Skip to comments.The ‘nones’ say 2012 election proves they are a political force
Posted on 11/10/2012 12:31:09 PM PST by NYer
(RNS) Last month, Lauren Anderson Youngblood, communications manager for the Secular Coalition for America, approached Broderick Johnson, a senior adviser to the Obama campaign, as they both left a conference on religion and the election.
The SCA is an umbrella group representing 11 nontheistic organizations. So who, Youngblood asked Johnson, could she reach out to with their concerns about civil rights, access to health care and education?
“He said, ‘We don’t view you as a constituency,’” Youngblood said. “He said, ‘We don’t do outreach to that community.’”
After Tuesday's election, that may soon change. According to a Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life study released last month (October), “nones” -- those who say they have no religious affiliation or do not believe in God -- are the fastest-growing faith group in America, at 20 percent of the population, or 46 million adults.
In addition, nationwide exit polls conducted Tuesday show that "nones" made up 12 percent of all voters -- more than the combined number of voters who are Jewish, Muslim or members of other non-Christian faiths (9 percent), and only slightly smaller than the combined number of Hispanic Catholics and Black Protestants (14 percent).
The nones also skewed heavily Democratic, 70 to 26 percent.
All of this, Youngblood said, means political parties need to pay them more attention in the coming years.
“The numbers don't lie,” she said in an email after the exit polls came in. “They are an indicator of our untapped potential and politicians who want our vote need to focus on making decisions as lawmakers with reason and science, not theology. They need to tone down the religious rhetoric and when they do mention religious groups, mention us too, because we too are constituents and Americans and we deserve inclusion in our government.”
The Obama campaign did not respond immediately with a comment.
Neither party seemed to pay much attention to the nones in this election. In the Republican primary, all the candidates repeatedly spoke of their religious beliefs, and the Republican National Convention was rife with talk about God -- something nones and other Americans want less of in politics, according to surveys.
The Democrats seemed to ignore the nones as well. Many nontheistic and secular groups protested the Democratic National Convention’s last-minute inclusion of the word “God” in the party platform, and a local chapter of American Atheists protested outside the convention center in Charlotte, N.C.
Indeed, reaching out to nones may be a problem for both parties in the future. In analyzing voting data about nones, political scientist Juhem Navarro-Rivera wrote on Public Religion Research Institute's website about the difficulty the Democrats will face trying to reconcile conflicting segments of their base, like black Protestants and the nones.
Their “positions on social issues,” like same-sex marriage and abortion, he wrote, “are sometimes at odds.”
Nor will it be easy for Republicans. There has already been plenty of talk about how they must work to attract a more diverse range of voters. A 38-year-old man who blogs under the pseudonym Heathen Republican said abandoning religious rhetoric will help attract more nones.
“By using faith-based arguments, religious conservatives actually hinder the conservative movement,” he said in an email, asking to remain anonymous for professional reasons. “They create obstacles where there don't need to be any, and they make it harder for the non-religious voter to take the Republican Party seriously. Non-faith-based conservative arguments will appeal to religious voters and non-religious voters. Faith-based conservative arguments will make non-religious voters tune out.”
Meanwhile, nontheistic and secular groups are celebrating the election results. Many see their muscle behind state victories for same-sex marriage -- a pillar of their civil rights agenda -- and especially in the defeat of Florida’s Amendment 8, which would have channelled taxpayer money to religious schools, and which many of these groups opposed as a violation of the separation of church and state.
Some nontheistic groups have already moved to make their wants known. On Wednesday (Nov. 7), the American Humanist Association sent all newly elected members of Congress a request “not to join the Congressional Prayer Caucus and to actively work to ensure that the wall of separation between church and state is strengthened and maintained.”
Writing on the AHA’s website Wednesday, Matthew Bulger, the AHA’s legislative associate, likened the nones’ current political position to that of gays and lesbians a decade or more ago -- poised to be a voting bloc candidates ignore at their peril.
“It may take another election of two before we are truly able to make our political mark,” he wrote, “but have no doubt that day is coming.”
All that will happen next is their fault.
These n_nz think they are too...
The League of Militant Atheists AKA
Union of Belligerent Atheists
Society of the Godless
Union of the Godless
was an atheistic and antireligious organization of workers and intelligentsia that developed in Soviet Russia under the influence of the ideological and cultural views and policies of the Communist Party in 19251947.
So does this mean the GOP must pander to them too?
Looks like a great opportunity for evangelization to me!
So many groups to pander to, so little time. This is absurd.
Such sick radical egalitarians! She should know that nuns who worship Marx can never believe in God—much less Jesus Christ.
Her warped “thinking” dehumanizes men and women-—to where there is no difference —which is the Big Lie of Marx-—along with his hammer to force men into women into men-—and to destroy any image of a Designer of Human Nature.
She is SO STUPID!!!!! and SO post-Vatican II. We need to return to the true Catholic Faith.
... led by Sister Simone Campbell, executive director of the Roman Catholic Social Justice Organization NETWORK. She delivered a speech at the 2012 DNC.
These are amongst the most anti-catholic Catholics in the US. We pray for their conversion of heart.
I seem to recall that God got booed three times at the Rat convention. That was apparently obvious enough to the atheists who was on their side.
PROOF ,,,, A HABIT IS A HARD THING TO KICK !!!!!
Well we can’t just let the post op, transsexual, lesbian, cross dressing, Vegan, Buddhist, Eskimo, little people vote go to Obama.
A lot of these are your Ron Paul Liberty Movement voters.
Yes, you need to pander to them, but know what appeals to them. Paul can appeal to them. Evangelicals can't.
Most of these people are pretty militant; they won't accept an overly religious approach, but they will listen to the sweet siren call of Liberty and First Amendment because it allows them to be as they are.
Remember how Obama did it: Microtargeting a specific message to specific groups and fluff for mass consumption.
I don’t really care who they are or what they want. The GOP will never win the pander game because the democrats will always offer more to appeal to whatever selfish desire any particular group wants.
Bingo! It turns into a competition which the democrats will ALWAYS WIN because they are backed by the mainstream media. Rush Limbaugh devoted two days to that argument, this week.
RUSH: Mitt Romney is everything about this country Obama despises. Everything. He's too normal. He's too rich. He violates the Obama way to get things done, sort of like Clarence Thomas is despised by the Reverend Jackson and Al Sharpton. You know why? Because Clarence Thomas has become the most powerful in his position, he is the most eminently qualified for what he does, and he got there without going through the traditional prescriptions said to be necessary for African-Americans by the civil rights coalition.
The "nones" care about their right to not practice a religion and not have a religion legislated on top of them.
That's pretty much all they care about.
Now think about how I know this. I'll give you a hint: Born and raised Catholic, haven't been to a service in 20 years. Not likely ever to go back and not interested in being persuaded to try anything else.
Allahpundit as well is a "none". There are lots of us out there who would like to remain part of the fold. Most of them who are part of the fold, like me, understand certain realities and that there are things that can happen and things that cannot happen.
This needs to be explained to the "nones" groups by internal party operators.
Just yesterday the de-facto DREAM act illegals protested in Michigan because the secretary of state (Ruth Johnson) won’t give them driver’s licenses.
Johnson dumped it right back in Obama’s lap and told them that Obama had created the legal/non legal limbo they’re in and that they should take it up with him because its not her problem.
This game can be won in ten minutes.
Here is how you do it.
These guys care about two things - not being insulted and not having someone's religion crammed down their throat.
Seriously, that's about all they care about.
To win them, you take a part of the Standard Party Line and give it to them. This is what you tell them:
"We will defend to the death the First Amendment and your right to practice the religion of your choice or none at all."
Then you simply mention "those with no faith" in politicians' speeches. Just mention them. They'll flip out and be all smiles. Bush did exactly that. They completely freaked out and thought it was fantastic.
The only other thing you tell them is this:
"We are the party of smaller government. I'm sure you recognize, as do we, that as Government gets larger, the more things it regulates, and the more it reduces your freedoms and the ability to keep things at bay. We want to make sure you retain your rights, but the only way to do that is to shrink the size of the Government. Ask the Japanese during WWII how well 'Big Government' served them."
Quote to them that "A government large enough to give you everything you want is also large enough to take everything away from you" and add to that, "That includes throwing you in camps and forcing you into a church".
This one is a slam-dunk. It is amazing nobody can figure this one out.
Just for kicks.
Exactly who is it that’s cramming religion down their throats?