This will be the first year that I vote in a presidential election and the first year that I have paid close attention.
I will admit that I was of age in 2004, but I was still too young and naive to have a real opinion about it. I was still strongly influenced by my family and religious upbringing and hadn't formed any thoughts of my own on the matter. I figured since I couldn't make an educated choice, I would be better of making none.
I also happened to be in the wrong county when the day came, so that made the decision not to vote easier.
It seems that I'm not the only one who is all worked up about this election "thing", especially after watching the outrageous things being said by the right-wing pundits.
I must admit that it was a lot less stressful not paying any attention to all of this nonsense, but I cannot peel my eyes away. Every day I wake up and read the news, and my mood worsens.
I have been a proud supporter of Obama since the primaries and I will be delighted to vote for him when I get my absentee ballot in the mail.
However, I have gathered that some others in the "atheist community" will be making this choice with less enthusiasm, or possibly making other choices.
I am also disgusted by the blatant pandering of the democratic party to the religious. I am disgusted by it whenever I see it, on either side. Being young, I obviously do not have enough personal experience to see whether it has gotten noticeably worse among the democrats this time around. Regardless, I find it disturbing.
But I also hope that Obama is as committed to maintaining the separation between church and state as he was in the speech from 2006 that you have probably already seen:
This speech gave me hope. And despite all of the religious pandering, I have not yet lost it.
Here is how I see it: the country is filled with religious people. Atheists are a tiny minority. Barack Obama and the democrats want to win, so they are doing what they think they need to do to win.
Is it irritating? Absolutely.
But if it means not having McCain/Palin in the White House, I will be grateful.
Sure it is obnoxious to hear them talking about God constantly, but it is not nearly as obnoxious as it would be to have 4-8 more years talk of decisions made based on "faith" or waging wars against evil. It is not nearly as bad as the 4-8 more years we face under a republican leadership that neglects reason and logic.
I hear many people say, that it will be like picking the lesser of two evils.
I think this statement is ridiculous, because obviously no candidate is going to be perfect, and no candidate is going to represent everything you want in a leader. There will always be something imperfect about them.
But you vote for the person that gives you the most hope.
I have to say I am a little disgusted with the people that I have heard announcing, they will not vote for Barack Obama because of this.
Anyone who does not vote for Barack Obama because he is not a perfect candidate, and because the democrats are not a perfect party, is contributing to the victory of the greater of two evils, in my opinion.
So please, go out and vote.
We all know that atheists have a long way to go before we are no longer ostracized and demonized by our communities.
But I firmly believe that this road will be much easier with Barack Obama as our leader, and much more difficult if we allow McCain to win.