Thursday, March 08, 2007

The First Openly Godless Member of Congress

On Monday, a member of Congress will step before the cameras and announce to the world that he does not believe in God.


I'm a little embarrassed I'm only becoming aware of this now, but apparently this has been an ongoing effort by the Secular Coalition for America. They launched a contest to identify the highest-ranking elected official in the U.S. who is a non-theist. Apparently they found one, and he will be revealing himself at a news conference on Monday.

On the first day of 2007, I speculated that such a person existed. I even listed my top suspects, whom I dubbed the Rational 12. Based on several postings that I came across (but no longer have links for), it appears that this "outing" will be a voluntary one and that the congressman (yes, the Coalition has referred to him as a he) will be participating.

I've seen some guessing games ID Barney Frank and Bernie Sanders as likely candidates. Maybe. I kind of figure Barney Frank for a closet theist. It would be kind of a bummer if it were Sanders, if only because it would provide an excuse for all the silliness about socialism and atheism to re-emerge. So, I'm hoping it's a face that's new to the media, so that they approach the issue with a blank slate, rather than preconceived notions about the specific person.

Oh, and as you'll see in my list of suspects, the Coalition is actually a little late with this. As I pointed out, the new, 110th Congress includes the first Buddhists to sit in the House of Representatives. Buddhists don't believe in God. So, let's hope the media factor them into this story (assuming one of them isn't the person in question) and makes the point that there will, as of Monday, be three confirmed members of Congress who reject the existence of a SuperMagic Deity. It's a start.


Joshua said...

Fantastic news, indeed! It'll be really interesting to see how this all shakes out.

I'm sure the media will botch it like they do all other atheism stories, though.

Karlo said...

Who's the Buddhist?

larseny said...

My list of suspects, Buddhists included, can be found at

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