Atheism, Conservatism, and the Republican Party...

I find myself in the not-so-comfortable position of being both and atheist and a small "c" conservative. Living in the American Midwest as I do, I can generally find a conservative pretty easily by looking both ways when crossing the street, but being a "conservative atheist" (were I to let the latter out) basically puts me in a precarious position: lumped in with the Christian right by the left, lumped in with the loony left by the right. Written off by both sides as being mutually incompatible. 

The problem as I see it is that loose associations tend to get blown out of proportion. Yes, I expect that someone who is of a more liberal mindset to be more open to atheism, but I fear that the atheist community as a monolithic unit has begun to self-identify as being liberal. And it is certainly portrayed that way by the Republicans; witness the reaction to Obama aides meeting with an atheist group in the White House.  

What I wonder, really, is how many other atheists out there feel caught in the gap between being an atheist and being a conservative?  How do you reconcile those two culturally-at-odds beliefs when working with either group? What strategies have you employed to keep the FUD factor at bay?



Tags: atheism, conservatism

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Yeah, don't dare attack welfare unless you also attack corporate welfare!

However, Andrew, you fired a cheap shot. many regulations on the books that no one can possibly know them all, or even half of them.

No one needs to know all the regulations, or even half of them.

Fill in the blank below.

If you're in the ______ business you need to know its regulations.

Excellent, Tom, just excellent. I'm so sick of hearing the conservative party cry for welfare cuts when they have their own hands out. And those greedy pricks would never have enough. I watched a program last night about this very thing. It's a disgrace to our nation.

Andrew, here's what i don't understand.  you're opposition to "big gov't" etc. seems to be ideological.  you make claims like the gov't is too big, and when i ask why, your response boils down to "it just is".  that's why i think most atheists lean left.  we don't do ideology, we use evidence and reason.  if you can make a strong case for what level the gov't should be spending at and why please do so.  just be sure to back it up with some facts and figures.  saying "smaller, but i don't know how much smaller" is not acceptable.  

much like religion, i fear you've been sold a bill of goods.  unless you can specify what needs to be cut and by how much you're just towing the ideological line that gov't is bad.  

Give em hell Matthew!!

lol, i'm not trying to give anyone hell.  i don't think i'm a natural leftist.  perfect example - i'm not an environmental kook.  i love nature and all, but i have never been involved in any causes on that side.  and while i sympathize towards the subject i happen to be too crappy of a citizen to do much about it.  yet the effort from the ideological right to demonize, denegrate, and disparage science has made me a vocal opponent of the far right on issues like climate change and evolution.  i would never care so much about those issues had ignorant people who hold political sway in our country started to tout anti-science rhetoric about said issues.  it pisses me off.  

Matthew, I minored in economics. Learning the economics of government-financed water projects in Arizona made me an ally of environmentalists.

Western water projects are subsidy on top of subsidy on top of subsidy. At taxpayer expense, each one makes a few landowners wealthy.

The subsidies started early. The bill for the American Revolution, which made the Appalachian region available to land speculators, was sent to taxpayers.

The Yazoo land fraud (1790s-early 1800s, see Wikipedia) resulted in a bailout by taxpayers for another set of land speculators.

The subsidies are many and the beneficiaries are few.

Both political parties redistribute wealth.

I used to be a conservative christian. Later just a conservative. Then a conservative heathen. A conservative liberal. Conservative liberal agnostic. Liberal atheist. A Liberaltarian. Hell, I just don't care anymore. Politics is yet another game that we play.

If you're a small c conservative in 2014 as opposed to a Tea Bagger or a religious nut case then you're a Democrat. Politically, there is little difference between Obama and Nixon (see Nixon's plan for reforming healthcare delivery) and Obama is probably to the right of Eisenhower.

With certain notable individual exceptions, the Democrats and the Republicans are simply the "liberal" and "conservative" wings of the same party. In large part they share the same sources of funds and they serve essentially the same interests.

The wildcards are the Tea Party and the religious fanatics, who with a fair degree of success have hijacked and disrupted the one-party system. They were fine when traditional Right-leaning party members felt that these movements could be controlled and exploited to their advantage. Now they are not only becoming an embarrassment, but are rightly seen by both wings as detrimental to the interests of their corporate masters.

This at least is how I see it.

I see it similarly, Kakumei.

I never heard any partisan talk from my dad (a Dem) and my mom (a Repub) and gradually came to see the Dems as soft-headed and the Repubs as hard-hearted.

We are stuck with their corruption and their occasional loophole-ridden reforms until we have an effective  national initiative and referendum.

Most of the 26 or so states whose constitutions provide for a real initiative and referendum are in the West. I  was active in Arizona politics for several years and found that its constitution provides for them because the people who wanted statehood didn't want the corruption they saw in the East.

The Massachusetts initiative is worse than weak because the state legislature, with an unrecorded voice vote, can reverse anything the voters do.

BTW, Obama is several times more warlike than Eisenhower.


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