Atheist Justin Scott is making sure atheists have a voice in the Iowa caucuses.
Almost all presidential candidates in Iowa showed their religiosity. Donald Trump and Marco Rubio of the Republican Party was blatant about it. Even Democratic candidates like Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders spoke about faith and personal beliefs. To an irreligious or atheist voter, this can be confusing. One person, however, is set to solve the puzzle, and thus decided to ask the running candidates.
Justin Scott, an atheist, self-employed photographer and a native of Iowa, interacted with every important presidential contender. He even questioned a few minor ones. He spoke with them in rallies, coffee shops, parlors and meetups. He questioned them about state church separation and asked them why an atheist voter will vote for that particular candidate.
Scott has consented to assist Secular Coalition for America to launch Secular Coalition for Iowa. This move will cement the influence of atheists in Iowa. The members of Secular Coalition for Iowa are trying to get atheist voters who have made up their minds to take part in the political process to submit their platform planks to respective party. In essence, the secular organization is trying to energize secular supporting voters to pass non-theist messages to the parties they support- thus influencing platforms during the course of the elections. The intention is to flood state party offices with secular ideas like reproductive rights and separation between church and state. If the atheist organizations get sufficient support, then these goals will be incorporated within the party program. Once it does, there will be positive publicity for entire secular or the atheist movements.
Scott himself has made a number of phone calls and sent emails to the local county leaders belonging to both Democrat and Republican parties. He asked them about their schedule so that any atheist member of the organization can ask questions during meetings. He himself plans to attend as much meetings as possible.
When asked why he tries for atheists to support the Republican party, Scott says that there are many atheists who believe in the Republican ideal and thus will be proactive in nudging the party back to the right path. He said that there are a large number of Republicans who do not agree with the agenda promoted by the religious right. It is natural when Republican lawmakers start to hear secular voices, they will shift away from their overtly religious stance.
Interview with the atheist in Iowa quizzing the US presidential candidates about religion – well done Justin Scott! https://t.co/yZlJN4Y7vC
— Richard Dawkins (@RichardDawkins) February 4, 2016
— Jeffrey Tayler (@JeffreyTayler1) February 3, 2016