It amuses me that the far right equates atheism with the poltical left. Yet, I know a lot of politically moderate and conservative people who are also non-theists as well. I surmise that part of this comes from Marxism and Karl Marx' stance on religion in general. But, what other reasons - valid or invalid - cause many to assume that all atheists must be radical leftists?

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I would think that there's plenty of atheists that are fiscally or politically conservative. Most are socially liberal because there's few good reasons to be against gay marriage or contraception, etc, that aren't related to religion. And since the conservative party in the US often puts up candidates that are toting their bible-based "morals," I would think many atheists would vote against them, even if they agree with the candidates' fiscal policies and the like.
Ayn Rand was an atheist and thought religion is stupid. Karl Rove is also rumored to be an atheist.

On the other hand, Marx called religion the opiate of the masses. Communism destroyed churches in Russia, and the true, French left, disenfranchised the Church after the Revolution.
In fiscal matters it's pretty easy to be on both sides of the spectrum as an atheist. There is no single "correct" economic theory that can easily be shown to be the "best" using only raw data and facts. Thus you see atheists all over the map in this area.

Social matters are another story though. You have issues like abortion and gay marriage where the only objections to them are based in religious dogma. So even if you have an atheist who's a fiscal conservative, they're typically going to support more "progressive" social policies than a straight-up tea-partying Republican.


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