We Are the Nones!

The “Nones.” 20 percent of the voting population and forgotten by the election process.

Our national focus concerning the importance of religion in politics has reached the apex of irresponsibility on the part of the electorate, the candidates and the media, mainstream or otherwise. Through this misleading and misdirection of importance, those who are atheists, free thinkers, secular humanists, and who no longer affiliate with their former religious community, the “Nones,” have been left out of our national conversation.

The anger of this dismissal of non-believers was taken up by Cenk Uyger, host of The Young Turks online news show. Take three minutes 45 seconds and watch “Non-Religious Voters Won Obama’s Reelection.”

 

I note two major reasons for this lack of recognition by those who seek the vote.

80 percent of the American electorate claims a religion, Jewish, Protestant, Hindu, Muslim, etc. and there fear that by acknowledging the none-believers, thus the majority “block” will no longer vote for that candidate. I argue no.

John Green, author of “The Faith Factor: How Religion Influences American Elections, makes a bold statement, that

…while a majority of Americans both like the idea of a president with strong religious faith and enjoy hearing candidates talk about their beliefs, a significant minority are turned off by what they perceive as too much faith talk; candidates must therefore walk a fine line in order to satisfy both constituencies.

A Pew Research study in 2012, almost 40 percent of those polled believe that “there has been too much expression of religious faith and prayer from political leaders.” That is up from 12 percent in 2001 and 29 percent in 2010.

A simple analysis tells us that the number of people who just do not care what religion the President is has exploded in the last couple of years. It also says that the 20 percent of those who denote “none” as their religion are not alone.

There is also the American political system bowing to the wishes of a minority of citizens who claim that without fear of or in God, one cannot have morals. This claim has been debunked by persons of non and of religion and is no longer a valid argument, except to those who believe in their god and the propaganda of the pulpit’s message.

Because these religious political elements that are heavily funded by others of the same ilk, they have been able to organize to a great extent. The Heritage Foundation, Focus on the Family and other religious right groups then can squeak very loudly, project their opinions upon out otherwise secular government, claiming the “Nones” are a danger to the Republic. And it is the squeaky wheel…

However, to be effective, the “Nones” need to become louder, squeakier, than the orthodox religious who believe that they are the only ones who are “right.” (Depends on one’s definition of “right.”)

The perception that there is an unholy alliance between the Democratic Party and the “Nones,” and that this alliance is designed to destroy all religions is unquestionably outrageous. But it is the perception, nonetheless, of a diminishing majority that is simple afraid of losing whatever control they had over the governmental process and believe that their mythologies will save them.

There are organizations that counter this radical religious movement including the American Atheists and all of its affiliates, as well as new political movements, such as the National Atheist Party.

You if are a “None,” or agree with the 40 percent who believe that religion should not be a part of American politics, take act, write the letters, join the NAP, allow your voices to join those who believe that religion is further dividing our great nation.   

About David Rosman

David is the winner of the Missouri Press Foundation's "Best Columnist" in 2013 (First Place) and 2014 (Second Place), the 2016 Harold Riback Award for excellence in writing, and the winner of the 2007 Interactive Media Award for excellence in editing.
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