The Los Angeles Times today has a flawed but interesting piece on how atheists are coping with an increasingly red America. According to reporter Gina Piccalo, atheists are feeling besieged by the forces of faith and trying to organize politically. So far the results have been lackluster:
The first godless march on Washington drew thousands in fall 2002, and a few months later the Godless Americans Political Action Committee was formed. This year, an Inauguration Summit of 22 like-minded groups was held in Washington to stimulate cooperation days before Bush's swearing in. And this Veterans Day, so-called foxhole atheists (servicemen and women who are nonbelievers) will be honored in the capital.
If all goes as planned, says Ellen Johnson, longtime president of American Atheists, at least one presidential candidate will be courting their vote in 2008.
"We can't complain about what the religious do," she says. "All we have to do is copy their strategy."
One thing I hold against this report. All claims of "hate mail" are treated uncritically. I know something about protest letters and hate mail, and I think that people who claim that they've received a bunch of the latter should have to furnish evidence.