BOSTON — The Massachusetts Democratic Party has approved a resolution acknowledging nonreligious Americans, also known as “nones,” and stating that those who have used their “religious views to justify public policy” are “threatening not only the United States, but the entire planet.”
According to the American Humanist Association (AHA), the resolution was passed on Nov. 14 after being introduced by Resolutions Committee member Stephen Driscoll, who is also the co-chair of the LGBT Sub-Committee. The text of the measure was written by David Niose, director of AHA’s legal center, and Stuart Wamsley of Greater Boston Humanists.
It states that the nones have tripled as a demographic the last two decades, and have also become “the largest religious group within the Democratic Party.”
However, according to the resolution, “the nones’ have often been subjected to unfair bias and exclusion in American society, particularly in the areas of politics and policymaking where assumptions of religiosity have long predominated.”
It claims that those who have used religion to define morality through public policy, as well as what is calls “misplaced claims of religious liberty,” are posing a threat to both the nation and the world.
“[T]hose most loudly proclaiming that morals, values, and patriotism must be defined by their particular religious views have often used those religious views to justify public policy that rejects well-established scientific consensus on issues such as evolution, sexuality, gender, women’s health, and climate change, thus threatening not only the United States but the entire planet,” the resolution states.
It says that the Democratic Party rather “recognizes that morals, values, and patriotism are not unique to any particular religion, and in fact are not necessarily reliant on having a religious worldview at all.”
The document also touts that—even though they do not identify with any religion—secular Americans “have consistently been a religious category that has strongly supported marriage equality and LGBT rights, and has often been in the lead in advocating for civil liberties and human rights for all.”
“Now, therefore, be it resolved that the Massachusetts Democratic Party recognizes the value, ethical soundness, and importance of the religiously unaffiliated demographic, a group of Americans who contribute in innumerable ways to the arts, sciences, medicine, business, law, and the success of the party and prosperity of the nation,” the resolution reads, “and that the ‘nones’ are a group that, as much as any other, advocates for rational public policy based on sound science and universal humanistic values.”
AHA says that the resolution passed by a voice vote with no objections.
In his message entitled “Happiness,” the late Anglican preacher J.C. Ryle once declared, “Do not talk to me of your happiness if you are unable to look steadily before and behind you. Your present position may be easy and pleasant. You may find many sources of joy and gladness in your profession, your dwelling place, your family and your friends. Your health may be good; your spirits may be cheerful. But stop and think quietly over your past life. Can you reflect calmly on the sins of omission and commission of by-gone years? How will they bear God’s inspection? How will you answer for them at the last day?”
“And then look forward; think on the years yet to come. Think of the certain end toward which you are hastening; think of death, think of judgment, think of the hour when you will meet God face to face. Are you ready for it? Are you prepared? Can you look forward to these things without alarm? Oh, be very sure if you cannot look comfortably at any season but the present, then your boasted happiness is a poor unreal thing. … To be truly happy, the needs of your conscience and soul must be satisfied. To be truly happy, your joy must be founded on something more than this world can give you.”