#AtheistVoter Campaign to Politicians: We Are Abundant, Passionate Voters

Voters take advantage of the first day of early voting at the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk's office in Norwalk, California October 25, 2012. |

An atheist organization has launched a social media campaign in the hopes of creating awareness for the secular electorate.

The New Jersey-based American Atheists launched the #AtheistVoter campaign on Tuesday as the midterm congressional elections draw near.

David Silverman, president of American Atheists, told The Christian Post that the campaign was created to refute the claim that the atheist community is "small or insignificant."

"This leads to politicians ignoring atheists in their constituency, because the politicians think we don't exist, so we don't vote," said Silverman.

"We created the hashtag to use the power of social media to raise awareness of our positions and our passions to the politicians, and to make sure that everyone in politics knows that there are many, many atheists in every constituency."

Silverman also told CP that this was the first "get out the vote" effort his organization has done that is "geared directly toward the politicians themselves."

"It's great to wear your atheism on your sleeve when you vote, but it's more important to make our elected officials know that atheists are abundant, passionate voters," said Silverman.

"We are very hopeful that the movement will utilize this opportunity to raise awareness nationwide of the importance of the atheist vote."

The campaign has a website wherein American Atheists calls for non-theists on Twitter to tweet a message to politicians using the #AtheistVoter hashtag.

Policy positions the site lists include support for "Reproductive Health" and "LGBT Rights", as well as ending "special treatment of churches in the tax code" and an end to the federal government's faith-based initiative.

David Silverman
David Silverman, president of American Atheists, seated at a monument bench unveiled and dedicated on June 29, 2013 at the Free Speech Forum at the Bradford County Courthouse, Fla. |

However, not every atheist organization concurs with this list of positions being integral to how an atheist should vote.

Jillian Becker of the group The Atheist Conservative, told CP that they took issue with the premise of the campaign, such as religion playing a major role in everyday government actions.

"We gather from what they say that is left-leaning. 'Health care choices for women' is a euphemistic phrase for supporting abortion on demand and contraception paid for by the tax-payer," said Becker.

"We do not agree with them on those issues. Nor have we noticed that the Christian religion plays any part in 'everyday government practices.'"

The Atheist Conservative also told CP they do not advocate for "religion playing any part in politics," but that they felt that political reasons for supporting a candidate take precedence.

"Every politician pays at least lip service to religion, but for very few (Rick Santorum, for instance, is one of those few) is religion a political issue," said Becker.

"We support candidates for political reasons. What intelligent and well-informed person would do otherwise?"

When asked by CP about whether or not the listed agenda items on the #AtheistVoter website might be alienating to atheist conservatives, Silverman countered that "the 'social conservative' agenda is not conservative at all."

"Marriage equality, abortion rights, contraception rights, school prayer, death with dignity, these aren't conservative issues, they are Christian issues," said Silverman.

"For the most part, atheist conservatives don't agree with these positions, instead supporting the truly conservative policies of small government, gun rights, etc. For this reason, we believe that conservative atheists will be able to support this effort fully."

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