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On the 7th of February 2012, I was lucky enough to attend a community town hall with Tammy Duckworth who is currently running for the 8th district of Illinois. Tammy has not held public office before, so she does not have a voting record to ascertain her positions. However, Duckworth did serve as Assistant Secretary for Public and Intergovernmental Affairs in the U.S. Department of Veteran’s Affairs and as the director of the Illinois Department of Veteran’s Affairs. She is an Iraq War veteran and former U.S. Army helicopter pilot; her severe combat wounds cost her both of her legs and damage to her right arm.
Upon asking her how she would represent her atheist consituents, she repsonded with some personal reflections about her background and even reflected on her own theist position in a manner that did not pander to any group. A politician even acknowledging the distinction between a deist or various types of theists is rare – let alone claim that as a position.
To illustrate the specific concerns that a National Atheist Party member would have concerning political policy, I asked about the current controversy concerningt he Obama administration’s HHS ruling to do away with exemptions of religious-based businesses which refuse to offer the same standard of care that all other businesses must provide through their healthcare. They hide behind an argument of religious liberty while refusing to give individual workers and women the same options and benefits enjoyed by all others in the nation. As a result, they strip the right of the individual to make their own decision of conscience.
The administration was already voicing that they would kowtow to the pressure of Catholic bishops despite the fact that the overwhelming majority of Americans and even Catholics use and approve of contraception and family planning. They have since compromised and given into the pressure of those Catholic bishops.
Vice President of Outreach
National Atheist Party