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Fri Jan 4, 2019, 10:08 AM

There's (Officially) Not a Single Open Atheist in the New Congress

https://friendlyatheist.patheos.com/2019/01/03/theres-officially-not-a-single-open-atheist-in-the-new-congress/




There’s (Officially) Not a Single Open Atheist in the New Congress
By Hemant Mehta, January 3, 2019

When the new members of Congress take their oaths today, we will once again see a House and Senate completely devoid of open atheists… at least officially.

But wait! Isn’t Rep. Jared Huffman openly non-theistic? Doesn’t he call himself a “humanist”? Didn’t we make a big deal about that in 2017? Yes. Yes. Yes. However, according to the Pew Research Center, which reports on the religious makeup of Congress every two years and just released a new report today, Huffman “declined to state his religious identity in the CQ Roll Call questionnaire used to collect data for this report.” (Huffman! You had one job!)

With that in mind, here’s what we know about the religious affiliations of the 116th Congress.

It’s overwhelmingly Christian with a smattering of Jews, Muslims, Hindus, and followers of other faiths.

Yet, even though people without any organized religion represent 23% of the population, only 0.2% of Congress is “Unaffiliated.” And that lone member’s name is Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ).


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Reply There's (Officially) Not a Single Open Atheist in the New Congress (Original post)
NeoGreen Jan 2019 OP
Bradshaw3 Jan 2019 #1
mountain grammy Jan 2019 #2
progressoid Jan 2019 #3
NeoGreen Jan 2019 #4
progressoid Jan 2019 #5
NeoGreen Jan 2019 #6
RussBLib Jan 2019 #7
NeoGreen Jan 2019 #8

Response to NeoGreen (Original post)

Fri Jan 4, 2019, 11:46 AM

1. Way under represented

Obviously. According to 538 the number of atheists in the population could be ten times as high as the three percent who recently identified as such in a recent poll. In addition, four percent call themselves agnostic and 22 percent are unaffiliated, with Sinema being the only one in Congress who identifies as that.

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Response to NeoGreen (Original post)

Fri Jan 4, 2019, 01:31 PM

2. I think the "afraid to take a stand" category

is much higher than we'll ever know. Good to see as many as 18 refusing to answer but what the hell is don't know? The correct answer is "none of your business."

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Response to NeoGreen (Original post)

Tue Jan 8, 2019, 01:41 AM

3. Who are the two Unitarians?

They could be at least agnostic. A couple decades ago I went to a Unitarian Church for a brief period. There are lot's of A/A there.

I'd bet that Sinema is also an atheist. Being an out bisexual, she'd knew that adding atheist to the list might be too much for voters to handle.

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Response to progressoid (Reply #3)

Tue Jan 8, 2019, 09:06 AM

4. Not sure, but...

...to your point:

In the footnotes of a article from Pew:
http://www.pewforum.org/2019/01/03/faith-on-the-hill-116/

6) Former Rep. Pete Stark, D-Calif., publicly stated that he did not believe in God, but identified as Unitarian.

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Response to NeoGreen (Reply #4)

Tue Jan 8, 2019, 09:41 AM

5. I found one.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ami_Bera Ami Bera from Calif. It doesn't say much about him other than he's moderate Dem. He may actually believe in a deity of some sort. Who knows.

Would be nice if we had more like Pete Stark who were able to just say they don't believe.

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Response to progressoid (Reply #5)

Tue Jan 8, 2019, 09:48 AM

6. For my part...

...I like UU's on the whole.

No creed, very open, very progressive and absolutely not evangelical (there is a reason they use the phrase "chosen faith"; you almost have to hunt them down to find them).

As a realist/atheist, this is the "religious" community that works for me.

Did I mention there is no creed?
A good person trying to be good in the world, that is all it really takes to be a UU.

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Response to NeoGreen (Original post)

Sun Jan 20, 2019, 04:49 PM

7. in the most-recent (Jan/Feb 2019) issue of FFRF's Freethought Today...

...they detail how "secular candidates" fared in the midterms, including state legislatures. A little different from the Pew Research Center's stats.

Unfortunately, the electronic version is spitting up at the moment, so I cannot cut-and-paste, but will list the results manually.

US Senate - 1
Krysten Sinema - D-Arizona (religiously unaffiliated)

US House - 10
Jared Huffman - D-CA (District 2) Humanist (incumbent)
Katie Hill - D-CA (District 25) Religiously unaffiliated
Sean Casten - D-IL (District 6) Religiously unaffiliated
Sharice Davids - D-KS (District 3) Religiously unaffiliated
Jamie Raskin - D-MD (District 8) Jewish and humanist (incumbent)
Tom Malinowski - D-NJ (District 7) Religiously unaffiliated
Antonio Delgado - D-NY (District 19) Religiously unaffiliated
Chrissy Houlahan - D-PA (District 6) Religiously unaffiliated
Jennifer Wexton - D-VA (District 10) Religiously unaffiliated
Mark Pocan - D-WI (District 2) Religiously unaffiliated

There are 47 names (winners, 33 of them are incumbents) in the state legislatures (too many to list), but in summary:
9 Atheist
7 Religiously unaffiliated
1 Scientist (Rep. Bill Quirk D-CA District 20, incumbent)
13 Agnostic
5 Spiritual but not religious
4 Unitarian Universalist
2 Nontheist
2 Humanist
3 Nonreligious
1 "Governs with Reason" (Sen. Dick McCormack VT Senate Windsor District, incumbent)

And in the "Election non-winners" section, there are almost 100 names listed, so there are more secular candidates out there than you might think. Not enough, frankly, but the numbers are growing.

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Response to RussBLib (Reply #7)

Mon Jan 21, 2019, 09:13 AM

8. Cool, nice list...

...and it is a nice change from the recent past when a candidate couldn't even mention they were unaffiliated.

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