The meaning of "patriot" is all mixed up with whether the country is worth saving or not. The real question is, do you believe in the personal sovereignty of Man, starting with yourself? To believe that religion is the only path to morality is HUGE mistake. In a secular free society, the religious are not going to impose their morality upon unbelievers, but find ways to tolerate, coexist, trade and live peacefully with them. Likewise, secular institutions must leave the religious and its practitioners alone, other than those abusing unwilling children.
In spite of perhaps doing the Lord's work in a strange way, I am an atheist who is extremely tolerant of religion, and supportive of its good points, which there are many. Good religious people take what is good in their faith and make it work helping people. Evil (and careless) people take what is confusing and non-logical about religion and use it to deceive, defraud, abuse and take advantage of people who expect moral and ethical goodness to come of the relationship. This happens in virtually all religions everywhere, continuously.
Religion is basically belief in the unbelievable, or in that which there is scant evidence. A human is "given" a marvelous brain and the powers of thought, then expected to suspend its proper operation in order to apprehend a greater truth. Hmm... please excuse we who have a problem with that paradigm.
It never bothered me that Ron Paul was religious, metaphysical opinions are personal. But it limited my relationship (much more importantly, that of many other very capable secular libertarians) with his organizations, and was perhaps the weakest aspect of his operations all these years.
Non-religious people are not necessarily smarter, but they do lack certain debilitating mental traits like avoidance and denial of contrary evidence (the fossil record, ancient megaliths defying mainstream history), substituting faith for logical analysis. And they often practice critical mental habits like those taught by Ayn Rand, Abraham Maslow, Julian Snyder, etc., like checking one's premises, looking beyond simplistic and supernatural explanations, avoiding logical fallacies and honest introspection.
Anarchist atheists are the smartest, nicest and most interesting people I have ever associated with, especially the females. Not a single one of them believes that violence is an answer to anything except self-defense.
"To the morally inverted, war appears as a quick, clear path to the top." -- Preston Parker
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