Read an article on the Washington Post about a new political party called the National Atheist Party. While I applaud the effort to get atheists more involved in the political process, trying to include a broad progressive platform into such a narrow religious belief label is the wrong way to go.
The National Atheist Party is a non-profit, 527 political organization devoted to issue advocacy. As a 527 they can’t endorse candidates. In their mission statement the NAP says:
We are an American political party, uniquely formed as a true, constitutional movement, reaching out to all who seek a secular government as outlined in the First Amendment to our United States Constitution. Our mission: To politically represent U.S. atheists and all who are drawn to our mandate, in a political process that has thus far marginalized and ignored one of the largest and growing segments of the U.S. population.
The National Atheist Party is a diverse, all inclusive, progressive, secular political movement and a response to the lack of representation for all free thinking people who are legal, law abiding citizens of the United States. We demand emancipation from the religious dogma that has infiltrated our government and has unfairly influenced political decisions and policy making. We are for the people, by the people, and therefore incorporate the right to use the power of the people to restore equality to our Democracy using reasonable, rational and non-violent means.
The National Atheist Party is open to people of all races, sexes and sexual orientations, and cultures. We are committed to a government free of superstition and bias and are guided by principles of equal opportunity, recognition of merit, and economic responsibility. The National Atheist Party does not seek to inhibit the religious practices or beliefs of any group, but is committed to the idea that religious preference is a private matter and has no place in the government or workplace. We support the separation of church and state, and seek to ensure its strictest interpretation.
That is all well and good but beyond support for separation of church and state, I don’t think atheists can have a singular political view. I know many liberal atheists and I know quite a few Libertarian and conservative atheists. A political party needs to have a platform that most supporters agree on. I’m pretty sure there will be a large group of atheists that will refute that the NAP speaks for them.
Atheism is simply the lack of a belief in a god(s). Any beliefs beyond that moves you into general freethought or secular humanism, which I subscribe to. I’m an atheist but that only addresses my god(s) beliefs.
A friend of mine said, and I agree, that they wouldn’t like to see a Christian Party or a Catholic Party so why would they want an Atheist Party.
The ideas and goals of the NAP are admirable but subscribing them to a narrow philosophy such as atheism is not the right way to move forward.