As nonbeliever ranks grow, will their political clout?

Sep 14, 2018

By The Okalhoman Editorial Board

With less than two months until the midterm election, one group is busy trying to motivate people based on their religious preference.

This is standard stuff in American politics: White evangelical churches have used various means to get out the vote over the years — usually in favor of conservative Republican candidates. Black churches pushed voter activity as well — usually in favor of liberal Democrats.

The new kid on this block doesn’t have a church on the street. It’s a coalition of secular organizations trying to rally support from those who don’t believe in God and/or don’t affiliate with organized religion. If the coalition succeeds, Democrats will likely do better than they’re already expected to do in this time of anti-Donald Trump fervor.

The Wall Street Journal this week reported on statistics gathered by the Public Religion Research Institute. The stats show that the share of American adults with no religious identity (or “nones”) rose to 24 percent in 2016, the year Trump was elected and the latest for which figures are available.

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