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Jun 22 2013

This Silverman guy seems to be saying a lot of the right things

He did an interview at Netroots Nation that was pretty darned good. Ophelia has already covered Silverman’s comments about feminism, but I also liked his general comments about secular politics.

I think we’re going to see a growth of atheism, it’s going to be an exponential growth. And driving that, of course, is going to be the young people. Approximately 30 percent of the under-30 crowd are non-religious. That’s a big market, that’s a big voting bloc. And as that 30 percent of the under-30 ages, and it becomes 30 percent of the under-40 market — assuming no growth — and 30 percent of the under-50 market in another 20 years, I think we’re going to see an inevitable shift from a “You have to be religious to get elected,” to a “Why are we even talking about God when we’re talking about politics.” And I think that’s the question we have to bring in. Why do we talk about God when we talk about politics?

Exactly. What possible relevance does religion and god have to politics? Politics is the art of working out what’s possible in our real world; the diverse delusions about what happens in a fantasy world full of dead people is incredibly unimportant to those concerns. Let the religious go to church and play “let’s pretend” all they want, but please leave the wishful thinking behind when it’s time to buckle down to real work.

5 comments

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  1. 1
    Ophelia Benson

    God is the opposite of politics, innit. God is supposed to be perfect in every way, so what could god possibly have to do with politics? Politics wouldn’t even make sense to an entitity that’s perfect in every way. If we were all perfect we wouldn’t need politics.

  2. 2
    sadunlap

    As I recall the appeal to “God” in politics and the requirement that a candidate pass a religious test for public office started with Ronald Reagan’s and other republicans’ campaigns in the 1980 election. Someone wrote so long ago that I could not find a footnote that the Wall Street branch of the Republican party and the religious right-wing stopped laughing at each other then started working together. This affliction has poisoned political discourse in the U.S. ever since.

  3. 3
    twas brillig (stevem)

    “God Bless America”. Is that a command or a request? Who are we to tell God what to do? Doesn’t He know everything? And why would politicians tell God to do anything, isn’t their job to tell us what to do? (or, us to tell them what to do). Just because the 1st Amendment says “Congress shall make no law respecting any religion”, it doesn’t mean to separate church and state (just don’t pick one out in particular). The state is a “gift” from God, so religion “belongs” in the “state”.
    —-
    {bah humbug, I can’t continue this ‘channeling’ any more just now}

  4. 4
    Rey Fox

    That would be nice, and I think we might be seeing the first stirrings of that now. But I don’t think we’ll each that endgame at least until Gen X starts to get towards retirement age, and maybe not even until the Millennials get there.

    Assuming society hasn’t collapsed by that point, of course.

  5. 5
    Eamon Knight

    @2: I’m old enough to remember when Jimmy Carter’s religion was a political novelty. Evangelicals (of which I was one at the time) celebrated at getting “one of our own” in the White House. Of course, he was also a liberal-minded generally decent and intelligent human being — someone who, on the whole, was a credit to Christianity. But it seems as if, paradoxically, he ushered in the era where loud piety is a prerequisite to the Presidency (his successors in that vein being rather less decent and intelligent).

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