Since when does (not) having a belief define you politically?
1. A rational and skeptical approach to evidence based conclusions and a belief that morality is not the result of a disembodied authority - absolutely do have significant consequences on political discourse.
2. In the United States a political party that is honest and does not play lip service to the bedrock constitutional imperative of a secular nation and the separation of church and state (not to mention one that doesn't try to pander to and manipulate the religious) is of utmost importance.
3. This party is defined by more than an epistemological stance. If you make the effort to read the information provided, you will see the party philosophy is articulated and there will be a formal charter and platform with which to assess how effectively this party reflects your own political goals.
Why "The National ATHEIST Party" instead of "secular" or "freethought?" I would love to see true separation of church and state, but I'm not an atheist, so I kind of feel I don't belong here.
We've had to answer this question numerous times. We are the "atheist" party for several reasons.
1. The founders of the party (me, and Mark Smith) are atheists.
2. We know that there is a bad connotation to the word, and we want to reclaim the word and make it a positive connotation. Much like the African-American activists of the 50s did with "negro." They don't use it now, but it was a necessary first step.
3. Humanist and Secularist are terms that the public doesn't understand very well - there is not an immediate understanding that we share a belief that gods, especially the God of Christianity - which is forced down our throats in every walk of life - does not exist.
4. Christians don't call Secularists, secularists. Christians call secularists "atheists." So you are one whether you want to claim the label or not. When 80% of the population calls you an atheist, you should own up to it and depower them, not scurry to find some other less castigated term, in the hopes of escaping the stigma. As far as Christianity is concerned, Atheists, Humanists, Secularists, Pantheists and Pagans are ALL going to Hell.
5.NAP is a democracy. If you wish to effect change-including the name-, develop a campaign, make your case to the membership and if you can get 66% of those who vote to agree that a name change is in order, we will add it to the voting agenda in March. At that time, we will accept any number of alternative names for the vote, including the current name.
Is this party only for atheists?
--There is no religious test for membership. The party is open to anyone who applies. We do not reject anyone, for any reason whatsoever.
Isn't creating "The National Atheist Party" merely the mirror image of the theocratic politicians it opposes.
--Theocratic politicians want to include their specific religion in the government arena – a place where it doesn’t belong. Our party seeks to apply a strict observation of laws that are already in place, albeit poorly enforced. We agree with the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment and call foul upon those who would violate it. The difference between the law as it is and the theocratic version is vast. The difference between the law as it is and the National Atheist Party’s version is no difference at all, save that the law must be enforced and not allowed to be chipped away.
Also, theocrats would force ONE vision of religion on the nation. The NAP doesn’t care what religion you are. We support the free exercise of any religion, provided that it doesn’t violate those common spaces where people of multiple faiths, or no faiths at all, must congregate. These places are the halls of government, the school room, the workplace and the courthouse. All people should be free to worship in their homes, their places of worship, or in public spaces not otherwise regulated. Doesn’t sound like the “mirror image” to me. Unless by mirror image you mean tolerant and ethically correct.
Why is the party mostly liberal ideas, which some might say have absolutely nothing to do with the atheist identity?
--Not only does such an assumption strip atheists of the right to have a political voice, it reprobates them for trying. Our platform was generated by the membership through majority vote. You do not see in it the ideas of a few people. You see there the distilled ideas of hundreds of atheists. If our platform is liberal, what of it? It’s still OURS.
How old/young is the NAP? Founded in March 2011
Who founded it? Troy Boyle and Mark Smith
Is there any central or 'top-level' leadership?
--Leadership inculdes the Executive Board and the Advisory Council. Eventually, committees to focus on specific policy issues will be formed and headed and members wit...h expertise and interest will be needed to present data and policy proposals to Board and council and educate active membership on the issues.