15 August 2008

No Room in the Big Tent for Us

Ronald Aronson has a good piece up over at Huffington in which he talks about all the secularists of the Democratic party are being ignored at this year's DNC convention.
When first avowing his religious credentials for president, Barack Obama said -- and then repeated many times since -- that "secularists are wrong when they ask believers to leave their religion at the door before entering the public square." The party that will soon nominate Obama is to be praised for its acceptance of and respect for its religious members. However, it is the nonbelievers who are now being ignored.
This, we knew. The Secular Coalition for America did get the ball rolling on this one*. What I found interesting, but maybe I already knew, was the following:

Yet one of the most remarkable implications of the data presented in the new Pew U.S. Religious Landscape Survey is that atheists, agnostics, secular humanists, and believers in an impersonal God or universal spirit -- people who do not believe in God at all or who do not believe in a traditional God -- will be a huge share, perhaps as much as 40 percent of Democratic voters in November.

Another Pew discovery: Two out of every three Americans say that their moral values do not come primarily from religion. In other words, whatever their faith, these are people who live largely or wholly secular lives.

40%. Almost half. They are deliberately ignoring almost half of their party. Here I lamented that we atheists were being ignored and how sad it was for me that my last vestige of hope to be heard politically in this country was being taken from me.

Who represents the atheist? Well, no one does. But it's true that, politically, we have company and together we add up to a sizable portion of the party. I don't know if it's smart of us to stand by and allow ourselves to be stepped over for no other reason than our party's misguided attempt to pander. As far as I'm concerned, Democrats have been doing a perfectly fine job garnering votes from the less insane strains of the religious. I've been perfectly happy to let conservatives have the truly crazy people. But now, apparently we want their vote too.

There's not enough room under the big tent for us. I'm upset about that. At the same time, I'm not so sure I want to be under the same big tent with these people. This very well could be the beginning of my exit from the Democratic party. I think they might have one more vote coming from me and then, I'm outta here.

*Please click here to get up off your godless ass and make your voice heard.


  1. I do believe, as suggested by others on several blogs, that this is nothing but a snow-job to win some fundie votes. A song and dance for those that have a really bad taste in their mouths about Obama because they were lied to in the first place.

    It's a rough line in the sand, time will tell how serious they are about it.

    I like to think that we could see a change by electing a democrat. If nothing else the people that would fill the vacant seats of the previous cabinet, right?

    I used to think that but over the past few months I've slowly become unsure.

  2. The question is 'when does the pandering end?' I think there used to be a time when I could believe that certain unsavory thngs are done in the campaign season and then tossed by the wayside once the elections are over. Not somuch now. Two things have me worried:

    1) Election cycles are just blurring into one another at this point. There is no real break between them. 24 cable news will make dang sure we're thinking about the next election when this one is over. Maybe they'll give us a week to let it sink in and then we're off again. When candidates are always running, we are always in campaign season and they are always pandering.

    2) Religious Democrats are still religious. Now, I'm not the paranoid type, but the thought of religious Democrats exerting authority in the party and trying to transform it into a less insane, less intellectually violent version of the Republican party does not sound too far-fetched to me. A 'take-over' scenario might seem a more conservative than liberal character driven thing, but it's definitely a Christian thing. There are nice Christains and not-so-nice Christians, and in the end, both kinds want you to hear their 'good news.' I'm afraid Dem Christians feel thier boat has come in and now is the time to hyjack the party for their own agenda. Time will tell and I'll be watching. If the idea is to eventually faithify the party and ignore secularists, now might be a smashing time in history for our 40% to go elsewhere.

    *twicth* Oh, I get so irked...