Falling Away

By Phil Plait | September 13, 2009 12:46 pm

Remember Anna Falling, who ran for mayor of Tulsa, Oklahoma, under the platform that there just plain ol’ wasn’t enough religion in government?

Yeah, she got 10% of the primary vote, way behind her competitors. I don’t know much at all about her competitors, but I have to think that running on the single plank she did, with hardly anything else to go on, couldn’t have helped.

On the other hand, one out of ten Tulsans voted for her. Think on that.

Tip o’ the ten gallon hat to Hemant over at Friendly Atheist.

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Politics, Religion

Comments (24)

  1. Joel

    Are you sure you don’t mean one out of ten Repubican Tulsans?

  2. Elf Eye

    I’d put a more positive spin on matters. It is not accurate to say that “one out of ten Tulsans voted for her.” Instead, one out of ten who voted in the Republican primary voted for her. There’s a big difference, isn’t there?

  3. John B. Sandlin

    Yeah, that one in ten is scary. I think it would be worse here in Texas. None of the polito’s are brazen enough to run on that as a single platform issue – but they do wear their religion on their sleeves, so it isn’t necessary to make that their platform.


  4. RL

    The glass is 90% full.

  5. Margaret

    Be positive; nine of ten who voted didn’t vote for her policy.
    So 90% of those who voted were looking for more than religion.

    The next question is, how many people who voted placed their mark against someone who had any religious slant on their policies?

  6. Fallsroad

    Yeah, one in ten Republicans who actually showed up to vote is more accurate. You have to be party affiliated when you register, and cannot cross parties to vote in primaries.

    Glad she’s gone. One less nutwagon in a political atmosphere thick with them is a marginal, but useful improvement.

  7. NewEnglandBob

    You can get one out of ten Americans to agree to gouge out their own eyes if you ask them properly. There are always a lot of nut cases around.

  8. Gary

    For the one in ten, the other candidates were a worse choice.


    Phil Plait:

    On the other hand, one out of ten Tulsans voted for her. Think on that.

    Think on this: 18% of Americans (and 19% of Brits) think that the Sun revolves around the Earth, according to this Gallup Poll (July 1999).

  10. Theresa

    One in ten primary-voting Republicans, yeah, and turnout was rather low… which turned out to be less than 2200 people (12000 for the primary winner) voting for the loon. Even the Republicans I know and work with (in Tulsa) thought she was out of her tree and not one thought she stood a snowball’s chance in hell. Her fire and brimstone lunacy just was too much for all but those who live by similar extremist views. I found the woman deeply offensive.

  11. vanderleun

    I think we need to see more posts like this on Bad Astronomy. And not just on Sunday, but every day. I for one am damned proud that at least somebody at Discover’s blogs is tracking these things lest we go through our lives and days without knowing about them.

    I’m going to make a sticky note for my monitor that says, “For the latest updates on the politics of Tulsa Oklahoma be sure to check Bad Astronomy today.”

  12. Servers her right. I bet she prayed for a better result. Funny how that didn’t happen..

  13. 7. NewEnglandBob Says:

    You can get one out of ten Americans to agree to gouge out their own eyes if you ask them properly.

    How Oedipal. (what percentage of readers understand that reference as appropriate?)


  14. jf

    As a somewhat unrelated note, a new British film about Charles Darwin has failed to land a distribution deal in the States because his theories on human evolution are too controversial for religious American audiences, according to the film’s producer:

  15. Leslie

    I’m from Tulsa. I can only vote Democrat in the primaries so I wasn’t able to do much to vote “against” her, but given how religious our Republicans are here, I say we did great. She could have won and it wouldn’t have surprised me.

  16. Miko

    It’s not even one of ten Republicans that voted for her: 81% of eligible voters (and presumably 100% of the other citizens) didn’t vote period. To quantify it, we’re talking about her receiving 2,178 votes. The primary turnout was 35,776, so there were approx. 188,295 eligible voters. Thus, of the people who could have voted for her, she got 1.2%.

  17. vanderleun

    I think 1.2% should be the event horizon for getting chatty about them evil Christianists at Bad Astronomy. Nothing above that percentage should be seen as trivial enough to report. Everything below that should be reported so readers can have no doubt as the virtue and essential goodness of Phil.

    Good work, Phil. Keep fighting the goodness fight.

  18. @vanderloon

    Normally I wouldn’t respond to a troll but just what exactly are you trying to accomplish here?

  19. Singing: Van der loon’s in da sky like da big piece o’ pi…

    No, wait, that’s not it. Err…

  20. Flying sardines

    @17 vanderleun : Huh?

    I really don’t get what you’re trying to say there.

    Are you saying Phil shouldn’t mention this lady’s anti-Science pro-one denomination and ideology of religion election policy*? Are you really trying to tell the BA what he can & can’t post about ..coz he can direct you to a page here about that issue you know.

    Anyhow lets break this down & see :

    I think 1.2% should be the event horizon for getting chatty about them evil Christianists at Bad Astronomy.

    Okay seems like you’re in an event horizon of your own here. Not sure I’ve heard that term “evil Christianists” here before – certainly not from the BA or many of the regulars.

    Fundamentalist purveyors of nuttery woo and those that try to impose their own politico-religious dogmas (eg. Creationists) are, quite rightly, not given much exxaggerated respect here. Nor, I think, should they be. But I don’t see any particular singling out of Christianity, in fact a recent thread began by a joke attacking Islam. If extremist Christianity does gets more of a mention then I suggest its because its more directly pertinant and directly affecting and better known to most of the posters here. Nothing more, nothing less.

    Nothing above that percentage should be seen as trivial enough to report.

    Er, did you mean below? That would make more sense. But sometimes a 0.001 % difference can make all the difference. For instance say if 0.0001% of your food intake is contaminated with the ebola virus or say if an 0.001 % chance of a nearby gamma ray blast supernova happens today.

    Besides even if low probability or fringe events *are* trivial – or if they’re not – they can still be entertaining and or interesting to discuss and muse about which is what this blog is for, I think.

    Everything below that should be reported so readers can have no doubt as the virtue and essential goodness of Phil.

    Well some of don’t have any doubts as to Phil’s virtue or essential goodness anyway! ūüėČ

    In both directions I could add…Personally, from all I’ve read incl. both Dr Plait’s books so far & his blog here & many of his other articles I’m pleased to say I have none that the BA is indeeda good and ethical person. :-)

    Others, sadly seem to come here with the opposite judgement based on, well you’d have to ask them really .. but I suspect not very much if any evidence.

    Good work, Phil. Keep fighting the goodness fight.

    Aha! *Now* you’re making sense & I second that line – if not perhaps quite in the sense I get the feeling Vanderleun was meaning it.. ūüėČ

    Of course I could be wrong.


    * Because you know when this woman talks of getting more religion into politics I don’t think she’s meaning adopting the ideas of Aztec sacrifices, Greek pantheon bacchanlian rites, Norse God ceremonies or even prayers to Allah, the Buddha or Shiva … :roll:

  21. Dori

    I’d have to agree with #16 Miko’s observations. The turnout was under 20% for all eligible voters, and about one third of them voted in the Democratic primary. While I agree with Phil that the number who did vote for her is 2178 people too many, I don’t think it’s all that big a deal. You could probably get the same percentage of people voting for someone running on that identical platform in my solid-blue state of Maryland.

    It’s disappointing that so many people DID vote for her, but encouraging that there weren’t far more. Think of it that way.

  22. mike burkhart

    This is good because if the extremist Christans get ther way then Phill , nonChristans and moderate Christans like me ( those who are belevers in Evlotion and love science ) will be put in concintration camps and brainwashed and our schools turned into indoctration centers. Althro I am Christain ( Catholic) I am not an extreamist and I want religon out of goverment . I don’t want the goverment telling me what to beleve. and I beleve in sepration of curch and state I am sure most readers of this blog agree with me I say keep up the good work Phill or else we will have an American Inquasition.

  23. vanderleun

    Thank you Mike for clearing that one up! Keep coming back for more reports on dinky stuff in the area of church vs. state.

  24. Damon

    I think your sarcasm-detector is broken, Sardines. You failed to catch the awesome humor– and truth– of Vanderleun’s post. Phil DOES attack religion as much as possible– more than necessary, definitely– and all you snobby old men lap it up like good little fanboys.

    Am I joking?


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