A two party system will often leave voters with no choice but to support a party which they fundamentally disagree with in some areas. Gay Republicans have been a common topic of discussion. Hopefully this election year will lead to more questions as to how a middle class person could vote Republican. Today Friendly Atheist looked at atheists who vote Republican, supporting a party which hates them. While the post is generally right in questioning how any atheist could vote Republican, the post began with a false premise:
Mind you, I’m not saying there’s anything strange about being an atheist conservative, or at least an atheist fiscal conservative. Belief in limited government, low taxes, strong defense, a hard line on immigration, and any number of other conservative beliefs are 100% compatible with atheism. It’s normal that such atheists wouldn’t dream of voting Democratic.
Lower taxes–only for the ultra-wealthy. Most people will pay lower taxes under the Democrats than Republicans.
Limited government–a party which supports increased government intrusion in the lives of individuals is hardly the supporter of limited government. Besides, the biggest growth in government in recent years has occurred under the Republicans.
Strong defense–compare Obama’s successes against al Qaeda versus Bush’s failure. Going to war against the wrong country does not provide a strong defense.
Hard line on immigration–ok that one goes to the Republicans. Nobody surpasses them in promoting fear and hatred of others.
There are many strong reasons why atheists would not vote for Republicans. These same arguments also would apply to secular religious individuals who respect separation of church and state. While not all Republicans hold all these views, they are common in the party. These include opposition to abortion rights, support for teaching evolution in the schools, opposition to contraception, opposition to gay rights, support for school prayer, support tax breaks for religious institutions, and the belief held by many Republicans that atheists should not hold public office.
There are essentially two things which Republicans really do support in office (as opposed to their rhetoric): 1) Reducing taxes on the ultra-wealthy (while being perfectly willing to increase taxes on the middle class and increase the deficit), and 2) Allowing the religious right to impose their views on the country as a means of buying their votes. This hardly leaves any good reason for an atheist to vote Republican, but a tremendous number of people (most not being atheists) do vote Republican based upon their rhetoric as opposed to what they actually do in office.