A Theologian Talks About Being an Atheist Ally

When it happens, you have to give credit where it’s due. Here’s Christian theologian Caryn Riswold talking about why it was wrong for the Democrats to put God back into their party platform even though the reference wasn’t needed:

My beliefs in and about God do not need to be imposed on everyone else. That’s not what a pluralistic democracy looks like. This issue is also what has been at the core of so much of this year’s discussions about religious freedom and choice. I don’t need to impose my beliefs and practices on the Catholic bishops and I surely don’t want them to do that to me.

But the thing is, politicians and political parties get away with it. Why? Christian privilege. The ability to presume that everyone thinks and believes like you when you are part of a majority faith.

I don’t get too worked up when politicians say “God bless you” at the end of a speech, but I think atheists and our theist allies should be loud and vocal in our opposition to policies that promote religion (like expanding the office of faith-based initiatives). It’s good to know we have religious people like Caryn on our side. Their comments carry so much weight; if only they would speak out more often.

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.