Atheist Republicans: Supporting a Party That Hates Them

It’s not unusual to support an organization with which you don’t always agree. It is entirely normal to pick the party that most closely aligns with your views and tolerate the other positions they hold. However there is something downright strange about supporting a party that expresses deep antipathy towards who you are.

Such is the plight of atheist Republicans.

(via The Feminist Wire)

Mind you, I’m not saying there’s anything strange about being an atheist conservative, or at least an atheist fiscal conservative. Belief in limited government, low taxes, strong defense, a hard line on immigration, and any number of other conservative beliefs are 100% compatible with atheism. It’s normal that such atheists wouldn’t dream of voting Democratic. That was essentially the argument made by the Secular Coalition for America’s Executive Director Edwina Rogers.

However, to identify as an atheist Republican is to identify with a party that shows open hostility both to you and to secularism in general.

There are innumerable examples of this hostility, but a very easy way to see it is by reviewing the official party platforms.

The national GOP Platform states:

  • We support a human life amendment to the Constitution, and we endorse legislation to make clear that the Fourteenth Amendment’s protections apply to unborn children.
  • We affirm every citizen’s right to apply religious values to public policy and the right of faith-based organizations to participate fully in public programs without renouncing their beliefs, removing religious objects or symbols, or becoming subject to government-imposed hiring practices.
  • To protect our servicemen and women and ensure that America’s Armed Forces remain the best in the world, we affirm the timelessness of those values, the benefits of traditional military culture, and the incompatibility of homosexuality with military service.

So zygotes are people, Catholic charities should be able to get federal money while refusing service to divorcees, and, of course, icky gays can’t be good soldiers.

These are not accusations I’m levelling at the GOP. These are official positions taken by the national party. State by state, things are not much better. A few examples:

California: We support the two-parent family as the best environment for raising children, and therefore believe that it is important to define marriage as being between one man and one woman. We believe public policy and education should not be exploited to present or teach homosexuality as an acceptable “alternative” lifestyle. We oppose same-sex partner benefits, child custody, and adoption.

Virginia: That faith in God, as recognized by our Founding Fathers is essential to the moral fiber of the Nation.

And then, there’s the soul of the GOP, that big bag’o’crazy that is the Republican party of Texas.

Here are 3 of the 11 principles of the party:

  • The sanctity of human life, created in the image of God, which should be protected from fertilization to natural death.
  • Self-sufficient families, founded on the traditional marriage of a natural man and a natural woman.
  • “The laws of nature and nature’s God” as our Founding Fathers believed.

And later:

  • We urge amendment of the Internal Revenue Code to allow a religious organization to address issues without fear of losing its tax-exempt status.

Entire pages could be filled with the astonishing words of this particular party plaform. Here are just three examples:

  • The Rights of a Sovereign People — The Republican Party of Texas supports the historic concept, established by our nations’ founders, of limited civil government jurisdiction under the natural laws of God, and repudiates the humanistic doctrine that the state is sovereign over the affairs of men, the family and the church.
  • Homosexuality — We affirm that the practice of homosexuality tears at the fabric of society and contributes to the breakdown of the family unit. Homosexual behavior is contrary to the fundamental, unchanging truths that have been ordained by God, recognized by our country’s founders, and shared by the majority of Texans.
  • Safeguarding Our Religious Liberties — We affirm that the public acknowledgement of God is undeniable in our history and is vital to our freedom, prosperity and strength. We pledge our influence toward a return to the original intent of the First Amendment and toward dispelling the myth of separation of church and state

Again, I understand, even if I do not share, the idea of nonreligious conservatism. What I fail to understand is how one can support a party that considers you their enemy. Can any atheist Republicans shed some light on this?

About Claudia

I'm a lifelong atheist and a molecular biologist with a passion for science and a passionate opposition to its enemies.

  • cipher

    Please. I’m still trying to figure out why there are gay Republicans.

    I once new a Log Cabin Republican. I asked him if he and the rest of the society enjoyed their annual meeting in the corner booth at Denny’s.

    • Stev84

      At least the LCR actually support gay rights. The truly vile ones are GOProud, who just rubberstamp everything in the party platform while constantly attacking all gay rights activists.

  • CitySoap

    Not a lotta love from the Demorcratic Party either

  • C Peterson

    It is possible to be a Republican without really supporting the party. I’m a Republican, and a moderately liberal atheist. Why? Because I live in an area where Republicans are more likely to be elected than Democrats. Or more specifically, wingnut right-wing conservatives are more likely to be elected than anybody that a rational person would call moderate (or even moderately conservative). I almost always vote for the most liberal candidate in the general elections. But if I were registered as a Democrat, I’d have no say in the Republican primaries… and that is where the actual candidate is usually determined.

    As a Republican, at least my vote can count towards encouraging more moderate candidates.

    • amycas

       I understand this completely. I live in Texas, and a lot of my liberal friends will register as republican so they can vote in the primary because they know their vote as a democrat won’t mean anything. I’ve been thinking about doing this.

      • LifeInTraffic

         I’ve considered doing this in VA, too. Theoretically, we’re a swing state; but, the reality is that I live in the south of VA, which goes all Republican.

      • John J. Ronald

         Also live in Texas and have done this;  Have a chance to make the GOP less bad, maybe.  My actual sympathies are with the Green Party and the Dems but that’s like spittin’ in the wind around these parts.

    • spinkham

      In NC, you can register as an independant and then choose which partie’s ballot you wan to vote on for the primary elections on the spot.

      Not sure how many states do it that way, but it’s great for someone who doesn’t feel strongly aligned with either party and is a strategic voter like I am.

      • C Peterson

        Yes, that’s how it works in Colorado now, too. And I keep thinking I should switch to independent… but it’s a long drive to the county seat, and I just don’t seem to get around to it. Practically, it would have little impact on my voting or voting options, however.

    • D

      Like you – That is the ‘primary’ reason I am a Republican…to have a vote in the primaries…a moderate or reasonably thinking American has nowhere to turn when one or two rational ideals are jumbled in with a mass of irrational ones that must be accepted as well – moderate individuals who rate a candidate on substance rather than party affiliation are given no other choice. 

    • jim

      Hello, republican in name only. Calling yourself a republican and believing and voting to only satisfy your liberal views makes you a fucking democrat.

  • Alex

    The sanctity of human life [...] should be protected [...] to natural death.

    Yeah, “natural” as in “lethal injection.” This is Texas, mind you.

    • Chris Leithiser

       “Lethal injection” IS “natural” in Texas.

  • Jason Doell

    As a fiscal conservative (but social liberal), I find myself constantly frustrated by both parties. The GOP has completely lost touch with reality but there is really no viable option for small government. Meanwhile the Democrats accomplish some of the social progress I crave but grow the government and spend like crazy. My biggest fear is a giant, powerful government which is then handed over to religious nuts who want to police everyone’s morals.

    • Stev84

      Lol. Fiscal conservatives. Just another silly stereotype in hyper-partisan p0litics. The government has rarely been expanded as much as during the Bush years. Both in actual size and especially in spending. Under the Republicans, government spending ballooned completely out of control and not just because of the wars. Small government…yeah right.

      The Republicans are a party of the rich and for the rich. They don’t care about anyone else and will work to make everyone’s else’s life miserable. Unless you are a millionaire, you don’t matter.

      • Alice

        Note that “Republican” does not equal fiscal conservative. Bush was certainly not fiscally conservative, and the label of Republican is starting to indicate (often extreme) social conservatism at the expense of other conservative values, like smaller government and fiscal issues. So please don’t say “fiscal conservatism doesn’t exist because Republicans aren’t all fiscally conservative”… one does not necessarily follow from the other.

        • Derrik Pates

          I think that’s his point – for all their talk about it, Republicans left the “fiscally conservative” tent long ago (in my opinion, 40-50 years ago at least). Libertarianism seems like a good idea, but the few real libertarians posit eliminating way too much – stripping federal government down to the barest of bare minimums. Unfortunately there’s no really viable fiscally-conservative party right now. Republicans are hardcore social conservatives. It’s not that fiscal conservatism doesn’t exist, but it’s an endangered species here.

      • Tinker

         Lol? I am NOT laughing. Every time someone says that the Dems want big government someone trots out that the government grew more under this or that Republican. I don’t find it funny. BOTH parties are guilty of spending more and more money. BOTH parties are guilty of giving money to big business.

        Yes, even your beloved Obama gave almost a trillion dollars so that large banks can gobble smaller banks to create monstrous financial institutions that no longer make money by investing but by increasing fees on those that are less educated. Then Obama’s administration puts in more regulations on those banks to limit said fees which actually has the effect of causing the banks to look elsewhere for MORE fees. And he called it a bailout.

        The Dems are not lily white in giving money to the rich, but they sure want to take more of my money when I can barely get by on my small disability and low paying job. There is a website that shows how much is contributed on our tax forms by putting an amount in the box to contribute extra. This year we contributed an extra $5,843,933.65. Which is up from previous years but that’s not that much still when you consider how many people are screaming that we need more taxes. If JUST the members of Congress and the Senate contributed $10,000 more on their taxes we would have a higher number there. But that less than $6 million dollars is everyone in the US that thinks that we need higher taxes. That is less than 8 and a half CENTS per person that voted for Obama. Don’t tell me that you need more money to give to the banks and then not put in more yourself.

        We need a candidate that doesn’t just pay lip service to the party extremists and really wants to help ALL Americans. We need a candidate that can balance the needs of business (that is where the money comes from) with the needs of the people.

        • TooManyJens

           ” but they sure want to take more of my money when I can barely get by on my small disability and low paying job.”

          You realize that the Democrats don’t want to raise taxes on low-income people, right? If the Republicans are telling you that, they’re lying.

          • revaaron

            And of course, Tinker and many others swallow and regulate the lie target then do anything laborious like thinking.

            one wonders who pays for that disability check? Shares of “git yet dirty gobn’t hands off my medicare!” perhaps.

        • Fartknocker

          Obama is a failure as a president just like Dubya was. Most president’s failures are the direct result of Congress not being able to work together or accomplish anything. Funny how Presidents get blamed for so much when Congress is holding the reins most of the time. I guess it’s just easier to blame the President. That way you don’t have to put much thought into it.

          • Nicholas V

             Of course, even in the things where he has control, Obama has been kind of a dick. Remember when he was going to have ‘the most transparent administration in history?’ Yeah, not so much. Or his respect for the rule of law? Guess that doesn’t count when it comes to bringing torturers and those who spy on Americans to justice, or when it comes to targeted killings overseas. We could point out how sluggish he’s been in promoting gay rights and immigration reform, or how he’s doubled down on federal enforcement of laws against marijuana even in states where it’s legal.

            None of those fall on Congress–he’s just failed to live up to his supposed standards. He’s not the first president to do that, nor will he be the last. And the sad thing is that as much as those things piss me off, he’s still the lesser of two evils.

            • Chris Algoo

               Yeah, so sluggish on gay rights he’s done far more for that cause than any President before him.

              • George

                Doing more than those in the past doesn’t mean he did all that he could or should have.

                • Chris Algoo

                  I agree with you that more gay rights support is needed. Come on though, he is literally the best gay-rights President this country has ever had.

        • CJ

           WTF?  You’re getting disability benefits & still making enough that you have to pay taxes?  And you think you’re not doing ok?

    • Au_catboy

       The GOP has never supported “small government” for a second, unless you mean “small enough to plant hidden cameras in every bedroom and vagina”. 

  • Jeff

    I’m an atheist that enrolled as a Republican in early 2011. I’ll answer this for you.

    1) Atheism is not incompatible with being anti-abortion or anti-gay rights. This is not to say that I believe those things, but being an atheist is about not believing in gods, not subscribing to a specific social platform.

    2) If you don’ t care much about social issues, and care greatly about lower taxes, smaller government, and strict constructionist judges, the GOP is your home.

    3) Regarding your point of view regarding the platform, how else can you change things unless you cooperate from the inside. I am very open about both my atheism and conservatism/Republicanism, and I get more intolerance from the atheist community than I’ve ever gotten from fellow conservatives. By being a model of someone who is not the atheist stereotype, I’m doing more to change hearts and minds as opposed to screaming about how much Republicans hate us. Because they largely do not.

    So, in short, I’m a Republican because it best fits my political worldview. Because the economy and the judiciary matters more politically. And, frankly, because the Republicans are actually more welcoming to alternative political and social viewpoints than the general atheist community.

    • Jeanette

      Funny how that stuff “matters more politically” when you’re not a woman whose right to choose what happens to her own body is constantly under threat, or a person trying to marry their same-sex love of their life.

      • rth

        Yes, one’s sex and sexual orientation determine one’s entire political philosophy, don’t they?

        • jim

          you bet…. all democrats take it in the ass… have you noticed that?

          • da

            Why do you say that as an insult? Are you jealous? I bet you like it in the ass.

          • Lady Liberty

            I am pretty sure that activity is largely the purview of some of the Log Cabin Republicans? But if by taking it in the ass you mean Obamacare, then I would say a large majority of Democrats are in favor of taking it in the ass.

      • Jeff

        It would be the same even if I were. Issues that impact everyone over issues that impact smaller groups should be prioritized when all else is equal.

        And let’s be realistic. The “right to choose” really isn’t in danger, and gay rights are inevitable. If you’re voting on those issues in 2012 (assuming youre not in a state with a ballot question), youre misreading the political climate.

        • SuzanneAlreadyExists

          The right to choose actually is in danger.  Many states are doing their best to limit the right to an abortion making it very difficult for providers to work there.  So although there technically is the right to choose, in effect it is practically impossible.  My personal fear is that contraception is next.

          • Jeff

            I really don’t agree, especially on contraception.  I think you significantly overestimate how much people care about contraception (people really don’t, it’s completely uncontroversial politically).  Abortion’s a trickier issue, for certain, but a lot of it is the battle itself.  Roe v. Wade isn’t going anywhere – at best, there are two solid votes against it in the current Court makeup, and there’s no way someone with any hostility toward it can get confirmed, never mind nominated.

            This entire battle over contraception is really nonexistent.  Those on the right talking about this battle are doing so because it was brought up by their opponents, not because of any actual hostility toward it.  That hostility is instead toward federal funding of contraception, of abortions, and of providers, which is a fiscal issue just as much as a social one.

            • Patterrssonn

              “which is a fiscal issue just as much as a social one”


              • sijd

                Oh, don’t dismiss it so easily, after all “a penny saved is a penny earned”

                • TooManyJens

                  Family planning is more cost-effective than unintended pregnancies.

                  But then, the GOP is the party that can’t figure out that spending a dollar today to save five in the future is fiscally responsible. If it’s spending, it’s bad, period (unless it’s for weaponry).

                • Derrik Pates

                  Wish I could like your post more than once. And funny how our defense budget is larger than almost all other countries in the world *combined*. That’s definitely not fiscal conservatism, I don’t  care what anyone says.

                • samshile

                   Tell the whole story. Unlike other countries, We protect several countries. Our defense is our primary federal responsibility. It is only 18% of our budget. How about we cut 25% of the remainder?

                • jim

                  furthermore derrick lick dick… conservatives haven’t veered from their core principles of protecting this country… dumb ass

                • Nick

                  While that is all true, congress needs do a better job at allocating the defense budget funds so it goes to areas that need it instead of on extra unnecessary Abrams tanks and f-22s.

                • samshile

                  Since when are democrats concerned with fiscal responsibility? Answer when it feeds their agenda.

                • Nick

                  If it is so much more cost effective, why don’t you pay for your own damn birth control? Also, if Obamacare wasn’t being shoved down the throats of businesses across the country, maybe they wouldn’t be cutting hours to 29 and people would be making enough to afford it.

              • usclat

                I agree P. Me thinks Jeff is not a person of reason/atheist. I think he’s full of shit with his thinly-veiled apologies for any of the issues he’s mentioned. As for atheists for the GOP … allow me to para phrase Dan Savage: “Faggots!” (See:

            • Nicholas V

               How do you claim there’s no battle over contraception when Republicans are falling all over themselves to assure that religious organizations have freedom of conscience to deny birth control to their employees? What is that but pandering to religion in a way that decreases access to BC?

              • Jeff

                I happen to agree with the GOP and the religious folks on this issue, for what it’s worth.  It’s not about contraception, it’s really about the religion.

                • Nicholas V

                  In that case, I hope you never end up in a Christian Scientist hospital.

              • Aaron Scoggin

                I actually agree that they have that right to deny birth control. If you knowingly applied for a job at and then work at what you know to be a religious institution, then you assume responsibility for the result. If you don’t like it, then work somewhere that doesn’t have those limitations. 

                I don’t agree that they should do it, but it’s entirely within their rights. It’s not as if they’re firing people for using birth control. That would be a different story.

                • Stev84

                  Hospitals or universities are NOT religious institutions. They don’t even limit their hiring to one faith and they usually receive lots of money from the government.
                  As such they should not be treated any different than similar secularly owned businesses

                  Never mind that they don’t actually provide any birth control. They just provide insurance that covers it. Their so-called religious beliefs are never touched, since they don’t have to do anything.

                • jim

                  let us just outlaw Christianity stevie… let us arrest and execute ALL Christians like north korea and the former soviet union… then we can celebrate with abortions for everyone and we can be all vegans and drive a prius… but only the type of prius’s that run on horse shit… oh, wait we don’t want to exploit the horses… oh wait.. we then would have a flatulence problem just like the cows… oh wait… i forgot that only democrats and stinkin liberals are allowed to do what ever they want.. excuse me stevie, i thought i was talking to a regular human being… not a failed abortion… you are lucky though, if king o was in office back when you where failed aborted… they would have pulled you out anyway and shot you in the head because that is the law now

                • Nicholas V

                   I apologize for not being versed in the jurisprudence, but my understanding is that the Supreme Court has said that religious tests don’t apply to lay employees of religious institutions. So it’s one thing to say that you’re not providing reproductive therapies for your celibate priests, but another to say that you’re not providing them for the woman who does the bookkeeping. In an ideal world people would never have to work for an employer with whom they have an ideological difference, but given that some people will work for religious employers in a non-religious capacity, I don’t feel like they should be out of luck if their employer finds a certain therapy to be against their rules.

                • Derrik Pates

                  Why? My health insurance is a benefit of my employment. I’m a single hetero male, but if I eventually get married, and my wife were on birth control – it’s none of my or her employer’s damn business how I use my (or her) health insurance, any more than it’s their concern how I spend my paycheck. If it goes to birth control, or whatever, it’s not their place to make that decision.

                • Lady Liberty

                  By that same logic you could argue that because you do not believe in wars of conquest you do not have to pay your taxes. But I challenge you to try not paying your taxes and see what happens to you.

                • JoeBuddha

                  Bullshit. My employer does NOT get to decide where I spend my money OR how I use my healthcare, full stop. They do not even get to FIND OUT how I do such things unless I tell them. Religion-owned or not, they shouldn’t ever have a say.
                  Not to say that this is what this BS is really about, anyway. I submit if the argument was about covering Viagra, there wouldn’t even be a discussion.

                • Flarecarrot

                  Divorce health care from employer. Until then, they always have a toe in your health.

              • jim

                it is a right that a business owner has nick… there are over 10 islamic countries that have banned Christianity period… by the law of death… and you bitch about this… you are a piece of shit.

              • Lady Liberty

                Simple. Most of the Christians in this country are Catholic. Most of the Republicans in this country are Christian.
                Catholics have long stood against sex and against contraception under the misguided theory that the more babies that Catholics pump out the more that the Catholic religion will spread. It is well known that the Catholic influence (and the Southern Baptist influence) are behind this stance. However, there is nothing necessarily Republican about this. You cannot promote smaller government and liberty by encouraging the passage of laws that limit freedom and expand the influence of government. But just like most Christians are untrue to their faith, often through lack of understanding, most Republicans are untrue to their party’s primary tenets. This cognitive dissonance has caused most people to turn away both from Christianity and from the Republican party.

          • jim

            bullshit propaganda

            • jim

              roe vs. wade has been around through how many republican administrations (1973) 55 million of them… don’t be an ignorant moron suzanne

          • Lady Liberty

            The core motive behind the Christian stance against abortion as endorsed by the Republican Party platform can be boiled down to this. Christians believe in souls, and because of this they believe that a human is a human from the first moment it is conceived. Thus they see abortion as murder. Literally they see it as a violation of the inalienable right to life. This is a reasonable proposition if you happen to believe in immortal souls.

            If on the other hand you see a first trimester fetus not as a human being with inalienable rights, but you see them as nothing but a ball of undifferentiated stem cells, then the woman’s right to choose what happens to their body prevails.

            I would argue that in the case of pregnancies outside of marriage the Man should have a right to choose whether or not to retain parental rights and responsibilities. Nobody has taken up that issue yet.

        • Patterrssonn

          “when all else is equal” I see so in some far off utopia it will be safe to vote republican.

        • Heidi

          History is filled with groups who have decided that their needs were more important than others. The result: slavery, genocide.

          -Nyota Uhura, Of Gods and Men

          • jim

            Christian and other religious persecution… yeah, i agree

      • advancedatheist

        Conservatism has taken on the character of a revolt of the beta males. Progressive government allows women to “marry the state” for  support, like the fictional Julia, at beta male taxpayers’ expense; enables women to reject beta males as lovers and marriage prospects so that they can indulge their appetites for hookups with bad boys and cads;  and enforces fraudulent paternity suits against the taxpaying beta male population to support these women’s bastard children fathered by irresponsible men.

        Productive beta males who have had enough of this nonsense realize that the Republican Party comes closer to representing their interests than the Democrats. They want politicians to reverse these progressive policies so that they can make a livelihood more easily and find women to marry them and form families. Restricting access to contraception and abortion would help this process by forcing women to exert more self-discipline over their sexuality. 

        • Onamission5

          So, voting republican to you is all about getting your hands on and controlling women?

          That’s about as much sense as I could make out of all that.

        • Ruston312

          I would love to believe this is a poe.

        • julie

          I can’t help but notice that beta males = good people, women = irresponsible whores.
          Do you honestly think that having access to contraception and abortion makes us go crazy and have careless sex all over the place? So restricting access to contraception and abortion is just a way to keep women well-behaved?
          Fuck you.
          Now excuse me, I’ve got about ten different guys I want to fuck today. Nbd, I’ll just get a quickie aborsh if I get knocked up. Either that or I’ll sue one of those guys for paternity just because I can. I’m a woman; that’s what I do.

          • jim


          • Nick

            While it obviously isn’t the case for all women, there is some truth to his statement. There are countless people, both men and women, who look to game the system in various ways and this is one of them. Contraception isn’t going anywhere but that doesn’t mean the government should be paying for it.

        • TooManyJens

          Either a Poe, or more proof that just because someone is an atheist, that doesn’t mean they’re a humanist or even all that in touch with reality.

        • LifeInTraffice

           So, you don’t give a rat’s ass about human rights as long as you can find some well-behaved woman to marry you? You don’t want a partner who marries you or has your children because she wants to, but because the state leaves her no choice? You think so little of women that you’d rather there were “forced” to “exert more self discipline” than allow them to live their lives with equal rights? (Because it’s not like there are any *men* taking part in all this
          wonton sex that is keeping the women so independent and uppity, and apparently uninterested in “beta men. And if
          there were, that’s certainly not their fault! It’s those Whores of
          Babylon with their darn birth control that need to controlling!)

          Gee, I have no idea why people find the Repubs so appalling.


          • Lady Liberty

            Do you really believe that women need welfare and the state in order not to have to marry this guy? And here I thought women were equal to men and were perfectly capable of operating as independent agents. But your response seems to imply that women are not competent to stand on their own two feet.

        • usclat

          You are an advanced douche-bag. It would be great if YOU could exert more self-discipline over the shit foaming out of your pie-hole. Dumb-ass!

          • jim

            go fuck yourself commie

        • Au_catboy

           So, you admit that you’re too much of a worthless failure to attract a woman without making women desperate and denying them options.  you support the GOP because, like you, they are incompetent, bigoted asshats. 

          • jim

            let us pull out the word bigot… name calling and such because you aren’t trying to control what anyone says…. huh, … oh, go fuck yourself too

            • Octoberfurst

              Jim you sound angry. Didn’t mommy love you enough? Do girls laugh when you ask them out? I thought so. Yeah you kind of fit the profile of the angry right-wing male who has issues with women—and just about everybody else for that matter. But don’t worry, there are all kind of books out there to help you overcome your inadequacies. Go to and look up self-help books. It will be a great start. Let us know how it goes because we care Jim–we care. :-)

        • Cry4turtles

          advancedathiest’s comment was a missing piece of the “What the fuck is the GOP up to?” puzzle for me. I can understand their religion adgenda and their money adgenda. However, what I couldn’t wrap my head around was how they justify it all toI themselves. Now I know. They think like advancedathiest.

          • jim


        • CJ

           soo… did everyone miss the first sentence implying this is an observation on conservatism and not personally held opinion?  or am I just reading this wrong?

    • Summer Seale

      Oh boy….

      1) True. Can’t argue with that.

      2) True. However, being “constructionist” to me makes about as much sense as being “fundamentalist”. I’d prefer to think that the entire notion of government and society has progressed and refined itself with layers much earned nuance over the last two hundred and fifty years. Its an “evolution”. Being a strict constructionist, in my book, puts you in the “batshit crazy” pile.

      3) I have yet to see an atheist or gay person, or a pro-choice person, change *anything* in the GOP. They haven’t yet, and they’ve been trying for decades now. If anything, it has become worse – not better. As to intolerance from your fellow conservatives: you haven’t been hanging around Hot Air and like-minded places lately, have you? Or, if you have, do you have a reading problem? Most of them would call you a RINO and, I am willing to bed, also consider you something less than human. Republicans *do* largely hate us. It’s fairly clear that they think we are immoral criminals, and they absolutely do not hide the fact that this is exactly what they believe.

      I’m going to answer your other comment below this one as well where you say:

      “And let’s be realistic. The “right to choose” really isn’t in danger, and gay rights are inevitable. If you’re voting on those issues in 2012 (assuming youre not in a state with a ballot question), youre misreading the political climate.”

      Really? If it weren’t for atheists, feminists, and gay activists making noise about it, it would just “happen” eventually? And you think if we all just stopped talking about it now, it’ll just “happen” anyway? We can all happily go home now because it’s an inevitability?

      I’m sorry, I just don’t buy your arguments in any way whatsoever. The fact is: you may be a conservative who values small government, low taxes, and doesn’t have much to hang on the liberal “humanist” agenda, but being an atheist mean you’re not welcome in the Republican Party.

      Something wasn’t adding up about your post because, frankly, it sounds like you think the GOP is full of the David Brooks of years gone past. Well, I looked it up and, lo and behold! you live in Massachusetts. I understand where you’re coming from but I have something to tell you that may come as a slight shock to you: mainstream GOP people don’t think that you qualify as a real GOP Republican – just based on your geographical location. Of course you’ll tell the GOP people around you that you’re an atheist, but would you do the same in, say, Alabama? Mississippi? Kentucky?

      Maybe you would, but I sure as hell wouldn’t.

      My guess is that no matter what you say, no matter if you agree 99.99999% with them on everything they say except for God, they’ll still call you a RINO.

      • Jeff

        2) If having consistent law enforced as written is “batshit crazy,” so be it.  I’d like to be able to predict how a law would be enforced, but hey.

        3) The reason you don’t see a lot of change is because there’s not a lot of us there.  I can count the atheist Republicans I know of on one hand, and only one of them is in Massachusetts.  We have to stop being afraid of being a Republican first – and that means the atheist movement being more accepting of dissenting viewpoints – before we can make our voices heard.

        If you really think conservatives and Republicans *hate* us, you’ve misread the population.  Certainly, there are hardcore Christians who do, this is indisputable.  But this isn’t a Massachusetts thing, but a national one.  There’s a lot of tolerance for dissenting viewpoints within the Republican ranks and within the conservative movement when it comes to both social issues and to beliefs.  It isn’t 1991 when GHWB said that atheists shouldn’t be citizens anymore.  

        The GOP does not resemble the David Brooks types much anymore – it’s one of the main reason why I feel more comfortable as a Republican than I would have 10 years ago.  My point of view comes not from Massachusetts Republicans (although I’ve had great relationships, conversations, and coalitions with Massachusetts conservatives of all stripes), but from discussions with people nationwide, with national Republicans, and so on.  You have allowed the concept as pushed by the far left regarding what Republicans are to distort your point of view of Republicans to the point of caricature, unfortunately.

        • Patterrssonn

          “far left” ? Who the fuck is the far left?

          • Stev84

            There certainly is no far left in the US. There are hardly any socialists in the US either. The Democrats are mostly center-right. Maybe center-left in some issues. The Republicans are far-right nationalists to put them in an international perspective. That’s how far to the right the US political spectrum has shifted.

          • TerranRich

            In other words, the Bogeyman.

          • amycas

             As far as I can tell, there is no politically powerful far left in this country. Our political spectrum runs the gamut of “far right” all the way to “center-right.”

          • TooManyJens

            At this point, pretty much anyone who believes there’s such a thing as a society, and doesn’t pretend we’re all just a bunch of rugged individualists, gets painted as a Commie.

            The right in this country has gone far, far down the rabbit hole.

        • TooManyJens

          You sound like Edwina Rogers. I’m willing to believe that there are individual Republicans, maybe even a lot of them, who hold the views that you ascribe to them. But I don’t care. Because I’ve seen what’s in their party platforms, and I’ve seen what they do when they get in power. As far as I’m concerned, that’s the “real” Republican Party. And that’s more than enough to earn my dedicated opposition.

    • Joe Huang

      I am not a Republican, so I have to admit that your comment was quite enlightening to me. As an atheist, I’m ashamed that my fellow non-believers gave you grief for not following the so-called “standard.” Thank you for teaching me about a group of which I should be more open-minded, and about a group of which I should be more critical. I’m glad you’ve found your own political niche.

      –A Kindly Atheist

    • Tim Buchholz

      The social issues that the GOP supports are driven by religion. They are the ones who refuse to remove the 1950s GOP attacks on atheists… Under god… In god we trust,etc… In Virginia, the GOP, is openly pushing god in schools… in god we trust is requied to be posted in the enterance of every public school in the state…. they want to teach creationism… public officials are demanding openly Christian propaganda (crèche) on prime publically owned real state,… they are attacking science…. to name just a few battle fronts. They have their own colleges to pump out Christian right lawyers… Patrick Henry College…. The GOP is fighting a war to maintain and even increase traditional values in the US. That means they are at war with atheists. Which means I am at war with them. We need allies to win. We win every time a Dem is elected, because there is one less proactive anti-atheist

    • Nicholas V

       If you care about lower taxes, smaller government, and strict constructionist judges, then neither of the major parties is really your home. Though I must say the idea of anyone claiming the GOP is actually in favor of small government seems a bit hard to swallow in particular.

      • revaaron

        This is what I don’t get. The GOP hasn’t actually practiced small government, lower taxes, fiscal conservatism, laissez faire social policy, or strict constructionism for many decades. I don’t understand why people put tribe loyalty over reasoned conclusions, but I shouldn’t be surprised that atheists do it just about as often as theists.

        It’s just as bad as sticking with a strong democrat loyalty because you think that Obama will suddenly take a left turn after his reelection and become another FDR, LBJ, or Eisenhower. Good luck with the tribal fairy tales.

      • Bob

        You’re right but

        It is pretty evident that even under worst of the GOP (W Bush) economic regulation, debt etc. grew far slower than it has under the democrats.  And there is hope that some of the new republicans (Scott Walker, Rand Paul, etc.) will return, or at least point in the right direction, to a laissez faire government. 

    • Ranuu

      “If you… care greatly about lower taxes, smaller government, and strict constructionist judges, the GOP is your home.”

      This is the funniest joke I’ve read all day.  Please, the Republicans haven’t done any of that in the last couple decades.  Did you perhaps mean the Libertarian Party?

      • Sware

        I’m so on board with this statement. Personally I could appreciate less gov. Intrusion in all aspects of our lives. Republicans have an empty marketing ploy when they say they are for smaller government. They’ve done quite the opposite once elected. Plus it takes cognitive dissonance of astronomical proportions to proclaim you want smaller government while legislating vaginal probes.

      • Lady Liberty, I need say nothing more than read this.

    • Raising_Rlyeh

      “If you don’ t care much about social issues, and care greatly about
      lower taxes, smaller government, and strict constructionist judges, the
      GOP is your home.”

      You do realize that the GOP really isn’t any of that except, perhaps, lowering taxes? That has a caveat that they still like the same spending levels or want to eliminate programs that help people in order to fund things that kill people. Small government? The same small government supported by the GOP that thinks anti-sodomy laws should be constitutional and the government can legislate morality?

      Conservatives claim to want personal freedom, but often they push laws that are anything but that.

    • AtHome

      As a longtime gay, atheist Republican, I generally agree with Jeff’s comments.  Here in the Bay Area, the Party is extremely open to LGBT members – Log Cabin has members on 5 of the 9 county central committees and so what happens, the party positions listed in this story are largely overlooked in our affairs – in some ways, it’s as if they didn’t exist.  I think that’s true in many places and that the national party just hasn’t picked up on it.  Most of us believe that much of the so-called “social conservative” agenda will gradually fade. But there is another view that is overlooked.  Many liberals assume that if people like were to leave the Republican party, we would automatically become liberal/moderate Democrats. That just aint gonna happen.  What I’m saying here is that we really both feel comfortable with local party members and moreover don’t have any place else to go.  

      It’s not a party to be a gay, atheist Republican or conservative, but I could not imagine associating a liberal party that espouses things far, far more disturbing to me than the many of the party’s official national position of “social” matters that have no effect on my life.

    • jim

      thanks for being a sensible republican. All dictatorships are one party rule only… when this country becomes totally progressive, and the commucrats take over… it would have been through lies, deceit and finally mass persecution of Christians…. finally, Islam would have taken over because they rule by the sword and you would have forced to change your views to Islam because you would have no choice…

  • Nkendall

    This has been a pretty big deal for my family for a long, long time. Most of my [close] family is best described as agnostic/deistic/uncaring. With the exception of me, though, they are rather right-wing on a lot of things. They do pick and choose (as one should when it comes to politics) but they definitely have a lot of “Republican” leanings (especially with Fiscal Conservatism). 

    I know my grandfather drinks a bit too much of the Fox News punch and is a hardline Republican despite not really have a strong religious preference. My aunt is a small business owner and is convinced of many of the same arguments that the Democrats are attacking small business owners. She is a lesbian and is married to her wife and lives in Oregon, but gay rights seem to be the least of her worries (she often complains that the Democrats have done little to improve anything and I can only full-heartily agree). 

    But for the rest of them, especially my parents, it has turned into voter apathy and that is scary. Voters split between the parties seem to just not vote because they cannot pick and choose and the states control who gets onto the ballet. My parents are really against illegal immigration (they have no problem with legal immigrants) and the so-called welfare-system. They seem to just not vote or do throw-away votes to the Green Party because no one represents them (let me point out that they are not Ron Paul fiscal conservatives). 

    Meanwhile, as the black sheep Democratic Socialist (in the European sense), I’ve just completely given up. And it is because no one represents me. 

  • Johannsone

    It seems the republican party could use a history lesson or at least a reminder that this bat sh!t crazy antics are not what the party was founded on. I would think that atheist republicans might support the libertarian movement, but I don’t know. I am not an expert in anything but my opinion. I prefer the states being self governed and a federal govt for defense and upholding the constitution. I do believe free enterprise is stifled when the govt becomes too large (like now). I just wish my vote would stop counting for the democratic party when I don’t vote republican. I still can’t believe in a country so big and so diverse that we constantly settle for 2 main choices. That can’t be a fair representation of America. **just my thoughts based on no real knowledge, please be kind in any responses**

  • Kevin Sagui

    I can kinda sorta answer this question from past experience.  I used to consider myself Republican.  At the time, I was fiscally pretty conservative, and while one might have call me socially “moderate,” it would probably be fairer to say I was socially mixed – I was pretty adamantly anti-capital punishment, pro-gay rights, and pro-comprehensive sexual education, but very anti-abortion, anti-euthanasia, anti-gun control, and thought of feminists as femi-nazis.  I still considered myself Catholic at the time, although I was a pretty strict secularist when it came to government.  Being Republican meant supporting a party that (I thought, anyway) had everything I wanted economically and a decent amount of what I wanted socially, and I think that even if I was an atheist at that time, I still would have held my nose and supported the Republican platform.  Eventually, what drove me out of the Republican party was the dual realization that they were full of shit about being fiscally conservative and that the social issues I was holding my nose on had become completely intolerable.  I eventually found my way to the Libertarian Party, but it was a trade-off of being more principled in exchange for sacrificing relevance.  I can see how somebody who agrees with the Republican fiscal and foreign policy platforms could remain in the party over being a Democrat, however, if they still viewed politics as a binary choice.  Just because somebody is an atheist does not mean that “atheist” issues are of primary importance to them.

  • OCRazor

    How can I hope to change the Republican Party if I don’t belong to it?
    If all atheists registered Republican, maybe we could make a difference.

    • Stev84

      They have driven out almost all rational and moderate people over the last 20 to 30 years? It’s gotten so bad that seasoned moderate Republicans are becoming disillusioned and don’t want to go on. What makes you think you are any different? Better to let them crash and burn. It can’t be long.

      • Rick

         I agree Stev84. I used to be a Republican back in the days when there were liberals and moderates in the GOP. They don’t exist anymore.  What has completely taken over the party are Bible-thumping right-wing demagogues. The party has become insane. It really has. I understand my fellow Atheists trying  to change the party from within but frankly it is a lost cause at this point. They hate anyone who is not a heterosexual, right-wing Christian nationalist.  Sad but true.

    • Basementmatt

      Indeed. The Log Cabin Republicans have been wildly successful at changing the party from within.

    • Occam

      As long as the Republican Party allows itself to be hijacked by the religious nut jobs, it will be very difficult for them to make any significant changes to their platform regarding social issues.  A rational and vigorous discussion on such issues is a very healthy thing for our democracy, and I’m happy to engage in that debate; but as long as the majority of their arguments come down to what the Bible says, the discussion will not be based in logic — and is, therefore, an exercise in futility.

    • revaaron

      How can I hope to change the Catholic Church if I don’t belong to it?

      • OCRazor

        Because the Catholic Church tenets aren’t up for debate or eligible for change from the masses.  Pun intended.

    • CJ

       Yet, if all the non-religious-fundies & RINOs registered Libertarian, we’d have a fighting chance at actually changing the 2-party system which is what’s really screwing our chances at influencing government…

  • RTH

    I think the strength of the two party system is why so many Americans (not just atheists) support a party or candidates with whom they disagree on important issues. They choose what they see as the lesser evil.

  • advancedatheist

    Republican politicians can bad-mouth me all they want. They still offer to cut atheists’ taxes, deregulate our businesses and let us buy all the guns and ammo we want, which shows that they don’t consider us a threat to society. I also have no problem with the patriarchal aspects of conservative policies.

    Ironically my reading of George Lakoff’s theory of family metaphors to explain political orientations helped me to realize that the Strict Father metaphor operating in conservatives, and to some extent in libertarians, comes closer to representing my interests than the Nurturant Parent metaphor operating in liberals and progressives. Now, Lakoff didn’t intend for his unified theory of conservatism to make conservatism sound good; he clearly finds it distasteful, even pathological, despite his claim that his Nurturant Parent world view gives him superior “empathy” to identify emotionally with others’ points of view. But in my case Lakoff makes a better argument for conservatism than many conservatives have done. 

    Lakoff also inadvertently advertises Strict Fathers’ strengths when he complains that some rich conservatives a generation ago set up think tanks, bought media outlets and hired intellectual to reframe public policy debates in ways favorable to conservatives. This happened under the noses of the Nurturant Parent dreamers, utopians and theorists like Lakoff, and resulted in a situation which Lakoff finds dismaying. 

    One, he acknowledges that at least some Strict Fathers know how to make a lot of money. Two, he points out that they understand the importance of ideas and framing, despite stereotypes about conservatives’ anti-intellectualism. Three, he shows that these Strict Fathers know how to establish practical long-range goals, they can figure out the means to get from here to there, and they display the self-discipline and perseverance needed to carry out their plans. 

    These guys have a lot going for them, don’t they? It makes you wonder why Lakoff doesn’t hold them up as role models instead of enemies. If you want to accomplish something difficult, instead of wishing hard like a Nurturant Parent, study successful Strict Fathers’ examples  and try working hard like they do instead. If more people displayed those cognitive abilities, we might have a better functioning society.

    • TooManyJens

       “I also have no problem with the patriarchal aspects of conservative policies.”

      How very, very nice for you.

    • Nicholas V

       If you think that the majority of the wealthy in this country got where they are by honest hard work, then let me sell you this lovely bridge I have in Brooklyn.

      Also curious what tax bracket you find yourself in that will benefit under the Republicans. Not that Democrats are better, but claiming that the Republicans don’t want to pick your pocket just doesn’t pass the smell test.

    • cipher

       I really think you’d be much happier on the theist side of the fence.

  • MegaZeusThor

    Good blog post; hope it gets some decent discussion.

    Often we have to talk issue by issue to see what we and others really think about left/right stuff. (I often find myself in the middle.)

    While there is plenty of talk about left/right, sometimes there doesn’t seem to be hardly any talk about Authoritarian/Libertarian positions. I’m not advocating for one or the other, just more discussion about the pros, cons, and ramifications of either direction.

    • Patterrssonn

      Or Authoritarian-Libertarian vs rationalist-non dogmatic positions.

  • SJH

    These issues are irrelevant to one’s belief in God. Are you saying that you can’t be atheist and also believe that homosexuality is unhealthy for individual and our species even though there has been evidence that shows this?  One cannot be atheist and think that abortions are unhealthy for women even though there has been evidence to show this? I am a Christian but I have formulated my opinions about homosexuality and abortion based upon my education and my understanding of evidence. Perhaps I have a misunderstanding of evidence and those need to be corrected but don’t pretend that these issues automatically are somehow related to the idea that there is no God.

    • Thorny264

      I guess we tend to think of atheists as more reasonable, logical people. Though I suppose not believing in old books and myths doesn’t make a person reasonable just the ones who do believe that rubbish unreasonable.

      Your abortions are unhealthy for women bit, I don’t suppose you have one scrap of evidence that an abortion is more unhealthy/dangerous than having the pregnancy, and remember books with magic sections and websites like don’t count.

      There is also no reason to be against homosexuals what so ever but again if you would like to share your evidence with the rest of us.

      • SJH

         This issue is far to complex to go around and cite all of the evidence. It is all out there if you look. Some arguments/evidence are irrational and silly and some are valid. If we are going to be honest about searching for truth and our pursuit of scientific fact then we need to be vigilant in sorting through everything and having an open mind.

        • LifeInTraffice

           Every time I ask someone who says “oh, it’s so baaaaddd for teh womenz!” to provide evidence, I get this exact same answer: “Oh, it’s just too complicated.” No, it’s really not. Either the evidence is there, or it’s not. Links aren’t that hard, or at least authors and study names.

           This is immediately followed by “It’s out there if you look/you’ should do your own research.” As though none of us who care about this have bothered to look at any evidence. I’ve pretty seriously mined peer-reviewed papers for this “evidence,” and thus far have come up with absolutely nothing that was peer-reviewed that hasn’t been debunked (see: breast cancer link for abortions) or without religious bias that says either of these things are inherently bad for women, let alone bad enough to ban.  (I have amazing access to peer-reviewed papers, as well as doctoral thesis, etc. via college research databases that have papers dating back to at least the 70s, many of them unpublished or in limited publication.)

        • Thorny264

          So I take it you actually have no evidence and rather than fall on that old book you decided to just say it’s out there.

          In reality your just a bigot, hating people because you were told to, because a book tells you too or maybe you just find them icky.

    • Bender


      Are you saying that you can’t be atheist and also believe that
      homosexuality is unhealthy for individual and our species even though
      there has been evidence that shows this?

      Yes, because that “evidence” exists in the same place as your god: in your imagination. By the way, even if there was such evidence, so what? Tobacco is unhealthy. Are you for banning tobacco too? What happened to “small goverment” and personal liberties?


      One cannot be atheist and think that abortions are unhealthy for women even though there has been evidence to show this? 

      Right. So now you’re against abortions because you worry about women’s health.

      • SJH

        On your first point – Certainly if a behavior is shown to hurt a society enough it has been controlled to some degree. Generally the amount of control is proportional to the harmfulness of that behavior (ie. murder and rape are flat out illegal, pollution is simply regulated). Of course, I do not think that homosexuality is harmful enough to outlaw. Perhaps, if it can be shown that it is harmful, upholding our tradition that marriage is between a man and a woman is wise. This question is up for debate to me because I do believe in limited government and I sometimes wonder if the government should be involved in marriage at all, including heterosexual marriage.

        Regarding you second comments, I do care deeply about women. It is my belief that there are to factors that have most deeply hurt women in the twentieth century, the first was birth control and the second is abortion. There is a lot of evidence out there to support this and I highly recommend everyone consider this possibility.

        • LifeInTraffice

           Actually, I have as yet seen absolutely no evidence that hormonal birth control has been anything but beneficial to women overall in pretty much every way, from reducing rates of many cancers to treating reproductive medical conditions to allowing us to plan our families. I’ve seen not one reputable, peer-reviewed study that shows otherwise. If you have such evidence, and you say “there is a lot,” I would be open to seeing it, so please feel free to cite it.

          Same with abortion. All the studies I’ve seen conducted with reputable science have shown there are no adverse affects (and, you do realize abortion isn’t a “twentieth century” invention, right? That it’s been a fact of life that we can prove since at least ancient Egypt, as has contraception–both were just less effective and far more dangerous).

          We are all entitled to our own beliefs, but not our own facts; so, if you have facts we have not seen, I am sure we would all appreciate the citations.

          • TooManyJens

            There are definitely medical risks involved with hormonal contraception. It’s just that not having reliable, effective family planning also carries huge risks for both women and children. People who claim to be against contraception because they’re concerned about women’s health never take those risks into account. They essentially feel that if contraception isn’t 100% safe in all circumstances, it’s not worthwhile, because they don’t acknowledge any health benefits of it (and they don’t think the ability to have sex for pleasure is a worthwhile benefit either).

            • LifeInTraffice

               Agreed. Overall, hormonal birth control has been shown safe and effective; but, as you mention, like all medications there are contraindications and potential side effects (even aspirin has these).  Each user and their physician need to evaluate those risks, of course; but, I’d buy the “but it’s not safe” argument a whole lot more if the same people were screaming about the myriad other drugs that are not 100% safe, either (which, of course, almost nothing is). Anything else is just disingenuous.

              • TooManyJens

                 Exactly. They hold contraception to a completely different standard than any other medication out there.

              • SJH

                The pill is listed as  a Group I carcinogen by the World Health Organization and other medical institutions yet it is safe?

                Additionally are you going to trust the pharmaceutical industry and its money and power to fulfill the appropriate testing. I’m sorry but I don’t trust that our politicians are not swayed by by the pharamcuetical companies and their dollars to relax restrictions on testing.

                • TooManyJens

                  So you oppose any drug that’s not 100% safe, right? Or just the ones that let women plan pregnancies?

                • Silo Mowbray

                  Are you ever outside in sunlight? UV radiation is a group I carcinogen. Arsenic, that you would find in drinking water, is also in group I. Ethanol, that you would find in wine, beer or spirits, is group I. In fact, there’s a huge list of fairly common exposures to group I carcinogens. Keep it in context, please.

                • wmdkitty

                   “The pill is listed as  a Group I carcinogen by the World Health Organization and other medical institutions yet it is safe?”

                  [Citation Needed], numbskull.

                • Nicholas V

                  Feel free to never take any medications, then. Wouldn’t want you taking any chances with those dastardly drug companies!

        • Nicholas V

           You’re right, women were so much better off when they had no control over when they had children. No doubt that’s why so few of them use contraception and why Planned Parenthood clinics are always empty.

          • SJH

             Women have all the control in the form of abstinence and Natural Family Planning. They loose control when they become a slave to the pharmaceutical companies, insurance corporations, the government and the medical industry. She then must rely on them to look out for her best interests and then when it fails and leads to increased abortions (an assertion by me, that has not yet been proven but for which there is evidence) for which they must then rely on the government to pay for an abortion by Planned Parenthood in which she may be deceived into thinking that it is her best decision. (Planned Parenthood has proven to be a very deceptive organization, or at least its employees are)  So where in this does she have control?

            • Nicholas V

              Well, see, she has control in the sense that technologies and institutions exist which allow her to manage her fertility, and so she may choose to use them or not. A woman on BC is a ‘slave to pharmaceutical companies’ in the way that a sick person is a slave to the doctor–the dependence is generally accepted in lieu of the alternative of not receiving care. If you want to argue about whether insurance companies or the government should pay for BC or abortions, that may be a fair argument which ultimately depends on how much responsibility those institutions should have for a person’s welfare, which is by no means limited in scope to just reproductive freedom. Maybe you’d also argue that Medicare makes elderly people dependent on government–I’m pretty sure most of them will still want to keep it.

              You’re utterly batshit if you’re making the assertion that the use of birth control leads to more abortions due to BC failure, but to be fair maybe I’m misunderstanding your point.

              You have a very odd concept of what freedom means for women.

              • Stev84

                He’s a religious nutjob. What else do you expect? This is hardly the first time he has demonstrated his nutbaggery.

                • laursaurus

                  Ad Hom much? How about addressing the content. 

                  I think this whole post is a good example of projection. Atheists spew a lot of hateful vile toward Christians, that I never see reciprocated in Conservative discourse. Plus Conservatives see the Progressives as misguided and naive. Progressives, especially atheist Liberals consider their political opponents as outright evil. 
                  Especially the Tea Party. When they can’t even refer to the political movement without substituting a vulgar homophobic slur, that’s bigotry and vitriol even the much maligned Fox News wouldn’t dream of stooping to.

                • Stev84

                  I’ve read enough of SJH and replied to him in the past to have learned that discussing anything with him is pointless. So I’m just ignoring him these days.

                • SJH

                  Why is it pointless? I have learned quite a bit since I have started reading this blog. You guys generally hold me accountable which forces me to learn more about the issues. More often then not it has solidified what I already thought though I have developed many questions that I have yet to answer adequately but that is what it means to be on a journey. I hope that we can all be open minded to other views and opinions even if they don’t make sense at the moment.

                • cipher

                  Atheists spew a lot of hateful vile toward Christians, that I never see reciprocated in Conservative discourse.

                  HA! Thank you; I don’t often laugh out loud these days.

                  Here’s some more “Ad Hom” for you genius – you’re an idiot.

              • SJH

                I do not think that the sick person and the person avoiding pregnancy are good analogies. One needs medical attention. The other is perfectly healthy and is making a choice of their own free will.

                • Nicholas V

                  Which is largely immaterial to my point. Women CHOOSE whether or not to use contraception. This is an expression of reproductive freedom. You apparently do not think they should have that freedom, since you feel the nebulous social ills you refuse to provide evidence for (but we should go do our own research and then we’ll surely agree with you) are so grave as to warrant forcing women to reject safe and effective medical treatment. Yes, that’s pro-freedom, all right–free to have sex the way you think they should or else be pregnant. Aren’t you special?

            • Occam

               ” Women have all the control in the form of abstinence and Natural Family Planning.”

              Here is an example of flawed logic on your part, SJH: How does limiting the options available to women (contraception, safe abortions) provide them with “all the control”? Do you not understand that by imposing your personal morality on them that you have actually taken away some of the control from them by limiting their options?  This is what I meant in an earlier post when I mentioned that you let your religious beliefs dictate your opinions… which is perfectly fine if you want to follow a particular moral code, but don’t impose your view on other people’s personal liberties.

              By contrast, it would be absurd to accuse atheists of forcing people to have abortions, or using contraceptives against their will (even though that is what some of the more radical religious kooks no doubt believe); in that regard, atheists in general are much stronger advocates of civil liberties than religious people.

              And please don’t respond with “well, my taxes shouldn’t have to pay for this.” That is a tired argument: do you think for a moment that if the citizens had any input on how our tax dollars are used that we would be able to spend such an obscene amount of money fighting wars and bailing out fat cat corporations? Your moral indignation would be better directed there than on what people do with their bodies.

              • SJH

                 My statement regarding birth control was an example of something that I think has been harmful to women. This doesn’t mean that I think it should be illegal. That is just silly. Nor am I trying to impose anything on anyone. I was merely stating an opinion which I have formed based on reason and some evidence.

                I do understand that many people believe that limiting your options is equivalent to reducing control but I think this is flawed thinking especially when your options are harmful and you must rely on others to provide you with those options. You loose control as soon as you subjugate yourself to those options because you have, by extension, subjugated yourself to the one that provides that option.

                Choosing to be in complete control means choosing to limit yourself. This may sound like nonsense to many, but it is analogous to the philosophy that you can only truly  be free if you live within the limitations of making responsible decisions. If it does sound like nonsense please take the time to think about it with an open mind and on a deeper level.

                • Nicholas V

                   Yes sir, choice is obligation. Freedom is slavery. We have always been at war with Eastasia.

                • Earl G.

                  You do know that “natural family planning” has a very high failure rate, right?  Also, please cite some legitimate evidence (i.e., published peer-reviewed scientific studies) showing that homosexuality is harmful to society or that abortion is harmful to women.  We’ll wait.

            • cipher

              Women have all the control in the form of abstinence and Natural Family Planning.

              Yeah, this confirms what I suspected from your remarks above – you’re a moron. You’re embarrassing yourself – or rather, you would be if you were bright enough to realize it.

              Why don’t you toddle off now and contemplate our eternal torment in hell? That should give you no end of pleasure.

            • TooManyJens

              By your logic, we should all grow our own food so we don’t lose control to the farmers, meatpackers, processors, and grocery chains. And if we choose not to do so, it makes us slaves.

              Increasing availability of contraception does not lead to an increase in abortions. A desire for reduced fertility leads to both an increase in contraception use (if adequate contraception is available) and an increase in abortions (if adequate contraception is not available).

    • Occam

       Perhaps the term “atheism” is being conflated here with the terms “rationalism” and “skepticism,” and other concepts that refer to the application of empiricism and logic (which are often associated with atheism); so in that sense, perhaps it is not that relevant to connect one’s stance on these political and social issues with one’s belief in a supreme being.  However, it is important to remember that the *vast* majority of arguments made against homosexuality and abortion (as well as other issues) are based on religious doctrine; I have heard very few arguments against those issues based on scientific rationale. 

      In fact, your claims about the negative health issues associated with homosexuality and abortion are only exacerbated by religion.  Legal abortions performed by a doctor in a sterile environment are far safer than a back-alley abortion done with a coat hanger, which would be the norm if Roe v. Wade were overturned.  And the Catholic church’s stance against condom use is clearly detrimental regarding the spread of disease through sexual intercourse, whether homosexual or heterosexual.  So I find your claims to be specious at best, if not downright fallacious.

      • SJH

         I admit that many of the arguments against these issues are brought by theists but if you look into it you will notice that many of those arguments are very rational and logical. We shouldn’t assume that if a religious person is making a statement that it is automatically an irrational, emotional one. Perhaps they are making these assertions because they care deeply about the individuals involved and they are willing to take the time to look into these issues (just as I am sure most atheists care about these individuals as well and are trying to do what is right).

        Also, the points you make for abortion have been disputed and fine arguments and evidence has been compiled which supports the opposite view. I think I have heard just about every argument for abortion and supporting homosexuality as a healthy norm and I have not been convinced I have gone as far as reading up on the original study performed by Dr. Hooker which supposedly proved homosexuality was healthy. If there has been additional evidence please share it.

        It seems to me that the emotional arguments come from those both the blindly religious as well as those who are intent on proving that there is nothing wrong these behaviors.

        • Occam

          First off, let me say I appreciate the tone of your message — you seem both respectful to opposing viewpoints and sincere in your own convictions.  However, I believe your opinions and the supposed evidence you have found to support them are first and foremost colored by your religious views.  I don’t begrudge you that necessarily — but it seems that you must be hunting for “evidence” that supports your world view, and are willing to disregard the validity of opposing evidence.  I would guess that the “evidence” you are citing is probably posted on some religious website, or other fringe outlet, and not the consensus of the scientific community (which is supported through peer review).

          On the other hand, I don’t go out looking for evidence to support my “atheist” view point — and unlike somebody with strong religious convictions, I wouldn’t hesitate for a moment to change my opinion on something if I found compelling evidence to the contrary.  That is the difference between an empirically-based approach and one influenced by religious dogma.

          • SJH

             My views certainly spawned from my religious views however I like to think that I take the time to listen to all sides, their assertions, opinions, and their evidence and I make a rational opinion based on that education. Certainly, I am not perfect and my religious views creep in, my pride too often takes over and I fail to be open minded. Again, though I take much care in attempting to prevent this. I would like to point out however, that our convictions, either religious or atheist often creep in regardless of what side we are on. It would be very disingenuous for a person to state that he or she is an atheist and never lets his or her agenda creep in and taint their opinions.

            Also, I was trying to point out in my previous post that many evidence is provided by religious groups. This evidence should not be automatically dismissed. This would be similar to dismissing Dr. Hookers research on homosexual behavior (which I amaturely dispute as a knowledge limited non-psychiatrist) simply because she was a homosexual activist. We need to look at opinions, rationale and evidence based on their own merits not on the political, religious persuasions of the individuals involved.  It is up to all of us to weed through all the information and determine if the information is reasonable or not.

            • LifeInTraffice

              I don’t dismiss studies based on if they were done by religious organizations. I’ve dismissed all that I have seen of studies on the mentioned topics so far from those organizations as bad science that didn’t or wouldn’t pass peer-review. There is excellent research in many fields by various religious institutions and universities that does follow good science procedure and does/would pass peer-review, and I certainly don’t dismiss that science.

              It is worth noting that I am currently wading through a copy of a new study that Liberty Council (not done or, as far as I can tell, funded by them) has claimed shows adult children of homosexual (especially lesbian) couples are more often sexually abused, among other things, than adult children of heterosexual couples, and I am reading it with an open mind. The current problem I’ve found with the study, though I am not very far into it yet, is that it compares children raised by both bio-parents in heterosexual relationships to children raised by one or two non-bio parents in gay relationships. This matters, because the statistics of child molestation and other issues go up in heterosexual relationships where one parent figure isn’t a bio-parent (a step parent,etc.). So, that comparison may have been more accurate. The point is, I am reading it with a critical eye and an open mind, though it purports to say something I really wouldn’t want to be true. My evaluation of it will have nothing to do with the fact that an institution I outright despise is the one who is a proponent of the results.

  • Don Gwinn

    I’m an atheist . . . and a gun owner/2nd Amendment activist . . . and pro-choice on every issue of personal liberty.  There’s only one party that theoretically doesn’t despise me for one reason or another, and it couldn’t get a dog catcher elected if he ran unopposed in Mayberry. (That big kiss right there is for you, Big-L Libertarians.)

    I’m a registered Republican because I live in Illinois and can’t quite bring myself to register as a Democrat. 

    In broad strokes, on the national stage, the Republican leadership wants to control your sex life, your religious life, your family life, and whether people around you are offended.  The Democrat leadership wants to control your bank account, your business, and whether people around you are offended.  In your local area, these roles may be reversed–see Bloomberg’s New York or downstate Illinois where Democrats get elected by being the God, Guns and Guts (and unions and farm subsidies) alternative to those dastardly big-city Chicago Machine Democrats.

    Platforms have their places, but if you think of the political parties more as social/political networks than as armies of true believers, you have a better grasp on how they work, especially in places like Chicago/Illinois where one part dominates a given geographic area and people switch parties for reasons that have nothing to do with ideology.  For more information, Google the term “Illinois political combine.” 
    I’d bet Mr. Mehta is familiar with The Combine.

    • TooManyJens

      Republicans are terrible for your wallet unless you are in about the top 2% — maybe 5% if I’m being generous — of the wealthy in this country. Everybody else is getting screwed economically as Republican policies continue to redistribute wealth to the people who already have the most.

      • revaaron

        You got it all wrong- trickle down will work this time! If at first something doesn’t work, try at again with more money.

      • Bob

        awe but the democrats are worse 

    • Hatgrease

      At the local level i’d go so far as to say that Democrats just want to control your life, while Republicans don’t want the hassle. I’ve never been made uncomfortable with being an Atheist Republican by anyone but a Democrat.

  • mikespeir

    I’m not really a Texan.  I just live here.  *sigh*  And was born and raised here.  And will probably die here.  Soon.

    • Richard Wade

      I wish you well, mikespeir.

  • Nora

    I as an atheist Republican for a while. Sometimes I find that hard to believe, as I am now so far left that I find Democrats entirely too conservative. There were a lot of things that contributed to that change, but it started with the realization that the Republican party is hostage to the far-right religious whackos and completely full of shit when they talk about fiscal conservatism. 

    I was a Republican long before I admitted to myself that I was an atheist, so it was easy to find reasons to stay in the party and took a while to realize why this was completely incompatible with my personal thoughts. 

    When I was  a Republican, however, it was largely because of fiscal conservatism (and a diet of a little bit too much Fox News and the Drudge Report). I did not think ballooning the government and raising taxes was a useful activity for our government. I was very, very pro-state’s rights and wanted to let the people decide on such complicated issues as abortion, etc. And of course, in a 2 party system, one always has to compromise on part of their political leanings to support either party. At the time, the church/state violations and socially regressive policies seemed an adequate price to pay for the other issues I cared about. And I also told myself that I could change the party from within.

    Thankfully I realized that was a fool’s errand, started doing my own research instead of taking that which was handed to me, and dug deep to discover what I really believed instead of what I wanted to believe to fit in. And now I’m pretty much a socialist. =)

  • Jóhannes Gunnar Þorsteinsson

    The only things I noticed in this post that seemed to not fit with atheism were the paragraphs that mentioned god. I even know about atheists in my country (Iceland) that do not support the separation of state and church.

    • Derrik Pates

      I didn’t think Iceland enshrined separation of church and state into their laws. Have you guys? Because if not, it’s a bit different – it’s actually in our First Amendment.

      • Hatgrease

        I’m sure you know that’s not true, nowhere in the first amendment does it mention anything about “separation of church and state”. The first amendment is in place to protect religious groups from persecution, not to protect the government from religious groups.

  • LutherW

    Only one thing I can agree with the Texas Republicans on:

    repudiates the humanistic doctrine that the state is sovereign over the affairs of men, the family and the church.

    But where did they dig that up? It is not a humanistic doctrine. Not the Constitution. – It starts with WE THE PEOPLE, who are thus sovereign over the Government.

  • Joseph

    As a Republican and an atheist, I can say that I vote Republican for the simple reason that I believe the policies a Republican administration and Congress would implement would be better for the nation than the policies the Democratic administration and Senate we currently have.

    I can overlook those parts of the Republican platform that invoke god because they are the most difficult to actually enact into concrete policy, and the priorities of the party are such that any attempts to do so would be entirely half-hearted. I’m interested in practical outcomes, and can overlook hyperbole in a written platform to get the outcomes I prefer.

    It should also be pointed out that the Democratic party platform also invokes “our God-given potential” and states “there is no conflict between supporting faith-based institutions and respecting our Constitution”, so it’s not like the Democrats are the party of unbridled secularism, either. Statements of its leaders also betray their willingness to invoke God and the Bible when it suits them (, so it’s not fair to say that the Republican party has a monopoly on such rhetoric.

  • Silo Mowbray

    “We affirm that the practice of homosexuality tears at the fabric of society and contributes to the breakdown of the family unit.”

    Now, apply the bullshit filter:

    “We affirm that we can’t handle the idea of two guys have buttsecks. We therefore will make it illegal for two guys to have buttsecks, so we can condemn yet one more thing that makes us uncomfortable, and we shouldn’t have to explain it rationally. It is our god-given right to be comfortable. Jesus in the Real America, amen.”

  • Guest

    I am an atheist, a woman, a lesbian, and fiscally conservative. I have never voted due to incompatable values with both mainstream parties. There needs to be a legitimate third party that is not simply an extension of the liberal or conservative ones currently in existence. The real irony of the conservative situation is that it takes the government not only ‘into the home’, but into the bedroom and ultimately the mind of a person. It violates far more the individual freedom of a person than the Democrats have by imposing bizarre and ultimately futile projects in a feeble attempt to ‘help’ the less fortunate. There is currently a strange way of looking at politics as though it should be concerned with our personal lives, when in fact it should be concerned only with the impersonal pertaining to economics, foreign policy, and, without infringing on freedom, ensuring freedom. I am well aware of the complication and delicacy of such a balance, but it seems as though no one is trying to keep the balance anymore. Both parties wish to tip the scale to their own, personal opinion. I am unsure if that fully answers your question, so to re-cap: while fiscally conservative, that is the only part of any current politics I agree with, and I do not vote for either party.

  • Antitheist

    I used to be a registered Republican but switched to independent. I couldn’t/wouldn’t vote for a Naiveacrat or a Retardican if you paid me. Anyone voting party lines is an uninformed fool. Gonna have to throw away my votes on 3rd party candidates. Incumbent is a dirty word. Vote them all out.

  • revaaron

    I think he’s just another chump confusing talking points and banner slogans with what is actually practiced and spelt out in the platform.

  • PsiCop

    Once upon a time, I was a Republican activist. Back when the Elder Bush was president, I joined my town’s GOP committee, ran for municipal office, and campaigned for local GOP candidates (mainly legislators). I was a delegate to GOP conventions (both local and state) a number of times. I stayed at it quite a while before I realized the party I belonged to was going around the bend. A lot of really nutty things were going on in the GOP but since they only gradually built up, I hadn’t noticed them until around 2000 (i.e. the Younger Bush’s first presidential campaign).

    Mind you, I was already a committed agnostic by the early 90s when I started. I was what one would call a “fiscal conservative” who did not care about so-called “social issues” like abortion. I was, then, and still am pro-choice and pro-freedom. At the time, especially in my home state of Connecticut, it was not uncommon among my fellow Republicans to be “fiscally conservative but socially liberal” (or FCSL).It was clear by the time the Younger Bush was elected, though, that the GOP had become thoroughly religionistic; that “social issues” had come to the fore; and that FCSLs such as myself were widely being condemned as “RINOs” (Republicans in name only). As the G.W. Bush administration proceeded, it was also clear that, once in power, no one is ever really “fiscally conservative”; government spending went up through his administration in spite of his having a GOP majority in Congress at times, meaning he could not blame this on a hostile Congress.

    By 2001 I had resigned from all my GOP positions, and am on record has having done so because the party had taken an irrational, intolerant, and militantly-religionistic turn that I simply could no longer be part of. “Fiscal conservatism” is literally not possible in this country, since spending money is an expression of political power, and everyone who has political power wants to express it as much as s/he can, at all times, and without regard to their campaign promises or espoused “fiscally conservative” philosophy. I was basically told not to let the door hit me on my rear end on my way out … the GOP (both the CT party machine and at a national level) is literally not interested in me any more and I’m happy to leave them to their own devices.

    One might ask why I haven’t joined the Democrats. The answer is, in the end, they’re no better. The Democratic party panders to its own constituency of special interests. Individual Democrat candidates and office-holders are every bit as conniving and self-serving as their Republican counterparts. I can no more join them, than I can remain a Republican. The bottom line is, I’m neither Left nor Right and as such am basically unrepresented by anyone holding any office anywhere. I’m a committed Cynicalist who does not trust any politicians, and who has long since stopped believing any of them gave a crap about me or anyone else. Elected officials, the parties, and ideologies don’t represent or support anyone but themselves. The sooner we understand we’re all being plundered, the better off we’ll be.

  • Epistaxis

    What about the other side of the equation? To identify as a Republican atheist is to identify with a demographic that shows open hostility both to you and to conservatism in general. There is something downright strange about wanting to belong to a community that expresses deep antipathy towards what you believe.

    Maybe that’s why more of them don’t.

  • revaaron

    What would be better? Obama governs as a moderate Republican- he’s father to the right then Reagan, Eisenhower, and Nixon on the majority of issues. If you appeal to let taxes, please show where Obama has raised taxes and also provide evidence that supply side economics actually works. Thanks!

    Before you go into tribal mode please be aware that I didn’t vote for Obama in 2008.

    • laursaurus

      Obama has been attending the Annual Prayer Breakfast since he was a Senator. He gave the keynote speech this year describing how Christ would have supported his plan to tax the rich. He quoted from the Gospels, too.

      • revaaron

        Not sure if this is an actual reply to be as the automated email claims… If not, ignore my reply.

        And? I mean, what does this prove? I’m not an Obama supporter, but I’d point out that mentioning his own personal motivation is an order of magnitudeless nutty than codifying it in the party platform.

  • revaaron

    Because most republicans think that humanism = secularism = Marxism = socialism = progressivism = liberalism = communism = nanny state.

    Funny how they claim to repudiate this straw doctrine only to advocate it in much of the rest of the document.

  • Raising_Rlyeh

     There is a lot more wrong with that study and its methods than just the comparison that Mark Regnerus uses in the study.

  • Shannon Barber

    Anyone who isn’t straight, white, male, evangelical,  and at 250k + a year in income -and yes you should have ALL of these qualities- voting republican is a fool. End of.

  • Jeff

    I’m a Libertarian, and that party platform is actually 100% compatible with my atheism.  Also, I’m not some Ron Paul nut-job before anyone goes there; I’m a Gary Johnson supporter. - Read the platform here for yourself before believing what anybody tells you about us.

  • Michael Caton

    I am a lifelong out, activist atheist and also a registered Republican.  I vehemently disagree with the national GOP on almost all social issues and have not ever voted for a Republican for president.  But SOMEONE has to show up at the GOP primary and be sane!  We need MORE atheist Republicans, not less.  Otherwise 1 of the 2 major parties will become even more dominated by the crazies than it already is (yes, this is actually possible).  So I exhort my otherwise fiscal conservative atheist brothers and sisters to stick it out in the GOP and help us drag the party back into reality so we can go to the polls and have one more spot on the ballot that a rational person can get behind. 

  • Buffy

    Atheist and Gay republicans–both groups who care more about their money than their rights and their lives. 

    • Bob

      I am a republican (and an atheist) simply for the fact that I care about my right to my money and to my own life.  

  • John J. Ronald

    This is why I stopped being a Republican back in 1992, when Bush Sr. openly embraced the Religious Right…back in the days of Ralph Reed & Pat “Culture War” Buchanan and such.  Reagan had done so also but was much more low-key about it.  My parents went for Perot that year and I voted absentee for Clinton (was studying abroad in Germany at the time and picked up my ballot at the US Consulate in Stuttgart).  After the 1992 RNC, I was like “F*ck me, I guess I’m a Democrat now.” (previously a moderate Republican but rather Hawkish on Defense/Foreign Policy but no longer)

    • laursaurus

      It’s funny how revisionist history takes form. Reagan ran against Jimmy Carter.  If religiosity had any influence in that election, Carter would have won in an historically-unprecedented landslide.  Did Reagan even attend church outside of appearances, weddings, or funerals? I’m not even sure what he was affiliated with denomination.
      Carter, OTOH, was Born-again Baptist, who confessed to  lusting in his heart

      From Wikipedia:
      From a young age, Carter showed a deep commitment to Christianity, serving as a Sunday School teacher throughout his life. Even as President, Carter prayed several times a day, and professed that Jesus Christ was the driving force in his life. Carter had been greatly influenced by a sermon he had heard as a young man, called, “If you were arrested for being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict you?”[22] 

      Although “personally opposed” to abortion, after the landmark US Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade, 410 US 113 (1973) Carter supported legalized abortion.[31] He did not support increased federal funding for abortion services as president and was criticized by the American Civil Liberties Union for not doing enough to find alternatives.[32] In March 2012, during an interview on The Laura Ingraham Show, Carter expressed his view that the Democratic Party should be more pro-life. He explained how difficult it was for him, given his strong Christian beliefs, to uphold Roe v. Wade while he was president.[33 

      This all the Reagan page mentions regarding religion:
      According to Paul Kengor, author of God and Ronald Reagan, Reagan had a particularly strong faith in the goodness of people, which stemmed from the optimistic faith of his mother, Nelle,[9] and the Disciples of Christ faith,[9] which he was baptized into in 1922.[10] For the time, Reagan was unusual in his opposition to racial discrimination, and recalled a time in Dixon when the local inn would not allow black people to stay there. Reagan brought them back to his house, where his mother invited them to stay the night and have breakfast the next morning.[11] 

      Sounds like Humanist Republican…maybe a closeted atheist?
      NOOOOO!  Not REAGAN!
      Don’t forget that he got his political start unionizing Hollywood. Thank God he came to his senses and stood up to the Air Traffic Controllers. We could be like Greece by now!

      • Stev84

        No matter his personal beliefs, Reagan courted the religious right for political reasons. He wanted or needed their support, so he pandered to them. Personally, I never claimed that he actually bought that stuff himself.

        • Hatgrease

          Obama has openly proposed doing what Reagan did, in 2008 he said that courting (or pandering as you put it) evangelical voters was a top priority and it did pay off in Virginia, North Carolina, and Indiana. Honestly I’d say Obama is relatively irreligious he just has to pander to the religious crowd with Rick Warren and such. I remember in the primary debates Obama, Edwards, and Clinton all tried to convince people that they pray twice a day and talk to god personally. So I’d agree you’re looking at the world through rose colored lenses, both Reagan and Obama have pandered to the religious voters, and both have seemingly won them.

  • Flarecarrot

    Atheism just means you don’t believe in God.

  • ruth

    It is clear from reading the comments that not all atheists are skeptics, not all atheists are rational, and not all atheists are humanists.    Frankly, I have never understood why a woman would be a Christian or a Republican.  But people do things that don’t make sense to me all the time.  I even do things that don’t make sense to me.  :)  

    • CJ

       I always figured it was because their husbands and fathers told them to…

    • Bob

      That’s ok.  I don’t understand how a rational person (male of female) could be a democrat 

  • Anontheist

    I went to the 2012 Texas GOP convention in Ft. Worth. I hid my (lack of) religious beliefs and just played the part because I wanted to do my best to infiltrate the party for Ron Paul. Time and time again I told myself that if these people even knew I was atheist I’d probably be stoned. I assure you I will be going for the Libertarian Party convention next time. 

  • Sam S.

    When you quote the GOP who want to make clear that “the Fourteenth Amendment’s protections apply to unborn children”, are you arguing being pro-life is incompatible with being an atheist? That makes no sense to me. 

  • David

    My views are best represented by the Libertarian party so I alwasy cast my vote for them.  I find it very distasteful however, that my party has no chance of winning an election. I am stuck living with a government filled with republicrats who praise jesus on a daily basis and have all of their hands in my pockets, relieving me of my hard earned money.  As an atheist, I have no political home. 

  • Dontpanic222

    I have some conservative positions but damn, they’re a bunch of lunatics. Just couldn’t bring myself to vote for one, either.

  • Earl G.

    I still don’t understand how women, LGBT, or lower-income people can support the GOP.  

    • Bob

      because you follow the democrat talking points like a religious nut follows the bible

  • Joseph

    Bear in mind that the Democrat party is hardly the most welcoming source of nurturing for atheists. The recent Gallup poll showed that while only 48% of Republicans would vote for an atheist, only 58% of Democrats would do so.

    When 42% of the party membership wouldn’t vote for you under any circumstances, that’s hardly a ringing endorsement.

  • Joseph Auclair

    It works just the same way with gay Republicans, of whom I know several. It makes sense for them in the same way it does for atheists or anyone else with enough wealth and enough income. Just as the Dems make more sense for ordinary folks, the working class, and the poor. The only people for whom it’s likely not too personally costly to vote on the basis of social issues are people in the vague middle of wealth and income. Others who do so are paying for the pleasure.

  • Vikingsfan210

    As a republican and an atheist, I think that there are a few flaws in your logic. One, atheism does not imply approval of gay marriage. While I’m an atheist and I DO NOT personally dislike gays, I think that allowing gays to marry would open a whole can of worms that people generally don’t consider. I believe in the moral fiber of America and I see gay marriage as one of many threats to traditional American society. This isn’t Europe. Two, you assume that atheists don’t want our society to be based on god. “Religion keeps the poor from killing the rich.” While I don’t believe in god, I sure love it that the commoners do. It saves me a lot of trouble.

    Even if I wanted religion removed from politics and society (which I don’t), conservatives would be the lesser of two evils. Liberals are too far removed from what is real. For example, I want welfare recipients to be drug tested. I get drug tested for my 6-figure, whte collar job. How, then, is it unfair to expect poor people to do the same?! Also, I’m not racist, but minorities get arrested and jailed more than whites do. It is a FACT. If facts are uncomfortable to you, then this life is not going to be an enjoyable one for you.

    • Jesse Melat

      I’m not a racist, but……   

      Keeping talkin’, man, you’re hilarious.  Please.      The “my six figure white collar” job part was awesome, too.    And then you go on to accuse liberals of being “out of touch”.   X D     You’re a _gem_, dude, a true _gem_.   
      Ok, one more thing: Am I right in assuming that you’re immediately capable of of telling anyone _precisely_ who John Galt is?   It just complete the clueless rich whitey cracker profile like a cherry on top of a sundae.    I am _glad_ for Ayn Rand, though..heaven help us if you guys actually got ahold of something competent, like Nietzsche. 

  • Bob

    Systems of government count far more than the beliefs of the individuals who might be at the helm.  You say you understand how one can desire a conservative form of government and still be an atheist.  And that is exactly why, even though I find their insistence on god and the bible to be annoying and sometimes offensive, I am a republican. 

    The republicans, for the most part, follow the doctrine that individuals should be free and that economies should be left alone.  As long as they act to maintain that system of government which our constitution does a pretty good job of creating, then they are a far better choice.  And when the only other party is openly against economic liberty then there is only one choice. 

    There is no such thing as a separation between economic freedom and social freedom.  You either are free to act in your own best interests or you are not.  The democrats operate under the belief that anything you do is subject to their approval.  They substitute the words “common good” in place of “god” and they then regulate your life to the point of forcing you to buy certain products, taxing earnings from your hard work and supporting causes you don’t approve of.  It is far more important that I stand in opposition to that than have to associate with some one worrying about a god. 

    And no matter haw many laws the republicans pass they will never force me to believe in some deity.  My brain can not be subjugated.  My means of earning a living can be and my choices of how I spend the fruits of my labor can be. 

    Also I’m pretty certain that Barry and his boys in the white house consider me just as big of an enemy for my beliefs in economic freedom and individual rights as the average republican does for rolling my eyes at their god. 

    (To preempt the obvious counterpoints: I know that there are many republicans who are lousy at maintaining a laissez faire government but the worst are still better than the average democrat.  The contraception argument is a red herring because it is ludicrous to think that not wanting to force a priest by law to give away free condems equates to outlawing safe sex.  Abortion is either killing a human or not a human.  Find an objective point at which a fetus becomes a person, draw the line there and I’ll support you.)

  • Hatgrease

    I am an Atheist Republican, I always love it when my Democrat friends tell how Jesus was a Socialist, just another good reason not to believe in him I say. Anyway to your points, there are plenty of pro-life Atheists, religion doesn’t really matter, if I felt that an abortion was any different from dropping eggs or shooting sperm into a condom I would not support it, if it was indeed murder I couldn’t support it. I’m sure there are plenty of anti-gay Atheists, I can’t see why but again its not really an attack on Secular people just homosexual people. I do not care if a teacher or student prays in school, that is their business, I’ve never understood this hostility to expression of religion among Atheists, I don’t care and it doesn’t affect me or you. I firmly believe in strong family values and from my own family experiences support a two parent household, if those two parents are both men I really don’t think that is a problem and of course I don’t want the government in those matters anyway but personally I am pro-family unless there is good reason like death, neglect, or abuse and single parents can be great parents. I am from New England, here the Republicans offer less government and nonsense, less infringement of my civil rights, and less waste of my money than Democrats. The Republican party is a long way from perfect but it has more potential than the Democrats. And I’m tired of being a voiceless Independent or Third Party voter.

    • Hatgrease

      And of course there is a big disconnect between local (town) Republicans and Federal, I wouldn’t vote for any GOP presidential candidate since Bob Dole and maybe as far as Gerald Ford before him. Town politics though I only support Republicans, they are the ones who don’t try to control my life, honestly they just want to keep taxes and spending and regulation of business and behavior down. I agree that atheists are far more likely to hate you for being Republican than Republican’s are for you being Atheist, they just don’t care really. Maybe in the bible belt but in New England they’ll accept you just fine.
      Vote Republican Local and State, Vote Green or Dem Federal and keep it all in check.

      • Jesse Melat

        This nowadays only leads to a lot of _nothing_ getting done, sir.    Newt Gingrich’s House was at least able to, when pressed, _see reason_ and compromise.    The Tea Party-tainted Congress has no such higher brain function.

  • Anton_Ego

    By the same token, why would a Catholic or a Jew be a Democrat?

  • Fucking Liberals

    Because all atheists support abortion. This is why I hate organized religion of any sorts, including the lack of religion. Somehow everyone of a certain type has to agree on every issue, even if it is just the belief that there is no divine deity.

  • tgmartin

    I’m from the UK and the concept of every elected official seemingly required to wear their religion on their sleeve is a very alien one here. Our Deputy PM is an atheist, half the the people who served in the cabinets of the likes of Tony Blair or Margaret Thatcher were atheists and it didn’t damage their careers at all. Even Churchill (whilst never declaring himself an atheist per se) was known to be a religious man and was generally quite dismissive of religion. It is a shame that atheists are so shut off from running for office in America and I wonder if any of us will live to see that change.

    • tgmartin

      I meant to say Churchill was NOT known to be a religious man.

  • Michael Woods

    I’m a Buddhist and a Republican. I’m for gay marriage and pro-choice. Some Republicans, like that one @$$hole who said raped women don’t get pregnant, are utter nuts.
    I think faith should be respected. You know, as long as you don’t shout “Accept my deity. ACCEPT IT!” or use it as an excuse to disobey the law.

    Even if I was an Independent, I would still vote Right Wing, the Left is just bat**** insane.

    • Octoberfurst

      You do realize that you belong to a party that despises you right? Any Republican who is for gay marriage and is pro-choice is considered anathema in today’s GOP. At best you are considered a RINO–Republican In Name Only. And the fact that you’re not a Bible believing Christian makes you even more suspect. I have no idea why you want to be part of such a party. (And you think the Left is “batshit insane”? Seriously? That’s the textbook definition of today’s GOP.) But perhaps you can do some good there. Change a few hearts and minds maybe. (I doubt it but you can try.) Good luck to you.

  • Papabjoe

    I am an atheist and a conservative. I think the whole premis is dumb. There are very legitimate and rational reasons to support the republican party. The republicans have a better understanding of the market place and economics than the democrats do. Like it or not, the republicans understand the world of business. And the number one thing that turns me off about the democratic party is their blind faith in government. I find myself agreeing with my democrat friends in principle on many issues, but for some reason, there exists this belief that every social ill can be solved with the passage of a few laws, and the organization of a few bureaucracies. I understand why my democratic friends support that party. But I also see very real reasons why the democratic party is no more friendly to dispassionate and pragmatic government than the republican party.

  • Adrian

    There is a reason for the democratic party affiliation of an overwhelming majority of Atheists . They have substituted God for Society (the greater ‘god’).

  • Jude

    I believe the Founding Fathers created the world’s first Constitutional Republic, which is a better form of Government compared to other governments of the time (Monarchy, aristocracy, dictatorships). Christianity is the United State’s religion based on the fact that the Founding Fathers were Protestant Christians of different denominations (Hence, the First Amendment of the Bill of Rights). Christianity is part of our culture, and its practice should no be forbidden from society. It’s the lack of tolerance and education which makes Christianity so unappealing today. Our society has changed over the past 300 years. Science has shed light on so many things, which makes the Christian idea so much more comical and illogical.

    I consider myself a Conservative Republican. I believe in lower taxes for all, a much smaller, less intrusive government, a strong military, well-maintained borders, etc.

    And I’m an Atheist. Regions are interesting as a culture, but unnecessary in government in this day and age. I do not stand with anti-gay rights, and any laws made based simply on Christian bliefs in any way.

  • CagedWalnut

    Nice job Jeff.

  • Street Hawk

    I’ve a problem that is kind of the flip side of this coin: I’m a Christian liberal. Granted, there are a lot of us that you can easily find at Yale Divinity School, Claremont School of Theology, Harvard Divinity School, University of Chicago Divinity School, etc. You get the picture. But, once I step outside of the safety of academia every atheist who I encounter thinks that I believe in the supernatural and that I read scripture with the same hermeneutic as when I read Origin of Species, or that I believe in some cosmic Santa Claus who rewards blind devotion and sends smart people critical of orthodoxy and dogma to Hell. The worst part is, the fundamentalist Christians assume the same thing about me because it is indeed what they believe.
    My focus in grad school was the relationship between science and religion. I loved it. Still do. When people ask me my religion I now say “the last five pages of Wittgenstein’s Tractatus.” LOL While I’m being honest, they don’t care to probe any further after that.
    Perhaps one day everyone will be more enlightened and stop assuming that they know how and why everyone else that is labelled with or identified by certain designators will stop taking those labels so seriously and start talking in and effort to understand what it obviously beyond their narrow comprehension.

    The GOP won a lot of elections by siding with the Christian right in the early 70′s, particularly after Roe v Wade, but it will hurt them in the long run, and already is, if they don’t get their heads out of their own tushes.

  • Lady Liberty

    I am a Republican and might be described as an atheist, though I find pure atheism to be a rather dreary proposition which is why I reserve the right to believe in gods and goddesses when it suits me (e.g. when I feel a need to be spiritual). And I know what you mean with regard to how most members of the party equate their own religious beliefs with a political agenda and I see this tendency as extremely harmful both to the public and to the party itself. Even James Madison (a christian) argued very strongly for separation of church and state. But consider where we would be if everyone who found the current Republican party platform to be the sole force that drives them to the only other game in town (third parties aren’t even given automatic ballot access). Do you really want a 1 party system? I choose to look at the 70% of the Republican platform that I do agree with and am always seeking others of similar mind to get involved in the party so that reason can rule the day.

    Having said all of that, I will say too that many of the values that have motivated the party have come from Christian values. For example the notion of inalienable rights and of course the reason the party was founded in the first place…to stop the spread of slavery into the new territories. All of these were driven by a moderate Christian perspective. Christians are not all bad, it is only when they try to shove their philosophy down other peoples throats by force that we end up with a problem. Interestingly enough it is exactly at these times they also depart from the tenets of their faith and in so doing they act against their god in the name of their god. I am quite sure that if he were real, he would be pretty pissed off at them for doing this.

  • Wtmln1

    I completely agree with Jeff and am in a very similar position, it’s glad to know I am not alone. Although I will go ahead and say I am pro-life and pro-traditional marriage.