Philadelphia, PA.– Yesterday the Secular Coalition for America hosted a reception welcoming nonreligious delegates and attendees of the Democratic National Convention. The reception focused on ways the Democratic party can better engage nonreligious voters, who now comprise more than one-quarter of the entire Democratic party.
“The Democratic party can no longer take nonreligious voters for granted, their future depends on us,” said Larry T. Decker, Executive Director of the Secular Coalition for America. “The recent emails leaked from the Democratic National Committee show that high ranking staffers conspired to exploit the negative association with atheism for political gain. While the staff member responsible has apologized, his statement did not address the nonreligious community or do anything to assure them that atheists are a valued segment of the Democratic party. If the Democratic party wants to keep nonreligious voters within its ranks, it should seek to elevate their voices, not to disparage them by making light of the very real stigma they face. The Democratic party can do better and nonreligious Democrats deserve better.”
During the reception, Democrats from across the country learned how they can help build a Democratic party that better represents them. Following the historic Secular Caucus in Texas, the Secular Coalition for America urged those in attendance to work towards establishing caucuses in more states and to take part in shaping their state party platforms.
“There is a hunger in the Democratic party for what we’re doing here today,” Decker said. “In Texas, at a standing room only caucus, we heard from countless Texas Democrats about their enthusiasm for the work we’re doing. As the religious right continues to attack the wall of separation between church and state, Democrats need a voice within their party that will always push them to defend it. The nonreligious community can be that voice. Today’s reception and last month’s Secular Caucus shows that we are beginning to be heard.”