Progressive Writer Contends ‘Atheists Can’t Be Republicans’
Progressives like to portray themselves as champions of tolerance and diversity, and a few of them truly are.
But for most progressives, diversity and tolerance are only acceptable when they involve things like sexual behavior, gender identity or skin color. Their “I’m okay, you’re okay” philosophy does not extend to the realm of ideas and opinions; in those areas, leftists demand conformity.
Atheist writer CJ Werleman is a typical progressive, as the title of his just-published book, “Atheists Can’t Be Republicans,” makes clear.
The nub of Werleman’s argument goes something like this: Individuals become atheists because they refuse to believe in things that can’t be measured, tested, or proven. Therefore, since Republicans’ entire political platform is based on myths and debunked theories, rational-thinkers simply cannot belong to the Grand Old Party.
Werleman explains his, ahem, logic in a recent Alternet article:
Atheists can’t be Republicans because the economic and social policies of the Republican Party have been proven abjectly false and dangerous. Much in the same way religion is false and dangerous. In other words, atheists who cling onto modern U.S. conservative ideology are hanging onto ideas that have either been proven mythical at worse or remain unproven at best. If atheists applied the same litmus test to their political ideology as they do to theology, then clearly an atheist cannot be a Republican.
The Grand Old Party (GOP) is not only a theocratic sponsor, it’s a party that has been proven wrong on just about everything in the past three decades or more: from evolution to climate change, trickle-down economics, that the Iraqis would greet us as liberators, that the Bush tax cuts would lead to jobs. It didn’t. It added $3 trillion to the debt.
They were wrong when they said the stimulus would trigger inflation, that austerity stimulates an economy in recession and that universal healthcare is worse than slavery, and they continue to prescribe debunked policies. That is when they aren’t carrying out a reenactment of the American Civil War in the chambers of the U.S. Congress i.e. obstruction, nullification, and disruption.
(Obviously, Werleman likes to paint with a broad brush, and has little use for a serious analysis of the issues he lists in rapid-fire style.)
Werleman acknowledges that some atheists lean right in their politics, most notably illusionist Penn Jillette and CNN commentator S.E. Cupp, both of whom are libertarians. But the author – who no doubt sees himself as very open-minded – ridicules Jillette and Cupp as clowns and idiots.
At the end of his Alternet screed, Werleman reveals that his objective is to convince non-believers to come together as a voting bloc to swing elections for Democrats, “the only party that is making fact-based attempts to deal intelligently with the nation’s needs and ills.”
Atheists are the fastest growing minority in the country. We now have the critical mass to shape elections and policy. Were atheists able to establish a monolithic political demographic, one that is based on proven economic and social policies, then our potential political power would translate into saving this country from the clutches of the American Taliban and Wall Street.
The idea that an army of narrow-minded progressive atheists might hold the keys to America’s political future is a depressing one. Let’s hope Werleman is just engaging in hyperbole to help bolster his book sales, which have to number in the tens.