New Study Shows That 6% of Tea Party Members Do Not Believe in God

According to the 2013 American Values Survey just released by the Public Religion Research Institute, 27% of Libertarians have no religious affiliation.

That makes sense, I guess — there are plenty of non-religious people who want smaller government and more individual freedoms.

But who the hell are these 9% of “unaffiliated” Tea Party members? (More to the point, most of the people in that group — 6% of the Tea Party overall — don’t believe in God!)

Fewer than 6-in-10 (58%) libertarians believe that God is a person with whom one can have a relationship, one-quarter (25%) believe God is an impersonal force in the universe, and 16% report that they do not believe in God. Nearly three-quarters (73%) of Americans who identify with the Tea Party hold a personal view of God, 19% believe God is an impersonal force, and only 6% report they do not believe in God.

I’ve never met a Tea Party atheist, but I’m pretty sure celestial-teapot-creator Bertrand Russell would still disapprove when the party has degenerated into one consisting of so many ignorant, hateful people.

At least some of you Tea Partiers have to be reading this site, right? Tell us who you are! We won’t bite…

(Via Religion News Service)

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.

  • Guest

    Bueller?… Bueller?… Bueller?

  • The Captain

    So 1 in 10 people who say they affiliate with the new “media popular” group really have no idea what they or the group stands for. How is this surprising?

  • C Peterson

    You’re talking about a class of people, many of whom probably lack the reasoning skills to even understand the questions asked in a survey. More to the point, they represent people with actively damaged thinking skills, and with a demonstrable inability to engage in critical thinking. So I don’t think you can expect to make any rational sense out of attempts to pigeonhole their beliefs. It’s like trying to rationally analyze the belief system of a schizophrenic.

    • JuneAbend

      Wow, hate much? I ask you to read through your statement above, but pretend that the people in question were blacks, gays, women, etc. I dare say the page would be flaming with indignant rebuttals.

      Further, apparently those who disagree with you must have “damaged thinking skills.” Please.

      I am a life-long atheist. I am a financial conservative. I am a social liberal. Put me and those few (here) like me in whatever category pleases, but I would appreciate not being called imbecilic for wanting a smaller government, and more individual action rather than politically correct groupthink.

      In short, I think Hemant has raised a great question. I often wish we would devote more time here to fighting the corrosive evil which is organized religion. Thanks for hearing me out.

      • Art_Vandelay

        Just curious…how do you vote? Let’s say that there’s a candidate for POTUS that talks a lot about cutting a bunch of gov’t programs that you deem not to be cost-worthy but he also wants to ban gay marriage at the federal level, criminalize abortion, and let’s say expand faith-based initiatives. The other person is pretty much the opposite. What’s more important to you? I only ask because I’m not necessarily averse to trimming government either but I just can’t vote in favor of social issues that I disagree with.

        • JuneAbend

          Art, you’ve kinda stacked the deck on me, but given only those two positions, I would vote for my “liberal” social positions, while hoping fiscal sense could come later. Freedoms of choice would be very hard to fix later, for the sake of (some) immediate economic improvement.

      • C Peterson

        Last time I checked, blacks, gays, and women, as a group, don’t claim our President was born in another country. They don’t claim our President is a Muslim. They don’t believe that it’s acceptable to create any amount of collateral damage in order to take down the current government. If they did, I’d have no problem attacking their reasoning skills, as well.

        There is nothing remotely hateful in my comment. It’s a simple assertion of the highly defensible position that a significant percentage of those identifying as “Tea Party” are seriously irrational.

  • invivoMark

    Wait, there are black Tea Partiers?? Oh, wait, 1% is within the margin of error. There are just white Tea Partiers, and Tea Partiers who can’t fill in the right bubble.

    • SattaMassagana

      FWIW: E.W. Jackson, Dr. Ben Carson are a couple famous ones. Check out Jackson’s entries on Right Wing Watch, very pleasant fellow ;)

      • baal

        Emphasis on ‘ones’. They are countable.

      • GubbaBumpkin

        Dr. Ben Carson

        Carson is also a neurosurgeon and a Creationist, so seeing inconsistent thinking from him is not a real surprise.

  • dfghdfgh

    I am not a “Tea Partier”, however I have some close relatives that are deeply involved therein, and I agree with and support a number of their positions – limited government, lower taxes, free market, individual rights. I oppose “redistribution of wealth” , I oppose citizenship of illegal immigrants that does not require a first step of them returning to their country of origin/citizenship. I oppose the mandates of the ACA and deeply hope that it will eventually be repealed.

    But as an atheist, I oppose their ideas that the US is a “Christian” nation or was founded as such. I support the Pledge of Allegiance, but only in its pre-1954 form before it was reworded to imply our nation was “under” an imaginary diety. I consider both Glenn Beck and Bill O’Reilly to be complete lunatics IRT to American History. I also don’t care what religion Obama is. The TP’s rail against “Islam”, and some of their points are good – but they apply to ALL religions, not just Islam. (They are of course blind to this)

    You can imagine the dilemma I face at the voting booth. If only there was a strong fiscally conservative but non-religious candidate.

    • dfghdfgh

      … On the (admittedly rare) occasion that I find myself participating in the PoA, I mouth “under NO God” in place of what the sheep are saying. Unfortunately, due to certain delicate family reasons, I cannot become too vocal about this for now, or I’d face some unacceptable consequences. That said, those reasons have a set expiration date, and I hope to be much more outspoken at that time.

    • eric

      only there was a strong fiscally conservative but non-religious candidate.
      I am not sure how you square “fiscally conservative” with “lower taxes.” We cannot currently pay for our expenditures; reducing revenue at this point is being less fiscally conservative.

      • dfghdfgh

        fiscally conservative = LOWER expenditures. Slash government programs that spend $10 in overhead to give $1 away. LESS government “programs”. Cut federal government back to its constitutional duties.

        • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

          If you can find a government program that wasteful, go for it.

          I wish you luck. You’ll need it.

          • Marc

            Every year my college goes on a spending spree right before the end of the budget season…because they have to spend it and want the same budget next year… tell me that’s not wasteful feminerd

            • smrnda

              This is wasteful, but it’s not waste that is going to be solved by slash and burn style libertarian/conservative ‘drown government in a bathtub’ small government policies without causing more harm than good.

              Another issue – how much money are they spending and on what? What % of the total budget is this? What is it being spent on? One department at a university I worked at once used the end of the year surplus on painting some classrooms, another year it was new office furniture, another year I recall them getting some new carpet. This isn’t throwing the money away on expensive fine-dining for a small handful of higher-ups.

              Do you think private industry is any less wasteful? Don’t higher ups expect brand new office furniture all of the most expensive variety? Lots of company sponsored travel? The costliest food for eating out or catering their own events? First class flight? A whole mess of other perks? Shit, some companies spend company money on ‘business outings’ to strip clubs.

              • Marc

                I was asked to find a governmental program that was wasteful by feminerd and I quickly pointed out an intrinsically wasteful characteristic of every budget program. Pointing out situations of corruption or excess of salesman ship is a redherring at worst and a poor analogy at least The Tea Party was originally founded on the idea of governmental reform and financial reform. I believe (and this is my opinion) that they made the same mistake that Occupy Wall street did… no concrete goals… and thus both movements staggered

                • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

                  I wasn’t aware that saving up money for a capital improvement was wasteful. Damn, I guess I shouldn’t fix my driveway then- saving up income over time by cutting spending in other places is clearly wasteful, and I should spend it all as it comes in.

                  Also, I asked you to find government programs that meet your own definition of too wasteful to continue- that is, programs with $10 in overhead to $1 in benefits. So far, you are 0 for 1.

                • Marc

                  Sorry Feminerd … when I originally read your post I read it as ‘if you can find a governmental program that ‘is’ wasteful’ … so I figured my example would be a good one… the devil is in the details

                • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

                  Oh, there’s always going to be money wasted. Private, public, a cooperation between the two … you will never have 100% efficiency. The question is if government programs waste more money than private, and the answer to that almost always is going to be no.

                  In one fairly extreme example, Medicaid has 3% overhead. Private insurance companies range from 10% to 30% overhead. Who is being wasteful now?

                • Marc

                  I dont know Feminerd … shouldn’t the issue be… does it waste more than it has to???

                • Armanatar

                  You can assert that Medicaid wastes more than it must, and you can find data to either support or refute that claim, but with those numbers you cannot reasonably assert that private enterprise is the less wasteful option and we should ditch Medicaid in favor of private insurance.

                • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

                  Define “has to”. No one sets out to waste money. There is going to be some waste, but holding government programs to impossible efficiency standards is really fucking stupid, if you’ll pardon my French. We really only have three options- public, private, and hybrid between the two. If public gets the job done with less waste than private, then we can call government more efficient that corporations.

                  I repeat: Medicaid has 3% overhead. Private insurance companies range from 10% to 30% overhead. Who is being wasteful now?

                • smrnda

                  RBK, unless you have changed your name, you were not asked any questions on this thread as I see no posts by you.

                  My point about ‘waste’ is that if some level of waste is inherent in any program, AS YOU SAY, then throwing a hissy fit over government waste is silly, as there will, inherently, be waste in any program.

                  Comparing the two is totally valid, because we can’t criticize government for ‘wasting money’ unless we have some standards by which we can judge any entity for ‘waste’ in achieving its goals. Apparently, according to most libertarians I talk to, NO business can ever ‘waste.’

                  In the end, the issue seems to be simply a disdain for government existing at all, as I haven’t seen many tea partiers who can stop screaming and yelling long enough to even explain, sensibly, what they are against. Talking about ‘waste’ and ‘fiscal reform’ – these are empty and meaningless without specifics, and I never really hear any. I also never hear anything about raising the historically low tax rates – you would think that, if we experience a budget shortfall while we have cut taxes, raising taxes would at least be on the table, particularly while wages have stagnated for nearly a decade for most workers, which is something markets tend not to solve.

                  But with your ‘college waste’ example – it’s a piddling, trivial example of something that I wouldn’t even really call waste. I have seen the same thing happen, and in all cases, the money was spent on something with some utility, which put money into the local economy. So far, nobody has been able to pull out the magic $10 overhead for $1 help from any government program because it’s just an empty talking point.

                • Marc

                  What you are doing is using the fallacy of the incomplete comparison to try to justify the acceptance of wasteful programs. There needs to be no standard to reference to judge this criteria… and your call for one is as bad as a five year old trying to lame blame on something that he sees as worse…its a deflection that is not worthy of a critical thinker.

                  ‘the issue seems to be simply a disdain for government existing at all’ That is a ridiculous statement … making something as efficient as possible does not mean hatred toward the original subject matter … ( why dont you just say, you dont believe in god, you are just mad at him … this is the same argument you are using…which is dumb)

                  ‘as there will, inherently, be waste in any program.’ I agree, but this does not mean that you give up on reducing waste in a program.

                  ‘But with your ‘college waste’ example – it’s a piddling, trivial example of something that I wouldn’t even really call waste.’ Do you really think that my college example is the only budget program that shares this trait? Tell me you disagree with my assessment that every program doesn’t spend all its excess cash to keep its budget the same or higher.

                  ‘the money was spent on something with some utility, which put money into the local economy.’ ahh the whole ‘it has one positive effect therefore we should condone it argument’… do I really need to refute this claim??

                  ‘as I haven’t seen many tea partiers who can stop screaming and yelling long enough to even explain, sensibly, what they are against’ couldnt agree more…which is why I mentioned that one of the core failings of the Tea Party was no concrete goals… of course watch this … ‘as I haven’t seen many Occupy Wall Streeters who can stop screaming and yelling
                  long enough to even explain, sensibly, what they are against’ … so they aren’t the only one who failed at direction…

                  by the way …im not this RBK … I followed this link via Atheism Rebooted on reddit … just so you know…:)

                • smrnda

                  I’m opposed to wasteful programs, but I first have to be shown, concretely, what program is wasteful, how this waste is being measure, and how wasteful it is, and what proposed solutions there are. The example brought up (spend the budget at the end) didn’t strike me as particularly compelling because I’ve seen that happen. I’ve also seen budgets reduced regardless of what a department spent the year before when revenues fell. It just seemed a bad example for waste, kind of like saying that someone is ‘wasting’ money by not spending an hour traveling to save a total of $.20 My point about the local economy is that, in the end, the *example* of government waste provided was just a shit example.

                  Not all programs spend all the money allocated to them, but this depends a lot on how programs are funded and what happens when there are unused funds. However, making funding more complicated can also cause a great deal more work and decrease one’s ability to predict year to year what expenses will be, or how hard it would be for a department to petition for extra money in case they fell short. One reason for the ‘uniform budget’ is probably just to make year to year calculations easier.

                  I agree that telling a department that their budget will decrease if they don’t spend all their money means they will spend it all, but I still don’t agree that it’s necessarily waste because the amount of overage may not be significant. I think it would be better to either allow them to retain some % of the surplus, or to only reduce the budget after a few years of consistent under-spending, but it just seemed like a seriously weak example.

                  Just to make a point that I can identify waste – most universities end up employing a lot of service staff. A great many higher-up service staff (supervisors and such) can end up making a great deal of $$$ for jobs that really aren’t that difficult, but a major problem there is nepotism.

                  My take on the gripes at government ‘waste’ are that a sizable portion of Tea Party/Libertarian types pretty much view *all* government programs as waste – people tend to commit, ideologically, to what they believe to be the proper role of government, and then decide that any $ spent on something they don’t like is waste, regardless of utility.

                  The problem with Occupy was that not enough people had concrete demands – problems were sometimes well-identified but with no consensus for what should be done, you can’t really ‘succeed’ since there’s no way of measuring progress. The problem with the Tea Party seems to be the opposite – well-defined demands (defund almost all government programs, slash taxes, deregulate business, eventually ‘stockpile guns’ seems to enter) but without an explanation for exactly why these things are linked to any current problem nor how they will improve things. Some even seem to suggest that if these actions lead to worse outcomes, it’s still good somehow. I have spoken with libertarians and tea partiers who think that if their programs were put into place, lots of people would starve, more people would be trapped in poverty, and they’re still for it, so I suspect a great deal of the opposition to government *anything* is the belief that limited government is an intrinsic good, not good because of what i does for someone’s quality of life. A lot of political discussions go nowhere because some people are utilitarian and others are not, so there’s no means to persuade the other side.

            • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

              Is it $10 in overhead to get $1 in benefits? No.

              Otherwise, I defer to smrnda’s answer.

        • GubbaBumpkin

          fiscally conservative = LOWER expenditures

          Once upon a time, fiscally conservative meant that you don’t spend more than you take in. As for constitutional duties, there’s that whole promote the general welfare thing. And don’t you feel like a hypocrite complaining about government spending on The Internet, which was invented by the government? Go scratch your complaints into a clay tablet with a sharp stick.

          • Stev84

            There is also the fact that in the last few decades, spending always rose under Republican governments and fell during Democratic governments. Republicans love to throw away money. Just on different stuff than the Democrats. Republicans also love welfare. As long as it is for corporations and rich people.

            The federal government also has less employees today than other Bush.

        • smrnda

          Could you provide me with some actual facts and figures to demonstrate that this is happening and if so, what programs are doing this? On what do you base your assumption that there exist programs that spend $10 to give $1 away, or is this just some unsubstantiated talking point you’re throwing out? If you’re going to get outraged over something, please make sure it actually exists.

      • Crazy Russian

        It makes sense if you are rich, never been poor, and don’t give a shit about those who are. Let’s cut taxes, and screw the vast majority of the people — I want that boat, dammit!

      • C.L. Honeycutt

        Aside from the extra “o”, watch out when pasting quotes in front of existing text. DISQUS will automatically move your cursor to the very end of your post when you do that, messing up the whole damn thing when you try to close the brackets.

    • ShoeUnited

      And what do you propose be cut and where do you propose the revenue would come from?

      • dfghdfgh

        I believe the budget process should start with the amount of actual revenue, subtract the interest and principal required to service the debt, and then proceed with bills to allocate it, right up until its all been spent. Once there is no more, done. Over. No more spending. Our elected representatives should be required to prioritize with the understanding that every dollar they spend on X, is unavailable to spend on Y.

        • baal

          The Great Depression and other similar events in other countries shows that this idea is suicide in a starkly falling economy.

        • smrnda

          But the amount of actual revenue is a product of taxation policies which have varied greatly over time. Taxes on high earners were higher under Eisenhower, for example.

        • The Vicar

          Agreed, on three conditions:

          1. Taxes on the rich go back to the levels they had when Reagan got into office. All loopholes get removed.
          2. Corporations are required to pay taxes which are, at a minimum, equal to the bonuses they pay employees PLUS the dividends they pay stockholders PLUS 50% of executive compensation. Since both of the first two are supposedly “extra” money, that should be easy, and since executives are statistically vastly overcompensated now, it shouldn’t be difficult to squeeze out some cash.
          3. No more external military. At all. No declaring war, no more bases overseas, no more spying. All that gets cut immediately. (Shaves over 50% off the discretionary budget right to start with, so you ought to be happy with the idea.)

          • smrnda

            All said, I like this plan. Do you have any idea how to handle offshore accounts?

        • God’s Starship

          If you get your way, I hope you enjoy your triple dip recessions… at best if you’re lucky.

  • http://danieltuttle.com/ Daniel

    There’s always a few of those self-loathing S.E Cupp atheist types in any conservative group.

  • Dean Hiler

    I used to be Tea Party. It was born of people desiring less government, and FISCAL conservatism.
    SOCIAL conservatives hijacked it. They want MORE government interference on social issues. WTF. The OPPOSITE of what it was about.

    • dfghdfgh

      Hear Hear! One of the main “parties” is hijacked by theocrats, the other by big government tax/waste/spenders

      • ShoeUnited

        Can you honestly look at the real data and distinctly tell me which is which?

        • GubbaBumpkin

          Can you honestly look at the real data and distinctly tell me which is which?

          Bleep yes. A very large percentage of the theocrats are now in one party, and if you can’t see that, I have to wonder about your familiarity with reality.

          • CottonBlimp

            I think he was objecting to the idea that Democrats are “hijacked” by big taxers, or that their policies on waste or spending are visibly distinct from Republicans.

      • smrnda

        The problem with ‘tax waste spend’ is that whether or not something is waste is totally subjective. Is a public park waste? Are food stamps waste? Are arts programs in schools waste? The one thing that seems to unify all libertarians is a belief that all government spending is, necessarily waste, unless it’s protecting private property.

        To me, that’s like arguing with a Xtian who believes in presuppositional apologetics – they’ve already signed onto a few beliefs (like ‘the Bible is true’) that, by means of circular reasoning, prevent any arguments against them from being made.

        If you could identify specific expenditures which you thought were waste, and I disagreed, how would we resolve this?

      • basenjibrian

        You’re kidding, aren’t you? When has the Republican Party or the “conservative” movement been about small government and budgetary limits? Look at Reagan…Bush…etc.
        Miltary boondoggles and intrusive Virtue Police enforcement of fundamnetalist Christian cost money!

    • Pofarmer

      Right there with ya Dean.

    • eric

      Sorry, not buying it. If the movement were about fiscal conservativism, it would’ve started when Bush started wiping out the budget surplus Clinton put in place. Where was the T.E.A. movement when we went from a surplus to a deficit…in 2002?
      I am not questioning your motivation. But I think you were duped if you thought fiscal responsibility was the primary motive. This was an anti-Obama movement. At best, just standard Dem-GOP tribalism. At worst, tribalism with a nasty undercurrent of racism.

      • Dean Hiler

        It started when the debt started getting scary big. Our country goes into debt once in a while and it’s fine. The Tea Party started when the interest on the debt started getting exponential. The Tea Party’s issues were the debt and government spending/reach.

        • Guest

          *

        • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

          You … do realize that debt amount isn’t the important part, but debt ratio to GDP? And that nations who run balanced budgets (ie no yearly deficit) enter recessions within a few years? It’s like clockwork. Carrying some debt is good- it’s like having a mortgage. Yeah, it’s a fuckton of debt, but it’s investing that debt into the future.

          Now, we should be using our debt money to actually invest in the future, but that’s another story. Our refusal to invest in childhood education, daycare, and infrastructure is truly amazingly stupid.

        • baal

          Did you see the debt getting attention during the Bush the Lesser years? It exploded but we hardly heard a peep about it.

        • eric

          Here is a graph of debt-to-GDP for the modern era.
          Now personally, I think their green line is pure bunkum. But that steep slope up did start under Bush. Where were you then?
          Dude, the TEA movement a politically tribal movement. Fiscal responsibility is secondary to standard partisan politics. There’s no particular shame in that – most political movements are like that. But this notion that it isn’t? Get over it.

          • Pofarmer

            Take a look at when the “Bush deficits” really shot up. It happened when a certain party took over both the house and Senate in about oh, 2006, which, also, is the last time we passed a budget.

            • Stev84

              More like the time the Iraq surge happened and the war in Afghanistan intensified. Which – together with the massive economic crisis in 2008 – is were most of the deficit comes from.

            • http://abb3w.livejournal.com/ abb3w

              Which may be evidence toward the thesis that Democrats are lousy at controlling the debt and deficits. Unfortunately, that’s a separate question from the one at hand, of what triggered the Tea Party, and why these vast majority of these “fiscal conservatives” have almost no record of protesting prior to January 20, 2009.

              • Pofarmer

                I think you’d be surprised. There were an awful lot of folks that really weren’t happy with Bush’s deficits and spending, and they REALLY weren’t happy with the TARP bailouts, etal, and then when the big spending really kicked in in 08 or so it finally became too much to bear. Plus, the no budget thing got to be a biggie. The main responsibility of Congress is to pass a budget, and they can’t even do that?

                • http://abb3w.livejournal.com/ abb3w

                  Except all of those things were under Bush; which again, does not explain why these vast majority of these “fiscal conservatives” have almost no record of protesting prior to January 20, 2009.

                • Pofarmer

                  Yes, they were under Bush. He should have vetoed more and he didn’t. I don’t think he wanted any more confrontation than he had to have at that point. Besides, wouldn’t the left have been screaming bloodh murder if he had started vetoing democrat spending? There was no good way out for him, at that point.

                • http://abb3w.livejournal.com/ abb3w

                  Which does not explain why the right wasn’t “screaming bloodh murder” over it at the time, nor why these vast majority of these “fiscal conservatives” have almost no record of protesting prior to January 20, 2009.

                • Pofarmer

                  I don’t know exactly who you mean by “the right”. I was on a couple of pretty conservative message boards at the time, and nobody was real happy about increased deficit spending. It took things to really get ramped up to finally get some action. Remember, the tea party, at least originally, was a pretty organic movement of mainly fiscal conservatives. Do you know how much it takes to get largely middle class conservative citizens out in the street? Since then that movement has been hijacked, so I guess it really doesn’t matter.

                • http://abb3w.livejournal.com/ abb3w

                  By “the right”, I’m simply referring to anyone you’re not classifying as “the left” that you seem to think would have “been screaming bloodh murder if he had started vetoing democrat spending”.

                  And “how much it takes to get largely middle class conservative citizens out in the street” is a large part of what I’m demanding an explanation of.

                  I suggest you might look at the data (perhaps also the conclusions, but mainly the data) from Parker and Baretto’s Change They Can’t Believe In.

        • kaydenpat

          Bush wiped out President Clinton’s budget surplus. Where was the TParty during the Bush years?

      • Jeff Akston

        Probably for the same reason all the antiwar protests just magically stopped when Obama took office.

        • ShoeUnited

          I would like to think the protests ended for a couple reasons.

          1) People believed Obama would do something about it.

          2) People were burned out on it when they saw nothing being done.

          The saddest note of all is that there are people still dying in Afghanistan because we don’t have a plan to get out. The only reason we got out of Iraq was because we were being kicked out. It had nothing to do with the US administration.

          • dfghdfgh

            More likely they were “Anti Bush” protesters that supported Obama, and couldn’t very well protest Obama without looking like fools.

            • GubbaBumpkin

              More likely they were “Anti Bush” protesters that supported Obama, and
              couldn’t very well protest Obama without looking like fools.

              You should be forced to read the things that you write. Bush started an unnecessary and illegal war. Obama got us out of Iraq, and is winding down in Afghanistan. He was also very careful to limit our involvement in Libya and Syria. There is no need to go looking for an alternative explanation for why anti-war protests would diminish when war criminals Bush and Cheney left office.

              But as someone has already pointed out, why did Tea Party anti-debt fervor only start after Bush left office? Bush increased spending while lowering taxes, ballooning the national debt. But not a peep out of the Tea Partiers until a black man inhabits the White House. When you see inconsistency like that, then it’s time to look for alternative explanations.

              • The Vicar

                Oh, please. Obama didn’t “get us out of Iraq”. He tried as hard as he could to keep our troops there, but the Iraqi government refused to extend the existing agreement which prevented them from prosecuting our troops for war crimes. Obama finally gave up when the deadline hit, and then tried to claim he had negotiated this as an premature end, when in fact it was the original Bush agreement.
                And as for “starting and unnecessary and illegal war”, Obama wanted to bomb Syria. He sent us into Libya (against Congressional wishes — some “Constitutional scholar”). Those things are de facto wars, no matter what word games you try to play with it. (Try to imagine if the government of China dropped a bomb on the U.S. and killed even one person, would we say “oh, this isn’t really a war”? No. Claiming otherwise with Libya and Syria and all the countries we’re drone-bombing now is entirely dishonest.)

                • GubbaBumpkin

                  And as for “starting and unnecessary and illegal war”, blah blah blah…

                  Our involvement in Libya was very limited. No “boots on the ground” (except for probably some clandestine special forces stuff). Not even any pilots on direct attack missions. We supplied only services which we have a particular expertise, and allowed the French and others to take the primary roles. As for Congressional wishes – if you’re talking about Republican Congressmen, then I have to point out that their stated wishes changed dramatically after Obama announced his plans. It’s almost as if “opposing Obama” was the primary concern of their foreign policy (and their domestic policy, but let’s stay focused.).

                  Our involvement in Syria would likewise have been limited. We would have blown some stuff up, most likely with cruise missiles. But once again, there would have been no full scale invasion and no “boots on the ground.” This would certainly qualify as an “act of war,” but if you cannot see a difference in the scale and duration between such limited actions and our full scale invasion of Iraq, then your judgment is suspect.

                • The Vicar

                  Our involvement in Libya was (a) unnecessary, (b) something which HAS TO BE PAID FOR EVEN AS OBAMA HAS AGREED ON AUSTERITY (that is, every bomb dropped on Libya means cuts to social programs, with Obama’s approval), and (c) against the Constitution. (It was a war. We dropped bombs. Pretending otherwise — as you, Obama, and most Democratic apologists do — is massively dishonest, akin to bringing the army in to shoot protestors and then claiming it doesn’t mean we’re a police state because “The Police” didn’t do it. Now, Congress EXPLICITLY voted NOT to do it, but Obama did it anyway. That’s Unconstitutional.)

                  As for “limited involvement”: are you insane, or just massively ignorant? That was the description given to every single U.S. campaign since WWII. Vietnam was merely “limited involvement” — we were merely sending “advisors”. May I remind you of Einstein’s definition of insanity?

                • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

                  Are you suggesting our involvement in Libya was of the same scale as our involvement in Vietnam?

                • GubbaBumpkin

                  Are you suggesting our involvement in Libya was of the same scale as our involvement in Vietnam?

                  That is exactly what he did.

                • Gus

                  By your definition, the U.S. hasn’t been in a war that wasn’t unconstitutional in a very long time. And Libya, and basically anything we do militarily now, is far more constitutional than most of what Reagan did because it can pretty easily be considered authorized by Congress under the authorization for the use of force that allowed the Iraq war, because that authorization is not geographically, nationally, nor temporally limited. Congress wrote Bush a blank check, which Obama has used in a much more restrained fashion than Bush did.

                  By the way, the Supreme Court has consistently ruled that pretty much any use of force is considered approved by Congress and therefore constitutional as long as Congress writes the check. Until Congress stops funding these adventures, they will continue and continue to be considered Constitutional.

                  “Limited Involvement”: Are you aware of how many U.S. campaigns there have been since World War II and how many of them actually have been limited?

                • The Vicar

                  Did you fall asleep in class when they talked about the Constitution? CONGRESS is what declares war. A war is Unconstitutional when the president goes off without Congressional approval.

                  Oddly enough, the Iraq war WAS Constitutional. He may have lied about it (and Congressional Democrats may have abrogated their duty when they voted for it), but Bush actually convinced Congress to vote for an AUMF (Authorization of the Use of Military Force). Obama not only does not seek these — the White House issued statements in the case of Syria that they would go to war anyway even if Congress refused, and that the vote they asked for was mainly out of courtesy — but actively ignored the Congressional decision in the case of Libya to NOT declare war.

                  In fact, that’s why I have come to hate and distrust the Democratic Party. The Republicans are batshit insane and evil — and obviously so. But the Democrats pretty consistently vote for the same crap as the Republicans, and then pretend they’re sorry they “had to do that”.

                  Obama was supposed to be the best the Democrats could do. In practice, he has been as bad as or worse than Bush in nearly every respect. He’s worse on immigration (more people deported than Bush), worse on freedom of speech (more prosecutions of whistleblowers under the Espionage Act, which was something of a joke to begin with, than all previous administrations put together), and as bad as Bush on the economy (surrounded himself by bankers, bailed them out, didn’t prosecute anyone for the mortgage crisis, and didn’t act to stop illegal foreclosures), on the military (he’s sent troops to more places than Bush did, and tried to keep us in Iraq beyond even Bush’s original limit), on civil liberties (the White House has been entirely behind the NSA during the whole scandal), and he used the excuse of “health care reform” (which we didn’t really get, we got a further cementing-into-place of existing private insurance, as originally suggested by Mitt Romney) to avoid taking action on anything during the first two years of his term, then used Republicans as an excuse from then on. Why is Gitmo still running? Because Obamacare was more important, and then the nasty Republicans wouldn’t permit it to stop. Obama has also consistently been in favor of “austerity” (i.e. cutting social programs but not the military) — remember the “catfood commission”? The one which was supposed to make choices about the budget, and which turned out to be stacked entirely with pro-austerity types? Obama chose those people.

                  Seriously, you Democratic apologists need to get your act together. The right wing is batshit insane, and hates you anyway. You’re starting to lose the rest of us by continuing to claim, counter to reality, that the Democrats are any better. Stop that. At least admit that the existing Democrats have been terrible and start proposing some better choices; otherwise, you might as well put up a sign saying “okay, yes, we’re just as bad for you as the Teabaggers, if you really want change vote Green”.

                • GubbaBumpkin

                  (c) against the Constitution. (It was a war. We dropped bombs. Pretending otherwise…

                  I’m not real thrilled with the War Powers Act either, but it has been used by both Democratic and Republican presidents. If you think it’s unconstitutional, take it to the Supreme Court.

                  As for “limited involvement”: are you insane, or just massively ignorant? …

                  I tell you what: you can combine all the American casualties from Libya AND Syria – you can throw in the entire Arab Spring – and we’ll put it into the balance against Bush’s illegal war in Iraq. How does it weigh up? And apparently you want to bring up Vietnam for some reason. I will offer you the same bargain again: you tot up all the American casualties and the expense of the Vietnam war, and put it in the balance against American actions in Libya AND Syria AND the entire Arab Spring.

                  You are apparently not only insane, but quite stupid as well.

              • basenjibrian

                By the way, how did that limtid involvement in Libya work out? rampant violence, militias running amuck, TERRORISTS?
                I would also be more skeptical about how limited our role in Syria is…and why we are not dropping bombs right now (because that is what Obama definitely wanted to do).
                Obama is a tool, elected with the money of Wall Street, the Insurance Industry, and Big Pharma

                • GubbaBumpkin

                  By the way, how did that limited involvement in Libya work out?

                  For the USA, it worked out a whole lot better than Iraq.

                  Syria is… and why we are not dropping bombs right now (because that is what Obama definitely wanted to do).

                  If you would both to read the news once in a while, you would know that Syria admitted that it has chemical weapons, and agreed to international oversight of the destruction of those weapons. It’s hard to get a country to voluntarily hand over its chemical weapons while you are dropping bombs on it.

            • Gus

              More likely the public protests had burned out and stopped in the face of a complete lack of results long before Obama was elected.

          • baal

            I think occupy was done in by the endless brutality and “administrative” actions.

        • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

          You mean how Occupy Wall Street was systematically brutalized and people in the US didn’t escalate the way the Arab Spring did, but instead folded under paramilitary police pressure?

          • smrnda

            I think another issue (at least to me) was the fact that Occupy didn’t have a list of demands, but the brutality was huge.

            Another note, I don’t notice the same paramilitary shit going on with Tea Partiers, even when they do decide to tote guns to their meetings.

            • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

              Nope! There definitely wasn’t nearly the level of interference, either with undercover officers deliberately riling things up or the crackdowns.

              And you’re absolutely right, there wasn’t a unified list of demands, but several leaders did have demands (some reasonable, some less so). Media attention didn’t focus on them though, and the whole thing was fairly disorganized, so it was easy to ignore the people who had well-thought-out political demands and leadership positions for those who had charismatic leadership positions.

              • smrnda

                I knew people with a great many concrete demands, but I think that it’s hard to get a large, spontaneous movement to ratify some kind of supporting document, particularly when Occupy sprang up quite quickly and then had a relatively short run all while under the the gun. The ‘civil rights movement’ wasn’t a single action or series, but a campaign that took decades and then some.

                • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

                  Yeah. There really wasn’t any sort of unifying document.

                • smrnda

                  I think another problem is that for any social justice movement, any kind of ‘official’ document runs the risk of alienating some faction so there’s a huge resistance to doing so too fast, but it was a relatively short and fast movement.

                  The other thing is, the Arab Spring didn’t even necessary work without a hitch either, and much remains undone.

                • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

                  Oh, for sure. And I wouldn’t compare the US government with the ones that were overthrown, either- there was (and still is) a lot more wrong politically and socially in Egypt and Tunisia and various other places than in the US. Just building up institutions like a free press and independent judiciary are going to be hard.

        • eric

          I accept that the anti-war protests had a tribal, anti-Bush component. But a tu quoque response doesn’t really say anything positive about the TEA party, now does it?

          • smrnda

            I’ve seen a few post-Obama war protests, but honestly, I feel that the numbers weren’t even there on war protests when Bush was in office.

            • Gus

              You are correct. There were some pretty large protests early on, but they faded after a while and the movement had pretty much run out of steam before Obama was even a candidate.

              • smrnda

                Do you think it was disappointment over results or something else? I suspect that, by linking ‘the enemy’ with Islam (this big scary thing) you have a sizable number of people who don’t really feel so bad about civilian casualties.

                I’d like to see stats on whether anyone changed their minds about the war.

        • Gus

          Actually, the anti-war protests pretty much stopped long before Obama was elected. There’s just only so long and so many times people are going to march in the face of absolutely zero results. Meanwhile, the core of people who have been important to the anti-war movement in journalism are still out there, still protesting through their work, and neither they, nor most of us for whom they speak have changed our opinions one little bit just because a President we like a little better is in the White House. Glenn Greenwald, Matt Bors, Ted Rall (actually, an incredible amount of the people worth listening to on this who are consistent are cartoonists). Yes, party line, centrists Democrats now criticize us for criticizing Obama, but if you’re paying much attention to the real left you’d realize that none of us just accept what Obama’s been doing.

      • Marc

        Cliton didnt make a budget surplus… he looted the oil reserves…big difference

    • GubbaBumpkin

      SOCIAL conservatives hijacked it.

      The extremely rich people who astroturfed the Tea Party invited the social conservatives in right along with the “fiscal” conservatives. Otherwise they wouldn’t have enough votes. So it serves them right that the coalition is tearing itself apart. it’s just too bad the rest of us have to suffer as well.

    • RBK

      I’m with Dean. The Tea Party rallies were originally (and briefly) grassroots and almost exclusively about fiscal reform. In the early stages most supporters were libertarian and were tired of all the wrong issues being discussed when the most serious was virtually ignored.

      Then the Kochs, Sarah Palin, & Co. capitalized on the popularity, took it over, and destroyed any semblance of intelligence in it. Most of us (libertarians, and certainly atheists) abandoned any relationship with the Tea Party in short order after that. The surprising thing to me is that those 6% still claim the association after what it has become.

      • JohnH2

        The supporters were originally mostly libertarian because the movement formed off of Ron Paul’s 2008 presidential campaign, some of the existing Tea party organizations are direct descendents from PAC’s formed during the campaign. The movement was then co-opted, talk radio had a big part to play in co-opting it.

        My theory about the atheists remaining is that they are probably mostly libertarian and mostly remain due to Rand Paul, but I could be wrong.

        • CottonBlimp

          I wish more atheists realized that Ron and Rand are Christian supremacists.

  • realeasygoing

    I dont’t even think the Tea Party is what it started out to be. To many people with contrary ideas jumped on board. If you look at the original ideals there not that bad. I just went to the wiki for the Tea Party and it has been changed significantly. They use to be for lower taxes, a gold standard and taking care of the debt. Then all the Christian wierdos jumped on board and it morphed into something else.

    • GubbaBumpkin

      I don’t even think the Tea Party is what it started out to be.

      I assume you mean by that: an astroturf organization started to further the interests of the super-rich like the Koch brothers.

    • God’s Starship

      Yeah… before the Christian wierdos came on board it was a bunch of “normal people” calling for a return to the gold standard…. wait what???

  • texanarchy

    Atheist libertarian here…the “Tea Party” is a joke that was co-opted by fundy war mongers a long time ago. The non-agression principle that is at the core of real libertarianism is a very humanistic idea. Our species has evolved by naturally selecting for cooperation. Being compelled by the State is a mixed bag. Its been beneficial (ending slavery, enacting civil rights) but its also been disastrous (Pol pot, Stalin etc.) Suffice to say that libertarianism – done right – is not at odds with humanism. Cheers!

    • The Captain

      Sorry, but when libertarianism is “done right” you do not get the “ending of slavery, enacting civil rights” or any protections against discrimination for atheist at all. A belief that somehow a “market” will fix these things goes against all historical evidence.

      Also, the absence of the state does nothing to prevent a Pol Pot, or Stalin for murdering thousands, they can just do it through private means. libertarianism then ends up being a loose/loose for minorities like atheist.

      • texanarchy

        Pol Pot & Stalin murdered millions not thousands. They would never have been able to achieve those numbers with out the power of the state. There will always be sociopaths but only genocide can be waged by a state. More over, slavery is not the natural state of humanity. Yes our government got rid of it, but then it also institutionalized it and cultivated before that, no?

        • CottonBlimp

          With respect, it’s silly to talk about “government” like it’s some singular concept. There are countless different kinds of government, and each government is a conglomerate of countless independent factors. When you create this nebulous boogeyman of “the government” without clear definition, it becomes possible to lump it in with anything bad you want; sure, slavery isn’t possible without some form of government. No form of commerce is. “Government” facilitates the “market” which profits from slavery. It’s absurd to then say that’s entirely the fault of “government”, as if slavery is an inevitable byproduct of the FDA.

          If you can’t go a little deeper than “government BAD” then you don’t have serious policy ideas, you have dogma.

          • texanarchy

            I agree. I think two paragraph replies in the comment section are not the best way to flesh these ideas out. I will say, also with respect, that government is easily corrupted. Take the FDA for instance. Its current incarnation outlaws natural cures but gives cart blanche to big pharma and industrial farming. The melding of government and corporations is what Mussolini called corporatism and what I call Fascism. Its what we have now. That’s one of the reasons, Thomas Jefferson, a REAL Tea Party-er, said the government that governs least governs best. On the upside, isn’t it great that we can disagree with out either one of us threatening the other with eternal damnation! Now I must clean house before my wife (as close to an actual omniscient being as you’ll find) gets home.

            • smrnda

              Natural cures are alt med woo pseudoscience.

              The problem with ‘government that governs best governs least’ just gives employers more power to piss and shit on workers. To me, a libertarian is a person who thinks that allowing a company to fire a pregnant woman for throwing up on the job after denying her a request to use the bathroom is ‘freedom’ because a low protecting workers from their employers is somehow an infringement on someone’s liberty. In the end, it’s just a ‘fuck the poor, fuck the proles’ movement. People who pretend otherwise are just privileged enough not to have to worry about being the ones pissed and shat on.

              • sdfsd

                homeopathy is woo. natural cures such as ginger root for upset stomach are not. what do you think most medicines are made from? synthesized elements of, wait for it, NATURE. I wish so called skeptics were a little more skeptical for their government.

                • smrnda

                  Sorry for lumping then together. There do exist natural remedies and if they work, that can be demonstrated by experiment. However, these substances lie outside of the realm of the FDA at present.

                  Exactly where did you get the ‘skepticism and government’ deal here? I didn’t draw my disdain for this stuff from government. If I show some hostility towards the ‘natural remedy’ industry, it’s that I have serious health conditions that can’t be cured without lots of medications and treatment from specialists, and I get irritated by people who would recommend that I stop using treatments that work to experiment with ‘natural remedies.’

                • smrnda

                  I mean, I deal with issues more life threatening that upset stomach for which I can use ginger-root or chamomile tea. A decent amount of arguments against universal health care I’ve encountered bring up the idea that we can all use ‘natural remedies’ so we don’t need doctors, so that’s an issue I get a bit annoyed by.

            • eric

              “Its current incarnation outlaws natural cures”
              What are you talking about? The FDA’s regulation doesn’t even cover them, and hasn’t since DHSEA in 1994. IMO this is to our detriment, as that means the FDA performs to safety or efficacy tests on them. But even if you disagree, the point is that you can’t blame the FDA for the screwed up medical situation we live in – this is exactly the sort of nonregulatory system you advocate!

              • CottonBlimp

                This is the other thing that seriously bugs me about libertarian ideology. My dad seriously asked me “what has government ever done for us?” I said “dad, we were just driving on the interstate.” He said “Yeah, but the traffic was terrible, wasn’t it?”

                Unless a government program does everything absolutely perfect, libertarians will point to it as an example of government being useless, with no acknowledgement of either of these two super important concepts: A, that a shitty government attempt at roads is better than no roads at all; and B, that precisely what makes these government programs so shitty is underfunding and interference BY the very people opposed to government programs in the first place.

            • basenjibrian

              Ah, “natural cures”.
              ROFLOL.
              Why won’t ACA pay for my homeopathic prescriptions, damn those death panels!

        • smrnda

          I could also make a point that, without some kind of effective government, there’s a really weak chance that you can expect to be protected from random violence, famines, and neighboring countries deciding to move in with soldiers while expanding their borders. Check out Somalia for how well lack of government works out.

      • GubbaBumpkin

        Sorry, but when libertarianism is “done right” …

        As I noted elsewhere in this thread, Libertarian has become such a broad term that it is useless to discuss it without first familiarizing yourself with the type of Libertarianism being promoted. So I suggest you cut texanarchy some slack here.

    • smrnda

      Ending slavery didn’t exactly provide freed slaves with better working conditions, and then you have the whole ‘company town’ model. Libertarianism offers nothing to the underclass since it is built around a heads-in-the-sand view on economic power in which it pretends workers have choices or the ability to bargain when they don’t.

      In terms of racial equality, we don’t have it yet.

      The problem with cooperation is that, now, there’s more incentive to defect, and more so the more power and privileges you have. In a small social unit, you will be shunned for doing bad things, but a CEO can expose workers to toxins about which they are poorly informed because he’s unlikely to get caught, and if so, will not personally be punished. Cooperation thrives when people don’t have radically different levels of power, and power comes from $ as much as the law.

  • JET

    Not personally, but a niece is one. Doesn’t believe Obama is the antichrist, but definitely a communist/Muslim infiltrator. She’s a pro-gun member of the military who believes that ‘Murica, although not divinely franchised, is nevertheless somehow “destined” to rule the world. Anti abortion because she had an unplanned child and everything worked out okay.Of course the military paid for everything and currently pays for childcare. “Fuck the Affordable Care Act because *I’m* doing just fine without it, thank you very much. She’s full of contradictions, and yes, it’s nearly impossible to have a coherent conversation with her.

    • God’s Starship

      She’s semi-coherent. Or maybe just consistent. Everything is all about her.

    • http://abb3w.livejournal.com/ abb3w

      You might find Altemeyer’s “The Authoritarians” illuminating. She may or may not be high-RWA, but sounds high-SDO.

  • FaithIsGlorifiedDelusion

    The 6% atheist tea partiers you say? They’re called the Koch Bros!

    • SattaMassagana

      Exactly, there’s always people who will cynically use the religious right for their own purposes.

    • baal

      I was thinking the same. It’s probably the oligarch’s plants who are doing the steering group.

  • skyblue

    A friend of a friend is a gay teabagger, so I suppose atheist teabaggers may well exist. This guy has a rainbow flag sticker and a Tea Party sticker on his truck- I couldn’t help but stare in amazement. Apparently, he’s really anti-abortion and likes the “screw the poor” economic policies of the Tea Party.
    I still have to wonder, though.

    • CottonBlimp

      Outside of the super fanatical anti-gay groups like the AFA and the Catholic church, most of what people call “homophobia” is really transphobia; it’s much more about “being a real man” than anything else. As a recent Daily Show special report showed, if you look tough and manly, you can walk through Alabama kissing your boyfriend without incident. If you’re a cute twink or a transgirl, you can expect to be attacked in San Francisco.

      I can completely believe that, as long as he’s dressed conservatively, his fellow Tea Partiers are completely cordial, no matter what they believe about his rights.

      • tyler

        not transphobia–gender expression doesn’t equate to gender identity.

        but i believe there’s actually a term for this now. ‘androcentrism,’ if i’m not mistaken, or the tendency to reward masculinity and punish femininity.

        • CottonBlimp

          Thanks, that is a better term.

      • Oswald Carnes

        To be accurate, you can walk through the most gay-friendly neighborhood in Birmingham, Albama (Five Points South, where the Daily Show thing was filmed) kissing your boyfriend without incident. I wouldn’t try it anywhere else, though.

        • CottonBlimp

          Wow, I thought that report was just lacking in nuance, I didn’t know it was THAT dishonest. Sometimes the smug “I’m more tolerant and reasonable than you” attitude at the Daily Show is a real disappointment.

  • ShoeUnited

    I can think of one hardlined atheist repub that I know personally (the kind to quote Rush Limbaugh when he was in his early 20s) that is probably a TPer and definitely an atheist, republican, and a homophobe. And if you’re asking how all 3 can resolve each other with Christer core values of the Repub party? I’ve no idea.

  • GubbaBumpkin

    “Libertarian” is too broad a term to have any meaning, unless the criteria for the label are presented along with the data.

    The percentage of atheists in the Tea Party is less than in the general population. The fact that it is not zero is not terribly impressive. People are weird. People are inconsistent. The existence of atheists in the Tea Party is no more astonishing than the existence of black Republicans or gay Republicans.

    • http://abb3w.livejournal.com/ abb3w

      The technical reports indeed includes the criteria, and even notes the difference from the measure used versus self-identification.

      Also, it should be noted that this is the stat for those who say they “do
      not believe in God”, which is a separate question from who will self-identify as Atheist — the former approximately double the level in the PRRI study of the latter. That said, yes, the level is 6% rather than 10%; contrariwise, given the small sub-sample size for the Tea Party, that looks (rule-of-thumb) only threshold statistical significance or weaker.

      Those who self-identify as Tea Party are approximately 10% of the overall sample. That it includes atheists is hardly even weird or inconsistent — while I consider her a jackass, Ayn Rand is one of the more prominent atheist philosophers of the second half of the 20th century, and appears to have considerable influence on the Tea Party.

  • Rain

    My view on this is similar to the Christian view that there aren’t really any atheists because everyone knows god exists but atheists deny it even thought they know dog is real. My view is that nobody actually believes any of the stupid crap because it’s too stupid. Everyone is actually an atheist but are in denial of it, IMO.

  • Xuuths

    My guess is that the tea party people were to stupid to answer the questions correctly, or were worried about embarrassing their religions, or just wanted to attempt to shame atheists. I don’t personally know any really dumb atheists. (I also don’t personally know any really smart tea partiers.)

  • Kevin Sagan

    “We won’t bite…”
    I facepalmed so hard when I read that.

    Don’t write checks the commenters won’t cash.

    • baal

      I don’t bite until they do — or until my neckbeard get’s mocked.

  • pagansister

    6% don’t believe in a God. We care- Why?

    • Matt D

      I see no problem in creating discord among members of the Tea Party, using simple facts like “people are different” (something their majority seems to find distasteful) against them.

      • pagansister

        Got a point! :-)

  • God’s Starship

    It’s cute to have a libertarian phase in college, but at some point you have to drop the bumper sticker slogans about free markets and small government and join the grown ups in reality where the mixed economy works for a reason. I don’t buy into libertarianism. Frankly, I’m bored hearing about. Take a class in Macroeconomics and leave me alone.

    And the teaparty was never hijacked. It’s exactly what it was since day one, only some people were paying more attention than others or they just decided to cut ties when its approval rating went through the floor. The only difference between then and now is the Establishment Republicans have lost control of the Teaparty. Instead of exploiting the Teaparty as they originally planned, they have the tiger by the tail and it will bring about the Republican party’s ultimate destruction.

  • http://religionsetspolitics.blogspot.com/ Joshua Zelinsky

    Almost no matte what question you asked you’ll get around a small percent who will give outright nonsense answers. That’s how you get people in the GSS who apparently said yes to be atheists and said yes to believing in God. This is very close to that minimal percentage, so I suspect that the fraction here is mainly due to those problems (which can include stupidity, deliberately misanswering questions, mishearing what has been asked, incoherent or confused views, etc.)

    • http://abb3w.livejournal.com/ abb3w

      The GSS does not ask if people are atheist; it was the Pew Forum that used a variant form of the RELIG question that explicitly gives “Atheist” as an option.

      My suspicion is that the percentage is better explained by presence of devotees of Ayn Rand.

      • http://religionsetspolitics.blogspot.com/ Joshua Zelinsky

        Thanks, you are correct that was Pew, not GSS. The same point does apply though, and as amusing as the Ayn Rand comment is, one sees similar patterns with other questions in other studies. Consistently this is within the 5-10% range.

        • http://abb3w.livejournal.com/ abb3w

          Even through the 2012 GSS, the fraction of people who say they don’t believe in God remains below the 5% threshold; presumably, you don’t want to dismiss their existence by sweeping that result under the carpet.

          My suggestion is quite serious. Given there’s polling data suggestion circa 4% of the US consider themselves full-blown Randite “Objectivists” (with a much larger penumbra considering themselves influenced by her work), that would easily explain the level of Tea Party Atheists.

          • http://religionsetspolitics.blogspot.com/ Joshua Zelinsky

            Yes, your first paragraph makes sense: obviously telling when something is in the 5% of insanity and when it is real can be tough.

            As to your suggestion: sorry I misinterpreted it, and thought you were talking about the atheists who believe in God segment, not the original issue brought up by Hemant. In that context, yes, that seems like a reasonable explanation for what is going on here.

  • Justin Lawrence

    Has anyone else noticed how underrepresented Catholics are as Libertarians vs % of Catholics in US?

    • GCBill

      That’s weird. The Catholic libertarians out there must be very vocal, because I would’ve predicted a higher %age.

    • http://abb3w.livejournal.com/ abb3w

      It’s possible a lot of the Libertarian “Nones” are ex-Catholics, which might explain the difference from the level in the overall population.

  • MichaelYHC

    I’m one. I don’t go to protests any more, but I openly support the tea party.

    In 2009 I loved the Rick Santelli CNBC rant that started everything and when the first protesters were planned I wanted to see one for myself. I didn’t want to trust anyone else’s slanted view on what they were like, supporter or critic.

    I had a good time and I was pleased to see people talking about fiscal conservatism with zero focus on social conservationism. I’ve been to a few events and while I’ve seen a mix of reasonable people and buffoons, its mostly been reasonable people.

    Young secular people love to cherry-pick dumb signs at tea part rallies. There’s the urban legend about “keep your government hands off my medicare.” There’s also the sad fact that since many tea party members have been elected to congress, they have to vote on social issues and they vote as social conservatives. The tea party is purposely silent about abortion, gay rights, etc., but when someone is elected they have to take sides, and we know how that turns out.

    I was very glad to see the hostility to the Republican party that was at the core of every tea party gathering I went to. Some people put us into an impossible situation. We are told that to be consistent, we should have formed earlier during the Bush years and fought big-spending republicans. But, paradoxically, now that the tea party is doing just that and fighting current big-government GOP members like Boehner and McCain, instead of giving us credit for being consistent those same critics are saying we’re too extreme for the GOP. Come on guys, which is it?

    By the way, I’ve had my photo appear on the Friendly Athiest blog before when I was a Sunday presenter at TAM 2011. Hermant was even kind enough to link to my secular right-wing blog. http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/2011/07/17/liveblogging-the-amazing-meeting-9-sunday-morning-sessions/

    • http://abb3w.livejournal.com/ abb3w

      We are told that to be consistent, we should have formed earlier during the Bush years and fought big-spending republicans. But, paradoxically, now that the tea party is doing just that and fighting current
      big-government GOP members like Boehner and McCain, instead of giving us credit for being consistent those same critics are saying we’re too extreme for the GOP. Come on guys, which is it?

      Why not both? Whether or not the objectives you have historically sought have been consistent to the principles you presently proclaim is a separate question from whether or not your present political objectives (or means) are abhorrent to a majority of American voters.


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X