Dan Gilgoff of U.S. News & World Report writes about what he thinks will happen in the future as the number of non-theists begins to rise.
They are obvious, but this is an interesting observation:
3. Republicans will have to choose between becoming a more overtly religious party and reaching out more seriously to the growing secular middle.
Secular voters once constituted an important part of the GOP coalition, but fewer than 10 percent of religious nones under age 30 are Republican. “Republican nones are getting older and continue to show an affinity to the GOP,” says Juhen Navarro-Rivera, a Trinity College research fellow who helped compile the new report. “But they’re not making new Republican nones.”
That doesn’t sound like a future decision. They’ve already made it — goodbye to the secular middle — and as more people grow weary of the ultra-religious, they’ll leave the party.
It has nothing to do with the other party, either. Gilgoff points out that the Democrats aren’t picking up all those drifters. Rather, many of the non-religious nones are just becoming Independents, which is better for our country, anyway.
By reaching out to the faithful, both parties are alienating the people who are slowly but steadily becoming a larger and more vocal constituency — those of us who don’t believe in a god or at least organized religion.
It won’t be long before a candidate can run a strong (though probably still unsuccessful) campaign on a platform of complete church/state separation.
(Thanks to Brian for the link!)