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In the Washington Post, columnist Michael Gerson observes that while we’re still a country that takes religious seriously, the “Nones” are indeed on the rise and most of us vote Democratic. That leads him to draw this conclusion:
But the main tension is emerging between the parties. Religious conservatives remain the largest constituency within the Republican Party. So America is moving in the direction of having one secular party and one religious party, bringing polarization to a new level of intensity. This is movement in the direction of Europe, which has been cursed by the conflict between anticlerical parties and religious parties. For America, this could be a dangerous source of social division, with each side viewing the other as theocrats or pagans. There is no contempt like the contempt of the true believer or the militant skeptic.
Let’s put aside the nonsensical/falsely-dichotomized “militant skeptic” comment for a moment… Gerson makes a mistake that many pundits are making. He assumes that the Democratic party is the party of the non-religious while the Republican Party is the home of the hyper-religious.
He’s half right and half wrong. It’s true that the GOP is the home of GOD (at least as far as rabid believers go)… but the Democratic party does not have a comparable atheist base. Remember what happened last September when the DNC released the party platform?
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Reasonfest, like Skepticon, is one of those amazing, student-run, free conferences that began happening a couple of years ago. It’s in Kansas, which only adds to its necessity.