I'm a non-religious voter. At the top of the Democratic ticket are my two favorite people.

Photo credit: Video screengrab from Joe Biden for President

This morning, Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight published an article - though not penned by Silver himself - that accuses the Biden campaign of ignoring what could be one of their most important voting blocs: nonreligious voters. Nonreligious voters is a bloc made of atheists, agnostics, and those who do not follow any particular religion. Writing on FiveThirtyEight, Daniel Cox and Amelia Thomson-DeVeaux charge that the Democrats are focusing too much on trying to break off religious voters from Donald Trump and not enough on capitalizing on their already heavy support from non-religious citizens.

The basic thesis for Cox and Thomson-DeVeaux appears to be that non-religious people need special attention specifically around being non-religious, the same way they believe conservative evangelical voters need to be assured of religious dominion.

But this thesis is wrong.

I am a nonreligious voter, and I believe I speak for the vast majority of us when I say there is no specific “non-religious” agenda that we are looking to enact. We’re not looking to proselytize or convert more people into non-believers or doubters by scaring them about a very unpleasant post-death existence. We are not looking for candidates who share our lack of religious convictions, and we are not looking to be “organized” around our beliefs about the afterlife.

Indeed, the whole point of being nonreligious is that we are not religious about our spirituality, or lack thereof.

The reason the Democratic party is generally favored among non-religious voters - Biden is currently polling at 72% among our bloc, second only to his dominance among Black voters - is a moral code that we have in common with people across the faith spectrum. Joe Biden and Kamala Harris represent that code well.

First, we firmly believe in the separation of Church and State. We believe that the government should stay out of people’s personal beliefs, and that religious dicta has no place in government. We believe that everyone should be able to make decisions about their own medical care without government interference, including women and transpeople. We believe that the civil institution of marriage should be available to any two consenting adults.

We believe in civil society and its institutions. We also believe that government should be a force for social good. We believe that as a people, acting through our government, we have an obligation to make sure that no one goes hungry, that everyone has health care they can afford and use, and that every child has a right to a loving home, a high quality education, a safe neighborhood, and freedom from bullying. We believe that we have a social compact to care for the elderly, recognize the talents of the so-called disabled, and preserve this planet that we have inherited from those who came before us for those who will come after us.

We believe in equal opportunity and equal treatment under law, and we believe that every human being has the inherent right to be treated with respect and dignity. We believe in service for our country, sacrifice for our community, and the human need to be part of something bigger than ourselves.

We believe Black lives matter.

We believe immigrants make America strong. We believe naturalized citizens love this country just as much as those born on its soil.

And we believe in science. We believe climate change is real, human-caused, and devastating. We believe in advancing technology, curing diseases, and agricultural advances. We believe masks and physical distancing work to stem the advance of COVID-19. We believe in evidence-based medicine, and we abhor political pressure on scientists, be it in terms of climate science, vaccines, health, or exploration.

This is why we are on board with Biden-Harris. The Biden-Harris ticket is unapologetically pro-science, they have a plan to expand health care and invest in low-resource schools, they will protect the right of women to make their own health care decisions, they believe public education is a social obligation and that domestic violence is an abhorrent and punishable crime. They have a vision of investing communities, delivering on the promise of rural broadband, and making it possible for every young person to obtain postsecondary education either completely free or without debt.

What’s more, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris have the capacity to connect this moral code to that of people of faith. It is not important to us that Biden may reach through his faith the same conviction we may reach through belief in secular society. It’s important that the compassion and empathy that Joe Biden and Kamala Harris embody transcends individual religious belief and unites us in common purpose and commitment to one another.

That’s why we support Joe Biden and Kamala Harris.

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