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Atheists face uphill climb with new political party
Posted: 04 January 2012 05:43 AM   [ Ignore ]
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Atheists face uphill climb with new political party

By Kimberly Winston
Religion News Service
January 3, 2011
http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/on-faith/atheists-face-uphill-climb-with-new-political-party/2012/01/03/gIQAjs4oYP_story.html

How viable is a political party with the word “atheist” in its name?

Troy Boyle, a corporate legal representative for a finance company, thinks very viable. Last March, he and a friend founded the National Atheist Party, which they believe to be the first American political party organized on the belief that God does not exist. . . .

First called the Freethought Party, its original Facebook page attracted only a couple hundred members. But when the name was changed to the National Atheist Party, supporters started streaming in, currently more than 8,200. . . .

“We are convened with the idea that the Founding Fathers had it right,” Boyle said in an interview. “The separation of church and state, the establishment of the U.S. as a secular nation — those two concepts are our watchwords. We don’t want government to impose a religion, and we don’t want government to impose no religion. We want government to be silent with regards to religion.” . . .

John Green, a political scientist at the University of Akron and an expert on religion and politics, says the NAP may be the first American political party to organize itself around atheism. But such issues-based parties have a long history of dotting the American political landscape — before disappearing. . . .

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Posted: 04 January 2012 05:54 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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IMO the name “National Secular Party ” (NSP) would be politically more viable. It would not exclude theists, they just couldn’t use their theism to declare moral superiority. It would not be possible to become an atheist Nation, but we could conceivably become a true secular nation under secular law.

[ Edited: 04 January 2012 05:59 AM by Write4U ]
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Posted: 04 January 2012 06:01 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Write4U - 04 January 2012 05:54 AM

IMO the name “National Secular Party ” (NSP) would be politically more viable.

shock  Sounds like “National Socialist Party”. I wouldn’t touch that moniker with a ten foot pole.

Personally I don’t think a party of atheists is necessarily anything to crow about. Depends on their actual policy recommendations, etc. Just hearing that so-and-so is an atheist tells you virtually nothing about how they might actually govern.

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Posted: 04 January 2012 08:14 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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How about the National Party of Reason? And NPR could be our FOX. Now that would be clever.  cheese

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Posted: 04 January 2012 08:28 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Since both political parties are coalition groups, what about working through the major parties to accomplish a secular end? I know everyone will cringe at the thought of working with neocon Reps. but at the beginning of the 20th Century the Republican party had a progressive wing. I wonder if it could be revived? By separating ourselves into a third party, most voters would develop an “us v. them” mentality. They already see skeptics as a group apart. We need to work to end that stereotype.


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Posted: 04 January 2012 03:41 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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dougsmith - 04 January 2012 06:01 AM
Write4U - 04 January 2012 05:54 AM

IMO the name “National Secular Party ” (NSP) would be politically more viable.

shock  Sounds like “National Socialist Party”. I wouldn’t touch that moniker with a ten foot pole.

Personally I don’t think a party of atheists is necessarily anything to crow about. Depends on their actual policy recommendations, etc. Just hearing that so-and-so is an atheist tells you virtually nothing about how they might actually govern.

I abhor any name with “ism”  or “ist” in it.  It becomes recognized as just another belief system and that makes it exclusive.
Atheist by definition means “unbeliever” or “infidel”.  I wouldn’t touch that moniker with a 3000 year old pole.

The word Secular is inclusive as the founders of CFI recognized. How about SNP ?

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Posted: 04 January 2012 10:08 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Or “Secular American Party” or “SAP?”

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Posted: 04 January 2012 10:37 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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From a PR standpoint, I’d give that a better chance than NAP.

[ Edited: 04 January 2012 10:39 PM by Write4U ]
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Posted: 04 January 2012 11:38 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Secular American Party is pretty good; “Reason party” would work also.  However, it would take decades or maybe centuries for this party to gain ground in America downer  - so lets get it going. cool smirk

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Posted: 04 January 2012 11:45 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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What about just “The Party”.  Everybody loves a party….... LOL

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Posted: 05 January 2012 05:56 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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According to the article, this micro-movement didn’t attract interest on Facebook until it changed its name from the “Freethought Party” to the “National Atheist Party.” So while “National Secular Party” “Party of Reason” may sound like worth partying about in a humanist forum, the evidence is against that in a larger forum.

On the other hand, the mostly politically liberal platform—“gay marriage (for it) gun control (tighten it), abortion (a woman’s decision), immigration (reform it), energy (green it), and the economy (legalize recreational drugs to create revenue and jobs)”—will limit the party’s appeal even among atheists, never mind humanists and other freethinkers.

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Posted: 05 January 2012 06:53 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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josh_karpf - 05 January 2012 05:56 AM

On the other hand, the mostly politically liberal platform—“gay marriage (for it) gun control (tighten it), abortion (a woman’s decision), immigration (reform it), energy (green it), and the economy (legalize recreational drugs to create revenue and jobs)”—will limit the party’s appeal even among atheists, never mind humanists and other freethinkers.

Those things aren’t appealing to atheists/humanists? Jeez, it’s my party all the way.

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Posted: 05 January 2012 11:13 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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Since both political parties are coalition groups, what about working through the major parties to accomplish a secular end? I know everyone will cringe at the thought of working with neocon Reps.

They better get over it simply as a practical matter. As long as their constituancies continue to vote these people into office, they will have power and that’s something which will have to be reckoned with.

We may not like it…and I don’t…but we have to deal with it.

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Posted: 05 January 2012 11:19 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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josh_karpf - 04 January 2012 05:43 AM

Atheists face uphill climb with new political party

By Kimberly Winston
Religion News Service
January 3, 2011
http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/on-faith/atheists-face-uphill-climb-with-new-political-party/2012/01/03/gIQAjs4oYP_story.html

How viable is a political party with the word “atheist” in its name?

Troy Boyle, a corporate legal representative for a finance company, thinks very viable. Last March, he and a friend founded the National Atheist Party, which they believe to be the first American political party organized on the belief that God does not exist. . . .

First called the Freethought Party, its original Facebook page attracted only a couple hundred members. But when the name was changed to the National Atheist Party, supporters started streaming in, currently more than 8,200. . . .

“We are convened with the idea that the Founding Fathers had it right,” Boyle said in an interview. “The separation of church and state, the establishment of the U.S. as a secular nation — those two concepts are our watchwords. We don’t want government to impose a religion, and we don’t want government to impose no religion. We want government to be silent with regards to religion.” . . .

John Green, a political scientist at the University of Akron and an expert on religion and politics, says the NAP may be the first American political party to organize itself around atheism. But such issues-based parties have a long history of dotting the American political landscape — before disappearing. . . .

I believe this is all crackers. Might as well start a national white party or a national disability party.

whether some one believes in God or not has nothing to do with A) whether they are rational about their political views and B) whether they share your political values.

Stephen

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Posted: 05 January 2012 01:15 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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I agree Stephen, but the reality is that a religious litmus test is creeping into the process. Churches actively participating in the election process, not to choose the best qualified, but to choose the most pious. Legislation, under the guise of “religious freedom” being introduced to put creationism back into schools, forbidding sharia law, but installing Xian law.
IMO, we are entering a very dangerous era in our secular democracy.  Democracy is a very fragile type of government as it does allows for much freedom. Oddly, this is now seen as the freedom to chip away at our democracy.

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Posted: 05 January 2012 03:46 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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I just don’t like the idea of skeptics separating themselves out of the mainstream and creating a 3rd party (or 4th one or 5th etc.) when we’re trying to convince our neighbors to think about an alternative to their superstitions. I like having an Obama sticker next to my N’chips fish and evolution stickers. And NAP is too close to NSDAP if you know what I mean. We might attract a few dyslexic skinheads and that’s a scary thought. We’re trying to separate politics and religion and the christians will see us as attempting to legislate out their belief system, perish the thought! That would be similar to the South’s anger over the abolitionist party. It led to a war.


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