Atheists: Key Constituency of the Democratic Party
It will surprise nobody to learn that the American left is much less religious than the rest of the U.S. population. The General Social Survey tells us that in 2004, liberals were less than half as likely as conservatives to attend a house of worship weekly, and nearly three times as likely as conservatives never to attend. Furthermore, the American left is becoming more secular still: While 27 percent of American liberals attended church weekly in 1974, only 16 percent did by 2004. In contrast, the percentage of church-attending conservatives rose over the same period from 38percent to 46percent.There are still some religious liberals left in America, but today they are outnumbered by religious conservatives by about four to one.Of course, Democratic politicians keep saying that they want to connect with the “faith community.” They claim that they have just as much right to be the party of believers as the Republicans.
Secular liberals, and especially those who are explicitly nonbelievers, have become a major force on the political left. Researchers have found, for example, that delegates to the Democratic National Convention — the politically-active folks who nominate the Democratic candidate for the U.S. presidency — are more than twice as likely to be completely secular as the population-at-large.
Further, secularists are by far the most politically active liberals at the grassroots level. In the 2005, the Maxwell Poll on Civic Engagement and Inequality revealed that those who never attend religious services are just 11 percent of the adult population in America. But they are 21 percent of self-described liberals, 27 percent of liberals who contribute money to political causes, and 33 percent of liberals who attend political rallies and events. The bottom line is that the Democratic party — at least at the national level — depends critically on nonbelievers. They have influence over American liberal politics that extends far beyond their actual numbers in the population.
But the simple fact is: they don’t.
Deep in their hearts, they think that conservative Christians are ignorant rubes who can be persuaded to vote for the party of abortion and gay marriage by some pro forma expressions of Christian faith.
But the simple fact is: they aren’t and they won’t be.