Congress' First Atheist To Be Outed

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On Monday, March 12, the Secular Coalition for America will make history by announcing the name of the first openly nontheistic member of Congress.

Elected officials who do not hold a god-belief are a rarity and only a few nontheist politicians have been open about their beliefs. Perhaps the best-known was Robert G. Ingersoll, called the Great Agnostic. He was a famous orator and gave the nomination speech at the 1884 Republican Presidential Convention for James G. Blaine. Influential Illinois Republicans wanted Ingersoll to run for Governor, but on the condition that he conceal his agnosticism. Ingersoll refused, and he never held elected office.

As put forward in law by the U.S. Constitution, "no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States." However, in practice politicians are compelled to expound on their religiosity, forcing nontheists to keep quiet about their beliefs or opt out of pursuing public office.

With next Monday's historic announcement, the Secular Coalition for America hopes additional elected officials will self-identify as nontheists and establish that a god-belief is not a necessary prerequisite for public service.

It seems apropos to also post this:



From the Secular Coalition:
Posted by wizeGurl on 2007-03-13 11:02:50
"Rep. Pete Stark (D-Calif.), a member of Congress since 1973, acknowledged his nontheism in response to an inquiry by the Secular Coalition for America. Rep. Stark is a senior member of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee and is Chair of the Health Subcommittee.

Our research reveals that Rep. Stark is the first open nontheist in the history of the Congress. He holds the highest level office of the four contest nominees who agreed to self-identify with our community."

Thank you, Rep. Stark, for representing ALL of your constituents, and all of the American nonbelievers who pays taxes, obey laws, and vote.


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