National Atheist Party Charter
National Atheist Party Charter “From Diversity and Reason, Unity” Adopted March 2011'
Acknowledging our reliance upon Reason and Rational Thought for our guidance and Ethical Stand-ards, and in celebration of freethinking individuals of the United States, forthwith, we do hereby constitute this organization using the good deed standard currency as defined by Ryguy Mau Muhammedd.
”The National Atheist Party is open to all faiths, if they share our goals. We are not, as a Party, attack-ing the evident basis of religion and recognize that would be impossible and counter-productive. This is not an organization that seeks to defeat religion. Our goal is to seek legislation that is free of religious bias in our government. We support the right of any individual to practice anything they want as long as that observance is performed at home, in their church, synagogue or mosque. We do not seek to limit the freedom of religious expression in any way, but where multiple traditions collide, including public schools, workplace, government facilities and the courts, religion should be prudently absent. From the perspective of the National Atheist Party, government and the agencies of government, should not promote or endorse any one religion or ideology over any other. To do so is to violate the spirit and the intent of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment and to deny the intent of the framers of the U.S. Constitution.”
Article I – Name
A) Political Committee Name
1. The name of this organization, as a ‘national political party’ certified under the provisions of the Election Law of the United States of America, shall be the “National Atheist Party,” herein-after referred to as the “Party.”
Article II – Purpose
A) Purpose of the Party 1. The purpose of the Party is to develop an informed, energetic and effective nationwide politi-cal organization in order to support the principles, goals and platforms of the Party as adopted by the National Convention of the Atheist Party, and to secure the election of all duly nominat-ed candidates and electors thereof.
Article III – Governance
A) Party Governing Body
1. The Executive Board is the governing body of the National Atheist Party and shall be respon-sible for conducting all party business. Qualifications and duties of the officers, procedures con-cerning the times and places of meetings and rules and procedures for governance of the Execu-tive Board shall be set forth in the bylaws.
Article IV – Members
A) Party Membership
1. Membership in the Party shall consist of all persons who are registered voters under the laws of the United States who have declared their affiliation with the Atheist Party proper.
Article V – Convention
A) Virtual Convention 1. For each year in which the President of the United States is elected, the Atheist Party shall hold a Virtual Convention (ongoing) for the purpose of:
2. Electing an Executive Board
3. Adopting a Party Platform
4. Transacting any other business brought before the Convention according to established Party rules.
Article VI – Identification
A) Party name, Motto, Mission Statement, Political Statement and “We Are” Statement 1. The party shall be known as the “National Atheist Party”
2. The party’s motto shall be “From Diversity and Reason, Unity”
3. The party’s “Mission Statement” shall be: “We move for an objective government with the consideration of all opinions and beliefs, providing provisions necessary for an individual to pursue success and providing aid for those who do not possess the means to help themselves, at the expense of those who have abundant resources. The National Atheist Party will support and defend the rights of all citizens and legal residents.”
4. The party’s “Political Statement” shall be: “The National Atheist Party stands for the enforcement of the United States Constitution, the promotion of individual thought and rights and its secular values.”
5. The party’s “We Are Statement” shall be: “The National Atheist Party is a progressive, secular, political movement and response to the lack of representation for all freethinking people who are legal, law abiding citizens and resi-dents of the United States. We demand emancipation from the corporate sponsored religious dogma that has infiltrated our government and has unjustly influenced political decisions and policy making. We are for the PEOPLE, by the PEOPLE and therefore incorporate the right to use the power of the PEOPLE to restore equality in our Democratic Republic in reasonable, ra-tional and non-violent means. The National Atheist Party is open to people of all races, sexes, sexual orientations, and cultures. We are committed to a government free of superstition, bias, guided by the principles of Secular Humanism, equal opportunity, recognition of merit, and economic responsibility. The National Atheist Party does not seek to inhibit the religious prac-tices or beliefs of any group, but are committed to the division of church and state and that reli-gious preference is a private matter, which has no place in the government or in government fa-cilities.
Article VII: Executive Board
A) Commission of Executive Board 1. The Executive Board is a body of officers conducting the official business of the National Atheist Party and shall be established by the president before first elections are held, and there-after by election votes of membership body of the National Atheist Party.
2. The Executive Board shall be the governing body of the party and shall have the authority to recommend all appropriate actions and measures to perform all duties to accomplish the mandate of the National Atheist Party. A quorum of the Executive Board must be present to conduct the National Atheist Party’s business. The Executive Board has the power to revise, by quorum of the Executive Board “Article IX: Bylaws” of the Charter of the National Atheist Party. A quorum is defined as three of the five Executive Board members reach a consensus.
Article VIII: Code of Standards and Ethics Section 1: A) Secular Humanism
1. Secular Humanism is a democratic and ethical life stance, which affirms that human beings have the right and responsibility to give meaning and shape to their own lives. It stands for the building of a more humane society through an ethics based philosophy on human and other nat-ural values in the spirit of reason and free inquiry through human capabilities and justice for all.
2. All members, officers and advisors will conduct themselves as defined by our Secular Hu-manist mandate.
3. Any member, officer or advisor who is found not upholding the Secular Humanist mandate or the laws upholding society with the highest regard shall come before council and tried for their transgression. Possibility of removal from the National Atheist Party will be decided by ap-pointed council.
Article IX: Bylaws Section 1: Officers Requirements, Duties and Responsibilities
A) Officers Requirements
1. The Officers of the National Atheist Party shall be active members of the party and shall con-sist of a President, two Vice-Presidents, Secretary and Treasurer. All active members of the par-ty are eligible to hold an Officer’s position provided they meet the minimum qualifications and requirements which are: a U.S. citizen by birth or naturalization and of legal voting age. All of-ficers of the Executive Board shall conduct themselves and follow the guidelines set forth in the National Atheist Party’s Constitution.
B) Officers Duties and Responsibilities
1. President – The President is the visible head of the party. The President is the spokesperson for the party, unless delegated on an issue by issue basis to VP1 and VP2. The President is re-sponsible for deciding non-critical issues that do not require an Executive Board decision such as diplomatic relations with other parties and ideological groups. The President forms decisions on the basis of input and recommendations from the Advisory Council, Executive Board, and VP1 and VP2. The President should be aware of the current progress of all campaigns and chap-ters and implements the strategies of VP1 and VP2 after consultation and deliberation.
2. VP1 of Outreach – Oversees and Maintains a Consistent Focus on Policy and Outreach. The VP1 is an external, managerial position that is responsible for creating, delegating and maintain-ing the policies of standards, procedures, operations and supervision of all administrators, coor-dinators, managers and department head functions of operations. For the purposes of Outreach, these positions will include Campaign Coordinator, Campaign Coordinators, Chapter Adminis-trators, Membership Coordinator, Diversity Council, PR/Marketing Manager and Website De-sign Manager and his maintenance team. The Political Strategy Committee will be overseen by VP1 and VP2 and the Political Advisor will be the chair of that committee. Communications, recruitment and membership, policy statements, media education, outreach, campaigning, public presentation and campaign response are maintained through operations. VP1 must ensure that procedures are being followed, high productivity is maintained, objectives, priorities and required deadlines are met with efficiency and through clear and direct communications and ex-pectations. This process will involve a comprehensive organizational assessment of all external programs, state administrations, finances, recommendations, and implementation of all policies and operations. Meaningful participation and transparency will be prioritized and VP1 will di-rect and implement any alternative courses of action, by analyzing the risks, benefits and costs to improve operating procedures. This includes the delegation of qualified department heads, managers and supervisors and their training to achieve specific goals and objectives. The VP1 has the authority to create any position deemed necessary to fulfill their goals and objectives with the approval of the Executive Board.
3. VP2 of Administration - Oversees and Maintains Organization of Inner Structure and Communication. The VP2 is an internal administrative, managerial position that is responsible for creating, delegating and maintaining the policies of standards, procedures, operations and supervision of the managerial and department head functions in administration. VP2 will devel-op and maintain the internal structure and organization of NAP. VP2 oversees the functions of the Executive Board including, Secretary and Treasurer. For the purposes of Administration, these positions will include the Campaign Coordinator, for direction and guidance on the crea-tion of his/her committee. VP2 will also oversee the functions of the Advisory Council including Advisory Council Secretary, Legal Advisor, Historical Advisor, Education, Science and Technology, Theology, Political, Psychology, Anthropology and Sociology, Demographics and Statistical, Foreign Relations, , Environmental and Energy Advisors. On specific policy issues requiring communication from the Diversity Council, the VP2 will instruct chairs of those committees what information, research, input or other tasks are required of them. The Political Strategy Committee will be overseen by VP1 and VP2 and the Political Advisor will be the chair of that committee. The minutes, documentation, Charter, polls, internal memos/reports from subject matter specialists, strategy, planning, development, resources including finances are maintained through administration. VP2 must ensure that procedures are being followed, high productivity is maintained, and objectives, priorities and required deadlines are met with efficiency, through clear and direct communications and expectations. This process will involve a comprehensive organizational assessment of all internal programs, identifying problems of the installed internal departmental procedures, finances, recommendations, and implementation of all policies and operations. Meaningful participation and transparency will be prioritized and VP2 will direct and implement any alternative courses of action, by analyzing the risks, benefits and costs to improve operating procedures, including the delegation of qualified department heads, managers and supervisors and their training to achieve specific goals and objectives. The VP has the authority to create any position deemed necessary to fulfill their goals and objectives with the approval of the Executive Board.
Joint Duties/Duties and Procedures of VP1 and VP2 Basic procedures and protocols to maintain organized communications. VP1 and VP 2 will collaborate as necessary including budgets, committees and events. VP1 and VP2 will jointly oversee the NAP website. VP2 will work with the President managing the NAP Charter and any amendments recom-mended and implemented through the Executive Board. After the first elections are held, any amendments to the charter must be approved by the general membership during the annual con-vention. VP2 will work with the President and Political Advisor in joint sessions to implement designed strategies for NAP. The political advisor will chair the Political Strategy Committee and the committee members are to be determined by him/her. All committees will be determined by the President. The regulation and management of the committees will be the VP1 and VP2 responsibilities. VPs will submit monthly reports (unless time-sensitive) to the President including updates of all functions from each respective department of the VPs, an updated priority list with necessary recommendations for inclusion and /or improvement and an estimated time frame for the com-pletion of said priorities. VP1 and VP2 will receive weekly reports from all department heads including all functions from each respective department of the VPs, an updated priority list with necessary recommen-dations for inclusion and /or improvement and an estimated time frame for the completion of said priorities and plans. The Department Heads will organize and implement the committees, as directed by VPs (unless directed otherwise) whether they are internal or external, and will report weekly or as necessary to the VP’s for recommendations and to give status updates.
4. Deputy VP of Outreach – This position is an appointed position by the VP of Outreach and designed to be a direct liaison to the VP1 and all the various committees that fall under the di-rection of VP1. The Deputy VP of Outreach will have the authority to supervise and have over-sight responsibilities of those committees, in the absence of the VP1 or at the direction of the VP1. The Deputy VP of Outreach will serve as the official representative of the VP1 if acting in the absence of VP1 in the various committee meetings they have authority over. The Deputy VP of Outreach shall be a qualified individual designated by the VP1 to fill the specific require-ments and responsibilities needed to assist with all functions of the Outreach Departments of this political party. This individual will compliment and assist the VP1 in his/her duties and re-sponsibilities. The Deputy VP of Outreach will serve as an administrative assistant to the VP1 and share in their duties and responsibilities, including the creation of policies, procedures and their implementation, concerning all of the affairs of each specific department. The Deputy VP of Outreach will serve as a spokesperson and a liaison for the VP1 for the purpose of conducting official business, wherever deemed necessary. In the absence of the VP of Outreach, the Deputy VP of Outreach shall have the authority to vote on all official business and act as representative for the VP1 to the other departments that fall under the domain of the VP1.
5. Deputy VP of Administration – This position is an appointed position by the VP of Admin-istration and designed to be a direct liaison to the VP2 and all the various committees that fall under the direction of VP2. The Deputy VP of Administrative will have the authority to super-vise and have oversight responsibilities of those committees, in the absence of the VP2 or at the direction of the VP2. The Deputy VP of Administration will serve as the official representative of the VP2 if acting in the absence of VP2 in the various committee meetings they have authori-ty over. The Deputy VP of Administration will have the authority to vote on the policies and is-sues developed by the Advisory Council. The Deputy VP of Administration shall be a qualified individual designated by the VP2 to fill the specific requirements and responsibilities needed to assist with all functions of the Administrative Departments of this political party. This individu-al will compliment and assist the VP2 in his/her duties and responsibilities. The Deputy VP of Administration will serve as an administrative assistant to the VP2 and share in their duties and responsibilities, including the creation of policies, procedures and their implementation, con-cerning all of the affairs of each specific department. The Deputy VP of Administration will serve as a spokesperson and a liaison for the VP for the purpose of conducting official business, wherever deemed necessary. In the absence of the VP2, the Deputy VP of Administration shall have the authority to vote on all official business and act as representative for the VP2 to the other departments that fall under the domain of the VP2.
6. Executive Board Treasurer - The Treasurer will keep track of all monetary donations and expenses, receipts for all transactions, be it paper trail or cyber, and a list of the names of con-tributors. Will inform the AC of finances and current account standings through a weekly report and inform the EB of any major changes to the account, donations and expenses through a weekly report. Assist the other positions and committees, as necessary when it comes to all monetary aspects of their agenda and responsibilities. Cut checks as needed for expenses ap-proved by the EB. File the party’s taxes and provide all information necessary to the IRS, and make sure all information is up to date at all times. Be in direct contact with the EB, AC, State Chapter Leaders, lawyers, and all others in positions of authority, so we can at all times maintain clear communications concerning donations, promotions, fundraisers, merchandise sales, etc. All monetary finances are to be kept track of and deposited properly. Treasurer is to be informed of all financial transactions, so detailed records are maintained, assist in proper planning and keeping track of funds (i.e.: %of discounts, % to speakers/book deals, personal expenses and expected reimbursement).
7. Executive Board Secretary – Responsibilities include: Coordinate all Executive Board (EB) meetings – weekly and emergency sessions. Conduct the EB meetings, take notes and keep the meeting on task. Take, type and post minutes of meetings to Executive Board. Securely store the official records for all staff, including all committees, councils, and boards. Screen calls to the Party through Skype call forwarding and by checking the voicemail system, and alert staff members to the messages that relate to their position or department. The secretary will also ac-cept other responsibilities, as delegated by the President or the Executive Board based on the needs of the Party. Required education and experience – Relevant training or qualification. Knowledge and experience of relevant software applications – spreadsheets, word processing, and database management. Proficient in spelling, punctuation, grammar and other English lan-guage skills. Key Competencies -Verbal and written communication skills, attention to detail, confidentiality, planning and organizing, time management, interpersonal skills, customer-service orientation, initiative, reliability, stress tolerance, flexibility, project coordination experience, ability to work well with all levels of internal management and staff. The secretary will also accept other responsibilities, as delegated by the President or the Execu-tive Board based on the needs of the Party.
Elections, Appointing and Removal of Officers
A) Inaugural Appointment and Removal of Officers
1. Until such time as the first elections are held, the President holds the power to appoint mem-bers to the Executive Board, and a quorum is required to remove an officer.
B) Elections 1. Executive Board Officers of the National Atheist Party shall be elected by a 2/3 majority vote of the membership. He/she shall hold office for four years or one election cycle. The first official election will held on the one year anniversary date of the formation of the National Atheist Party, March 11, 2011. Thereafter, elections will be held every four years. Any member in good standing of the National Atheist Party may run for any Executive Board Officer position. Inten-tion to run for any Executive Board position can be declared beginning January 1 of that elec-tion year and the deadline for accepting candidates is the last day of February of that election year. The elected officers officially commence the duties of their position on April 11 of that election year.
C) Special Appointment of Officers
1. If an Executive Board officer’s position becomes vacant during the officer’s term, the Na-tional Atheist Party’s president shall make a special appointment of an active member to fill the vacancy. The special appointment to fill a vacancy shall require approval of the active member-ship by a 2/3 vote. The person appointed to fill an officer’s vacancy shall serve until the organ-ization holds its election of officers, every four years to coincide with National elections.
D) Removing Officers 1. The National Atheist Party’s Executive Board officers may be removed from office for just cause. Just cause is considered, but not limited to, excessive absence from meetings, misappro-priation of funds and violation of the code of conduct. The removal of an officer requires a 2/3 majority vote of approval from the organization’s membership based on the recommendation of the president and the Executive Board.
Meetings, Procedures and Agenda
A) Conduction of Executive Board Meetings
1. Meetings of the National Atheist Party shall be conducted by the president and scheduled by the president or vice-president. The meeting location and meeting time shall be established by the president or vice-president, with advance notice provided to all club members.
2. The order of business to be followed at a regular meeting is as follows: a. Call to order b. Roll Call of officers c. Guest Address, if not categorized under another Agenda item d. Adopt Previous Minutes and Board Actions passed since last meeting e. Report of New Members f. Treasurer’s Report g. Reading of communications, bills, etc. h. Treasurer’s Business Items i. Report of committees and State Chapters j. President’s Report and Business Items k. Outreach VPs Updates and Business Items l. Administrative VPs Updates and Business Items m. Secretary’s Updates and Business Items n. Adjournment
B) Procedures 1. Executive Board Secretary will call meeting to order.
2. Roll call of officers.
3. Executive Board Secretary will address the first issue stated on the agenda. (No meeting will be conducted without an agenda. The agenda will be posted at least 24 hrs. prior to the sched-uled meeting)
4. Executive Board Secretary will open floor for discussion. Please try to be respectful to your fellow members. Secretaries: this will be very important to keep all discussions within the meet-ing minutes.
5. Call for motion to close discussion. A member will reply MOVE 1. Executive Board Secre-tary will call for a 2nd. A member will reply MOVE 2. Discussion will be closed. No exceptions. If the motion to discuss has been officially closed and a member wishes to discuss the issue further, the member must make a motion to reopen discussion. There MUST be a 2nd to reopen discussion. If there is a 2nd, the discussion will continue. Once this discussion is closed, no member can move to open the discussion a 3rd time. (ALSO – Any member may motion to close discussion with a 2/3 majority vote.) If the consensus is a 2/3 majority, then the discussion will be officially closed for this meeting and the president will call the next item on the agenda. The issue may be raised again at the next meeting, under new business, with a new motion to discuss the issue with the approval of a 2/3 consensus of the members.
C) Agenda 1. The agenda shall be a consensus of the officers. Executive board members shall add their own business items to the Agenda which will be posted at least 24 hours in advance of the meeting. No business items may be added to the Agenda less than one hour before the meeting is scheduled to begin. Any item on the Agenda may be tabled by a quorum vote of the Board.
2. Any member may petition the officers to add an item on the agenda with a minimum of 24 hours notice. The officers will then decide when and where that item will be placed on the agenda by a unanimous vote of the officers, and issue to the requesting person a Memorandum stating such scheduling information.
3. All officers must give consent to this memorandum before it is official.
Executive Board, Advisory Council and Special Committees
A) Leadership of the National Atheist Party: Official Board, Advisory Council, Diversity Councils; National, Regional and State Chapter Leadership; PR/Marketing, Fundraising, Political Strategy, Cam-paign Coordination Committees.
1. The National Atheist Party shall be run by a board of elected officials consisting of a presi-dent, two vice presidents, two deputy vice presidents, secretary and treasurer overseeing and di-recting the various functions of the NAP.
2. An advisory council to the Executive Board shall be created consisting of professionals and specialists to assist and advise the board in their strategy, by giving professional advice from within their particular areas of specialty. The advisory council will not have authority over the Executive Board or to vote on executive affairs.
3. The president and the vice president’s shall appoint or create such standing and special com-mittees as necessary to conduct the business of the party and he/she shall be an ex-officio mem-ber of all committees. When the appointed committee has completed its requirements, the Chair of said committee will report the finished conclusions to the Executive Board of the NAP. If the conclusions are found satisfactory, the Executive Board will order the said committee dissolved and will be no longer responsible for further action.
4. Serving on a Policy Committee will include duties of helping to create reforms, advise on policy, and suggest budgets specific to committees’ oversight. The expertise, direction, and in-sight shared are valuable in moving forward with the structure of this party and enriching our platform. The committees will research and draft policy proposals upon researching and debat-ing issues that need to be defined in our platform. The committee’s would then draft policy statements to define their position on any current events or legislation within their domain: e.g. For the Education Committee, the collective committee members would make a statement on Race to the Top, the use of charters, vouchers etc. These statements would be then submitted to Executive Board and Advisory Council for review and approval. On the issues, that leads to an addendum or change to the charter and platform- Policy Committees would be tasked with gathering resources and drafting arguments to membership to educate them on our proposal and the reasons for it- in hopes that they will concur with the committees’ expert suggestions. The meetings and regularity would depend on what needed to be addressed and how often disagreements need compromise. Much of the communication would be done asynchronously. A chair will be nominated within the committee and submitted for approval by the Executive Board. In cases where there is no nomination, the Executive Board will appoint the committee chair. The Committee chair will be tasked with presenting the findings and suggestions of their committee to the Advisory Council and Executive Board as well as conducting and managing the meetings of his or her committee. Not all Policy Chairs will be serving on Advisory Council. The Advisory Council will review proposals by other committees, such as the Diversity Council, and advise on them as well – ei-ther concurrently or peremptorily.
4. All leadership of the National Atheist Party are required to have a signed and notarized Non-Disclosure, Non-Compete Agreement along with a photo-copy of a valid driver’s li-cense or a valid identification provided to the representative designated by the Executive Board of the National Atheist Party prior to the start of their leadership position. Their offi-cial duties will not be in effect until it has been received. The expectation is that the NDA will be returned to the NAP representative within 10 days. If they fail to do so, their offer for a leadership position within the National Atheist Party will be terminated, but their status and privileges of regular membership with the party will remain intact.
Article X Advisory Council
A) Advisory Council 1. The Advisory Council of the National Atheist Party is an informal, volunteer group of profes-sionals and intellectuals from all fields, who will advise the Executive Board on all policies, is-sues, programs, staff, budget and mission priorities. Upon request of the Executive Board the Advisory Council will also discuss issues regarding procedures, matters at hand, course of action or other issues as decided by them. The Advisory Council does not have the authority to vote on executive matters pertaining to the National Atheist Party but will potentially have to vote on matters in the meetings in order to reach a consensus. A presence of 2/3 of Advisory Council members is sufficient to vote on those matters. The Advisory Council will conduct itself in accordance with the National Atheist Party Charter. Meetings will be held as needed online or in a location defined in advance.
2. Members are selected by the Executive board for a period of 4 years and may act as a pool of experienced leaders to serve as members of the Executive Board. Such members are not com-pensated and new reserve members will be added by a 2/3 majority vote of the Council. Council members will serve staggered four-year terms and may remove themselves from the Council at any time with thirty days notice, but are highly encouraged to finish their appointed term. Re-serve members will fill open positions to maintain the minimum quorum of seven.
3. The Advisory Council shall consist of political, legal, academic, scientific and technological, historical, theological, demographical and statistical, anthropological, psychological, environ-mental, energy and foreign policy professionals. Specialty fields shall qualify, but do not ex-clude any other field of expertise, as medical, environmental, law enforcement, tax/not for prof-it, IT, media, human resource professionals and any other specialty professionals, as are deemed necessary. All advisor positions are required to have a minimum of a Master’s Degree or ten years work experience in their respective career field and also required to develop their specific role as each position mandates. Advisors are expected to be assertive, innovative, develop a team of professionals and be hands on at all times.
4. It is the responsibility of the National Atheist Party’s Administration to create and maintain a political community by building a common identity and sense of community, foster economic and social development and securing democracy, human rights and civil liberties for ALL legal citizens. Advisor Role Descriptions Secretary – Primary responsibility will be to conduct the Advisory Council meetings, takes notes and keeps the meeting on task. Take, type and post minutes of meetings to Executive Board and forward minutes to all necessary departments. Ensure that any official correspondence, reports and documents needing to be kept are forwarded to the person responsible for keeping central documentation. Organ-ize and coordinate all meetings – weekly and emergency sessions. Take on any other responsibilities as delegated by the President or the Executive Board. Required education and experience – Relevant training or qualification. Knowledge and experience of relevant software applications – spreadsheets, word processing, and database management. Proficient in spelling, punctuation, grammar and other English language skills. Key Competencies -Verbal and written communication skills, attention to de-tail, confidentiality, planning and organizing, time management, interpersonal skills, customer-service orientation, initiative, reliability, stress tolerance, flexibility, project coordination experience, ability to work well with all levels of internal management and staff.
VP of Administration: Oversees all functions of the Advisory Council and meetings. Education Advisor: The Education Advisor will provide the AC with education information, interpre-tation, and opinion needed to define Party policy as articulated in the Education Policy Committee. The EA will guide the committee to provide information to the membership on aspects of current and pro-posed policies active in the political dialogue of the nation. The EA will have proper degrees, certifica-tions, and experience in the field of education and be entrusted with forming a committee composed of a diverse field of education professionals.
Science & Technology Advisor: The Advisor is the main source of scientific and technological infor-mation, interpretation, and opinion to the Executive Board. It is the duty of the Science & Technology Advisor to develop, organize, and maintain various resources to facilitate responses to queries from the Executive Board as well as to create reforms on political issues which have a scientific component. The Science Advisor will be aided by the Science Advisory Committee; a group of 5-7 scientists who’s combined knowledge base encompass all areas of science. The Science Advisor will be responsible for staffing the SAC and guiding all efforts necessary to define party policy and create reforms. Addition-ally, the SA will develop programs to promote science education and provide the membership with cur-rent information on scientific knowledge and advancements.
Theology Advisor: Shall develop and reform policies that relate to religion and government for the purpose of reinforcing the division of church and state. This position would work to identify issues and inform on positions pertinent to the goals of the party. This position would also include working with other required participants in reforming the tax code and their not-for-profit status, specifically the mega churches status and parachurch ministries that operate like a business.
Secularism is the belief that the government should be a secular institution; that is, have no state reli-gion, have no legislation that outlaws or favors one religion over another, and have no religiously moti-vated regulations on the eligibility of the nation’s politicians. A secular state has no power over the na-tion’s churches and the nation’s churches have no political powers over the members of the government. The Theology Advisor position’s main purpose is to build up this wall of separation between church and state.
Political Advisor: Shall inform the Executive Board and all related divisions in political matters, in-cluding advising and assisting in political campaigns and virtually all of their activities from research to field strategy. This advisor will conduct candidate research, voter research, and opposition research, watches the political market and advises the EB, as to what moves should be made. It is the job of the political advisor to pay attention to who the EB’s allies and enemies are in the local, state, and national political arenas.
Example: If a company deals with a union, it is the job of the political advisor to pay attention to the issues between the union and the company. He or she will advise the company as to what issues should be pursued, and which ones should be ignored for the time being.
Psychology/Social Advisor: Is an academic field dedicated to the relationship between psychology and political science, with a focus on the role of human thought, emotion, and behavior in politics and analyzes political science as related to entities such as voters, lawmakers, local and national governments and administrations, international organizations, political parties, and associations. While the grammar of “political psychology” tends to stress psychology as the central field, the discipline could also be accurately labeled “the psychology of politics,” so as to more evenly recognize the interdisciplinary nature of the field. Also not fully conveyed by the label is the wide scope of the disciplines from which political psycholo-gy draws, including anthropology, cognitive and personality psychology, sociology and social psychol-ogy, psychiatry, international relations, and other more distant fields such as economics, philosophy, and the arts.
Anthropologist/Social Advisor: The Anthropology Advisor will serve on the Advisory Council and help to create reforms, advise upon policy, and suggest budgets specific to the fields of anthropology and sociology. The expertise, direction and insight shared are valuable in moving forward with the structure of the National Atheist Party.
In the United States, contemporary anthropology is typically divided into four sub-fields: cultural an-thropology also known as socio-cultural anthropology, archaeology, linguistic anthropology, and phys-ical (or biological) anthropology. The NAP is mainly concerned with socio-cultural anthropology in relation to policy and strategy direction.
Demographic/Statistical Advisor: Is the statistical study of human population. It can be a very general science that can be applied to any kind of dynamic human population, that is, one that changes over time or space (see population dynamics). It encompasses the study of the size, structure and distribution of these populations, and spatial and/or temporal changes in them in response to birth, migration, aging and death. Demographic analysis can be applied to whole societies or to groups defined by criteria such as educa-tion, nationality, religion and ethnicity. Institutionally, demography is usually considered a field of so-ciology, though there are a number of independent demography departments.The broader field of social demography population studies also analyzes the relationships between economic, social, cultural and biological processes influencing a population. The term demographics, refers to characteristics of a population.
Foreign Policy Advisor: A country’s foreign policy, also called foreign, or International, relations consists, primarily, of self-interest strategies chosen by the state to safeguard its national interests and to achieve its goals within the International System arena. From the concept of Realism, or rational choice, the approaches are strategically employed to interact with other countries. In recent times, due to the deepening level of globalization and transnational activities, the states will also have to interact with non-state actors. These include IGOs, NGOs, MNCs, as well as private foundations and individu-als. The aforementioned interaction is evaluated and monitored in attempts to maximize benefits of multilateral international cooperation. Since the national interests are paramount, foreign policies are designed by the government through high-level decision-making processes. Additionally, increased in-teraction among non-state actors and various IGOs have created arenas where foreign relations exist outside of the governmental system. National interest accomplishments can occur as a result of peace-ful cooperation with other nations, or through exploitation. Usually, creating foreign policy is the job of the head of government and the foreign minister (or equivalent). In some countries the legislature also has considerable oversight. However, in the United States, the executive branch has a wide range of options available for foreign policy implementation.
Historical Advisor: One of two basic functions of the Historical Advisor and the History Committee can be likened to that of a fact checker. It will be the role of the Historical Committee to review com-munications, particularly those directed toward the general public. The purpose of this will be to ensure that communications to the public contain factual historical information, and that any historical claims made in communications are claims that are legitimately defensible based on evidence and the most recent academic historical scholarship. In so doing, the Historical Committee will help the NAP ensure that historical information is accurately portrayed in the presentation of constitutional issues, the history of American secular ideals, religious history in America, etc; the Historical Committee will be helping the NAP to avoid embarrassment by being prepared with historical evidence to combat accusations of “historical revisionism.” The other basic function of the Historical Advisor and the Historical Committee is one of education. The culture wars in this nation have led to a variety of historical misconceptions among both conserva-tives and liberals, among both the religious right and staunch supporters of strict separation of church and state. It is the role of the Historical Committee to produce educational materials that seek rectify this misconceptions, to more objectively educate the American public about the founding of our nation, the religious beliefs of the founding fathers, the history of separation of church and state, and other is-sues of importance Issues of national importance. In short, it is a primary goal of the Historical Com-mittee to bring an end to the culture wars that have plagued U.S. society through the production of ma-terials for the general public that investigate American history from an objective point of view, rather than one shaded by political battles. These documents will be published on the NAP website where they will be available to read to the general public, and the History Committee will promote the docu-ments through various social networking sites such as Facebook and twitter.
Issues of interest to the Historical Committee may include, but are not limited to the Enlightenment and the increasingly secular ideals prevalent among the Founding Fathers, the writing and ratification of the U.S. Constitution, the history of Constitutional interpretation particularly with regards to the first amendment and separation of church and state, the history of the role and place of religion in colonial and American history, the repression and the achievements of atheists, secularists, and humanists in American history, and the complex history of the American culture war between those who support and those who oppose the separation of church and state.
Legal Advisor: Shall advise all members of the AC and the EB of all legal actions that need to be tak-en in the pursuit of policy development and all politics at hand and will also create a team specific to the political needs of this Party. This person (s) will possess the necessary credentials qualifying them to work as a lawyer. Basic application of skills involves the practical application of abstract legal theories and knowledge to solve specific individualized problems, and to perform required legal services.
Environmental Advisor: Establish reforms concerning policies that relate to the development of an alternative energy infrastructure that encompasses research and development, job creation and manda-tory deployment of green alternatives. These policies would affect those research firms and scientists that are developing real-world strategies for the reduction or elimination of the release of greenhouse gasses, in order to combat global climate change. Support policies that reduce pollution to air, water and land. Create penalties for violators.
Develop budgets for research firms and scientists to build strategies for the reduction or elimination of the release of greenhouse gasses and incorporate green solutions in the manufacture of everyday prod-ucts. Restrictions would be instituted for industries whose practices pollute or harm the environment. Establish reforms concerning policies that relate to the development of green chemistry solutions to replace the topic substances that are polluting our environment. Develop budgets for research into this area. Another major area of concern is the clean-up of toxins and pollutants that have already penetrat-ed our land, air and water.
Energy Advisor: Shall create reforms and a budget concerning policies that relate to relieving our de-pendence upon fossil fuels. Alternative energy solutions include nuclear, solar, wind and water. Alter-native energy solutions must be researched and brought to the fore to combat our dependence upon for-eign oil. Hydrogen and other as-yet-undiscovered solutions must be sought and implemented. The NAP supports tax incentives and federal grants as a measure to incentive this research and development.
Economy Advisor: An economist is a professional in the social science discipline of economics. The individual may also study, develop, and apply theories and concepts from economics and write about economic policy. Within this field there are many sub-fields, ranging from the broad philosophical the-ories to the focused study of minutiae within specific markets, macroeconomic analysis, micro-economic analysis or financial statement analysis, involving analytical methods and tools such as econ-ometrics, statistics, economics computational models, financial economics, mathematical finance and mathematical economics.
Meetings, Procedures and Agenda A) Conduction of Advisory Council Meetings 1. Meeting of the National Atheist Party shall be conducted and scheduled by the Deputy Ad-ministrative VP. The Advisory Council Secretary coordinates the meeting location and meeting time giving 48 hours advance notice provided to all members. The Secretary will be responsible for taking meeting minutes and posting them.
2. The order of business to be followed at a regular meeting is as follows: a. Roll call of Members c. Discussion and/or Approval of previous week’s minutes d. Deputy VP2 Reports e. Advisors reports f. Further Business g. Adjournment
B) Procedures 1. The Deputy VP of Administration will follow the agenda and start with calling the meeting to order. 2. The Deputy VP of Administration will proceed with Roll Call. 3. The Deputy VP of Administration will address the first issue stated on the agenda. No meet-ing will be conducted without an agenda. 4. The Deputy VP of Administration will open floor for discussion, if applicable, to all members of the Advisory Council. 5. The Deputy VP of Administration will call for motion to close discussion once each member has concluded discussion. An Advisory Council member will respond with an ‘I Second that motion.’ All other Advisory Council members will respond with aye or nay. No exceptions. If the motion to discuss has been officially closed and a member wishes to discuss the issue fur-ther, the member must make a motion to reopen discussion. There MUST be a 2nd to reopen discussion. If there is a 2nd, the discussion will continue. Once this discussion is closed, no member can move to open the discussion a 3rd time. (ALSO – Any member may motion to close discussion with a 2/3 majority vote.) If the consensus is a 2/3 majority, then the discussion will be officially closed for this meeting and the Secretary will call the next item on the agenda. The issue may be raised again at the next meeting, under new business, with a new motion to discuss the issue with the approval of a 2/3 consensus of the members.
C) Agenda 1. Secretary will create the agenda and post this at least 48 hours prior to the meeting. It shall reflect all the Advisory Council members. 2. Any Advisory Council member may add an item on the agenda up until 1 hour prior to the scheduled meeting.
Article XI: National Atheist Party Platform
A) Economy With a cognizance of our national security, an awareness of the scientific community’s research into global climate change, and a desire to create new jobs, we must as a nation bring to a halt our national dependence on fossil fuels and foreign oil. To this end, we call for a “Manhattan Project” or “Apollo program” level of national commitment and research into green energy solutions. Another drain on our economy, that has so far yielded poor results with no abatement, is the “War on Drugs.” This party recognizes that the criminalization of drug use stems from a position grounded in religion. Free adults should be able to enjoy recreational drugs, provided that they do not abuse them in a public or destructive manner. Therefore, the NAP advocates decriminalizing the use of drugs and in-stead find reasonable alternatives of taxation and regulation, creating jobs in the drug sector and elimi-nating vast drug cartels. Balancing the budget is important, and finding programs among the Federal departments that can be downsized or eliminated is a difficult task. However, some programs, due to their nature as a lifeline for the disadvantaged, should never be cut. The NAP does not consider programs that contribute to the social welfare of our least wealthy citizens to be eligible programs for elimination
B) Jobs It is no secret that bureaucracy is expensive. We demand a comprehensive review of all government departments with an eye toward identifying wasteful practices and appropriate level of spending. The traditional policy of “spend-down” – in which each department tries to spend its entire budget each fis-cal segment, in order to justify receiving more money in the next – shall be halted. Jobs are created when innovation occurs. There is no argument or question that this is true. All of our modern technological conveniences, from LCD and LED display technology to stud less tires and ath-letic shoes, have been developed as spin-off technologies from NASA. The lesson is clear: investment in advanced technology reaps huge economic rewards. This party advocates an unprecedented level of funding be earmarked for NASA and the biotechnology sector. Photovoltaic energy conversion, or solar cells (another spin-off from NASA research), has enjoyed a renaissance over the last couple of decades. The energy output and sensitivity of the technology has increased dramatically. The NAP believes that the alternative energy industry, or “green energy”, is an untapped source of jobs. If a national mandate for alternative energy research and installation in exist-ing homes and businesses would create jobs and revitalize the economy.
C) Social Security/Medicare Social security is a safety net that millions of our senior citizens have depended on for years. Estab-lished by President Roosevelt in 1935, social security programs have helped Americans weather the worst times with hope and dignity. The NAP feels that legislation should be passed to protect Social Security from the threat of privatization or surcease. As a corollary issue, the NAP strongly recommends that Medicare, rather than continuing to exist as a separately funded and maintained benefit, should be absorbed into a new Universal Health Care system.
D) Health Care Health care for the wealthy has long been considered a luxury. Plastic surgery and elective procedures help to paint this picture of health care as only being in reach of the few. The NAP believes that proper health care – care which extends the useful life and comfort of patients – is a right - not a privilege. We support an amendment to the Constitution or other legislation that recognizes health care as a basic right universal to all citizens.
E) Abortion The NAP, in concert with Planned Parenthood, the Women’s movement and other groups, recognizes that pregnancy is a profound physical change and that the ultimate decision to proceed with a pregnan-cy or to terminate it rests with the individual woman. Government should play no role in deciding such an individual choice. It is our position that legislation inhibiting a woman’s right to choose is based on religious concerns of morality and conception, and does not reflect the scientific community’s consen-sus of when a fetus can be said to be an independent organism.
F) Gay Rights The rights that we extend to our citizens are not dependent upon the majority position of those citizens. In fact, “rights” are designed to protect minority positions from the unfair oppression of their members by the majority. As such, the NAP feels that the time is overdue for the recognition of the GLBT (gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered) community as citizens, with rights protecting them from being targeted by those who disagree with their sexual identity. We call for a Constitutional amendment rec-ognizing the rights of the GLBT, alongside other distinguished characteristics like race, creed, and na-tional origin. Further, we demand that marriage between consenting adults of any sexual persuasion be legalized and recognized by all fifty states. Civil union should be afforded the same rights and tax advantages as tra-ditional marriage. GLBT citizens have had a very hard time in this country. Intolerance, ridicule, outright hatred, and vio-lence prompt the NAP to call for a determination, by act of Federal Law, that violence directed toward gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgendered citizens shall be deemed a “hate crime” with attendant se-vere punishment.
G) Education The NAP is deeply concerned that divisive religious indoctrination and religiocentric policies are being taught in this nation’s public schools on a daily basis. Reports of teachers pressing their religious views onto their captive audience are common. Hidden faith-based organizations are going into our schools and advocating behavior from a religious perspective while actively hiding their religious affiliation, in order to get around laws prohibiting them from doing so. Our classrooms are a melting pot of traditions, national origin and creeds and it is wrong for any one religion to have a stranglehold over the minds of diverse children. We support the idea that any school that receives Federal funding should diligently screen the external organizations that present services to our children, and that teachers who proselytize their religious views should be removed from teaching entirely.
H) Immigration The United States is a nation of immigrants. Multiple waves of European immigrants, documented and undocumented, have contributed to the “melting pot” of this nation. The U.S. is currently experiencing a large influx of documented and undocumented immigration from Mexico and other places. Many of these workers are paid “under the table,” and many more pay into a system from which they will never see a benefit. The National Atheist Party believes that the current system of Immigration policies is deeply flawed. We move for a relaxation of Citizenship Qualification Standards, and a liberal border policy allowing workers to come and go as they please. Current laws stipulate that children born of un-documented citizens are de facto U.S. citizens, and we see no reason to change that policy.
I) Guns We recognize that the right to bear arms is a traditional part of America, and we support Americans’ Second Amendment right to own and use firearms. But we also believe that reasonable regulation is important in a country where we have seen so much gun violence. The NAP wants to work toward closing the “gun show” loophole, reinforce our background check policies to include a longer waiting period, and a mandatory use and safety course for each first-time gun buyer.
J) Environment The environment is a major concern of the National Atheist Party. We only have one world and are not going to be resurrected into a better one, so we are committed to the idea of doing whatever is neces-sary to ensure that this one is managed properly by human industry. The NAP supports subsidies grant-ed to “green” industry, in the form of both government investment and tax incentives, while penalizing those industries that would ignore the detrimental effect that they have on our shared environment.
As stated above, we also support the development of an alternative energy infrastructure, a robust en-deavor that encompasses research and development, job creation and mandatory deployment of green alternatives. Concomitant with that strategy, restrictions should be placed on logging companies to treat the environment in a respectful, sustainable manner. “Clear-cutting” – the practice of completely de-nuding a section of our vital forest lands, without replanting or “fixing” the soil, will be considered a Federal crime.
In addition, the NAP would devote a substantial budget increase for those research firms and scientists that are developing real-world strategies for the reduction or elimination of the release of greenhouse gasses, in order to combat the reality of global climate change. The human element contributing to cli-mate change is well documented by the scientific community, and the NAP joins responsible organiza-tions worldwide in calling for an immediate halt to those activities that exacerbate this dire and emer-gent problem.
K) Energy Nothing can be more difficult than changing an entire way of life. From automobiles to heating our homes, the U.S. is completely dependent upon fossil fuels. Fossil fuels have driven the global economy for close to two hundred years, but no consumer of fossil fuels has ever been as hungry for them as the U.S. There is a steep price to pay for this reliance, however, the burning and refining of fossil fuels, by the U.S. and other oil-producing nations, is a major contributor to climate change and the continued release of greenhouse gases. Additionally, inflation and other economic indicators are directly tied to the price of oil. The NAP supports the idea that our dependence on fossil fuels MUST end. Alternative energy solutions, like nuclear, solar and wind and water energy must be researched and brought to the fore to combat that dependence. Hydrogen and other as-yet-undiscovered solutions must be sought and implemented. The NAP supports tax incentives and federal grants as a measure to incentivize this re-search and development.
L) Tax Reform Some solution must be found to level the playing field and halt the widening gap between the rich and poor in the U.S. Further, it has become increasingly obvious that savvy accounting and creative legal acrobatics have made it easy for massive corporations and the U.S.’s wealthiest citizens to avoid paying taxes entirely. The NAP calls for a sweeping review of tax laws and a simplification of implementation such that a fair tax shall be levied against all citizens and corporate persons without “loopholes.” In addition, as a bold statement of fair play, the NAP moves to rescind the tax-exempt status of all church activities that are unrelated to charitable activity. Church organizations should be as transparent to review and audit as any other business, and should pay income taxes, property taxes and use or excise taxes on its traditionally taxable activities. Churches shall be treated as any other for-profit business, when a profit is being made.
M) Legal/Tort Reform The rewards of successful litigation are alluring. Many individuals and corporations are unable to ignore the potential windfall from using the courts as a lottery. Under the theory that “those who can pay, should” and that punitive awards should be stiff enough to “hurt” – the trend on tort damages has been to creep higher and higher until litigants receive an exorbitant amount in re-compensatory damages. The NAP believes some awards to be excessive. We move for a reform of lawsuit damages such that, while payment for injury is not ignored, it is also not akin to finding buried treasure. An advisory committee must be convened to examine this question, and set a ceiling on punitive awards.
N) Campaign Finance Reform The political process is supposed to be one in which every citizen of worth and backing can have an equal chance to promote their candidacy. The reality is that only millionaires, with millions of dollars of campaign funds can reasonably win. The NAP supports a cap on campaign contributions such that ALL candidates have access to advertising and transportation costs, but that no one candidate enjoys limitless resources when others are spent bankrupt trying to compete.
O) Security/ Defense The NAP along with many Americans, are tired of the U.S. providing troops for seemingly every mili-tary action, worldwide. It is time that the U.S. stopped being the worlds’ policeman. We support the notion that the U.S. military should remain in a state of readiness, to respond to domestic threats or when one of our allies is attacked. Along with that thinking, we feel that a review of open bases worldwide should be conducted and those bases without a clear strategic need should be closed. Like-wise an audit of domestic bases and assets should be conducted, with concomitant decommissioning of non-performing assets.
P) Foreign Policy During the Bush administration, the U.S. saw its popularity decrease worldwide while overseas en-gagements with our military forces increased. In order to move forward in a peaceful and responsible manner, the NAP believes that the U.S.’s role in U.N. Peacekeeping missions should be reduced and eliminated entirely when possible. The U.S. should modify its role to an advisory position and only field troops in a dire emergency of last resort. For too long, we have spent taxpayers’ money and the lives of our young men and women in support of conflicts that may have been diplomatically solved.
The U.S. is in a deficit position with foreign economies like China and Japan. To combat this, we sup-port a leveling of the playing field by de-incentivizing the movement of manufacturing overseas and imposing a fair tariff on imported goods. Our focus now should be on debt reduction.
Q) Faith/Religion The National Atheist Party believes in the U.S. Constitution, and in the wisdom of the Founding Fa-thers who wrote it. These great men had the foresight to erect a wall of separation between church and state; a wall that has been eroding for many years. In the 1950s, the phrases “In God We Trust” and “Under God” were added to our paper currency and our Pledge of Allegiance. It is our position that such language forces Americans to recognize the existence of God. When the pledge is recited, espe-cially by children, it gives the impression that the U.S. itself ratifies the existence of God – an act and a stance that is unequivocally prejudiced and athwart the cherished traditions of the U.S. We move for the restoration of both the pledge and our currency to their pre-1950s incarnations. In all cases and in all ways, the NAP moves for a strict interpretation of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment. While we do not wish to inhibit anyone’s practice of the religion of their choice, we do not want government to engage in the practice or the perception of engaging in the practice of pro-moting any one religion. To that end, we seek to strip churches, synagogues and mosques of the tax exemption status they now enjoy, and to increase the transparency of Church-filed annual reports. Churches receive numerous donations, and these donations must be declared in their entirety so that proper income taxes can be applied.
R) Organ Donation Organ donation can save a life that would otherwise end in tragedy. Recognizing this, we believe that the parents of a recently deceased child should be given full authority to donate the remains and help others who are less fortunate.