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Religious 'nones' vote their conscience too — they're just not all liberal or conservative

Religious 'nones' vote their conscience too — they're just not all liberal or conservative
Atheists rally on the steps of the Idaho Statehouse in Boise in 2005. (Associated Press)

To the editor: While it may be true that the “nones” (those unaffiliated with a house of worship) may lack the infrastructure, traditions and cultural juice that evangelical Christians enjoy, don’t mistake their lower political profile for absence of influence. We regularly vote our conscience just like religious groups do. Politicians would be wise to note that.

Consider the possibility that you don’t see a lot of Ted Cruz- or Mike Pence-type politicians in high office in California and other religiously diverse regions because of the subtle pressure exerted by nones, who are now 26% of the population.

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My experience has been that nones are not as single-minded in their thinking across a wide spectrum of issues as evangelical Christians. We free-thinkers welcome conservatives, liberals, libertarians and others — some of whose only common denominator is their lack of religion. Our people aren’t afraid to disagree or challenge the party line about anything — except maybe a political candidate who puts his religious beliefs above the Constitution or the will of the people.

James Underdown, Los Angeles

The writer is executive director of the Center for Inquiry-Los Angeles.

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To the editor: It’s worth considering that the so-called nones don’t want to be organized — which is why they are nones in the first place.

It’s wishful thinking to surmise that nones are interested in group-think, when even the authors of this op-ed article admit these people represent a wide swath of diverse interests.

Nones need “some kind of tightly organized political machinery” and to be shaped into cohesion by would-be cat herders? In reality, only one of the two parties views citizens as individuals, and one views them as members of a group.

Nice try, organizers, but I’ll have none of what you’re serving.

Geoffrey Cushing-Murray, Studio City

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