TTA Podcast 180: Can Atheists Be Republicans? (with CJ Werleman)

Sponsored by FREE-FLO 2014 – Freethought Florida Orlando, October 10th- 12.

Author, columnist, public speaker and proud atheist CJ Werleman has just released a book titled, “Atheists Can’t Be Republicans.” (

We were curious as to Werleman’s claim, so tonight he joins us for a podcast that will undoubtedly be a spirited conversation about religion, politics, big money and the Grand Old Party.

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  1. For much of my young adulthood, I was a conservative Republican mainly concerned about economic and human rights issues. The Cold War was raging at the time, and I felt the Soviet Empire was getting a free ride from American intellectuals. I was always annoyed by the pro-lifers and religious nuts in that party, but they were anti-communist too. Ronald Reagan was my hero, even if he did say God every other sentence, was a misogynist and ran up the deficit. When the Berlin Wall came down and much of the Soviet Empire disintegrated, I was very happy but soon felt alienated in the Republican Party. The 2008 economic collapse taught me the value of an activist government and the folly of laissez faire capitalism. The rise of the Tea Party, which advocates the destruction of America to “save it,” has cemented my allegiance to the Democratic Party. Did atheism play a role in all this? I think Richard Dawkins and The God Delusion caused me to identify myself more strongly as an atheist and empowered me to openly fight against religious meddling in America.

  2. Very well put. Unfortunately there’s so much craziness on the Republican side, it’s all too easy to dismiss everything they put forth, even if some of it may make sense.

  3. prietenul Aug 27, 2014 at 8:28 pm

    Ronald Reagan was my hero, even if he did say God every other sentence, was a misogynist and ran up the deficit.

    He was also responsible for cancelling research into Thorium Nuclear power, because it has “no military applications”! (It can only be used for making nuclear power-stations which cannot blow-up or melt down.)
    He is therefore largely responsible for the nuclear proliferation of uranium systems, and the potential for various countries (Pakistan, Iran, Israel etc) to make and use nuclear weapons!

    The right-wing god-botherers, love being “big-shots” posing with macho weapons!

  4. I think to alienate the overall Republican idea is to throw the proverbial baby out with the bathwater but it is clearly far from its original ideals. Lincoln, Roosevelt, Eisenhower, even Reagan… all Republican presidents and none would be welcome in the current version of the party. Neither party is where they started if we’re being honest, but the Republican Party has moved farther right I think mainly due to the overwhelming influence of people that ironically started attempting to influence government as far back as the Reagan Administration. The religious proselytizing, the deregulating, the blocking of laws to help the people of this country, the oligarchical embracing of the very wealthy, none of these are central to the idea of smaller more controllable government or the notion of personal responsibility that used to identify a person as Republican.

    Current Republicans seem to despise the government they work for and take responsibility for nothing, and support nothing that will overall help the country. Narrow ‘patriotic’ ideology and personal wealth over government nearly at all costs seems to be the rule of the party now. And it’s hard to imagine any sane person embracing the party because it nearly alienates everyone that isn’t wealthy, greedy or in line with same. Honestly the religious nuttery seems almost incidental and is just used to leverage other insane ideas.

    The impotence of the Democratic Party only emboldens the stonewalling tactics and therefore prevents either party from being terribly effective at anything that would actually help the US or anyone else.

    I’m an Independent for a reason. The 2 party system has failed miserably and needs to change.

  5. I am an atheist, and I am a republican.

    Oh, you mean that kind of Republican, who are always in cahoots with absolute monarchies such as Saudi Arabia, Bahrein, or the Emirates.

    Yes, I think you can be both. While atheism is often associated with political positions to the left of centre, there is no automatical or exclusive link between these things. Someone can be dementedly to the right of the centre, much more indeed than your average “Republican”, and still be an atheist.

    Martin Bormann comes to mind.

  6. I’m an atheist and have voted for a Republican. I’m more of a libertarian.
    Is that one the “dementedly to the right” you’re speaking of? hehe

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