Thursday, February 14, 2008

Ellen Johnson is full of shit

I ordinarily like American Atheists, but if reports are true (I don't really enjoy watching videos, and I haven't found a transcript yet), Ellen Johnson of American Atheists is full of shit when she exhorts atheists to stay home on election day.

Now I completely understand her frustration that atheists' interests are not adequately represented in today's government. But just on pure pragmatism, not voting will diminish, not enhance, whatever political power atheists actually have. (The typical atheist's aversion to bloc voting makes direct political power difficult to exercise.) Both of the leading Democratic candidates are adequate on church-state separation; just on that single issue, it's not too difficult to justify voting for either.

More importantly, voting, win or lose, legitimatizes democracy itself. There is no democracy without voting. If you want a democracy, you have to vote. Even if it were Mike Huckabee vs. William Jennings Bryan in the general, you still have to vote. Vote Green. Vote Libertarian. Write in your brother-in-law. But vote.

I should get off my ass and actually become a paying member of American Atheists so I can vote this dumbass out.


  1. *shifty eyes* Ahem, I don't vote too. *scampers off*

  2. Well, if you don't care whether or not you live in a democracy, you don't have any obligation to vote.

  3. I don't understand this either - that just tells politiians they REALLY can ignore you and shit on you because you don't vote.

    It makes about as much sense as "resigning in protest" often does - I'd rather keep my position, do the right thing, and force them to fire my ass for doing so - you always can do more IN the position of power than out of it. That may even inspire a post out of me.

  4. I made this point in a recent post at my blog too. Thanks for reiterating it.

  5. American Atheists has always been a train wreck of an organization. It isn't worth the price of membership dues to try to fix the problem. Focus your attention on helping the Freedom From Religion Foundation, the Center for Inquiry, and the Richard Dawkins Foundation.

  6. Incredibly strong language, to the point of hate speech (if anyone takes you as seriously online as they would in real life) toward this woman over one tiny little disagreement... full of shit? Idiot? You've clearly know nothing of Ellen Johnson. As it turns out, she is no longer in the top post. But I can assure you she has by far a higher IQ than you, and a far more proven record of sincerity and good ideas. Dare ya to check.


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