Why do political candidates ignore the non-religious?


Humanist blog for publication on Feb. 29, 2016

So why do political candidates ignore the non-religious?

Why do political candidates seem to ignore the huge number of non-religious Americans? The number of atheists, agnostics and “nothing in particular” is now about 36 million. That number increased from 21 million just seven years ago, according to Pew Research Center.
Susan Jacoby, in a Feb. 5 column in the New York Times said, “Despite the extraordinary swiftness and magnitude of this shift, our political campaigns are still conducted as if all potential voters were among the faithful. The presumption is that candidates have everything to gain and nothing to lose by continuing their obsequious attitude toward orthodox religion and ignoring the growing population of those who make up a more secular America.”

Did you know?….

30% of incoming freshmen at colleges are atheist, agnostic or “none.” Source is Philip Zuckerman, author and secular professor at Pitzer College in Claremont, CA.
1 in 5 Americans have no religion. Pew Research.
The number of open atheists has doubled from 2007 to 2014.

More than half of Americans say they would not vote for an atheist candidate for president, regardless of his or her worthiness for the position.


What is “good?”

We say that a Humanist wants to be good and to do good things. So what are some of the characteristics and values of a good person? Here are some of them. But don’t worry or feel inadequate. Nobody has all of them!

The good person: (this goes for both male and female)

  • Treats other people the way he wishes they would treat him
  • Shows compassion for others
  • Tells the truth
  • Helps the less fortunate
  • Is generous with his time and money
  • Doesn’t cheat or deceive
  • Doesn’t hurt or kill
  • Doesn’t steal
  • Acts responsibly
  • Is trustworthy
  • Is dependable
    (Again, nobody has all these attributes…)

Here’s a letter to the editor in the New York Times that might interest you.

(It’s from S.T. Joshi of Seattle.)

“David Brooks (a leading NYT columnist) writes, ‘The secular substitutes for religion—-nationalism, racism, and political ideology–have all led us to disaster.’
So it appears that, if I am not religious, I must be a nationalist, a racist, and/or a political ideologue. Am I the only secularist who is deeply offended by this implication?
The true secular substitute for religion is reason. If that is not enough to get us through this current terrorism crisis, then we might as well say goodbye to civilization.”

Here are some major Humanist publications.

Name of Publication / Publisher

Secular Humanist /
Council for Secular Humanism

The Humanist /
American Humanist Assn.

Free Mind /
American Humanist Assn.

Church and State /
Americans United for Separation of Church & State

Free Inquiry /
Center For Inquiry

To be a good person and to do good things, it’s not necessary to have a belief in a supernatural being.