Humanist PAC Marks Gains for Atheists and Freethinkers – and Hope for All Americans in Future Elections
November 5th, 2020
(Washington, D.C., November 5, 2020) – While freethought leaders hoped for more progress this election toward a safer, saner, stronger America, they view the very close and mixed results as a call for greater participation in the electoral process by the atheist and humanist community.
“Sadly, this election shows that a substantial number of Americans continue to embrace the dangerous political agenda of white Christian nationalists, who are far too powerful in our political culture. Should Joe Biden prevail, his presidency will offer some protections against the worst aspects of their agenda; however, this election means that the Christian nationalist’s bigoted, anti-science, racist, misogynistic, xenophobic, and homophobic crusade will continue,” said Ron Millar political and PAC coordinator for the Center for Freethought Equality.
Millar explained that, “Increasing the political engagement of the atheist and humanist community—both as a voting bloc and as elected officials—is an important constituency for fighting the white Christian nationalist agenda. The atheist, agnostic, and religiously unaffiliated voting bloc has nearly doubled since 2008 — from 15% to 28% of registered voters. This community needs to organize and make their values known at the ballot box and run for office.”
Prior to the 2016 election there were only five elected officials serving in state legislatures who publicly identified with the atheist and humanist community. After the 2016 election that list grew to 17, and after the 2018 election to 47. Once the newly elected officials are sworn into office in 2021, there will be 63 nontheist elected officials at the federal and state level. The influence of the atheist and humanist community is growing and future election outcomes will be determined by this community.
The Freethought Equality Fund applauds the successes of atheist, humanist, and agnostic candidates like Melissa Sargent and Kelda Roys who won seats in the Wisconsin State Senate, Julie Mayfield who won a seat in the North Carolina State Senate, Melody Hernandez who will join Juan Mendez and Athena Salman in the Arizona legislature, and to the thirteen New Hampshire House of Representative members who will serve in the 2021 Session – including Tim Smith who in his fifth term will be the longest serving public atheist elected official in America.
“This election was not a clear repudiation of the dangerous agenda of Christian nationalists that we hoped for and anticipated,” said Roy Speckhardt, executive director of the Center for Freethought Equality. Speckhardt continued, “Fortunately the continued growth of the atheist and humanist community, and our increased engagement in the political process, provides hope that the outcome of future elections will create a safer, saner, stronger America.”
A list of nontheist local, state, and federal elected officials can be found here (http://www.cfequality.org/secular-elected-officials). This list includes Congressman Jared Huffman (CA-2) who announced in November 2017 that he is a humanist and agnostic. In April 2018, along with Jamie Raskin (MD-8), Huffman founded and co-chairs the Congressional Freethought Caucus, which is an advocacy group for church-state separation and evidence-based public policy.
Our 2020 endorsements and their election results can be found here (http://freethoughtequality.org/endorsements-2020/). The Freethought Equality Fund is proud of the openly humanist, atheist, agnostic, and nonreligious candidates who ran for office this year, and the growing engagement of our community in the political process
The mission of the Freethought Equality Fund (www.freethoughtequality.org) is to achieve equality for the nontheist community by increasing the number of open humanists and atheists, and allies, in public office at all levels of government. This political action committee is affiliated with the Center for Freethought Equality (www.cfequality.org), which is the advocacy and political arm of the American Humanist Association (www.americanhumanist.org).