Why I admire the religious right

The religious right in America is something awesome to behold. No, really it is.

Here’s a group of people, with varying belief systems, who come together politically to get done what they want done.

They’re to be admired because, not only are they prepared for the battles taking place today, they’re prepared for the battles that are going to take place ten years from now. They remind me of the ever patient Darth Sidious who planned, manipulated and moved pieces into place for years until he achieved his goals. He planned for the long haul.

Take the matter of abortion. It’s safe to say the overwhelming number of Christians are opposed to it, and they grew more vocal and active since Roe v. Wade. They’ve never come around, and never wavered in their opposition. For decades they persisted, voted, stayed the course, and now they might just get the right people on the Supreme Court to reverse it.

That’s admirable.

When I became an atheist, the New Atheists Movement was in full swing. It was a great time. We had charismatic characters like Christopher Hitchens to rally around, and from my perspective, I thought atheists/secularists would congeal into a political force that could go toe-to-toe with the dominionists/religious right.

I was wrong.

Some argue feminists and social justice warriors co-opted and poisoned the atheist movement while others say the movement drifted into the domain of the alt-right. Others, still, argue there never was an atheist movement.

Whatever the case, we just can’t get along and band together, and it was probably Pollyanna to think that we could.

And while so many of us are fighting amongst ourselves, the religious right is poised to get the keys to the whole thing.

This, of course, is all opinion and speculation mixed in with perhaps too much drink, which leads to too much melancholy. However, my fear is we who identify as secularists are going to wake up one day in an America where prayer is mandatory in public schools; where Christianity is the state religion; where we’re still burning fossil fuels as the planet grows ever warmer and where the all the social safety nets to help the disadvantaged have been shredded.

Then again, it’s entirely likely we’re going to wake up and see mushroom clouds blooming on the horizon.


  • rg57

    “And while so many of us are fighting amongst ourselves, the religious right is poised to get the keys to the whole thing”

    This is being repeated in the science “movement”. Just look at the march for science. It’s basically turned into an anti-Trump march for SJWs with degrees.

    As atheists, we need to be concerned with first things first, and that is getting a place in the discussion. We’re not even considered right now. We have to demand equal treatment with the religious nuts. We get to make statements to open city councils. We get to have a silly annual festival and guilt everyone else into supporting it. We get to wear funny hats wherever we like, and get genuine respect for doing so. We get to put an atheistic statement on the national currency and coin.

    “we who identify as secularists”. I’m not a secularist. I’m an anti-theist. As such, I support amending the First Mistake Amendment to eliminate protections for religious practice. Religion MUST be put on the same level playing field as all other speech, all other ideology. That can’t currently happen, because of RFRA and the Constitution.

    • theatheistpig

      You raise some good points. I do believe that atheists or anti-theists aren’t being represented and I don’t know if any of the organizations (such as American Atheists) are the answer. It’s all so frustrating.

      • Mark Landes

        But discounting Secular events like the Reason Rally that was poorly attended last year and events like the Secular Coalition of America’s Summit and Lobby Day http://www.lobbyday.us is failing to advantage of coalitions that would make us stronger. Putting emphasis on what divides us (labels of Secularist, Atheist, anti-theist, Humanist whatever) is exactly what the Religious Right pushed aside to achieve their goals as the Atheist Pig points out:

        “Here’s a group of people, with varying belief systems, who come together politically to get done what they want done.”

        If we want to become more like the religious right we need to learn from them on eliminating the small things that divide us. Remember the science march is a direct response to Trump’s, the Republican’s and the Religious Right’s anti-science agenda but Atheist and Anti-theist could use that to emphasis that the anti-science movement is really coming from the Religious Right.

        The other thing we need to do is to get more Atheists elected which is not easy and I don’t know how we can accomplish that but we need to find a issue that we can get all of the separate factions within the movement together. It will be harder for us because we don’t have a location that the majority of us meet every week (like a church), where we can control the message through the authoritarian leader and critical thinking is not required. In this case we would need to look at the current indivisible movement, which is based upon the Tea Party Movement.

        Just my thoughts.

        Have a happy Zombie Jebus Weekend

  • Ten Bears

    I would just as soon let ’em fight it out, and be around to pick up the pieces.

  • Horace Boothroyd III

    Take the matter of abortion. It’s safe to say the overwhelming number of Christians are opposed to it, […]

    This claim is untrue, which you can easily confirm for yourself if you take the trouble to find out the facts.

    For a brief sketch to get you started, the Mainstream Protestant Churches are staunch supporters of abortion rights and the political climate that enable Roe v Wade depended on their broad support. (( The same is true for gay marriage, by the way ))

    The Catholic Church is notoriously anti-abortion, but that is mostly the hierarchy speaking. The rank and file are not so uniform in their opposition as you find it convenient to believe. Even such staunchly Catholic societies as Ireland are beginning to bend on the issue.

    So really the people you are trying to pass off as “the overwhelming number of Christians” boils down to the Southern and Midwestern White Fundamentalists – who make up about a quarter of the Christians in America.

    A quarter is wicked less than the overwhelming number.

    I suggest that you set aside your cultivated grievances and reach out to the Left Christians. You may find that we have many interests in common, and that we can accomplish more by working together than by squabbling without purpose.