Believe it: Atheists win in a landslide

Believe it: Atheists win in a landslide

Posted in the Atheism Forum

“Reason's Greetings!”

Since: Feb 11

Pale Blue Dot

#1 Nov 10, 2012
"Election Night proved fruitful for more than just Democrats; atheists are walking taller, too.
An email from the Secular Coalition of America notes some of their highlights from Tuesday, calling it “a big day for the country and for secularists in general.”(This, despite the fact that the only open nontheist in Congress, Pete Stark, lost.)

Among them:

•“Kyrsten Sinema, a nontheist was elected by a narrow margin in to the House in Arizona.”

•“Additionally, Tammy Baldwin was elected to the Senate in Wisconsin, she is the first openly gay Senator and does not list a religious affiliation.”

•“The defeat of Rep. Todd Akin (R-MO) and Senate candidate Richard Mourdock (R-IN), candidates who used their faith to justify their positions, helps illustrate the uneasiness many voters have with policies that are not based on reason. Recent polls from Catholics for Choice and the Public Religion Research Institute also bear out this trend.”

The group says that the majority of nonbelievers voted for Obama by 70 percent to 26 percent and that “Obama won more than half of those who seldom or never attend religious services, and a full 70 percent of the religiously unaffiliated, according to CNN’s exit polls.”

The group also says “The Senate also has a couple of new faces that we look forward to working with,” including Tim Kaine who,“while being a devout Catholic, is a strong proponent of church-state separation.”"

“Reason's Greetings!”

Since: Feb 11

Pale Blue Dot

#2 Nov 10, 2012
Here is the link and story to the above Secular Coalition of America article:

Election Day a Win for Nontheists

Wed, 11/07/2012 - 17:12
Election Day wasn't without its share of disappointments but for the nontheistic community it was overwhelmingly a very good night!

The Good

In Florida, Amendment 8, which would have allowed for taxpayer funding of religion was voted down.
Voters in Washington state, Maryland and Maine approved same-sex marriage. "We've lost at the ballot box 32 times," Paul Guequierre of Human Rights Campaign told CNN. "History was made tonight."

In Minnesota voters rejected a measure that would have banned same-sex marriage.
President Barack Obama was reelected. Obama received a "C" grade on the Secular Coalition's Presidential Candidate Scorecard, coming in behind Libertarian Gary Johnson, who received a "B." However, of the two major party candidates, Obama came in well above his challenger, Republican, Mitt Romney, who received an "F" on the Scorecard.
Missouri's U.S. Representative, Todd Akin, lost his seat. Akin, who sits on the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology, has repeatedly denied scientific evidence in many areas, including regarding climate change, and making explosive claims that the female reproductive system is able to block conception from an unwanted pregnancy. He also objected to removing "under God" from the Pledge of Allegiance.
Kyrsten Sinema, won her Arizona Congressional race, she is the first bisexual member of Congress and now the only nontheist [see "the Bad" below].

The Bad

Sadly, longtime California U.S. Representative, Pete Stark, lost his reelection bid. Stark was the only open nontheist in Congress.

Minnesota U.S. Rep, Michelle Bachman, who received an "F" in every category on the Secular Coalition's Presidential Primary Candidate Scorecard and an "F" on our Congressional Report Card, was reelected.

The Opportunity?

Tammy Baldwin from Wisconsin will be the first openly gay Senator. Baldwin lists no religion and could be a strong ally for the nontheistic community.

Looking Forward

Prior to the election same sex marriage was permitted in Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York and Vermont and the District of Columbia. We can now add three more states to that list. Additionally, we saw a successful effort to block marriage equality. According to CNN a majority of Americans now support same-sex marriage, with the number of Americans saying they have a close friend or family member who is gay at 60 percent-up from 49 percent in just 2010. Public opinion is definitely shifting on this issue.

The religiously unaffiliated are quickly becoming a voting bloc politicians-especially Democrats-will need to court. According to Pew, unaffiliated voters are now equal to white evangelicals. According to exit polls, the nones voted for Obama by a margin of 70-26. Obama won more than half of those who seldom or never attend religious services, and a full 70 percent of the religiously unaffiliated, according to CNN's exit polls. And in various states, that number was even higher. For example, in Pennsylvania, where unaffiliated voters make up 12 percent of the electorate, Obama won 74 percent of the "none" vote.

According to Sarah Posner, with Religion Dispatches, "Given what we've learned recently about religious realignments -- declining numbers of Catholics, declining numbers of mainline Protestants, declining numbers of evangelicals in the 18-29 year-old age group, and increasing numbers of unaffiliated voters, and in particular, atheists and agnostics in the 18-29 year-old age group -- it seems like a significant shift is underway."

A shift indeed. One we are looking forward to.

“Reason's Greetings!”

Since: Feb 11

Pale Blue Dot

#3 Nov 10, 2012
Rep. Pete Stark Was One of Us

Regardless of party affiliation, any elected official that serves his or her constituency for four decades should be recognized as exhibiting the essence of representative democracy. For all the talk of term limits, having one’s job be dependent upon a public referendum every 24 months would seem to offer just such a limit. Rep. Pete Stark of California, Congress’s only out atheist, saw his storied Congressional career come to a close on Tuesday when he was defeated in his quest for a 21st term. Rep. Stark was one of us, and not just by virtue of his nonbelief.

For almost two decades, we have let other groups and organizations work and succeed in defining nonbelievers as unpatriotic, lacking moral centers, and a pox on society. Yet Rep. Stark’s work on healthcare in the 1980s, his constant vigilance in protecting our men and women in the Armed Forces, and his care for the environment throughout his 40 years of service are an instant refutation of those charges. Some undoubtedly disagree with his politics, but none could question he was operating out of a deep love and commitment to his country. We may not know when he came to the realization that he was an atheist, but whether it was before his first election or after his 15th, his service as a Representative remained steadfast. He proved that nonbelief in a deity did not preclude a strong belief in our country.

Pete Stark was one of us. His departure from the U.S. House or Representatives is bittersweet. As we reflect on his loss we are emboldened by the apparent victory of Kyrsten Sinema in Arizona. An open nontheist, Sinema’s race was encouraging because her nonbelief was not a factor in her election. It was not used to slander her as un-American or suggest that she was unfit for office. Additionally, newly elected Senator Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin has not listed a religious affiliation during her time as a Congresswoman. Voters in Wisconsin looked to her record in the House, not to a biographical bullet point, to determine that she was qualified to represent the state.

Pete Stark was one of us. Reading his acceptance speech for being awarded the 2008 Humanist of the Year by the American Humanist Association, one is struck by his humbleness, his humor, and his gratitude at having the privilege of serving in elected office. Nonbelievers heal our sick, educate our children, serve in our military, raise families in every state and, yes, represent some of us in government. Nonbelievers are a part of American society and have been since its inception. The results of this election show that Rep. Pete Stark was not just one of us, in an important way he was the first of us.

“Citizen_Patriot_ Voter_Atheist!”

Since: May 09


#4 Nov 11, 2012
I just got that email, myself, and I couldn't be happier.

Since: Mar 11

United States

#5 Nov 11, 2012
It was a great night! I was very pleased :)

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