About Secular Voters

About Secular Voters

Religiously unaffiliated (nonreligious) Americans are the largest and fastest growing religious demographic in the country. While the beliefs among this group are diverse, these Americans are more united on key political issues than the disproportionately powerful evangelical voting bloc.  

Why Secular Voters are the Future

Young people really are the future, and millennials (18-35) are the largest age demographic in the United States. They are also the most secular generation this country has ever seen, with 39% identifying as nonreligious.

A Political Profile of the Unaffiliated

While the nonreligious are a diverse group who span the political spectrum, we are more unified on many issues than evangelicals, who are often incorrectly portrayed as a monolithic and homogenous voting bloc.

According to the 2015 Pew Religious Landscape Survey, the nonreligious overwhelmingly support legal access to abortion (73%) and same-sex marriage (78%) compared to evangelicals who oppose those same policies by smaller margins (63% and 64%, respectively).

Similarly, a 2016 Public Religion Research Institute poll found that 71% of the nonreligious oppose religiously-based service refusals compared to only 56% of evangelicals who support that same policy.

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Why Don’t Secular Voters Have More Political Influence?

A major reason why the Religious Right has outsized political influence is because its base has a high voter turnout. Despite growing at an exponential rate, the nonreligious have only made up 12% of the total voter turnout in every election through 2014 and increased to only 15% in 2016. As of just this year, more than one-quarter of the nonreligious report they are not even registered to vote.

By comparison, despite their shrinking share of the total population, evangelicals made up 26% of the electorate in 2014. That means the evangelicals are beating secular voters more than two-to-one at the polls.

We cannot expect lawmakers to hear us if we’re not speaking up when it matters most. Increasing voter turnout of secular voters is our top priority.

Despite recent trends, secular voters continue to be severely underrepresented in government. According to an analysis by the Pew Research Center, while the nonreligious comprise nearly one-quarter of all Americans, they comprise only just 0.2% of the 115th Congress. That means there are 100 times as many religiously unaffiliated Americans as there are religiously unaffiliated Members of Congress.

While our Constitution prohibits a religious test for office, the stigma associated with having no religion and the pervasive misconception that one must be religious to have values has reinforced a de facto religious test on political candidates.

Many elected officials continue to govern in the “secular closet,” claiming a religious affiliation when in fact they are secular. We have even seen candidates attack their opponents’ lack of religious affiliation in an attempt to undermine their perceived character and qualifications for office. 

The majority of Americans still believe it is important for a political candidate to have strong religious beliefs. One reason for this is because the prevailing assumption that one must be religious to have good values, an assumption which directly implies you cannot have good values if you are secular.

Secular Values Voter is committed to eliminating the stigma of being nonreligious by empowering secular voters be openly secular, bringing visibility to openly secular candidates and elected officials, and most importantly, engaging the public in a discussion about secular values. That’s where we need your help.

If our secular values resonate with you, you can make a huge impact just by embracing those values and sharing them with others. 

 Get on the Political Map

Educate your elected officials by telling them you are a secular values voter.

Get out the Vote

Help us bring secular values to the ballot box by getting out the vote.

Get Politicians on the Record

Educate your elected officials the candidates vying for your vote by getting them on the record.

About the Secular Coalition for America

Secular Values Voter is a project of the Secular Coalition for America, whose mission is to increase respect and visibility for nontheistic viewpoints and to advocate for the separation of  church and state as the best guarantee of freedom for all.

Find out more about the Secular Coalition for America at www.secular.org. Please consider supporting our work by making a contribution today.

Join a secular community near you

We at the Secular Coalition are proud to give voice to the incredibly diverse community of secular Americans, including those who identify as atheists, agnostics, humanists, ethical culturalists, humanistic Jews, Unitarian Universalist humanists, Ex-Muslims, freethinkers, skeptics, and more.

If any of these identities, or the general concept of a community for secular people, are unfamiliar to you, we encourage you to learn about and join one of our 18 member organizations that are working each and every day to meet the growing demand for secular alternatives to religious institutions.