Secular Party of America

The Secular Party of America seeks to politically represent U.S. atheists and all who share the goal of a secular government by gathering the political strength of secularists nationwide while being guided by the values of secular humanism and evidenced-based reasoning.
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The last several days have been a challenge for all of us who are committed to the Secular Party of America, as we grapple with the disappointing lapse in ethics of our former leaders as well as with questions about how to rebuild and move forward. The Executive Board (EB) has been working around the clock to create a strategy for meaningful change that will return the Party to the level of integrity that our members expect and deserve.

To that end, we will immediately take the following actions:

1. The election and ballot process originally scheduled to begin November 11, including the emergency election for a Party president, will be canceled. We cannot in good conscience follow a voting scandal with another vote; first, we must ensure that there is no possibility that what happened before can happen again and implement iron-clad procedures that guarantee transparency and security in the voting process.

2. All email addresses on the membership roster will be verified; any member that cannot be fully validated will be purged from the rolls. This will ensure that we have a clean list of eligible voters, and eliminate the possibility of the kind of fraud that occurred over the summer.

3. Once the membership roster is sound and free of the justified skepticism this ordeal has instilled in our members, the Party can move forward with the election process scheduled to begin March 11, 2014.

4. In the months leading up to this important vote, all members will have an opportunity to amend the guiding document that is foundational to our Party’s mission, the Party charter (http://secularamerica.org/charter), through our Policy Proposal Process (PPP). It will be especially critical to identify any areas of the charter that may be vague or that leave gaps in defining mission-critical processes, especially those related to governance and voting. The successful completion of such a review, conducted by following the PPP, will shore up the charter and ensure there is absolute clarity on rules and processes.

These steps are going to take time. We fully recognize the passion and earnestness of our members to the cause of the Secular Party of America, and we acknowledge that gearing back from activism to house-cleaning may feel a bit anti-climactic. However, we believe that these steps are necessary and unavoidable prerequisites to reestablishing our credibility and integrity, without which the Party will not be able to effectively pursue its mission and achieve its goals.

Please also be aware that due to constraints on his time, Ryan McCue has submitted his resignation as VP of Outreach, which has been accepted by the EB. The EB now consists of the following individuals:

Victor Henzi – Acting VP of Operations

Elizabeth Williams – Acting VP of Administration

Tracey Melody – Acting VP of PR & Marketing

Bill Hochstuhl – Deputy VP of Outreach

Anthony Intemann – Acting Secretary

Anna Marin – Acting Treasurer

Finally, questions remain regarding the name change. In the interests of fairness, the membership will have an opportunity to vote once again on the official Party name during the election commencing March 11, 2014.

The EB wishes to thank everyone who has spoken out in support of the Party over the last several days, and for the commitment that you have shown to the cause of secular government. The Party needs to draw upon the leadership of all of its committed members during this time. If we each do our part, then together we will be successful.

On Monday, September 9, A-News Reports (http://anr.apartmentj.com/) published an article alleging misconduct by one former member and two sitting members of the Executive Board (EB) of the Secular Party of America. The described wrongdoing involved tampering with voting results for a policy proposal to amend the Party charter, such that the Party name would be changed from the National Atheist Party to the Secular Party of America. By late afternoon on Monday, September 9, two of the implicated EB members, Bernard “Flash” Kellish and James Klawon, had tendered their resignations, which were officially accepted by the EB at 9 pm EST the same evening. The third EB member that had been implicated, Sheila Blackadder, resigned her role on the EB shortly following the vote in July.

Effective immediately, Deputy VPs Tracey Melody and Victor Henzi have been promoted to Acting VPs to assume the positions vacated by Kellish and Klawon.

The EB is shocked and saddened by this lapse in ethics by these long-standing members, and unanimously supports their departure. There is no room in the Party for behavior that betrays our charter, core values, and basic integrity. We are committed to working with leadership and membership at all levels to improve communication and transparency so that such malfeasance cannot occur in the future, and to implement safeguards and standards to eliminate such behavior.

Many members have asked whether the name change from the National Atheist Party to the Secular Party of America is truly official in light of this new information. The EB is discussing this topic in earnest, as we wish to balance the need for all voices to be heard with the reality of having already legalized and advertised the change. More information will be forthcoming in the very near future.

While we lament that this has understandably compromised public trust in the Party, and in its EB in particular, we remain steadfastly committed to the mission and constituents of the Secular Party of America, and we are confident that together with our members, we will move past this incident to build a vibrant, strong, and viable political party.

If you have additional questions or would like more information, please let us know by using the Contact Us link on our web site at http://secularamerica.org/contact.

by Eleanor Goldfield Swede

“US Congress keeps putting blocks on closing Guantanamo,” “UN criticizes Bahrain over toughened ‘anti-protest’ laws,” “Fukushima drainage has 20,000 tons of water with radioactive substance,” and “Washington Post sold to billionaire Amazon CEO” are just a few of the stories that have slipped under the radar of the American public due to yet another tabloid drama.

The GOP has brought the left/right banter back to the front pages with Committee Chairman Reince Priebus’ call for NBC and CNN to cancel a proposed Hillary Clinton program or lose rights to the GOP primary debates. This fiasco highlights two deeply rooted and significant pitfalls of our current system: left/right childish sparring while avoiding key issues, and the corporate control of our “free media” system.

Neither one of these mentions should come as a shock to anyone who isn’t tied to a party ideology. Those of us who dig deeper than the whipped topping of left/right party politics have become accustomed to this sort of gnawing stalemate, punctuated by the type of periodic back and forth reminiscent of sharing a back seat with your sibling on road trips. This story in particular showcases more blatantly that interesting characteristic of our divided and splintered system: it’s more important to find problems in your opponent than to fix problems in your country.

After Priebus handed over his ultimatum, CNN spokeswoman Allison Gollust had this to say: “Should they decide not to participate in debates on CNN, we would find it curious, as limiting their debate participation seems to be the ultimate disservice to voters.” The RNC fired back: “We have the right to pick who has our debates.” Now that really does sound an awful lot like an infringement on freedom of the press, not to mention openly campaigning to hide any ‘bad sides’ from the public, at least until you’re elected. If your ideological foundation is so wobbly that it won’t withstand the winds of primary season, what exactly are you peddling as reasons to vote for you? Well, in this case, because the other side is corrupt and against us, and clearly out to ruin the country – look, look, shiny!

Priebus had this to say to Fox News: “I think 23 debates is ridiculous, but the second thing that is ridiculous is allowing moderators, who are not serving the best interests of the candidate and the party, to actually be the people to be deposing our people. And I think that’s totally wrong. No Priebus, what’s totally wrong is that you even have the ability to threaten any media with gaining access to your lopsided foundation over something as juvenile as a miniseries starring Diane Lane.

This is almost too perfect of an example of how intimate the relationship between corporate media and political power is. They should make this into a reality love triangle miniseries! How perfect it is that Priebus whines to GOP-friendly Fox News about the bullying CNN and NBC. To be clear, I don’t think that CNN or NBC are model media outlets either. In this two-party system, corporations funnel money to one or the other, steering public opinion with their consolidated media monopoly.

In 1983, 50 companies owned the vast majority of media outlets. Today, six companies do. Six companies own 90% of media in the United States. Six. The headline mentioned earlier about the Amazon CEO buying up the Washington Post is certainly not a new occurrence. And those who read or know about this acquisition are right to worry that his political views will seep into the spin and coverage of this respected publication. Of course they will!

Of those six companies, how many do you think funnel money into super PACs? GE, News-Corp, Disney, Viacom, Time Warner and CBS…oh, that’s all of them.

Just last week, the Senate Judiciary Committee began debate on the Free Flow of Information Act, aka the Shield Law, put in place to protect journalists from having to disclose confidential sources, notes, outtakes, audio and video recordings, etc. An exemption being pushed forward is to force journalists to reveal information if it would assist the federal government in “stopping or mitigating other acts that are reasonably likely to cause significant and articulable harm to national security.”

Well, that’s nice and vague. It sounds a bit like disallowing anyone who may not have your best interests at heart to moderate your debate. “Reasonably likely?” I don’t even think that a stoner pre-law student would let that one slide. That smacks of the Trespass Bill, passed early last year, which allows the government to charge any American involved in political protest at any location the secret service “is or will be temporarily visiting.” Conveniently vague legislation that protects the corporate interests of both sides is pretty much the only thing that garners bipartisan support. In turn, that legislation, along with back door deals and underhanded agreements are swept under the rug by the corporate media. Oh, the vicious cycle!

And if you think I sound conspiratorial, consider this: in 2009, Jon Stewart was selected as the “Most trusted Newscaster in America, post-Cronkite” in an online poll by Time Magazine, up against Charlie Gibson, Katie Couric, and Brian Williams. Ironically, you couldn’t make this stuff up for a daytime soap.

The ideological foundations may be faulty but the mechanisms to keep us occupied on tennis match volleying are strong and tangible, and too many are hypnotically nodding along.

Our “free media” is as much an illusion as the proud pillars of our two-party system. As Gore Vidal put it in The Decline and Fall of the American Empire (Odonian Press), “The corporate grip on opinion in the United States is one of the wonders of the Western world. No First World country has ever managed to eliminate so entirely from its media all objectivity – much less dissent.”

So, stay tuned to see who the GOP bachelor chooses for debate prime time and tune in next week for more left/right hectoring, Viagra commercials and the exciting avoidance of reason, logic and accountability.

In view of the unexpected resignation of Troy Boyle, former President and co-creator of the National Atheist Party (now the SPoA), the Party seeks to fill the Office of President. “With our recent name change, we are now more than ever in need of a strong leader to be the face of our newly revamped organization” said VP of Operations James Klawon. The Office of President has been vacant since March 30, 2013, prompting the Executive Board to carry out an emergency election as voted on by the Party membership.

Among many other things, the President is the visible head of and spokesperson for the Party, unless delegated on an issue by issue basis to VPs. The President is also responsible for deciding non-critical issues that do not require an Executive Board decision such as diplomatic relations with other parties and ideological groups. Decisions made by the President are formed on the basis of input and recommendations from the Advisory Council, Executive Board, and all VPs. The President should be aware of the current progress of all campaigns and chapters and implements the strategies of all VPs after consultation and deliberation.

Active members of the Party that wish to be involved on a larger scale and are qualified for the Office of President are encouraged to submit their intent to run to the Executive Board (eb@secularamerica.org) no later than 11:59pm EST August 31, 2013. Campaigns will run September-October and final elections will be held November 2, 2013. The Election Committee will announce election results Monday, November 11, 2013.

Additionally, any registered members that are interested in getting more information about or joining the newly created Election Committee please contact

Elizabeth Williams
VP of Administration
Secular Party of America
elizabeth.williams@secularamerica.org

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ABOUT SECULAR PARTY OF AMERICA
The Secular Party of America is a non-profit, 527 political organization devoted to issue advocacy and guided by the values of secular humanism and evidenced-based reasoning. The Party seeks to politically represent U.S. secularists and all who share the goal of a secular government by gathering political strength nationwide.

One atheists’ plea for freedom of religion

By Jeff Jackson

Lest anyone try to convince you that God should be separated from the state; our founding fathers, they were believers, and George Washington, he saw faith in God as basic to life.”

~Sarah Palin~

Typically in conversations with Christians, when a secularist begins to sound a bit too rational, this old gem seems to crop up sooner or later. The old, “But this country was founded on Christian Principles” or “But the founders of this country were Christians.” The danger with getting into this argument is that it’s circular, and at the end of the discussion, no one thinks any differently than when they began.

One could argue that when people are deciding what is and is not fair, they should first imagine themselves in a minority position. Yes, the majority of Americans (roughly 73%) claim the Christian faith, while the non-religious make up approximately 18-20% of the total U.S. population. With non-religious Americans being the fastest growing “religious” demographic in the country, it’s not hard to imagine a day where they could be in the majority. The question I think Christians should ask themselves is: When that day comes (and I think it will eventually), do they want the non-religious people being able to tell them how they can and cannot worship, live their lives, or act?

If you would like a more contemporary argument that could potentially impact Christians today; imagine if a Christian family were to move to a majority Muslim town in the United States. One day these Christian parents find out that before each football game, the crowd is led with a prayer from the Koran. It doesn’t take much to imagine how they would react, they would be outraged! And this is the larger point about having religion in government, schools, and other public places; people always assume it will be their religious message being spread…but what if it isn’t?

Equality among either believers of different faiths, or between believers and non-believers, can never exist when one religion occupies a privileged legal position”

~Susan Jacoby, The Washington Post, January 3, 2011~

Secularism is NOT atheism. “Atheism” is essentially the rejection of a god claim, not the absolute certainty that no god(s) exist, while secularism is the making of decisions ethically, politically, and socially, with a disregard to any religious preference. Secularism makes no claim about any god(s), because in a secular view, it is irrelevant. And this, a secular government, is the only way to preserve religious freedom in the U.S.

I believe the founders of our country knew this, so their individual religious views are irrelevant. They valued freedom above all else and knew if a state religion was established, religious freedom would not last. This is why today you see no official religion of the U.S. and also no official language of the U.S., despite the fact that most of the founders of the United States spoke English. Their vision was an inclusive society, to not exclude any individual from participating; no matter their language, IQ, wealth, skin color, sex, or religion.

Typically the conflict we have seen between people of faith and the secular community, as it often plays out in the public arena, is the secular community having issues with Christianity being favored or pushed in government; Christians typically see this as an attack on Christianity. The thing Christians often don’t understand is this: if a teacher ever were to tell a Christian student that they couldn’t privately pray over a meal during lunch, before a test, or before a big game, the secular community would be just as infuriated. The thing Christians do not understand is that our fight is not against Christianity; our fight is against the push of any religious agenda and influence in government. However, in America, this typically plays out and is perceived by the religious right as a fight against Christianity, but this is simply not the case.

My plea is to reason; to the Christians in this nation to potentially foresee an America where the non-religious are no longer the minority, where politicians no longer have to cow tow to the religious right. Would Christians want to live in a country where the decision of such things as whom they can marry, where they can worship, who can hold office, and what is printed on their money is decided by an atheist governor, senator, or president? If the answer is “no”, perhaps they will see where the rest of the United States is coming from; the roughly 27% who do not claim the Christian faith.

Some day, Christians might just become that 27% minority.

On August 1st at 12am Eastern standard time our party, which has been known as the “National Atheist Party” since March of 2011, will undergo a transformation that will help focus us on the journey ahead. Our new designation was overwhelmingly selected by a “supermajority” of the members who voted to change the name to the far more inclusive and politically motivated “Secular Party of America.”

With such a monumental change, there is obviously much to do: new logos, new promos, new merchandise, and a basic revising and updating of our charter to make the change complete and to include the other proposals and wording that also passed the vote. Everything else essentially will stay the same: our motto, our non-profit status as a 527, and all of our planks remain as was written and intended by the Party’s founders. Our goals and mission statement are still focused on secular principles and the will of our membership. We are still YOUR Party and we are looking towards the future. New contacts, new members, new partnerships, increased donations, enlisting and endorsing secular candidates, attending and participating in more conventions and conferences, inspiring more secular speakers, getting our name out there, supporting organizations that share in the vision of true separation of church and state, and so much more. We hope to reach out to more religious-secular organizations and form an understanding that only through a secular government can all Americans truly be free.

Already we have spoken with and have been approached by several that were initially wary of us as the National Atheist Party as the name itself tended to distance them. They could not necessarily relate to being a member of or involved with an “Atheist Party” regardless of how ‘open’ we claimed to be to all Americans regardless of faith. By changing our name we have truly opened doors that were essentially closed to us and always would have been in the political arena- and this is just the beginning…

We envision a massive growth of our Party from this day forward with continued accomplishments and successes that we are making reality every day. We respectfully ask for your continued support, your willingness to volunteer at least a few hours of your time when possible, and your participation in the direction of the Secular Party of America by your involvement in the process. This includes continuing to stay informed of the goings on within the Party, being active in the discussions and voting process that help direct the Party’s future, and by helping shape our focus as we become a bigger influence in this nation’s government.

In return, we promise to continue keeping you informed of the happenings within the Party, to keep, trustworthy, hardworking, inspiring, and motivated members in leadership positions, to always do our best to keep this organization moving forward, and to make it into the kind of organization that will help make a difference and be a positive influence in this country for years to come. 

We humbly ask that you all bear with us though our transition as we attempt to make it as smooth as possible and we thank you all for being a part of this journey.

Bernard “Flash” Kellish
VP of Public Relations & Marketing
Executive Board Member

National Atheist Party/Secular Party of America

Originally posted by kaustubhmathur

Atheism is not a negation of anything. You don’t have to negate what no one can prove exists. No, atheism is a very positive affirmation of man’s ability to think for himself, to do for himself, to find answers to his own problems.

- Madalyn Murray O’Hair

We all must be aware of the indubitable co-relation and interdependence between God and religion. If we look at religion in the Utopian, the ideal way of it, then it is merely the path to spiritual enlightenment and liberation in the manifestation of faith with Nirvana as one of the destinations. Now, when we look at religion this way, nothing seems wrong, right?

Maybe religion was a concept, a design, a humble notion, a working model that was devised to make people believe in their own faith. That’s all it seems, in broader terms. People want some kind of faith to cling on to. They need it, rather.

 So the guys back then must have thought that,

Hell yeah, they want a way to express their faith? Let’s give ‘em that. We’ll create this levelheaded thing called Religion which will be like totally cool and all. The lads will not only find a way to express and hang on but will also like, learn about life, you know, in an allegorical way.”

“All we’ll provide them with is the figurative path, in the form of short stories or poems which will like, guide them and all and give them a way to differentiate between the good and evil.”

But those guys weren’t completely right. Apparently, after centuries, religion is serious stuff. You can’t express your opinion without hurting a pocketful of over sensitive peeps. People think that their religion is the ‘best’ and all other should perish. Religion surely wasn’t created to cater to your ego? Surely the purpose was not to create a divide between people following a different religion?

All religions are connected to the identical Ultimate Reality and lead people towards a common goal. This is true even though the various religions make exclusive claims about themselves, sometimes asserting the uniqueness and incomparability of their God or ultimate principle.

Only egos, beliefs and faiths separate us.

The basis of any religion is that you must believe something someone else tells you is true, even though your mind tells you it is a lie and it makes no sense. There is name for that: fideism. Without fideism, the concept of religion would not exist.

I am not here to proclaim that the belief in your God is baseless. In my question, I just want to know why people believe so blindly? Without knowledge of other texts or ideas, how can people make informed decisions? Believing what you want is fine but I think believing while being ignorant of other matters pertaining to what you believe is ridiculous. In all likelihood, life isn’t fair. Religion and God give us the chance to not lose hope.

The difference between science and religion is that the former is always willing to reconsider any of its theories, laws and rules.

For me atleast, the religious texts are in a way like fairy tales. The characters are imaginary, the story is fictitious and at the end of it, it teaches us morality and principles. But when we start taking things way too seriously and as a matter of fact, way too literally, we tend to defeat the purpose of it all. It is like searching for the shoe that Cinderella lost or looking for the mirror which the queen used in Snow White.

People don’t take these stories literally. That is because they know it is not true and nothing like that happened. They are metaphors and analogies, after all. How we look at it is the bigger picture. To teach a point, allegorism is used.

QUESTION: How can the reader know which scriptures are literal and which are to be taken symbolically? Context and logic would be the key to this.

Consider doing all the things you have ever done to please your God.  Does it really make a difference? Do you think that only when you effectively please him, does he ‘grant’ you your desire? Or is it just another reassurance you give yourself?

You are only scared of God because you don’t know him. That is not a fear of God.  That is technically a fear of the unknown.

God is not a wishing well. God is you. God is what you want him to be.  God is that faith. We need something to look up to when all is lost. That doesn’t make it real. That’s like saying Batman is real. Maybe he is. After all, we can only try and contemplate to think rationally.

So, for you it may be Jesus, and for me it may be another. If you are unable to accept me for my beliefs then your religion has failed to do its job, which is to create peace. The only difference is that you need a monument to reassert your faith and I don’t.

You can choose to consider or not consider the extra ‘NOT’ in the parenthesis of the title. You have a choice here but not necessarily in religion.

Originally posted by DividedUnderGod

For over two years, the National Atheist Party has been a small political party recruiting members from the atheist community through social media, namely Facebook and Twitter. Despite the name of the party and religious affiliation of most of its membership, the NAP’s focus was not aimed at promoting atheism or tearing down religious dogma, as groups like American Atheists and Freedom From Religion Foundation do from time to time. Rather, as a political party, the NAP was more interested in removing religion from US government, fighting the presence of god in the public square, and strengthening the separation of church and state.

Many members of the party have long taken issue with its name, citing that someone’s religious affiliation does not define their politics, so naming a party “atheist” assumes that it represents all atheists, which it may not. It’s no different than forming a National Christian Party and assuming all Christians would have the same political leanings and be compelled to join. It’s presumptive and illogical. And if there’s one thing atheists hate, it’s the absence of logic. On top of that, the name suggests that only atheists are desired or allowed to join, which is untrue. In fact, anyone in favor of a government free from religious influence is encouraged to join.

So within its membership, an effort was born to change the party’s name to the Secular Party of America. This seems to fit the goal of its members, a secular government. Maybe more importantly, it removes the exclusionary Atheist name and extends the invitation to all Americans who desire a secular government to join. The internal push evolved into a strong campaign, complete with new logos and a commercial featuring current members explaining their vision for the party.

At the end of the day on July 13th, internal policy voting closed, and the party’s members agreed with the internal campaign, securing the 75% needed to change its name to the Secular Party of America. This change clears the path for the group to gain non-atheist members, promote itself without the “atheist stigma,” and focus on the party’s main goal — securing the separate of church and state that is a fundamental building block of the United States. The reborn Secular Party of America has a long road in front if it, but with strong leadership and focus, it has a chance to grow and have some influence in American politics.

The Religious Right-Tea Party-Corporate alliance that has shifted our country to the right for the last 30 years comes at a price to many groups. These groups could become sources to be tapped in our quest for more allies as we seek to grow our coalition of Progressives – but only if we change our name to the “Secular Party of America.”

American Employees

U.S. workers now work more than employees in any other industrialized country. The U.S. also has one of the worst unemployment insurance plans. Many get no paid time off or sick days. Europeans, by contrast get more sick leave, holidays and vacations and better pensions. Studies show this is why, in part, they are happier, have less stress and insecurity and live longer than Americans.

Europeans and Americans once put in comparable hours until about 30 years ago. While left-leaning groups in Europe pushed for employee rights, right-leaning groups in the U.S. shifted power from employees and unions to corporations. The gap between rich and poor, by which we once judged the stability of “third-world” nations, is now higher in the U.S. than any other developed country.

Women

Why do religious Conservatives put as much effort into fighting against regulating pollution-spewing industries as they do fighting for regulating what a woman does with her own body? Their focus on abstinence with no other sex education – even to protect against AIDS – has also resulted in more teen pregnancies and STDs.

Minorities

Affirmative Action has helped women, African Americans and Hispanics achieve positions of power. Health care and minimum wage increases also help these groups, which Conservatives typically oppose. And with the Republican-appointed Supreme Court justices gutting the Voting Rights Act, critics fear this will lead to an increase in attempts to deter minorities – who often cast their ballots for Democrats – from voting.

Seniors and the poor

You would think the Religious Right would be more empathetic, since they tout themselves as being quite moral. However, if you look at politician scorecards, you’ll see this is not the case. Those most vulnerable are constantly facing Republican-inspired cuts Social Security, Medicare/Medicaid and the Food Stamp Program – while at the same time fervently protecting the Bush tax cuts to the rich.

The GLBT Community

There are more hate crimes and bullying of those not following the sexual orientation of the majority with suicides at record highs. It is the religious, typically, who foment this hatred, which includes Republicans routinely fighting against gay marriage and other such rights.

Education

Besides the fact that the judge in Kitzmiller v. Dover ruled “intelligent design” was “creationism in disguise” and violated our First Amendment rights to separation of church and state, and despite there being zero evidence for ID, creationists (almost always Republican) introduce legislation yearly to sneak it into public schools. They have succeeded in some states.

Lawsuits against teaching ID in public schools argue that paying equal time to such notions corrodes understanding of the scientific process and hinders student performance in college-level science work.

Scientists

The shift toward the right end of the political spectrum carries a decreasing respect for science, which is in keeping with religion’s tradition of suppressing and oppressing science. Research funding also dries up in favor of tax cuts to corporations.

Animal Rights

It costs corporations more to provide humane living and slaughtering conditions for factory farm animals, so Conservatives typically oppose the same measures agribusiness opposes.

According to the Christian Research Institute, the animal rights movement is motivated by an “implicit or explicit rejection of God as Creator and of humans as made in His image and hence distinct from the animal world.”

Advocates for animals, by contrast, have a worldview that is distinctly secular. In a 1984 reader survey by Animals Agenda magazine, 65% of respondents said they were atheist or agnostic.

Environment

Corporate cash drives opposition to environmental regulations including the denial of man-made climate change – a science uncontroversial among most scientists – making the “denial machine” an industry in itself (starting with denying the negative impacts of tobacco).

The Republicans’ tendency to vote no on regulating heat-trapping CO2 emissions can be due to another reason besides corporate political campaign contributions. According to Congressman John Shimkus (R-IL), “Climate change should not concern us since God has already promised not to destroy the Earth.”

The Good News

Although the tolerance we’ve shown towards the Religious Right has only radicalized them, the number of those fed-up with their extremism has grown about as fast as a CEO’s annual bonus. We now have the numbers that will give us the power to stop the “religio-corporate” influence that has infested our democracy.

The secular movement is often dismissed as a “loosely bound” base of groups, but we can change that IF we change our name to something that resonates with a clear, positive focus that potential allies can relate to.

July 11 is your opportunity to bring about this political metamorphosis, when you can vote to change the name of the National Atheist Party, which is so negative-sounding to so many, to something with a far more empowering ring – the Secular Party of America.

 

References

 

Brown, H. “Of Animal and Human Rights” Christian Research Institute http://www.equip.org/articles/of-animal-and-human-rights (Ret. 2/27/12).

 

DiTellab R., MacCulloch R. “Inequality and Happiness: Are Europeans and Americans Different?”

Journal of Public Economics 2004:88.

Holzer, H., Neumark D. “What Does Affirmative Action Do?” Industrial and Labor Relations Review 2000:53.

International Labour Organization “Labour Trends Worldwide” ILO Statistical Volume 1999.

Kelly,C. “God Will Save Us From Climate Change: US Representative” Toronto Star 2010:11/13.

Kirby, D. “Abstinence, Sex, and STD/HIV Education Programs for Teens” Annual Review of Sex Research 2007:88.

Lowe, B. Emerging Moral Vocabularies: The Creation and Establishment of Moral and Ethical Meanings

2006 (Lanham, MD: Lexington Books).

National Center for Science Education “Scientists to Texas Board of Education: Teach Evolution Right!” Press Release 2009.

Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development “Income Distribution-Inequality” 2012.

Starobin, P. “Animal Rights On The March” National Journal 2010:5/22.

TheocracyWatch.org homepage

http://www.theocracywatch.org/index_before_nov_06.htm (Ret. 2/27