It’s no secret that atheist activists are on a quest for increased political representation. In early 2012, TheBlaze reported on the creation of the National Atheist Party (which has since changed its name to Secular Party of America), a progressive political movement aimed at bringing non-believers into positions of power in the public square.
Now, there’s a new effort: The Freethought Equality Fund (FEF), a political action committee (PAC) that hopes to “change the face of American politics.” And how will the organization do this, you ask?
Living up to its name, the group plans to pool funds to provide support for atheists, humanists and non-believers looking to run for public office.
The FEF isn’t only limited to those seeking to secure positions on the national level, though. The organization pledges to support secularists who are seeking posts at all levels of government.
“The FEF PAC will provide nontheist Americans the opportunity to make their voices heard in the political process by supporting candidates who identify as humanist, atheist, agnostic, and who share our goals of protecting the separation of church and state and defending the civil liberties of secular Americans,” reads the FEF PAC website.
In addition to seeking representatives in government who adhere to these values, it seems non-believers have another motivation for creating the PAC: To correct some of the stereotypes and stigmas that have been applied to secular people.
From myth-busting to helping bolster the number of atheist politicians in the public sphere, the FEF has quite a number of complicated tasks and maneuvers in its path — but the group appears ready to tackle them.
While the FEF will mostly support secularists, the organization has also pledged to offer assistance to some religious candidates, pending these individuals are known for “supporting the rights of non-believers.”
“The increasing numbers of non-religious Americans now have a vibrant PAC that will be directly supporting candidates who champion the principles of secular government now so fervently under attack,” said Bishop McNeill, the PAC’s director. “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.”
The FEF is being launched through the Center for Humanist Activism, a project of the American Humanist Association, a decades-old humanist organization. For those wondering what the term “humanist” means, consider the definition offered by the FEF: “Humanism is a progressive philosophy of life that, without theism, affirms a responsibility to lead ethical lives of value to self and humanity.”
Whether the group is successful remains to be seen. Past efforts such as the Secular Party of America have, thus far, not been as fruitful as originally planned.