The National Atheist Party voted last week to change its name to the “Secular Party of America.” The decision was ratified by 76 percent of election voters, and followed months of parliamentary procedure and two days of voting.
In a statement online, the self-described “progressive secular political group” explained that the decision will make the party more inclusive, and ultimately more politically viable. The decision has been praised by secular leaders worldwide, with whom the National Atheist Party hopes to “make a worldwide network of secular organizations.”
But before it can move on its supranational initiative, the party may need to focus first on cleaning shop here at home. Founded in 2011 as the “Freethought Party,” the NAP only claims to represent 3,100 people nationwide, and the group has been far less successful than some of its secular rivals, such as the “Secular Coalition for America,” which represents dozens of smaller secular, humanist, and atheist organizations.
The NAP has also faced significant internal problems. Last year, the party cancelled its annual national convention because of a lack of funding, and in March, president and co-founder Troy Boyle resigned, citing “an increasing lack of cooperation by the Executive Board” — an ironic turn of events for a party whose motto is “From Diversity and Reason, Unity.”
Boyle, who was apparently completing law school and writing a comic-book series while running the party, will now have more time to focus on his “two careers of Law and Comics,” and a new job with the Department of Homeland Security.