AHA News |  

When Will We Have More Open Atheists in Congress?

by Roy Speckhardt, 1/14/2013

The religious makeup of the Congress sworn in January 3 is virtually unchanged from the infamously gridlocked 112th Congress. There are 482 Christians, 33 Jews, 3 Buddhists, 2 Muslims, 1 Hindu, 1 Unitarian Universalist, and 1 open religiously unaffiliated member.

These numbers show that Congress, which is supposed to represent all Americans, is not representative of the country's diversity. Even though nearly 20 percent of Americans are religiously unaffiliated, there is only one openly religiously unaffiliated representative and the only member of the 112th Congress who identifies as an atheist just lost his reelection bid. And while there are many senators and representatives that are friendly to the nonreligious community, we need more than just allies to speak up for us in Congress. Meanwhile, Catholics, Protestants, Jews, and Mormons are all over-represented.

Why haven't more open atheists or humanists served in past sessions of Congress? The two dozen or more suspected nontheist members of Congress are reticent to come out for a whole host of reasons that begin with concerns about being reelected, but also include worries about the reactions from friends and family in a country that has been notoriously more religious than other Western countries.  

To read the rest of the Huffington Post article by American Humanist Association Executive Director Roy Speckhardt, click here.

American Humanist Association

On this day in 1946, the first images of Earth from outer space were captured!

1 hours ago

American Humanist Association

AHA staffer Matthew Bulger talks about Gamergate. "It’s extremely important th...

3 hours ago

American Humanist Association

Throwback Thursday's Name that Humanist! Can you name the humanist on the Nove...

22 hours ago

American Humanist Association

Hey! Don't be a.... What's the problem with Dick's Sporting Goods? Deborah Goem...

1 days ago

American Humanist Association

This week's Humanist Hour Podcast features George Eighmey on Death with Dignity.

1 days ago

American Humanist Association

WOW! These numbers are wonderful! Thanks for all of the support everyone!

1 days ago

American Humanist Association

AHA Victory in Texas! Schools agree to stop making religious announcements.

2 days ago

American Humanist Association

Jason Heap reviews the new British comedy, Pride! Have you seen this film? Tell...

3 days ago

American Humanist Association

Gore Vidal’s former assistant, Fabian Bouthillette, has written Part I of his me...

3 days ago

American Humanist Association

The Nov/Dec issue of The Humanist is out now, featuring some great interviews wi...

3 days ago

American Humanist Association

Amy Poehler is creating a show about an agnostic woman who inherits a church. An...

4 days ago

American Humanist Association

Please welcome the newest addition to the American Humanist Association staff, P...

4 days ago

American Humanist Association

Woo Hoo! 32 states down, plus DC!

4 days ago

American Humanist Association

Lots of great early feedback for Fighting Back the Right, the forthcoming new bo...

6 days ago