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

The Missing Scarf is a 2013 Oscar-commended animated short film narrated by Geor...

1 hours ago

American Humanist Association

Congrats to Daniel Ross, a new Humanist Celebrant! Interested in becoming a Huma...

3 hours ago

American Humanist Association

Did the FAA just open the door to murder-by-drone? Clay Farris Naff takes a look...

3 hours ago

American Humanist Association

We're sharing this video of Bill Maher's recent show, not because we endorse eve...

21 hours ago

American Humanist Association

There are now 37 members of Congress who self-identify as atheist or agnostic bu...

24 hours ago

American Humanist Association

SMART Recovery, a secular, science-based addiction recovery program, celebrated...

1 days ago

American Humanist Association

AHA In The News: This morning Fox News covered our legal complaint against a pub...

1 days ago

American Humanist Association

Happy Friday Everyone! Here's a fun Agnostic gospel for you! Thanks UCB Comedy!

4 days ago

American Humanist Association

Which religions care most about church-state separation? Matt Bulger reports fro...

4 days ago

American Humanist Association

Today, the AHA stepped in on behalf of a South Carolina student who was threaten...

5 days ago

American Humanist Association

This week on the Humanist Hour Podcast, AHA's very own Maggie Ardiente and Roy S...

5 days ago

American Humanist Association

Thanks to the AHA, this North Dakota student will now be allowed to remain in hi...

5 days ago

American Humanist Association

Tattoos. What is your opinion on body art and does it have anything to do with y...

5 days ago

American Humanist Association

Check out the early reviews for Fighting Back the Right: Reclaiming America from...

6 days ago

American Humanist Association

Today the AHA's Appignani Humanist Legal Center sent a letter to school official...

6 days ago

American Humanist Association

The AHA sent a letter to a local police department for their program that trains...

6 days ago

American Humanist Association

The AHA has a new LGBTQ Humanist Council Coordinator! Everyone, please welcome K...

7 days ago

American Humanist Association

Humanists were among the hundreds of thousands of people who participated in the...

7 days ago