Growing Secular Movement Could Indicate Change in Political Tide — Even in Texas

By David R. Brockman

“The future of American voters is secular.”

So said Sarah Levin of the Washington, D.C., nonprofit Secular Coalition for America, speaking to a standing-room-only crowd at the Texas Democratic Party Convention in Fort Worth Friday. The occasion was the second-ever meeting of the Secular Caucus, a Democratic group aiming to represent the legislative agenda for roughly 6 million nonreligious Texans.

Levin’s prediction probably overstates the case; religious belief in America isn’t going away soon, if ever. But the enthusiastic turnout of about 250 delegates, coupled with candidates’ growing willingness to identify as secular, points to what may be a turn in the political tide — even in religious-right Texas, where the state constitution still mandates that officeholders  “acknowledge the existence of a Supreme Being.”

James White, a progressive activist from Dallas who helped to organize the group’s caucuses at the 2016 and 2018 conventions, said that he couldn’t find any candidates willing to speak at the first convention caucus two years ago. The story was very different this time around: a state Senate candidate, three candidates for the state House, and several local government hopefuls signed up to speak.

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