As we have all heard, McCain and Obama were invited for a "debate" at Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, California, a huge and hugely influential ministry run by Pastor Rick Warren, a multi-million selling author. Both of them displayed various degrees of brown-nosing. As a regular church-goer who seems comfortable talking about his faith, Sen. Obama is ostensibly better placed than most recent Democratic candidates to win over evangelicals and, except for his pro-choice stance, easily spouts scripture to placate their occasional displeasure. For his part, McCain's unswerving anti-abortion rhetoric served to keep the congregation happy.

Well, hooray for them! They both managed to kiss enough religious ass to convince christians of their piety. Now how about addressing our concerns? I'd like to know where they stand on a real separation of church and state. Which one will promise to stay out of our bedrooms and classrooms? Who will remove god from our courts and schools? Doesn't anyone have the balls to dismantle the Shrub's faith-based initiatives?

Are we not a bloc to be wooed? Where is the candidate who recognizes non-believers as an important group of voters? Who stands up for reason as opposed to blind faith? Where is the man (or woman) who sees us as the thinking, intelligent, open-minded group we are and who wants to be viewed in the same light? In other words, who is the atheist-approved candidate?

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By wooing the religious bloc, they've answered all of your above questions. Answers are as follows: What? Neither. No one. No. No. There isn't one. No one. Who knows? No one.

We have been pretty well ignored for a very long time, but many of us found a certain amount of hope in the Democratic party. They are now making it very clear to almost half their base (40% being secular at the very least) that they prefer to have the votes of crazy people than us. If this is the direction Dems are going, I'm getting off at the next stop. I don't know who's driving the next bus we can get on.
This may be a bit harsh but as far as I'm concerned there isn't one.

The candidates little "debate" (church fundraiser) last night and the DNCs opening day multi-faith group-hug event more or less tells me neither side cares to woo the godless.

I don't blame either one of them though. The state of mental affairs in the U.S. seems to call for the theist pandering. If a candidate stood up and said he/she wasn't the member of one of the major religions they'd have no chance of winning.
In February, Lori Lipmann Brown, the Executive Director of the Secular Coalition for America, spoke to a Minnesota Atheists meeting. After her presentation, I asked which of the leading presidential candidates could be expected to support the following measures:

• Instructing the Justice Department to initiate suits against state and local governments that post religious displays on public property, that open public meetings with sectarian prayers, and that issue declarations endorsing and promoting religion.
• Ordering federal programs to make no payments to religious organizations, ending the Bush faith-based initiative and charitable choice programs.
• Closing the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives.
• Aggressive prosecution of churches and clergy for political endorsements that violate their tax exemption.

She answered at length, but the bottom line is that no major candidate would consider supporting any of them. The next day I sent the same proposals to Brian Moore, the Socialist Party Candidate. Within about 20 minutes he responded that he believed strongly in church/state separation and would happily support them all.

The election of either Barack Obama or John McCain will be a disaster for secular government.
I still have a lot of deliberation on this, but I'm leaning strongly towards giving up my Democratic affiliation. They get one more guaranteed vote from me and that's not because I actively support the candidate, but just that I see the importance of not allowing another Republican into the White House after 8 years of that maniac. I'm passionate about my secularism, but I'm no one-issue woman.

That said, though, for the sake of my own self-respect and sanity, I need to go back to voting my conscience. I can't go through the rest of my life just voting against the other guy, and because I'm someone who takes the political process seriously and isn't so jaded to think my vote doesn't count towards something, I need to vote. I've been a Democratic Socialist at heart...arriving at more socialistic ideals through the democratic process (via the Democratic party, as at least that party is in the game). Maybe it's high time I sucked it up and swicthed parties. I could still vote in whatever way I needed to, though in PA I would not be able to take part in the primaries (which is really why I'm registered Democrat in the first place), which would be frustrating.

*sigh* It's all so frustrating.
This is what is so annoying to me about atheists who rail against organization and at the same time whine about being steamrolled by oragnizaed religion in our politics and government. A game is being played and the score affects us whether we like it or not. It's about time we formed a team and went to bat.
The work that has to be done at this stage of America's political development is to build a party. Voting is not important until we get that done.
No party is wooing us, and they don't think they need to do so I am sure. I've noticed that depending on the source, the statistics for how many atheists live in the US varies wildly. Some stats say 2% of Americans are atheists, which is completely ridiculous, but poll results are all over the place.

Look at these:
I think his name is Pete Stark? He's openly atheist and in congress. (Some other congresspeople have anonymously admitted to not believing in God.)
It was in an article about Pete Stark...don't have it on hand unfortunately.




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