Despite diverse views, seculars will change the political landscape
Published on October 14, 2012 by David Niose in Our Humanity, Naturally With a new survey from Pew showing that about one in five Americans are now religiously unaffiliated, it would be reasonable to ask what impact, if any, the rapidly growing secular movement will have on public policy. (Among those under 30, the percentage is even higher: one in three.) This enormous demographic, silent for so long, is finding its voice, and the fallout could be significant.
Mistakenly, some have suggested that seculars are too diverse to convey a cohesive political message. Because nonbelievers are independent-minded and cover the entire political spectrum, some pundits say the movement will never gain political traction. “The very notion of uniting nonbelievers behind a common cause is pretty much an oxymoron,” writes Dana Milbank of the Washington Post, reflecting the predictable cynicism of a seasoned D.C. journalist, but also a surprising level of naivety.
Consider, for example, that this expectation of political unity seems to apply only to seculars. Surely few would dismiss the women’s movement so quickly, even though the women’s vote is usually split more or less evenly among candidates (48 percent of women voted for George W. Bush in 2004, for example). The LGBT movement, meanwhile, has seen much progress even as “conservative” gays fill the ranks of Log Cabin Republicans. And similar political differences are common within most racial and ethnic groups, despite common generalizations to the contrary.
To read the rest of the Psychology Today article from AHA President David Niose, click here.