In a ballroom in a Washington, D.C., hotel, more than 2,500 people sit anxiously. There is a palpable tension in the room while the attendees wait for the next speakers to be introduced. They sit politely, applauding the few red-meat lines in Arizona Senator John McCain’s speech, but they’re not here to hear from the 2008 GOP presidential nominee; McCain has never been particularly popular with this audience.
The two speakers following McCain — Senators Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz, of Florida and Texas, respectively, both running for president in 2016 — were much more in line with the priorities of the conference attendees in the room.
For an Atheist like me, listening to the speakers at the 2015 Values Voter Summit (VVS) — held in September by the Family Research Council, Liberty Institute, and a host of other far-right religious organizations — can only be described as surreal.