How about Atheists for Christ?

The Los Angeles Times today has a flawed but interesting piece on how atheists are coping with an increasingly red America. According to reporter Gina Piccalo, atheists are feeling besieged by the forces of faith and trying to organize politically. So far the results have been lackluster:

The first godless march on Washington drew thousands in fall 2002, and a few months later the Godless Americans Political Action Committee was formed. This year, an Inauguration Summit of 22 like-minded groups was held in Washington to stimulate cooperation days before Bush’s swearing in. And this Veterans Day, so-called foxhole atheists (servicemen and women who are nonbelievers) will be honored in the capital.

If all goes as planned, says Ellen Johnson, longtime president of American Atheists, at least one presidential candidate will be courting their vote in 2008.

“We can’t complain about what the religious do,” she says. “All we have to do is copy their strategy.”

One thing I hold against this report. All claims of “hate mail” are treated uncritically. I know something about protest letters and hate mail, and I think that people who claim that they’ve received a bunch of the latter should have to furnish evidence.

Print Friendly

  • Stephen A.

    “If all goes as planned … at least one presidential candidate will be courting their vote in 2008.”

    Oh, is Dennis Kucinich running again, or does she mean Hillary?

    That was bad. I couldn’t help myself. But I’ll be good and at least not list the denominations that already fit the “Atheists for Christ” group name suggested by your headline.

  • dpt

    We have a local atheist who is a prolific letters to the editor writer to our hometown newspaper in Alameda county (CA). The individual wrote prior to the 2004 election that the atheist vote would carry Kerry to victory against President Bush and his religious fundamentalist agenda.

    Perhaps their voter drive will go better in 2008.

    Individuals like this come across as being very angry and like to blame religion for all the problems in the world. I do not mean to paint all atheists as being as such, but blanket accusations offered by our local atheist letter writer come across as simple bigotry.

    Too many of the vocal atheist types I have met offer nothing that is constructive, just bitter behavior to tear down and condemn those in their way. With such behavior, they have much in common with the most ardent “bible thumping, fire-n-brimstone” Christian.

  • Tom Breen

    On the same note as the uncritical acceptance of claims of hate mail, how many “thousands” came to the capitol for the first godless march? Are we talking 2,000 or 20,000?

  • Amy Welborn

    Church of Christ without Christ, Jeremy. Haze Motes, founding pastor.

  • Darrell Grizzle

    Actually, there are already several groups calling themselves “Atheists for Jesus” — they like his teachings, they just don’t believe he (or anyone else) was God.

  • holmegm

    >Actually, there are already several groups
    >calling themselves “Atheists for Jesus” —
    >they like his teachings, they just don’t
    >believe he (or anyone else) was God.

    Which is odd, because that was one of His teachings …

  • ELC

    “I think that people who claim that they’ve received a bunch of the latter should have to furnish evidence.” Yes. Atheists themselves, after all, are pretty good at demanding evidence.

  • Tom R

    B-b-b-but… Kerry was a devout Catholic. So’s Pelosi. So’s Kennedy. And Howard Dean was a devout Congregationalist-UCCer. And Gore and Clinton were devout Baptists. And Hillary’s a devout Methodist.

    Yet atheists worried about theocratic America don’t worry about these guys imposing policies that are informed by their religious faith.