The Edmond Sun

Opinion

October 20, 2012

Obama has the Ohio atheist vote. Will it grow?

(Continued)

What is perhaps most politically significant when it comes to the rise of irreligiosity is the strong correlation in the U.S. between being nonreligious and being left-leaning politically. Of course, as Ayn Rand fans know, many secular Americans are conservative or libertarian. But most are not.

According to the Pew study, nonreligious Americans are about twice as likely as religious Americans to describe themselves as politically liberal, rather than conservative. And they are much more likely to vote Democratic; 63 percent of nonreligious Americans support the Democratic Party, with only 26 percent supporting Republicans.

In the 2008 presidential election, three-fourths of the nonreligious supported Obama, with only 23 percent supporting Republican Sen. John McCain. A related study recently conducted by the Council for Secular Humanism found that rates of left-leaning political orientation are even higher among those Americans who affiliate themselves with secular groups. For example, among subscribers to the secular humanist magazine Free Inquiry, 75 percent label themselves as liberal, progressive or socialist, with only 7 percent self-labeling as moderate, and 3 percent as conservative.

Numerous additional studies reveal the contours of the secular-liberal connection: Nonreligious Americans, when compared with their religious peers, are more supportive of same-sex marriage and abortion rights, more interested in protecting the environment, and more supportive of creating paths to citizenship for illegal immigrants. They are less likely to support the death penalty.

Yes, you could have guessed this already. And why should political operatives care, since these voters are concentrated in uncontested blue states? As the microtargeting boom has demonstrated, small subsets of voters in swing districts and states matter, and if secularism is on the upswing, then those subsets might be growing too. It is unclear how strong a wind this is for the political left.

The rise of the "nonreligious" is partly a result of the decline of liberal Christianity. People who might have considered themselves mainline believers a generation or so ago don't want to be associated with a belief system that they think has been hijacked by the religious right. The religious liberals have become nonreligious liberals.

Text Only
Opinion
  • RedBlueAmerica: Is parenting being criminalized in America?

    Debra Harrell was arrested recently after the McDonald’s employee let her daughter spend the day playing in a nearby park while she worked her shift. The South Carolina woman says her daughter had a cell phone in case of danger, and critics say that children once were given the independence to spend a few unsupervised hours in a park.
    Is it a crime to parent “free-range” kids? Does Harrell deserve her problems? Joel Mathis and Ben Boychuk, the RedBlueAmerica columnists, debate the issue.

    July 24, 2014

  • Technology that will stimulate journalism’s future is now here

    To say technology has changed the newspaper media industry is understating the obvious. While much discussion focuses on how we read the news, technology is changing the way we report the news. The image of a reporter showing up to a scene with a pen and a pad is iconic but lost to the vestiges of time.
    I am asked frequently about the future of newspapers and, in particular, what does a successful future look like. For journalists, to be successful is to command multiple technologies and share news with readers in new and exciting ways.

    July 23, 2014

  • New Orleans features its own “Running of the Bulls”

    On July12, the streets of the Warehouse District of New Orleans were filled with thousands of young men who were seeking to avoid being hit with plastic bats wielded by women on roller skates as part of the annual “Running of the Bulls” that takes place in New Orleans.
    The event is based on the “Running of the Bulls” that occurs in Pamplona, Spain, that is  part of an annual occurrence in which a group of bulls rampage through the streets of Pamplona while men run from them to avoid being gored by their sharp horns. That event was introduced to the English-speaking world by Ernest Hemingway, who included scenes from it in his critically acclaimed 1926 novel “The Sun also Rises.”

    July 22, 2014

  • OTHER VIEW: Newsday: Lapses on deadly diseases demand explanation

    When we heard that the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had created a potentially lethal safety risk by improperly sending deadly pathogens — like anthrax — to other laboratories around the country, our first reaction was disbelief.

    July 22, 2014

  • Holding government accountable for open meeting violations

    A few weeks ago I wrote about the recent success of three important government transparency proposals which will go into law this year.

    July 21, 2014

  • GUEST OPINION — Oklahoma GOP voters want educational choices

    A Braun Research survey released in January showed that Oklahoma voters — Republicans, Democrats, and Independents alike — favor parental choice in education.

    July 21, 2014

  • HEY HINK: IRS interferes with citizens’ rights of free speech

    The patient is gravely ill. We have detected traces of a deadly venom in the bloodstream. We don’t know how widespread the poison is, but we know, if not counteracted, toxins of this kind can rot the patient’s vital organs and could ultimately prove fatal.

    July 19, 2014

  • 130408_NT_BEA_good kids We're raising a generation of timid kids

    A week ago, a woman was charged with leaving her child in the car while she went into a store. Her 11-year-old child. This week, a woman was arrested for allowing her 9-year-old daughter to go to the park alone. Which raises just one question: America, what the heck is wrong with you?

    July 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • RedBlueAmerica: What should the U.S. do about illegal immigrant children?

    The crisis along the southern U.S. border has politicians and immigration officials scrambling. More than 52,000 children, mostly from Central American nations, have arrived so far this year. The Department of Homeland Security is running out of space to hold them all.
    President Barack Obama is asking Congress for $3.7 billion in borrowed money from taxpayers to cover the growing “care, feeding and transportation costs of unaccompanied children and family groups” when our own veterans are not taken care of. Texas Gov. Rick Perry criticized the president’s plan, saying more money should go toward securing the border.

    July 17, 2014

  • VA scandal highlights the need to change Pentagon spending priorities

    The ongoing Department of Veterans Affairs scandal raises an important question: When our veterans are being denied access to basic health care, why is the Pentagon squandering billions of dollars on programs that do not benefit our military forces? Is there a link in organization attitudes?

    July 16, 2014

Poll

If the Republican runoff for the 5th District congressional seat were today, which candidate would you vote for?

Patrice Douglas
Steve Russell
Undecided
     View Results