Oklahoma City Mayoral Candidate is Courting the Atheist Vote

Dr. Ed Shadid, a current Oklahoma City councilman, is running for mayor and has a bit of an uphill climb ahead of him since he’s running against the incumbent, popular Mayor Mick Cornett‎.

Dr. Ed Shadid

It’s worth noting, though, that Shadid is courting the atheist vote. According to a now-deleted Tweet, Chas Stewart of the Oklahoma Atheists Godcast mentioned that Shadid attended one of his group’s events.

You don’t see that happening often, especially in a state like Oklahoma. It doesn’t mean Shadid is an atheist himself, but so far, his visit doesn’t seem to have hurt him. Progress!

Now if only Shadid would stop talking about how he wants to raise property taxes and taking pictures with children wearing shirts with the words “Penis” and “Vagina” on them, he might have a better chance of winning this thing:

(Thanks to Scott for the link!)

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.

  • A3Kr0n

    I notice Shadid is the only one not wearing a t-shirt, and probably the only one that should.

  • Cyanmoon1

    I’m trying really, really hard to come up with a scenario to explain why those kids are wearing those shirts. Google has failed me, as has my normally-lively imagination. Anyone?

    • Baby_Raptor

      Maybe they’re advocating for better sex-ed?

      That’s all I’ve got.

      • renegadeoboe

        They are advocating for (and providing) better sex-ed for high-risk teens “without judgment, blame, shame, or guilt.” The shirts say “Penis is not a bad word” and “Vagina is not a state on the East Coast.” It’s a campaign to raise awareness about how the language we taboo is harmful. This photo was taken at an AIDS walk.

        High five to this guy, and boo Hemant for not doing your homework.

        • ginalex

          I don’t think it’s that Hemant didn’t do his homework, it’s just that some people who may vote for him could be initially shocked and turned off by the T-shirts and then won’t vote for him.

        • Cyanmoon1

          Thanks for enlightening me! I think of myself as extremely liberal and progressive, and I am all about education and breaking down taboos, yet I notice there is something about seeing preteens in ‘penis’ and ‘vagina’ shirts that makes me a little uncomfortable. I am willing to say that this is more about me and my issues than it is about the kids and their shirts. I will have to think more on this.

          • http://www.flickr.com/photos/chidy/ chicago dyke, TOWAN

            please do. think about this:

            if the shirts had said “kidney” and “toenail” would you have been offended?

            the penis and vagina are parts of the human body. ask yourself this simple question: why do those words make you uncomfortable?

            the root of the answer is… religion. and the nonsense that suggests we should shield reproductively active young people from the knowledge of how to protect and deal with those particular organs, safely and maturely.

            • Cyanmoon1

              It’s not that I’m offended, and I don’t in any way see these as ‘dirty words,’ but something about seeing these shirts on young kids makes me feel uncomfortable. I understand that the words ‘penis’ and ‘vagina’ have meaning and purpose apart from their identity as sex organs, but that’s where my mind jumps when I hear/read them; this has something to do with why I feel a bit squicky seeing them in this context. I’ve owned that it’s more to do with me than with the shirts. I was never religious, so that’s not where it comes from, but I do have issues with my own self- and body-image. I’m all for early and comprehensive reproductive/sex/health education and I do use correct terminology with my kids. I will continue to reflect and examine my feelings about this.

          • HollowGolem

            It’s about the culture around you. In fact, they have the words on the shirts specifically BECAUSE of attitudes like the one you’ve likely had pressed into you by the society around you.

            Medical terms should not be dirty words.

    • Rip Van Winkle

      You looked at the shirts they were wearing, but not at the poster they were holding? The poster tells you who they are, and you can figure it out from there.

  • GoogleFu Master

    It seems my last comment didn’t make it through. Anyway, the organization is legit, just use your googlefu.

  • DKeane123

    Educating kids about the consequences of high risk behaviors. Still, how many voters are actually going to look this up? – When we still have people talking about death panels and Obamacare.
    http://teenempower.org/

    • Rip Van Winkle

      Fox News was still on about Benghazi, last I was forced to see them.

  • AlienGiraffe

    These t-shirts are provocative, but I’m glad they provoked me into googling Teen emPower. http://teenempower.org/about-teen-empower/about-teen-empower

    From their website:

    “We are not an “Abstinence Only” program. We prefer to take the realistic approach that Knowledge is Power. In our society, we do a great job of telling young people how to be safe driving long before they get behind the wheel of a car and teach them to swim safely before swim on their own. But we fail to teach them about sexuality because, knowingly or not, we’ve been trained not to discuss healthy sexuality and very often we discourage the correct terminology for body parts. We have to change our mindset if we want to see progress.”

    The organization promotes a message I would love to see more of in this country. I wish more politicians would be comfortable supporting groups that promote healthy sexuality and sex education based on facts instead of fear or shame.

    • http://www.flickr.com/photos/chidy/ chicago dyke, TOWAN

      never forget: jeebus was born of an unmarried teen mother, who was probably too poor to have a good education.

      in other words: their role model.

      • Artor

        It’s amazing that she was able to pass off that whopper to her parents. “No really! I’m still a virgin! YHVH came to me in a shower of gold and knocked me up!”
        I guess uneducated parents are a problem too.

        • Pofarmer

          Fwiw, the Virgin Birth story probably didn’t get incorporated until the second century.

  • QuestioningKat

    He has very nice sparkling eyes. He will get the women’s vote unless they confuse his name with a middle-eastern Muslim terrorist. Sorry folks, that’s how some people vote.

    • http://www.dustbury.com/ Charles G. Hill

      Not going to be an issue. There have been Shadids in this town for the better part of a century, and pretty much all of them have been regarded as sterling members of the community, which comes in handy when it comes to name recognition, a major factor in municipal races, which until recently were known for dismal turnout.

  • Bdole

    I have no problem with the T-shirts or the message. I don’t care one way or another about prop taxes in principle. I’m heartened to hear Mr. Shadid is not distancing himself from atheists. Still, I can’t help wondering “What the hell are you thinking?! Are you sure you’re really trying to get elected in OK?” Moreover, he has a clearly Arabic surname, “shadid” means “strong” or “harsh” in Arabic.

  • Chas Stewart

    I felt so guilty about that tweet after it was picked up by a local blog so i deleted it. I truly appreciate Ed Shadid because of his ability and courage to apply reason toward local issues and don’t want this news to affect his race. He attended that AOK event well before he opened his mayoral campaign for the record.

  • Chuck Farley

    Even if he doesn’t win he’s doing his part to move the Overton window. The more the public sees atheists doing things like this the more accepted they will be in the public’s eye.


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