In July 2017, Secular Coalition for America said it would publish an article written by Republican Atheists’ President Lauren Ell to enlighten followers about Republican Atheists, a new and emerging organization in the US atheist realm.
Long story short, after months of communicating with the organization, and re-writing and editing drafts, Secular Coalition for America continued making editing demands until Ell opted to not edit the article further. Secular Coalition of America chose to not publish the article and did not communicate further about sharing Republican Atheists with its base. You can read more detail about the incident here.
Some of you have asked to read the article. Here it is.
Secularists are becoming more interested in the Republican Party for freedom of speech and small government
Author: Lauren Ell, President of Republican Atheists
August 26, 2017
For decades secularists have strayed from taking interest in the Republican Party due to its religious affiliations. This is beginning to change, however, as more secularists take interest in small government, unity and freedom of speech.
After observing students shut down over a dozen conservative speakers on college campuses across the United States after November 2015, many secularists have become increasingly concerned about freedom of speech in America and representation of differing political ideologies. Secularists were particularly alarmed when conservative atheist author and speaker, Heather Mac Donald, was shut down by students at Claremont McKenna College in Claremont, CA on April 6, 2017. This event not only diminished the conservative speaking platform, but the atheist speaking platform as well.
As a result many secularists have come to view the Republican Party as a party that is more supportive of freedom of speech and ultimately accepting of discussing differing political views. Not only is freedom of speech a foundation of America, it is important for people subscribed to different political parties to work together and come to an understanding about their priorities. Many secularists acknowledge that they are committed to critical thinking for rounded observation which entails analyzing a spectrum of views rather than accepting only favorable views.
Additionally secularists have found more unity in the Republican Party which tends to approach national issues in a more unified manner compared to the Democrat Party. The Republican National Convention of 2016 had a noticeably unified agenda that did not break up attendees based on race, gender and other forms of personal identification, whereas the Democratic National Convention divided attendees into the “Black Caucus,” “Hispanic Caucus,” “Native American Council,” “Ethnic Council,” “Asian-American and Pacific Islander Council,” etc. Many secularists would like to focus on America’s core challenges at hand and move forward in a unified approach.
Finally, secularists have been drawn to the Republican Party for political and economic reasons. There is growing interest in smaller government that focuses on free-market, individual liberty, lowering taxes and has less desire to expand the welfare system. Much of this recent interest is derived from analyzing controversial events stemming from over one million refugees entering Europe for asylum in 2015. Secularists have also taken interest in the free-market after observing the wipe out of the private health insurance sector in the United States after the Affordable Care Act was established in 2010, which led to millions of Americans’ private insurance plans being eliminated.
I launched the first official organization representing atheist Republicans, known as Republican Atheists, in March 2017. I have been a pronounced atheist for over a decade, and vaguely identified as Libertarian for ten years yet had never registered to vote. After seeing violence unfold across the nation, I decided to not only register Republican to vote in the 2016 general election, but to create an organization that would give a platform to atheist Republicans. I also took more interest in the Republican Party after observing identity politics promoted in California universities as well as observing the impact of mass migration in Europe.
Republican Atheists currently consists of myself, Lauren Ell, President, and Robert M. Price, noted author, professor and speaker, Board Member. Additionally we have an increasing number of correspondents across the United States, including one that has direct connections to Venezuela. Our network continues to expand as we do more public speaking engagements and guest author pieces.
The goal of Republican Atheists is to give a voice to atheist Republicans and to fill the gap between the conservative and secular communities. Currently the term “secular” has become practically synonymous with the term “Democrat” in the United States. Republican Atheists would like to challenge this association in order to give secularists a stronger voice in conservative communities and ultimately play a bigger role in the Republican Party as time goes on.
Other conservative atheist groups and media outlets have also emerged and have been receiving increasing support. Facebook groups “Atheists for Trump” and “Conservative Atheists” are obtaining new members regularly. The blog The Atheist Conservative, which has existed since 2008, has received more exposure than ever and has obtained a Facebook following of over 10,000 people.
The secular conservative community is growing and beginning to look at the Republican Party in new ways. An interesting future lies ahead for the conservative secular community as it begins to gain a more solid speaking foundation.