The more I think about this, the more I want to talk about it. See, I’ve realized for a while that people who self-identified as conservative atheists, or secular conservatives, or a myriad of other labels, really don’t seem to want to talk about religion. They are, almost without exception, political bloggers and podcasters. I don’t think I’ve seen more than a handful of posts from these conservative atheists that have had anything to do with religion, at best I see them advocating separation of church and state, not opposition to religion in general.
In that, I seem to be relatively unique, or at least I haven’t found anyone else who both labels themselves a conservative atheist and who writes primarily about religious subjects. Now while being unique is supposed to be a good thing, after all, where is anyone going to go for that information except to you, I suppose it only works if your niche isn’t so small as to be virtually non-existent. That’s what I’m trying to find out.
Of course, while atheism seems to be a liberal club, the fact is that around 20% of self-identified atheists say they hold some conservative views. Open atheists, as opposed to the simply non-religious, make up about 5% of the population based on the most recent polls. Just worrying about the United States for the moment, with approximately 350 million people, that means there are about 17.5 million atheists, or 3.5 million conservative atheists out there. Granted, not all of them may be online, not all of them may be reading blogs, but you’d think there would be someone, wouldn’t you?
I guess the logical question to ask is, are we talking about atheists who happen to be conservatives, or conservatives who happen to be atheists? Which side of the equation happens to be the dominant trait? I can only answer for myself, it would be my atheist side, but that may not be the case for others. In fact, I’m starting to suspect that the majority of people who share those two traits may be conservatives who just so happen to be atheists, but who spend little, if any, time concerning themselves with their lack of religion. Religion, among conservative atheists, seems to be largely irrelevant, but I think exactly the opposite is true. Getting rid of religion and the irrational beliefs and mind poisons that accompany it would do a great deal to improve the political situation in this country. If people gave up ridiculous beliefs of all sorts, learned more about what was going on in their local, state and federal politics, they would elect better representatives, based on actual evidence and information instead of absurd faith, and we’d be better as a society.
To be honest, I can’t figure out why someone who identifies as a conservative atheist or a secular conservative would be so adverse to talking about religion. I’ve talked to a lot of people who identify that way, who assure me they are adamant atheists, yet they simply will not talk about religion in any way, shape or form. This has made life a bit miserable in the search for a conservative atheist co-host for the podcast and finding listeners. I even asked one of these secular conservative bloggers what he thought of the podcast and he said that it was fine, he listened to one episode, but there was too much religion so he wasn’t interested in it. I just don’t get it.
One of the big things that’s supposed to draw in readers and listeners is to find your voice. I have mine. I’ve always had it. The problem is, it’s a voice that largely has no audience because far too many people seem to be afraid of half of their chosen identity. Unfortunately, talking about conservatism tends to drive away the atheists and talking about atheism tends to drive away the conservatives. Apparently, there are some things that you cannot be too unique on or you’ll spend your time talking to yourself and that’s largely the situation I’m in. I guess I ought to get used to pain in my toes, I’m just shooting myself in the foot.