13 users responded " Atheists who swing to the right "

"Atheists who swing to the right" was posted by and 13 users commented
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Mike H said,         
January 22 2010

Hello Sarah

I just found your site from a link on another atheist site. I’m from the UK, and we do worry about the negative press you guys over there get… you seem to be more under pressure just for being infidels, than we are over here. We’re fairly fierce about our rationalism.

We read that Americans can be barred from jobs just for being non-beleivers… that’s appalling. Is it really that bad, or improving ? I would be outraged if that happened to me.

By the bye, may I introduce you to one of the most fun strips in British atheism (forgive me if you already know it) … but whatever you do, don’t tell your local imam about it, or there’ll be hell to pay….

http://www.jesusandmo.net ..enjoy 🙂

Mike H
London, UK

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Bob said,         
January 24 2010

The columnist Nat Hentoff is pro-life and a Jewish atheist. But he’s a liberal on most issues.

He may not have forgiven me, but I know of a former conservative blogger Kim du Toit, but he and his wife are probably still pro-choice.

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Salam A Arabia said,         
January 24 2010

well i don’t know much about Western atheists but what i do know are Arabic and Eastern Atheists(atheist from Muslim societies) .
many of them move to Europe and the US (for obvious reasons) and many of those who move become Extremely Conservatives (American kind of Conservatives) not because they like take Liberties from homosexuals or because the want Smellier government (most Arabic atheists are socialist) no it’s because the believe in a saying “the Enemy of my enemy is my Friend”. Islam is the sole Enemy for them and they see Liberals are too easy on Muslims so they Go REDNECKing (I invented that Term) .
and even though they hate Religion, but they saw Christianity as the lesser of two evils (in my Opinion they are Equally Shitty).
and the same with many Secular Israeli Friends i have ,they favor the Republican Party Simply because they feel it’s tougher on Islam .

that’s just what i think
P.s. the Blog is in Arabic but i just posted to brag about it

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Clifford said,         
January 26 2010

IMO, there seems little room for the atheist conservative in the Republican Party. Look at the Republican platform of Texas for example.

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Tyler said,         
January 30 2010

I am a conservative atheist, though I’m probably more center-leaning than that of what you’re looking for. I’m pro-choice and all that jazz, mostly because I’d prefer if the government had as little influence in daily life of the public as possible. I don’t need big wigs stepping on my toes and telling me what to believe, of course. I was all for McCain until he threw in Palin with her evangelistic views. She drove me crazy.

An amazing thing that caught my attention was an instance in North Carolina where an atheist was actually struggling for office because the law said every office holder had to believe in the power of God. I wish I had a link. I almost lost my lunch over it.

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Mike said,         
February 3 2010

I’m a centrist atheist and lean to the right or left, depending on the issue. I’m never too far in either direction. I think that the fact that there are *only* conservatives or liberals is part of the problem. Society and human nature in general is more complicated than that. For example, I am for Gay rights and marriage, but not for their right to cruise public places for sex. There is no way to find that in today’s political landscape: You are for ’em or against ’em.

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Sarah said,         
February 4 2010

Hi Mike,
It’s hard to say whether most people (in the US or everywhere?) are mostly liberal or conservative. It seems to me that most people are moderates. That’s why laws are usually watered down or they won’t get passed.
I’m still stunned that my own state of Massachusetts elected a Republican senator. That’s it, I’m going to stop voting.
BTW, can heterosexuals cruise in public for sex? And what is meant by “public”? Do you mean having sex in a public restroom, or flirting with someone at Starbucks?
I think a lot of people have a lot of “gray” areas. What we really need is more gray matter!

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Josh said,         
August 1 2010

Hi, Sarah!

I too am a conservative atheist. I actually consider myself more a “pragmatic libertarian” than anything else, but I haven’t (yet) voted for a democrat unless they were the only one(s) running.

The major problem I find it regarding default assumption within both spheres of interest; religion and politics. When either of those spheres talk about the other sphere, it generally based on stereotyping. For example, within the religious sphere, being an atheist makes me an automatic left-wing nut; a godless, soul-less, baby-killing, socialist/communist. On the flip-side, within the atheist community, I am a centrist or leftist by default. Both assumptions are incorrect, but in a very real sense I fall through the cracks no matter with which group I am associating. I have had my atheism questioned by atheists and my conservatism questioned by conservatives. But religious and political leanings are a a false dichotomy.

Improperly labeled a centrist, I am generally pro-social liberalism but very fiscally conservative. It is an improper label because of my beliefs about why I am pro-social liberalism; I don’t think the government should be involved in social programs in any way at all. For example, I support the legalization of gay marriage because I believe it to be more true to the central tenets of rugged individualism, that the government should not recognize marriage at all. But if the government is going to make decisions based upon social bonds (e.g. re: taxation, inheritance, etc) then it should treat all bonds equally. I would rather it not provide any benefits based upon social bonds. It is a classic case of choosing less evil. But as I stated I am a pragmatic libertarian. We as a people are not going to just eliminate all social bond recognition from government. Therefore I see recognition of all social bonds as equal by the government as a step in the right direction. That belief would have me ostracized by the political right, but not for the right reasons.

Flipping to the religious sphere, I am completely against wealth redistribution in any form. At first glance, this would seem to match with atheism well but it doesn’t in a practical sense. Atheism, as a political unit, does not have much power. The best way to acquire more power is to level the playing field and that is a central tenet of liberalism. I don’t believe that a level playing field encourages growth or innovation. Humans, naturally, are self-centered. We have evolved to want to be able to survive, to be comfortable and secure. In the financial and social senses, security is provided via the accumulation of wealth. If we take away the rewards of innovation and growth by applying taxes to level the playing field, we won’t spend our energy on innovation or growth; there is no personal benefit. Humans didn’t evolve that way, we need gratification for the work we put in. Back in hunter-gatherer days, respect was earned by providing food and resources to your family/group unit. We didn’t evolve to live in a group of several hundred million, just several dozen if that. I will not go so far as to say that a shift will not occur, but it must evolve into us over time. The few hundred years of the Enlightenment and the Industrial Revolution is not sufficient time to have such a instinctual tendency disappear. Though atheists see themselves, in general, as being more rational and skeptical about the world around them, but in politics it seems that many want to skip to the end, so to speak. We, as a species are not ready for that.

I didn’t really intend to write that much, but suffice to say that no matter in what sphere I happen to be in, I am an outsider, a dreamer, the nut who doesn’t buy into the mainstream though of that group. It is lonely, but I am learning to be comfortable with that. Change begins from within and I am within both. It is my intent to work on changing both, be it by stealth or outright challenge. And I will attempt to do that to gratify my own sense of self, of doing what I think is right.

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Sarah said,         
August 2 2010

Hi Josh,
Yeah, there seem to be a lot of prominent libertarian atheists out there. Thanks for pointing out that, yes, I’ve been using stereotypes in this, albeit I’ve been tongue-in-cheek about it. To be an atheist is to buck conservative ideology– most conservatives (seem to be) religious.
I think I know what you mean about being an outsider in both spheres. It’s no day at the beach to straddle two worlds.

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Todd Pence said,         
August 9 2010

I know that most atheists tend to associate the term “conservative” with American religious fundamentalism, and certainly not unjustly. But to me, the essential ideal of being a political conservative means believing in giving the individual as much freedom and autonomy from the government as possible. And as a freethinker, that’s an ideal I embrace.
We must keep in mind that associating atheism with political liberalism, as so many do, is a myth. Show me the major Democratic candidate who has openly run as an atheist? Read an interview with such major Democratic figures as Hillary Clinton or Joseph Lieberman on the topic of religious faith and you will see the same devout imbicelities indistinguishable from that espoused by George Bush or Sarah Pailin.
I’ve come over the past fifteen or twenty years to distrust and view as hypocritical the liberal faction in America. Liberals like to portray conservatives as being socially repressive and autocratic. But in recent times when you look at the instances of the curtailing of freedom of speech, banning and censoring media, and encroaching upon individual liberties, we find that it is the so-called “liberals” who are the instigators more than the conservatives. A survey of one of those banned book reports you can find at your local library will show that just as many, if not more, books are banned for politically liberal rationales as for politically conservative ones.

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Sarah said,         
August 13 2010

Hi Todd,
Thanks for writing:) I agree that liberalism can be at fault for promoting religion, often for the trumped-up reason of sensitivity, just as much as conservatism, and I say that as a liberal. It is typically liberals, not conservatives, that protect Islam from any kind of criticism, for example.
That said, running as an open atheist would be political suicide almost anywhere in America, so I can understand why pols would at least pretend to be religious.
This reminds me of a great book, Lies My Teacher Told Me, about textbook inaccuracy due to conservative and liberal agendas. I think it’s interesting that history gets doctored both for being too politically correct and not politically correct enough.
http://www.amazon.com/Lies-My-Teacher-Told-Everything/dp/0743296281/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1281715140&sr=8-1
Just a note to my skeptic cohorts that with all our talk of science textbook accuracy, we shouldn’t ignore history textbook accuracy.

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Chris said,         
February 23 2011

Sarah,

I read your post on our Facebook group website. Sorry for the delayed response. I’m a prolife, conservative, atheist. Also, I happen to be a recent lacto-ovo-vegetarian convert, about 4 years ago. You found a lot of us conservative atheists at that group, so that’s good. The group is still growing. I think you’re absolutely correct about atheist politicians not running openly as atheists. It’s pretty sad.

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Brandon King said,         
April 20 2012

Hey Sarah
this is my first time visiting your site and i have to say i like what you say and all i can really say is keep it up your beautiful and smart a great combination in any book 😉 anyway, im an Extreme Conservative Atheist from California, im the only Extreme Conservative in my Government class and my Liberal government teacher was surprised that i have been atheist since i was 14, im currently 18. i agree that atheist conservatives are hard to come by because the right is mostly Christian, i cant remember who but i saw on youtube a guy saying that Jesus would never be able to be President of the US because no Right Wing Christian would EVER vote for a MiddleEastern Liberal Jew and that was one of the truest and funniest things i ever heard about religion and conservatives. i wanted to be a politician for the longest time but because im atheist that would be difficult so i have decided to major in Philosophy in the fall and try to become a PhD Philosophy professor at a University, preferably Oxford. i have actually created my own political party(unofficial) just because i hate both the 2 major parties, its called Jeffersonian Democratic Republican Libertarian, im a Strict Constructionist who puts the Constitution above the Government, most Conservatives put the Government above everything because they are ignorant religious fools who are blind.

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