Just Another Guy with Opinions

An Atheist in Congress

Posted by shadmia on March 15, 2007


Rep. Pete Stark (D-CA) has admitted that he is an atheist. Until recently such an announcement would make it virtually impossible for you to get elected to any political office in the United States. Pete Stark is however in a fortunate position. He has been continuously re-elected to Congress from his district since 1973. He has a safe seat and is in no danger of losing it.

All this came about after The Secular Coalition for America “the only organization in the nation whose primary purpose is lobbying Congress on behalf of atheists, humanists, freethinkers, and other nontheistic Americans.” offered a $1,000 prize to the person who could identify the “highest-level atheist, agnostic, humanist or any other kind of non-theist currently holding elected public office in the United States.” A member of American Atheists California nominated Stark. He was asked to fill out a survey and responded with the following e-mail statement clarifying his views:

“When the Secular Coalition asked me to complete a survey on my religious beliefs, I indicated I am a Unitarian who does not believe in a supreme being. Like our nation’s founders, I strongly support the separation of church and state. I look forward to working with the Secular Coalition to stop the promotion of narrow religious beliefs in science, marriage contracts, the military and the provision of social services.”

Pete Stark has been listed as Unitarian in previous Congressional religious tabulations. For a religious breakdown of all of the members of Congress, up to and including the 109th (2005-2006) check out this site

The 110th Congress has even more diversity with the inclusion of the first Muslim, Keith Ellison, two Buddhists, Mazie Hirono and Hank Johnson and now the first declared Atheist Pete Stark.


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2 Responses to “An Atheist in Congress”

  1. Isn’t Pete Stark the same fellow who made the racist attack against J.C. Watts? Not that the Congressional Black Caucus, the NAACP, the media, or any other liberal group stood up for Watts. Then again, the Republicans and the religious right didn’t stand up for Watts either. Hmmm … why was it that Watts quit politics again, even turning down the Oklahoma GOP when they begged him to run for governor? Ah, no matter.

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