Atheists for Obama
A visitor to Irregular Times came upon one of our more recent articles about religious pluralism in the context of the 2008 campaign: Zoroastrians for Obama. The point of that article was to remind people fond of discussing the importance of "faith" in American politics that "faith", or religion as it is more plainly named, is not equivalent to Christianity. Religion in the United States of America is much more diverse than just the range of ideologies within Christianity, though you wouldn't realize that by paying attention to the coverage of the 2008 presidential campaign.
We celebrated the first sale of our Zoroastrians for Obama bumper sticker, which we post without preference right along with bumper stickers like Christians for Obama and Wiccans for Obama. Some, like Mormons for Obama, haven't sold at all. Others, however, like Presbyterians for Obama, are selling quite briskly.
Our reader asked us a simple question: "...no Atheists for Obama?" Luckily, we had a good answer for that. Yes, we do have an Atheists for Obama bumper sticker. We've got an Atheists for Obama campaign button too.
We're not completely uncritical of Barack Obama when it comes to his stance on religion and campaigning. There have been some moments of disappointment, as he's relied upon churches to campaign in the South, for example.
However, there isn't a single presidential candidate in 2008 who hasn't used churches as campaign tools. 2008 has been the year that it ought to have finally become clear to people in both political parties that whenever religion gets mixed into electoral politics, what results is an awful, embarrassing mess.
Out of the presidential candidates who remain, it's Barack Obama who has done the best job of respecting cultural pluralism, including the right of all people, including non-religious Americans, to respect and equal protection under the law. John McCain has aligned himself with the likes of John Hagee, who has declared that Jews are to blame for the Nazi Holocaust. Even Hillary Clinton has encouraged her supporters to question whether Barack Obama is a secret Muslim, and flogs the Jeremiah Wright nonsense whenever she gets the chance.
Through all the dirty politics used by his opponents, it's been Barack Obama who has taken the high road, and refused to attack people because of their cultural identity. It's for that reason that so many atheists have chosen Barack Obama as their candidate.
Atheists don't suppose that Barack Obama is going to give them special preference. To tell the truth, that's not what atheists even want. Atheists just want to be on equal footing with their religious neighbors, as the Constitution guarantees under the equal protection clause and the First Amendment in the Bill of Rights. Barack Obama has proven that he can see beyond cultural differences to want to protect the rights of all Americans.
Besides our bumper sticker and buttons, there's an actual Atheists for Obama group on the Barack Obama presidential campaign web site. The group explains in its opening statement: "People without religious or spiritual faith who appreciate Obama's take on faith & politics: staying true to his own convictions while acknowledging the power of a pluralistic society."
It's time for us all, atheist, religious citizen and other, to come together, so that our nation can survive, and pull out of its descent into fearful demagoguery.