Will they lean left and favor progressive Democrats? A political phenomenon has emerged with the launch of the Freethought Equality Fund, the first political action committee that supports candidates who are humanists, atheists or agnostics — and advocates for the rights of “nonbelievers” and the separation of church and state.
The group, organized by the Center for Humanist Activism, took its case to the National Press Club on Wednesday.
“The increasing numbers of nonreligious Americans now have a vibrant PAC that will be directly supporting candidates who champion the principles of secular government now so fervently under attack,” coordinator Bishop McNeill says.
“There is a clear need to assist candidates who will challenge those looking to use the power of government to impose religious doctrines on everyone.”
Yes, there’s already a grass-roots outreach. No, there are no entries on the organization’s “candidate endorsements” list.
“When people see respected ethical humanists and atheists serve in public office, this will begin to dispel many myths about nonbelievers,” the group advises. “Humanism is a progressive philosophy of life that, without theism, affirms a responsibility to lead ethical lives of value to self and humanity.”
TRILLION-DOLLAR CHESS MATCH
The moves, the maneuvers, the finesse, or the lack of it. The Affordable Care Act makes for a high stakes game board as congressional Republicans and the White House wrangle over the fate of legislation that has been a Democratic icon for years, or at least since Hillary Rodham Clinton pined for universal health care when she was first lady two decades ago. A few of the moves afoot:
In some 24 hours, the House votes on an assertive continuing resolution that keeps the government open but defunds Obamacare. Naturally, that legislation will meet a chilly audience before Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and his Democratic peers. And President Obama would — naturally — veto it.
Mr. Obama is already warning federal agencies to batten down the hatches and prepare for a government shutdown, a phenomenon meant to be conveniently blamed on the GOP. But wait. There’s pushback in progress. It’s really the Democrats at fault here.
“A solution is within sight in order to avert another crisis of Washington’s creation,” says Sen. Marco Rubio, Florida Republican. ” President Obama and his allies in Congress should abandon their threats of shutting down the government and instead work with Republicans to pass this proposal.”
Meanwhile, the Republican Study Committee has unveiled the “American Health Care Reform Act,” a bill to repeal and replace Mr. Obama’s health care law, framing their alternative as a common-sense, practical outcome.
“While we continue fighting to repeal the president’s health care law, it is also important to lay out the reforms we stand behind and support,” said Chairman Rep. Steve Scalise of Louisiana.
“The centuries-old oath taken by health care professionals reads ‘do no harm.’ It is time for Washington lawmakers to take a similar approach when working to fix the problems that exist in our broken health care system. Simply repealing the president’s health care law is not enough — it must be replaced,” the preamble to the act states.
SHUTDOWN OR SHOWDOWN?