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Thu Nov 8, 2012, 11:34 AM

Kyrsten Sinema, Arizona Democrat, To Replace Pete Stark As Sole Atheist In Congress

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/08/kyrsten-sinema-arizona-democrat-atheist-in-congress_n_2091164.html

Religion News Service | By Kimberly Winston
Posted: 11/08/2012 7:35 am EST Updated: 11/08/2012 7:35 am EST

?9
Democratic candidate Kyrsten Sinema addresses the crowd election night for the U.S. House race in District 9 at the Renaissance Phoenix Downtown Hotel in Phoenix, Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012. (AP Photo/The Arizona Republic, Rob Schumacher)

(RNS) Rep. Pete Stark, D-Calif., the only openly atheist member of Congress, lost his race for another term on Tuesday (Nov. 6).

But nonbelievers will not remain unrepresented in the Capitol. Democrat Kyrsten Sinema, a former Arizona state senator, Mormon-turned-nontheist and a bisexual, has narrowly won her pitch for a House seat by 2,000 votes.

"We are sad to see Pete Stark go," said Roy Speckhardt, executive director of the American Humanist Association, which gave Stark its Humanist of the Year award in 2008.

"He was a pioneer for us, and by being open about his lack of a belief in God we hope that he has opened the door for people like Kyrsten Sinema and others that will come after her."

more at link

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Response to cbayer (Original post)

Thu Nov 8, 2012, 11:43 AM

1. Cool - I didn't know we had ANY. Too bad Stark lost, though.

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Response to codjh9 (Reply #1)

Thu Nov 8, 2012, 11:58 AM

2. Yeah, his opponent (a fellow Democrat!) attacked Stark's nonbelief.

Intolerant and pathetic behavior in our own party.

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Response to codjh9 (Reply #1)

Thu Nov 8, 2012, 12:03 PM

3. Looks like he was the casualty of redistricting and a pretty nasty race.

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Response to cbayer (Reply #3)

Thu Nov 8, 2012, 12:25 PM

4. Redistricting my ass - victim of Christianist Dem bigotry

His opponent - a local councillor - LOST the primary than ran against him in the general, with no Rep candidate, attacking him mercilessly for not being a believer. How is that to do with redistricting? This is not a Kaptur/Kucinich situation of equals being forced to compete, but one of an opportunist conservadem attacking a true liberal using the easy tool of Christian domination, and of the majoritarians coming to heel because of it.

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Response to dmallind (Reply #4)

Thu Nov 8, 2012, 12:50 PM

5. Don't you know that the Democrats

are the "good Christians" who don't do this sort of thing?

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Response to edhopper (Reply #5)

Thu Nov 8, 2012, 12:53 PM

7. Don't you know that there are "good Democrats" who are christians?

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Response to cbayer (Reply #7)

Thu Nov 8, 2012, 01:48 PM

10. There are many

but religious baiting is not something that any Democrat should ever do. Leave that top the Repubs.

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Response to edhopper (Reply #10)

Thu Nov 8, 2012, 01:49 PM

11. What do you consider religious baiting?

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Response to cbayer (Reply #11)

Thu Nov 8, 2012, 02:06 PM

12. Using an opponents

lack of faith against him, as in this race, is.
Using religion as a tactic in a race at all is.

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Response to edhopper (Reply #12)

Thu Nov 8, 2012, 02:12 PM

13. Is using someones faith against them also religious baiting?

I agree that using someones faith or lack of faith to damage them politically is a bad thing, unless they are using their faith to impinge on the civil rights of others.

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Response to cbayer (Reply #13)

Thu Nov 8, 2012, 02:27 PM

14. Don't get hung up on the semantics.

I am just saying that the Dem who won this, in part by using religion in negative way against Stark is offensive to me as a Democrat.

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Response to edhopper (Reply #14)

Thu Nov 8, 2012, 02:36 PM

15. Offensive to me as well.

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Response to dmallind (Reply #4)

Thu Nov 8, 2012, 12:52 PM

6. I think it's a bit more complicated than that.

If his loss were due solely to "Christianist Dem bigotry", how did he ever win reelection after coming out as an atheist?

There was redistricting and a radical change in the CA primary process. His opponent did use his atheism in negative campaigning and Stark, in turn, affiliated his opponent with the tea party.

It was ugly.

Swalwell never would have had a shot without the top-two system, and the new district was added more moderate inland suburbs of Livermore, Pleasanton and San Ramon.


http://blog.sfgate.com/nov05election/2012/11/07/pete-stark-issues-concession/

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Response to cbayer (Reply #6)

Thu Nov 8, 2012, 01:08 PM

8. Well you see it's simple

You ask "how did he ever win reelection after coming out as an atheist?"

(which, I should remind you, he only did in 2007, when forced, after 17 elections in a solid blue district, because he's not a fucking moron and knew this would happen)

I answer "Because he didn't have a Democratic challenger making a big deal of his nonbelief, obviously!"

Redistictring had NOTHING to do with it. No GOP candidate for Chrissake so doesn't matter how "moderate" the area is. He lost only because of the attacks on his "out of touch" ness, which were always either implicitly (sledgehammer hints) or explicitly about his atheism. You CAN see the attack ad above, right?

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Response to dmallind (Reply #8)

Thu Nov 8, 2012, 01:11 PM

9. That is correct. He didn't have a dem challenger who ran a negative campaign

against him.

BTW, while his atheism was used, it was hardly the only issue.

I think it was wrong to use it, but I also think that using anyone's religion or lack thereof is wrong unless they are trying to restrict other's rights with their beliefs.

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Response to cbayer (Reply #9)

Thu Nov 8, 2012, 05:04 PM

16. The guy who ran the negative campaign was a Dem

as evidenced by the fact that it is the same guy that lost the Dem primary.

Why can't you just admit that a liberal used faith baiting to beat an atheist?

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Response to Goblinmonger (Reply #16)

Thu Nov 8, 2012, 09:47 PM

17. She can't - that would admit that Dem Christians can be evil fuckers too

Just like fundies. They can hate, despise, and seek to marginalize nonbelievers at every turn too, QED.

I posted the actual ad. Not even a glimmer of a hint of possible acceptance that it was Christianist bigotry from a Dem. Too dangerous to admit that's possible here.

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