While suggesting a few caveats to S.E. Cupp’s assertion that conservatism isn’t hostile to atheism, Allahpundit offers some reasons why she has a point:
She’s right that most conservatives welcome atheist fellow travelers. I remember telling a friend before [Hot Air] launched that I’d be writing for a righty website and him telling me that I should hide my nonbelief, but I didn’t and it’s never been a problem. The most static I catch for it is when I’ve written something extra RINO-y and a commenter grumbles that we shouldn’t expect any better from the godless. Even that’s rare; the smoking gun of RINOism that’s most often cited by my righty critics is support for gay marriage, not atheism. So yeah, certainly this is no bar to entry into the commentariat. In fact, more conservative atheists seem to be writing about their dual identities. See, e.g., Robert Tracinski in April at the Federalist making “an atheist’s case for religious liberty” or Charles Cooke back in February arguing that godlessness and conservatism aren’t incompatible after all.
I think Cupp’s right too that righty atheists on average respect religion more than their liberal counterparts do. That’s probably mainly a function of exposure:
If you’re a conservative of whatever demographic and whatever educational level and you associate mostly with other conservatives, chances are you’re going to run into and end up being friends with some devoutly religious people. I’m not so sure that’s true on the left. If you’re a highly educated, reasonably well-to-do liberal — coincidentally, the same niche that most of the left’s commentariat comes from — devoutly religious friends may be hard to come by. (Call it epistemic closure.) Just as polls on gay marriage show support for SSM rising steeply among people who have at least one acquaintance who’s come out of the closet, I suspect that knowing religious people whom you respect inevitably softens your view on the value of religion.
Update from a reader:
I find it hilarious that S.E. Cupp would say that conservatives are not hostile to atheists when she has gone on record saying that she would never vote for an atheist president ever.