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American Atheists prez: Don’t think, don’t vote

February 14, 2008

The video you see here was released by the president of American Atheists, Ellen Johnson. In it, she explains why she did not vote on Super Tuesday, citing the reason that there was no candidate that courted the secular vote. Now, let me say right off the bat that I am no stranger to voter apathy, and have had doubts as to whether or not my vote really counts. Here’s what I did about that: I thought about it and came to the conclusion that the only way my vote doesn’t count is through not using it. I educated myself on the candidates and found one that perhaps didn’t court my secularism, but at least held secular principles in high regard. When the time comes, I’ll vote for Barack Obama because he is for the principle of Separation, and has said many times that religious and secular alike have to work together to repair this country and nurse it back to its former greatness.What I did not do is is remain in the pit of voter despair and try to drag others down with me. Quoting Ellen Johnson:

We have the votes to be courted, but we’re ignored! We should flex out 11% muscle and stay home during the General Election in November.

This is blind, thoughtless, and irresponsible. Anyone who has followed the primaries can see that secular issues have been discussed in secular ways. Few of the candidates (and none of the Democrats) have said we should pray the soldiers home from Iraq, or ask god to give us universal healthcare. Now, they may not have had a rally for the secular voters, but they don’t have to. All they need to do is promote their support for the secular government that we already have.

Advising secular Americans not to vote because the candidates want to start their day with a prayer, or say “God bless you all” at a rally is monstrously irresponsible. We have much more at stake in 2008 than whether or not our future President goes to church.

I am a secular humanist and I will use my vote in November. I will do so not only because it’s my right, but because it is my responsibility. I advise Ellen Johnson to do the same and to retract her ill-considered advice to the secular community.

(h/t to Friendly Atheist)

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