- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 18, 2016

A voting guide released by a group of atheists gives Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton an “A” on the issues most important to atheists, while Republican Donald Trump receives an “F.”

The Secular Coalition for American voting guide graded the candidates on eight positions related to the separation of church and state, science-based policy and respect for nonreligious citizens.

One of the criteria examined the candidates’ view of the American founding. Mrs. Clinton has said America was founded on the “separation between church and state,” while Mr. Trump has said America is a Judeo-Christian nation.

Although Mrs. Clinton passed the test with flying colors, the atheists said she and the Democratic Party still have “work to do reaching out to nonreligious voters.”

“The party’s platform was hailed for its inclusivity, yet it doesn’t contain a single mention of nonreligious voters, who now comprise more than one-quarter of the entire Democratic Party,” said Larry T. Decker, executive director of the Secular Coalition, in a statement.

Mr. Decker also pointed to hacked Democratic National Committee emails showing staffers plotting to exploit the perceived atheism of Mrs. Clinton’s primary rival, Vermont Sen. Bernard Sanders.

“If the Democratic Party wants to keep the support of nonreligious voters, it is imperative they listen to secular voices within their party and give them the respect they deserve,” Mr. Decker said.

The grades for Libertarian Party presidential candidate Gary Johnson and Green Party candidate Jill Stein will be released in the coming weeks.

A Pew Research Center poll in July found nonreligious voters prefer Mrs. Clinton to Mr. Trump by a 67 to 23 percent margin.

• Bradford Richardson can be reached at brichardson@washingtontimes.com.

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