Conventions leave atheists asking: What political party represents me?
A voice vote to change the DNC party platform turned to chaos Wednesday night.
September 6th, 2012
03:24 PM ET

Conventions leave atheists asking: What political party represents me?

By Dan Merica, CNN

Washington (CNN) – This convention season has not been good for atheists.

The word "God" was reinserted in the Democratic platform after it had been removed. A plan to raise atheist billboards in the convention cities was stymied by opponents. And though there were preachers and rabbis and other religious leaders opening and closing each day of each convention, there wasn’t an avowed atheist talking up unbelief on either convention’s speaking list.

The political lockout has left many nonbelievers asking, “What political party represents me?”

“We are deeply saddened by the exclusion of a large number of Americans by both parties,” said Teresa MacBain, a spokeswoman for the group American Atheists, in an interview on Thursday. “It amazes me that in modern-day America, so much prejudice still exists.”

After word spread Wednesday that Democrats left God out of their platform, atheists rejoiced. “Truly amazing news,” wrote Loren Miller on Atheist Nexus, a popular atheist blog. “The Republicans remain in the firm grasp of right-wing Christian religiosity, and I really don't know what it's going to take to free them from it.”

But the convention committee immediately received huge pressure get God back in the platform. Even President Obama, according to CNN reporting, said, “Why on earth would that have been taken out?” when he first heard of the omission.

In an awkward session that required three voice votes on the convention floor, the Democrats opted to add “God” back to the platform.

For atheists, the Democrats were seen to be taking away a hard-fought victory. “We had 24 hours of joy as we felt (that) finally our government values all people,” said MacBain. “But that was short-lived. The vote last night angered many atheists and left them feeling excluded once again.”

Online, atheist websites and Facebook pages went from upbeat to downcast as news spread of the platform revision.

“Obama was the first president to acknowledge non believers,” Mark Musante wrote on the American Atheists’ Facebook page. “I wish he would stick to his guns.”

Musante was referring to Obama’s 2009 inauguration speech, when the president said, “We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus, and nonbelievers.”

Beverly Sitherwood, on the Friendly Atheist blog Facebook page, accused the Democrats of “Pandering for power.”

Some atheist leaders used the platform defeat as a rallying call.

“I guess a tiny step was too much to ask for,” David Silverman, president of the American Atheists, told CNN. “This was a clear message to the 16% of the voting population - we don’t count. Well, guess what, Dems - we do. And we vote.”

Silverman says that 16% of the voting public identify as nonbelievers. According to the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, 12% of the electorate in 2008 was made up of people with no religious affiliation, though experts say the number of avowed atheists is much smaller.

While acknowledging atheists, Obama has given platforms to high-profile religious leaders, including Rick Warren, a megachurch pastor who prayed at his inauguration, and Catholic Cardinal Timothy Dolan, who is giving the final prayer of the convention on Thursday night.

American Atheists’ plans to raise billboards ridiculing the presidential candidates’ faith ended in failure. After the group put up billboards in Charlotte, North Carolina, the site of the Democratic National Convention, last month, it quickly removed them due to “physical threats to not only our staff, but the billboard company as well.”

American Atheists had also planned on a billboard in Tampa, Florida, to coincide with the Republican National Convention there. But American Atheists said that all the billboard companies in Tampa rejected a sign taking aim at GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s Mormon faith.

Perhaps because of the Republican Party’s ties to conservative Christianity, atheists tend to be Democrats. According to a 2012 Pew study, 71% of Americans who identified as atheist were Democrats.

“The Republicans who spoke at the RNC seemed more like televangelists than politicians,” MacBain said. “The message was clear from the RNC: Get God, or get out.”

The Republican’s 2012 platform mentions God 12 times, many of which describe the “God-given” rights that the Republican Party says are inherent to the American idea.

Though most atheist groups claim that there are closeted atheists serving as representatives and senators, only one has come out as such.

In September 2007, Rep. Pete Stark, Democrat of California, affirmed his atheism in a speech at the Humanist Chaplaincy at Harvard University.

- Dan Merica

Filed under: 2012 Election • Atheism • God • Politics

soundoff (3,922 Responses)
  1. therealpeace2all

    Reblogged this on peace2alldotme.

    September 6, 2012 at 6:52 pm |
  2. therealpeace2all


    " I guess a tiny step was too much to ask for,” David Silverman, president of the American Atheists, told CNN. “This was a clear message to the 16% of the voting population – we don’t count. Well, guess what, Dems – we do. And we vote.”


    I certainly understand where the atheists are coming from here, but what's the alternative...? Vote for Mitt Romney to show the DNC and President Obama how wrong they were ? Of course not. Would be crazy to do so.

    I strongly believe that the majority of atheists will still vote for President Obama.

    As time goes on, the message for non-believers, and agnostics will evolve and as sert itself into more of the mainstream society. It's time is here... and... it will continue to grow.


    September 6, 2012 at 6:49 pm |
    • melissa

      I am an atheist and I completely agree with you.

      September 6, 2012 at 11:39 pm |
    • therealpeace2all


      Thanks for your input.


      September 7, 2012 at 1:26 am |
    • bob searcy

      my god is a oxy / aceyelyne torch . steel faints with fear at its sight..

      September 16, 2012 at 11:06 pm |
  3. Bethy_AZ

    I prefer the Democratic party because although they may not understand/endorse Atheists, they respect the freedom to not believe either and that open mindedness is more important to me.

    September 6, 2012 at 6:08 pm |
    • I don't know who he is...but I do know this!


      I agree with you Bethy. The reason I always vote republican is to let the Democrats see that we are liberal too and have the exact same values. We just believe in different things.

      September 6, 2012 at 6:51 pm |
  4. The Bottom Line

    Both parties suck, and it has nothing to do with religion. Though the religion nonsense doesn't help.

    September 6, 2012 at 6:00 pm |
    • Larry Craig

      "Both parties suck," but only one attempts it by tapping your foot in an airport bathroom...

      September 6, 2012 at 7:09 pm |
  5. Chad

    "This convention season has not been good for atheists.

    The word "God" was reinserted in the Democratic platform after it had been removed. A plan to raise atheist billboards in the convention cities was stymied by opponents. And though there were preachers and rabbis and other religious leaders opening and closing each day of each convention, there wasn’t an avowed atheist talking up unbelief on either convention’s speaking list


    the US is a Christian nation

    September 6, 2012 at 5:46 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      No, it isn't.

      You look even dumber when you post things like that, Chard.

      September 6, 2012 at 5:49 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      The U.S is a nation with a majority of christians (of course all the denominations are glad to consider each other christian when it comes to numbers, all other times it's the no true scotsman free for all), but we have no state religion.

      September 6, 2012 at 5:50 pm |
    • Gangnam Style

      Chad, it is good for atheists and christians. When christians understand that atheists only want science and healthcare because they are good relative to having those things, we can get along and share the same belief system.

      September 6, 2012 at 5:51 pm |
    • ME II

      Exclusion of any religion, or non-religion, is bad for this country, and you too.
      If one group is excluded today, how do you know your group won't be excluded tomorrow?

      September 6, 2012 at 6:00 pm |
    • Truth


      the US is a Christian nation

      Hooray for social injustice! Hooray for ignorance! It is bliss after all!! Hooray for bigots and prejudice!! Hooray for Chad!!

      September 6, 2012 at 6:00 pm |
    • Anmiculi

      I think we should exclude all religions equally, that way no one feels prejudiced against.

      September 6, 2012 at 6:02 pm |
    • Chad

      "If one group is excluded today, how do you know your group won't be excluded tomorrow?"

      Because that's impossible, my religion is the right one so theres no way we could get excluded just because we deny others their right to practice their own religion or non-religions the way they want to. Plus, we have Chuck Norris on our side who would karate kick the excluders to mars! And I know all this because I am the center of the universe! All your base are belong to us!!

      September 6, 2012 at 6:04 pm |
    • Chad Stew, So Meaty...!!!

      "This convention season has not been good for atheists."

      Joel McAtheist "Yeah, because the past one's have been sooooo inclusive of atheists feelings..."

      September 6, 2012 at 6:08 pm |
    • Chad

      And my Magic Invisible Superfriend tells me it's true.

      And Magic Invisible Superfriend is going to jack you up really bad for the rest of eternity and beyong, because it is my loving fantasy that you get tortured realloy bad forever. That makes me feel good, in a loving Christian way.

      September 6, 2012 at 6:08 pm |
    • ME II

      Chad (Poe)... fail!

      September 6, 2012 at 6:08 pm |
    • Chad

      @ME II "Exclusion of any religion, or non-religion, is bad for this country, and you too. If one group is excluded today, how do you know your group won't be excluded tomorrow?"

      @Chad "what do you mean by "exclude"? Atheism and Christianity are by definition mutually exclusive world views.

      September 6, 2012 at 6:16 pm |
    • Chad

      hmm.. lot of fake "chad"s..

      if you are unable to discern the real one, I'll be signing off this particular thread..

      September 6, 2012 at 6:17 pm |
    • Reason

      "Atheism and Christianity are by definition mutually exclusive world views."

      An atheist can live his whole life never once attempting to convince his neighbor to become an atheist.

      A Christian who lives his whole life never once attempting to convince his neighbor to become a Christian, isn't really a Christian.

      For some reason Christians see no problem pushing their world view on others, and in fact require it of their followers regardless of the veracity of their beliefs. They constantly lobby anyone within ear shot to abandon whatever truth they may have found and join them, mainly because they can't stand being a minority and must make everyone think the way they do to validate their proofless theories.

      September 6, 2012 at 6:33 pm |
    • Jesus freaker

      Thanks Truth.

      September 6, 2012 at 6:53 pm |
    • sam

      All the Chads are making the same kind of (non)sense today.

      September 6, 2012 at 7:04 pm |
    • Chuck Norris

      "Karate Chop!!' ... Chad falls to the floor and shatters into a thousand confused ideologies just from the virtual impact of one air chop.

      September 6, 2012 at 7:07 pm |
    • hawaiiguest


      "what do you mean by "exclude"? Atheism and Christianity are by definition mutually exclusive world views."

      Hmmm, you'd be correct, if atheism were a worldview. Unfortunately for you, it's not.

      September 6, 2012 at 8:13 pm |
    • Chad

      1. a particular philosophy of life or conception of the world2
      2. a collection of beliefs about life and the universe held by an individual or a group3

      September 6, 2012 at 8:50 pm |
    • hawaiiguest


      And how exactly is the non-belief in god a worldview? It's a stance on a question. Just like you do not know which god or doctrines a person subscribes to from just the word theist.

      September 6, 2012 at 9:37 pm |
    • pugh7755

      @reason, one thing non-believers do not understand is that Christians do not force their beliefs on anyone. Everyone, Christians and non-believers alike, has freewill. Christians believe that accepting Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior and by living by the word of God, we will have everlasting life in heaven freed from the punishment of our sins. This is where the misconception begins. We do not preach hate or discrimination, we merely care enough to want to save those who risk an eternity of hell. This is done because we CARE. Not because we hate. Atheist try to erase God from everything out of hate. If you don't believe...fine. Don't like my cross don't look at it or just look at it as you would a generic pendant, don't want to hear our prayer then don't listen to it. Why is it that our religious symbols must be removed because you don't like them? If I don't like the color purple, I don't cry about it and try to force everyone from being able to wear purple clothes. I ignore it and move on with my life. If you think I'm a fool for my beliefs that's fine. Christians, like myself, do not hate atheists for their non-belief, but feel pain in our hearts that they will not be free from their sin. If I believe in God and live my life according to His word, what will I lose when my life is over, but if I deny His existence and He truly exists I will lose everything. This is known as Pasquale's Wager, but is it a gamble your willing to take? I don't live by Pasquale's Wager, I live by faith. I see God acting in my life, because I believe and have faith. A true Christian with true faith has all the evidence of God's existence that non-believers say doesn't exist. But their non-belief blinds them from the truth. This is not hate speech. Any person claiming to be a Christian and advocates hate is not a Christian. Just to clear things up for you and those who need it.

      September 7, 2012 at 3:59 am |
    • hawaiiguest


      Really? Pascal's Wager? Did you forget about the False Dichotomy that Pascal's Wager uses?

      September 7, 2012 at 2:24 pm |
  6. Gangnam Style


    September 6, 2012 at 5:42 pm |
    • Anmiculi

      This is the best thing you've posted. You should quit while you're ahead.

      September 6, 2012 at 5:55 pm |
    • Gangnam Style

      Done! LOL

      September 6, 2012 at 6:04 pm |
    • Jeff Williams

      Now, THAT was entertaining...

      September 11, 2012 at 11:13 am |
  7. jaleel shakir

    The party of SATAN!

    September 6, 2012 at 5:35 pm |
    • American Youth

      jaleel shakir, your a q.u.e.e.r, satan's gonna poke you in the rear!

      Satan is the devil, aka Lucifor the serpent.

      September 6, 2012 at 5:39 pm |
    • Jesus freaker

      Satan doesn't exist so that won't work.

      September 6, 2012 at 5:42 pm |
    • Truth


      September 6, 2012 at 5:58 pm |
  8. Reality

    The question has an easy answer, Obama. Why is that so?

    Obama "mouths" that he is Christian i.e. believes in gay Gabriel and war-mongering Michael the Archangel and Satan. BO's support of abortion/choice however vitiates has Christianity as he is the leader of the Immoral Majority who are now the largest voting bloc in the country. Immoral Majority you ask??

    The 78 million voting "mothers and fathers" of aborted womb babies !!! (2012 -1973 Rowe vs. Wade = 39.

    39 x 2 million = 78 million. Abortion rate in the USA as per the CDC is on average, one million/yr.

    And the presidential popular vote in 2008? 69,456,897 for pro-abortion/choice BO, 59,934,814 for "pro-life" JM. The population of the Immoral Majority in 2008? ~ 70 million !!!!!!

    September 6, 2012 at 5:32 pm |
    • Shauna

      You can be a Christian without forcing your beliefs on others. Read the First Amendment...you know where you aren't allowed to make laws influenced by religion. Your religion has no business in my business.

      September 6, 2012 at 6:21 pm |
    • Reality

      I am an agnostic as noted below:

      The Apostles' Creed 2012: (updated by yours truly and based on the studies of historians and theologians of the past 200 years)

      Should I believe in a god whose existence cannot be proven
      and said god if he/she/it exists resides in an unproven,
      human-created, spirit state of bliss called heaven??

      I believe there was a 1st century CE, Jewish, simple,
      preacher-man who was conceived by a Jewish carpenter
      named Joseph living in Nazareth and born of a young Jewish
      girl named Mary. (Some say he was a mamzer.)

      Jesus was summarily crucified for being a temple rabble-rouser by
      the Roman troops in Jerusalem serving under Pontius Pilate,

      He was buried in an unmarked grave and still lies
      a-mouldering in the ground somewhere outside of

      Said Jesus' story was embellished and "mythicized" by
      many semi-fiction writers. A descent into Hell, a bodily resurrection
      and ascension stories were promulgated to compete with the
      Caesar myths. Said stories were so popular that they
      grew into a religion known today as Catholicism/Christianity
      and featuring dark-age, daily wine to blood and bread to body rituals
      called the eucharistic sacrifice of the non-atoning Jesus.

      (references used are available upon request)

      September 7, 2012 at 12:15 am |
    • Reality

      The reality of se-x, contraception and STD/HIV control: –

      from a guy who enjoys intelligent se-x-

      Note: Some words hyphenated to defeat an obvious word filter. ...

      The Brutal Effects of Stupidity:

      : The failures of the widely used birth "control" methods i.e. the Pill (8.7% actual failure rate) and male con-dom (17.4% actual failure rate) have led to the large rate of abortions and S-TDs in the USA. Men and women must either recognize their responsibilities by using the Pill or co-ndoms properly and/or use safer methods in order to reduce the epidemics of abortion and S-TDs.- Failure rate statistics provided by the Gut-tmacher Inst-itute. Unfortunately they do not give the statistics for doubling up i.e. using a combination of the Pill and a condom.

      Added information before making your next move:

      from the CDC-2006

      "Se-xually transmitted diseases (STDs) remain a major public health challenge in the United States. While substantial progress has been made in preventing, diagnosing, and treating certain S-TDs in recent years, CDC estimates that approximately 19 million new infections occur each year, almost half of them among young people ages 15 to 24.1 In addition to the physical and psy-ch-ological consequences of S-TDs, these diseases also exact a tremendous economic toll. Direct medical costs as-sociated with STDs in the United States are estimated at up to $14.7 billion annually in 2006 dollars."

      And from:

      Consumer Reports, January, 2012

      "Yes, or-al se-x is se-x, and it can boost cancer risk-

      Here's a crucial message for teens (and all se-xually active "post-teeners": Or-al se-x carries many of the same risks as va-ginal se-x, including human papilloma virus, or HPV. And HPV may now be overtaking tobacco as the leading cause of or-al cancers in America in people under age 50.

      "Adolescents don’t think or-al se-x is something to worry about," said Bonnie Halpern-Felsher professor of pediatrics at the University of California, San Francisco. "They view it as a way to have intimacy without having 's-ex.'" (It should be called the Bill Clinton Syndrome !!)

      Obviously, political leaders in both parties, Planned Parenthood, parents, the "stupid part of the USA" and the educational system have failed miserably on many fronts.

      The most effective forms of contraception, ranked by "Perfect use":

      – (Abstinence, 0% failure rate)
      – (Masturbation, mono or mutual, 0% failure rate)

      Followed by:

      One-month injectable and Implant (both at 0.05 percent)
      Vasectomy and IUD (Mirena) (both at 0.1 percent)
      The Pill, Three-month injectable, and the Patch (all at 0.3 percent)
      Tubal sterilization (at 0.5 percent)
      IUD (Copper-T) (0.6 percent)
      Periodic abstinence (Post-ovulation) (1.0 percent)
      Periodic abstinence (Symptothermal) and Male condom (both at 2.0 percent)
      Periodic abstinence (Ovulation method) (3.0 percent)

      Every other method ranks below these, including Withdrawal (4.0), Female condom (5.0), Diaphragm (6.0), Periodic abstinence (calendar) (9.0), the Sponge (9.0-20.0, depending on whether the woman using it has had a child in the past), Cervical cap (9.0-26.0, with the same caveat as the Sponge), and Spermicides (18.0).

      September 7, 2012 at 12:17 am |
  9. Gangnam Style

    .I am personally a Christian Atheist, but I don't believe in God very much. That being said, I think God should be in the Dem's platform because we all believe it, no matter your personal beliefs are.

    September 6, 2012 at 5:31 pm |
    • Amniculi

      Lol @ "Christian atheist". Not even remotely a possibility. At the very most you are agnostic. Personally, I think you are just confused.

      September 6, 2012 at 5:33 pm |
    • Gangnam Style


      I am trying to offer up fairness and the spirit of cooperation. If atheists and christians can't see eye to eye, then why not just believe the same stuff? It makes no sense.

      September 6, 2012 at 5:36 pm |
    • Anmiculi

      What does that even mean? See eye to eye? On what? Religion? Never going to happen. Political issues?

      September 6, 2012 at 5:41 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Are you doing the invisible horse dance while you're writing this?

      September 6, 2012 at 5:43 pm |
    • Jesus freaker

      I've never heard that term, but I think it can be used for the atheist that continues to go to church for family reasons. I used to be a Christian atheist.

      September 6, 2012 at 5:47 pm |
    • Gangnam Style

      Tom tom you s.e.x.y lady!


      September 6, 2012 at 5:48 pm |
    • Anmiculi

      That's a new one to me, and I've been at this a long time. I've heard of closet atheists...Christian atheist is an oxymoron.

      September 6, 2012 at 5:50 pm |
    • Gangnam Style


      We Christian atheists believe in Jesus like the yogi that he was, but not in God. Also we love his father the Lord.

      September 6, 2012 at 5:54 pm |
    • Anmiculi

      Wow. I'm done.

      September 6, 2012 at 5:57 pm |
    • Anmiculi

      Well-trolled, Gangham.

      September 6, 2012 at 5:58 pm |
    • sam


      September 6, 2012 at 7:06 pm |
  10. Jefferson's Ghost

    This was a sad moment for atheist. Even the founding fathers foreseen this as an issue to separate religion from political issues because of the wide argument in God. So bad America does not have a valid third party to vote for because both choices in this election are awful. I guess God will have to choose who wins this election! If the 16% of nonbelievers jump ship, Obama just lost the election.

    September 6, 2012 at 5:30 pm |
    • Gangnam Style

      @Jefferson's Ghost

      I don't think it is so bad. Even if atheists had a third party to vote for, they might still vote Dem because the candidate might be better and the platform is close to home. If the Dems would quit harping on stem cell research, women's right to choose, healthcare and evololution, they would appeal to a lot of those republicans too. It is worth a shot.

      September 6, 2012 at 5:34 pm |
    • Anmiculi

      "If the Dems would quit harping on stem cell research, women's right to choose, healthcare and evololution, they would appeal to a lot of those republicans too."

      No kidding! Let's just pull the whole platform out from underneath the Democratic party! Hell, we won't even NEED a Democratic then! Of all the ridiculous comments...

      September 6, 2012 at 5:46 pm |
    • Anmiculi

      *Democratic party – CNN needs an edit option.

      September 6, 2012 at 5:48 pm |
    • Gangnam Style


      Don't get mad.

      September 6, 2012 at 5:49 pm |
    • Anmiculi

      Not mad. I just have very little tolerance for idiocy and ignorance.

      September 6, 2012 at 5:51 pm |
    • Gangnam Style


      You need to check that temper at the door. I don't believe in god. But god will not hear your prayers if you behave badly.

      September 6, 2012 at 5:56 pm |
    • CHRIS

      We all have an alternative this coming election...THE GREEN PARTY is on the ballet in most of the United States.

      The green Party takes NO corporate donations and so is not controlled as the two main parties are.

      If you are sick and tired of going into a voting booth , holding your nose, and voting for the worse of two evils, this November cast a vote for your Green Party candidates...JILL STEIN FOR PRESIDENT!

      September 7, 2012 at 9:16 am |
    • Takawalk

      Obama knows he won't loose the non believer vote If they vote which they will it will be mostly for the dems.

      September 9, 2012 at 3:59 pm |
  11. Can being alive kill you?

    I think the bottom line is that we as Jews and Yogis need that extra time to prepare.

    September 6, 2012 at 5:23 pm |
  12. Anticommunist

    The Atheists already have a party. It is called the COMMUNIST party!

    September 6, 2012 at 5:16 pm |
    • Huebert

      I'm an atheist, but that doesn't mean that I'm not a capitalist.

      September 6, 2012 at 5:18 pm |
    • Can being alive kill you?

      I know anti, I have a community where we get along and help one another. It really sucks. It would be better if I could just wash cars and look at the bag.

      September 6, 2012 at 5:19 pm |
    • Shauna

      Communist? Really? Troll much or are you really that stupid?

      September 6, 2012 at 6:26 pm |
  13. Brother Maynard

    Ok as an atheist I'm somewhat offended by the statment "Who represents us?" The last think I want to be treated as is a religion. Athiesm is NOT a religion. I am represented by the Consti.tution, where there is no God / Allah/ Visnue or any other super natural being. Where we have separation of church and state. I'll take that.

    September 6, 2012 at 5:12 pm |
    • Can being alive kill you?

      Brother, I don't think you should be offended. Think when the Jesus comes back he can explain to everyone that their is no god but our fate is on the TOP of that box of cookies.

      September 6, 2012 at 5:14 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      Well said, Maynard

      September 6, 2012 at 5:18 pm |
  14. Can being alive kill you?

    Hey you know I think that Huebert is correct. We should be able to provide some kind of evidence or whatever for atheism because proving there is no god reminds me of how I pretended to play drums in sixth grade bug almost killed some third graders on accident.

    September 6, 2012 at 5:09 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      You can't prove the nonexistence of something, and if you insist that a thing exists until proven it doesn't then that means you believe in Flying Spaghetti Monsters, The tooth fairy, unicorns on Neptune, that stars are powered by leprechaun farts, and so on.

      September 6, 2012 at 5:20 pm |
  15. SPA Knight

    The whole premise of removing God from a political platform in order to claim that you represent Atheists is silly. Atheists, like Christian, Muslim, Mormon and Jewish Americans should be represented by both parties or either parties. Removing God from our culture does not serve any American.

    September 6, 2012 at 5:01 pm |
    • Can being alive kill you?

      Removing God from our culture is akin to moist napkins in that it is difficult not to tear if you are scrubbing vigorously. I see why atheists are concerned at the convention with the pointiness of everything.

      September 6, 2012 at 5:04 pm |
    • Huebert

      Actually, I think removing god and religion from our culture would serve EVERY american. A reduction in magical thinking, an increase in scientific literacy, and an increase in a reality based world view could only benefit this country.

      September 6, 2012 at 5:06 pm |
    • SPA Knight

      Huebert – That has already been tried by other countries resulting in disatrous failure so why import that worldview into the best country on earth where all are free to think for themselves and believe or not believe. Repeating what has already been done expecting a different result is a sign of insanity correct?

      September 6, 2012 at 5:13 pm |
    • Huebert


      You misunderstand me. I know that trying to force atheism, or any belief, would have disastrous consequences. What I'm saying is that if atheism were the predominate position in this country, the country would be in a better moral and intellectual position.

      September 6, 2012 at 5:24 pm |
    • Anmiculi

      @Huebert – 100% agreed.

      September 6, 2012 at 6:08 pm |
    • SPA Knight

      Huebert – In your world view, who gets to define morality? As far as intellectualism is concerned, we have many in Washington and on college campuses and we are not better off.

      September 7, 2012 at 11:18 am |
  16. groinksan

    I'm an atheist. HOWEVER, like S.E. Cupp and a few other conservative atheists, we "appreciate" the idea that this country was founded by men who were inspired by God. Human beings, as a species that has reasoning skills, must have a belief of the supernatural. I don't believe for one minute that there is a spiritual being in existence. However, I also do believe that because humans can reason, they can also be dangerous to themselves if they ever figure out that there is no spiritual being monitoring them. Although I personally don't have a higher being to look up to, I don't go around killing people or making others' lives horrible. But, I think I'm a very minority because I'm convinced that once these other atheists are let loose, then civilization will turn into utter crap. Imagine movies like Mad Max or Escape from New York – that's the kind of world we would be living if atheists were to take over the world. We live in America, and we're stuck with the fact that the country was inspired by God-believing people. If you other atheists cannot accept that as fact, then you're a part of that "fundamentally changing" this country Obama has in mind.

    September 6, 2012 at 4:54 pm |
    • Can being alive kill you?

      I like the way you think. I was in a mad max once. Changing the fundamentals will very important as God is laid to rest.

      September 6, 2012 at 4:57 pm |
    • William Demuth

      Civilization already is utter crap for 30 percent of the world.

      What you REALLY fear is that we will take from the haves and give to the have nots. By force if needed

      You are wise to fear us, the status quo is your only shelter.

      September 6, 2012 at 5:00 pm |
    • Huebert

      Why should I accept your wild speculation as fact? Now if you could provide some evidence for what you say you would have my attention.

      September 6, 2012 at 5:02 pm |
    • David

      You are clearly a right-wing Christian posing as an Atheist so that you can criticize "your own kind."

      A big myth about Atheists is that just because they don't have to answer to a higher being, they will therefore have no morals or ethics. My experience has been that their morals and ethics exceed that of conservative Christians.

      September 6, 2012 at 5:42 pm |
    • groinksan

      @David – and you sir are a jack*ss to put words into our mouths, telling the world we don't want any sign of religion on anything. Not all of us atheists are like you. Most of us live our lives, and choose to live in America, and among the more than 80-percent of those who believe in a God. You do not represent the rest of us.

      September 6, 2012 at 6:21 pm |
    • Pastafarian

      "I also do believe that because humans can reason, they can also be dangerous to themselves if they ever figure out that there is no spiritual being monitoring them. Although I personally don't have a higher being to look up to, I don't go around killing people or making others' lives horrible. But, I think I'm a very minority because I'm convinced that once these other atheists are let loose, then civilization will turn into utter crap."

      I hate to point out that the current world we live in, with the majority of the world population clinging to religious beliefs, has not created a peaceful world by a long shot.

      September 6, 2012 at 10:20 pm |
    • JP

      Yea...except the founding fathers weren't Christians. At best they were Deists. Today, they *would* probably be atheists. This statement is nothing but propaganda generated by the religious right in an attempt to justify their continued existence in a country that was "born christian" – which it was NOT.

      September 7, 2012 at 10:11 am |
    • Takawalk

      JP They were heavily influenced by the Christian faith, Christian's were very much in the majority, just because you hear that they weren't don't make it so, and doesn't change history.

      September 9, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
    • Travis

      Takawalk we have their words to tell us they were not christians. The fact that being accused of Atheism could be punishable by death back then may also have something to do with it.

      September 10, 2012 at 1:13 pm |
    • Jeff Williams

      """Human beings, as a species that has reasoning skills, must have a belief of the supernatural. """

      I'm with David on this one. The language of your post (like the quoted sentence above) pretty much identifies you as NOT being an atheist.

      September 11, 2012 at 11:20 am |
  17. Kr55

    Need a couple generations to pass on still before unaffiliated (won't say atheist, because I think the actual number of people that outright call themselves atheist is still quite small) have enough numbers for the parties to cater to them. It'll happen, just not yet. Right now, if either side was to show love for people not for organized religion, they would definitely lose. Maybe if all unaffiliated people all got together and concentrated their population in battleground states, they could speed up the process, but that's not going to happen 🙂

    September 6, 2012 at 4:46 pm |
    • Can being alive kill you?

      I think the s.e.x trade around the convention is most likely healthy for the older gentlemen. I have read that Obama enjoys it and wants the delegates to be happy. Also in the interests of the Mormon Jews, they will need the younger girls in their rooms for afterwards. I don't know why the party platform doesn't hold that God is great.

      September 6, 2012 at 4:54 pm |
  18. 1crusader

    No one gets everything that they want in the real world.I have aligned myself with Democrats because I am in agreement with the majority of their agenda.However, there are parts of the platform that I don't agree with, but the party's agenda best represents what I stand for.It's unrealistic for atheists to expect the majority of the people in the party to disavow tenets of what they believe to accommodate a few people who don't believe.That doesn't happen in any organization.

    September 6, 2012 at 4:44 pm |
  19. Bored As A Stiff

    There's nothing here, really. The atheists "threaten" the Democrats with "We Vote", but they're all still going to vote Democrat, so what's the difference? The Democrats know they can disresprect, ignore, whatever, the atheists because the atheists aren't going to vote Republican no matter what. And, at 16% of the population, staying home on Election Day isn't a big enough threat. Their only chance to affect an election is to take their votes from the Democrats and give them to the Republicans – thus, doubling the effect. But we all know they're not going to do that. Personally, I'm just *thrilled* that while this country drowns in debt, with no end in sight, everyone wants to focus on religion. Yippee!

    September 6, 2012 at 4:42 pm |
    • William Demuth

      The Russian revolution started with 3 percent, and the French with 8 percent or so.

      We don't want to "adjust" the paradigm, we want to burn it to the ground.

      16 Percent is MORE than enough to destabilize a society

      September 6, 2012 at 5:03 pm |
  20. Meanwhile, back to the article...

    How thin-skinned can a group of people get? Get over your non-believing selves. Obama is a Christian. It's his faith, in spite of the idiots who try to claim he's Muslim. He's the candidate; it's his election; he's a Christian; and if he wants the party platform to reflect a recognition of his beliefs, then give it to him and shut up. He doesn't have to personally endorse every flavor of faith and non-faith that exists.

    September 6, 2012 at 4:41 pm |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.