I saw something on Twitter recently that caught my attention. It’s nothing I haven’t seen before, just that seeing it again is a little surprising. It makes me wonder about atheists in general who are supposed to be smart people. Not any smarter than the general population, and in this case, maybe less smart than those same people inn the general population. What does someone’s politics have to do with being an atheist? I’ve written about this in the distant past, but seeing it brought up again just made me want to shout that outloud.
This subject may come up a lot in social media but I don’t see it very often. In fact, I can’t recall how long ago it was when I saw this last. I probably would never have known about this instance had not someone dropped me into the middle of the conversation as an example. A Twitter user asked:
So like…. have any of you guys ever actually meet a republican atheist?
Another user responded, and this is how I was dropped into the conversation:
Not in real life. @jeh7041 is one I know of on Twitter.
?there’s actually quite a few of us, many on Twitter, but I jumped in at that point to correct some misinformation:
I’m not a republican.
Which is true. I’m a conservative. Conservatism is an ideology, like liberalism or progressivism. Republican (Democrat, Libertarian, Green) is a party affiliation and may actually have nothing to do with what someone actually believes. I actually know people that say they are registered Democrats that are generally conservative. I know Republicans that are very liberal. What does political ideology, or party affiliation, have to do with atheism? Atheism is just a declaration of non-belief in gods and has nothing to do with anything anyone believes or supports beyond that. I mean, how many times does this need to be stated?
Sure, most atheists are what I’d refer to as left-wing. Some moderately so, others more radical. In fact, around 90% of those that declare themselves atheists in the U.S, say they vote Democrat. Not a lot of diversity is there? Of course, atheism has a diversity problem overall: It’s mostly a white, male, college educated, club. Women, in the large part are not attracted to atheism, as with minorities. I’ve written about this topic more than once: most recently here. An earlier post (from 2015) can be found here. I’m certain I’ve written about this more often. Just go to the home page, in the Search box, type in diversity.
I don’t know how many times, in this context, I’ve used the adjective curious to describe my thoughts about this. Why? Because it is strange to me that some cannot believe there might be people that have a different ideology, that are atheists! It’s not as if atheism is a private club. Anyone at any time can be an atheist simply for coming to a conclusion, on their own, that gods don’r (or probably don’t) exist. Why is it so difficult, maybe the adjective should be amazing, that people that do not hold the same political ideology., may agree that there’s no proof for the existence of any god?
I think one answer that comes to mind
is that people are led to believe, by the media and others that being a conservative is inherently a religious position. Just like liberals, there’s a spectrum of conservatism. Not all liberals are in lock step and, I know this is difficult for some, not all conservatives either. It’s becoming annoying that at least some atheists cannot stop before asking a question like above and be able to answer it themselves. I mean, really, how hard is it to understand that atheism is not a political ideology?
Maybe we conservatives, the few of us that are atheists should not refer to ourselves as such. I’m thinking about starting to use (again) non-believer, which is how I referred to myself initially. Non-believer might be more difficult for some to swallow but then we’ll probably not get the questioning of being atheist anymore.