Move over Republicans and Democrats -- there's a new political party in town. And according to its founder, this new party, launched and comprised of atheists, is seeking to speak to a more unheard audience.
Back in October, The Blaze explored whether non-believers were beginning to wage a global campaign that would enable them to gain sociopolitical power. Here, in America, there's now new evidence that atheists are seeking to do just that.
Enter the National Atheist Party, a 527 political party (a non-profit that cannot specifically support candidates -- only issues) that is believed to be the first of its kind in American history. Troy Boyle, a 45-year-old corporate legal representative, teamed up with one of his friends to launch the initiative centered upon the core belief that God doesn't exist.
According to RNS, Boyle got the idea to launch a political party after watching an interview with well-known atheist Richard Dawkins. During the media appearance, the famed non-believer apparently wondered why atheists don't organize more fervently to more profoundly influence politics.
Boyle was moved by this question. After researching and realizing that atheism and politics don't really have much of a core relationship here in America, he decided to launch the NAP. Currently, the party has 7,500 members with chapters in all 50 states.
Below, watch a recent plea for funds:
At first, the duo named the political institution the Freethought Party. When that didn't take, they changed its name to a clearer title that has led to a boom in its popularity. As of today, the group has more than 8,500 fans following its Facebook page.
According to Boyle, the party stands for no government favoritism when it comes to religion.
"We are convened with the idea that the Founding Fathers had it right," he explains. "The separation of church and state, the establishment of the U.S. as a secular nation -- those two concepts are our watchwords. We don't want government to impose a religion, and we don't want government to impose no religion. We want government to be silent with regards to religion."
Boyle discusses the party's view on religion, below:
When it comes to the party's platform, it follows a trend that can mainly be described as "liberal." Currently, the group's web site touts support for the Occupy movement, among other sentiments. RNS has more about the party's beliefs:
The party's platform was decided on by a vote -- again via Facebook -- and includes hot-button issues such as gay marriage (for it), gun control (tighten it), abortion (a woman's decision), immigration (reform it), energy (green it) and the economy (legalize recreational drugs to create revenue and jobs).
A portion of the party's charter reads:
“The National Atheist Party is a progressive, secular, political movement and response to the lack of representation for all free thinking people who are legal, law abiding citizens and residents of the United States. We demand emancipation from the corporate sponsored religious dogma that has infiltrated our government and has unjustly influenced political decisions and policy making. We are for the PEOPLE, by the PEOPLE and therefore incorporate the right to use the power of the PEOPLE to restore equality in our Democratic Republic in reasonable, rational and non-violent means..."
While the NAP faces an uphill battle, to say the least, Boyle says that donations are streaming in and that membership continues to grow (the group even appears to be hiring for some staff positions). That being said, growing in support is very different from being able to wage successful political campaigns. But accompanying his optimism comes a realistic understanding of the schema in both American religion and politics.
"We know we are a minority and we know that is not likely to change in the near future," he explained. "We simply want the right to exist. And if that doesn't turn into a majority landslide of popular support, whoever thought it was going to? But an election on an issue or on a candidate can be swayed by a small group of people...In two or 10 or 20 years, who knows how many of us there will be and when we vote on an issue it will matter."
You can read more about the NAP on the group's official web site.
(H/T: RNS via Huffington Post)