Letter to the Editor: Politicians should not ignore secular Americans
In a shameful display of pandering to the religious right, some conservatives seeking the nomination for the presidency of the United States are alleging that there is a crusade against God and religion. Using fear mongering as a tactic, one has charged that electing one from the “secular left” will result in the end of Christianity and that we will no longer be a free nation.
There is no crusade against God or religion coming from the secular community or anyone else for that matter. It is true that religious conservatives are slowly losing their ability to force their rigid ideology on the American public. There has been a fundamental shift in the hearts and minds of the American voting public. A poll conducted by the Pew Research Center on Religion and Public Life revealed that the non-religious [referred to as “nones”] are on the increase and Americans who refer to themselves as Christians is shrinking.
Since 1993, the percentage of nones has grown from 9 percent to 22 percent. The poll also showed that 31 percent of nones, about 17 million Americans, identify themselves as atheist or agnostic. An additional 39 percent say that religion is not important to them, which means that almost 16 percent of Americans are atheist, agnostic or secular and that separation of church and state is vitally important to them.
Politicians would do well to take heed and not ignore the substantial voting bloc of secular Americans in the upcoming presidential election 1n 2016. More Americans are coming to believe that those of us who don’t believe in God are still moral and good people.
To my religious friends — yes I do have dear friends who are deeply religious — I say that secular humanism is not your enemy, rather it is your ally in the fight for social justice. In the words of Bishop John Shelby Spong, “Secular humanism is the glow of Christianity that remains when the interpreting myths have been abandoned. It is the bloom of the rose long after the rose has been severed from its roots.” Let us work together. Equality for all, Privilege for none!
Gene Rigelon, Front Royal