In 1987, then Vice President George H. W. Bush said, "...I don't know that atheists should be considered as citizens, nor should they be considered patriots. This is one nation under God."
Twenty-one years later, atheists continue to be largely ignored or denigrated by politicians. The Atheist Community of Austin (ACA) is dedicated to supporting the principle of church-state separation, to embracing the ideological diversity promoted by our Constitution, and to counteracting the pervasive negative characterization of the many non-theistic citizens of the United States. Toward that end, the ACA created a survey which was sent to 482 candidates in federal and state races in which Texans will vote. The survey focuses on the Constitutional separation of church and state, freedom of conscience, rational decision making, science advocacy, equality, and other important issues that conventional sources often do not satisfactorily address.
50 candidates returned the survey in time for their responses to be considered by voters prior to early voting on October 20th. These responses have been posted at the ACA Voters' Guide Website (www.atheist-community.org/political/votersguide).
Non-religious/secular individuals are estimated to represent more than 14% of the population of the United States; yet candidates often ignore or openly dismiss the interests and concerns of this group in order to court religious voters--a political move that fails to address the diversity of opinion held by religious individuals who aren't a part of the more vocal religious demographics. The ACA 2008 Voters' Guide is intended to assist voters in making informed decisions in the coming election and to make candidates aware of the issues that their non-religious constituents feel should be of importance to all citizens.
The ACA's 2008 Voters' Guide website (www.atheist-community.org/political/votersguide) includes the complete survey that was submitted to candidates, the results of this survey, information about our methodology and links to useful information for Texas voters.