016 at 11:02pm

Wouldn't it be great if the League of Womens Voters still hosted the presidential 'debates?'

Comment by Chris on August 24, 2016 at 11:00pm

We need more open debate. The Toastmasters does that within the community.

Comment by Tom Sarbeck on August 24, 2016 at 8:27pm

Stephen, most Toastmaster "manual talks" are from five to seven minutes long, much too short for the Q and A periods in which people can throw punches.

A few 20 to 30 minute talks call for Q and A periods of three or four minutes. I haven't done any of them in years.

I'm might do one I will title, "Don't Blame the Puritans for All of America's Sexual Bizarreries". (It's in the OED; look it up.)

Comment by Stephen on August 24, 2016 at 3:18pm

Tom do you ever pull your punches when you give a talk too these Christian Vets and their family's  

Comment by Tom Sarbeck on August 24, 2016 at 3:11pm

Postscript regarding GLBTQ folk.

I'm hetero and lived in SF for 20 years during the early years of the AIDS crisis. Some of the people with whom I did volunteer work were GLBTQ and from some of them I heard that their efforts to free themselves would free heteros too.

Ditto from some of the feminists I knew: their efforts to free themselves would free men too.

Comment by Tom Sarbeck on August 24, 2016 at 2:57pm

Three million cheers.

I'm an atheist here at the veterans home where I live, and when the context allows I say so to the xians I meet. I'm a founding member of the Toastmasters club here and one of my talks was titled "Six Kinds of Atheists". The members I made eye contact with were paying attention and no one has hassled me.

With only veterans and their spouses eligible to enter, there are some VERY conservative and VERY xian people here. To those who remain polite, I say that if I hadn't gone to Catholic schools for 12 years I might still believe there's a god.

To those who don't remain polite? I've told a few that religion is the biggest fraud that has ever been perpetrated on humankind.

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