Politician Breaks the God Barrier
Posted on Mar 13, 2007
Rep. Pete Stark of Fremont, Calif., just became the first Congress member and the highest-ranking elected official to publicly acknowledge he does not believe in God. To give you some sense of how difficult a time nonreligious politicians typically have in the U.S., a recent Gallup poll showed that while 92 percent of Americans would support a Jewish presidential candidate, only 45 percent would vote for an atheist.
For the record, Stark describes himself as “a Unitarian who does not believe in a supreme being.”
Los Angeles Times:
Secular groups Monday applauded a public acknowledgment by Rep. Pete Stark that he does not believe in a supreme being, making the Fremont Democrat the first member of Congress—and the highest-ranking elected official in the U.S.—to publicly acknowledge not believing in God.
The American Humanist Assn. plans to take out an ad in the Washington Post today congratulating the congressman for his public stance and highlighting the contributions of other prominent secular humanists, such as writers Barbara Ehrenreich and Kurt Vonnegut and actress Julia Sweeney.
Fred Edwords, a spokesman for the group, said non-theistic Americans often faced discrimination for their views.
“So often throughout American history, people who are non-theistic or don’t believe in a supreme being can’t get elected to public office or, if they inform the public of their view, they don’t get reelected,” he said. “We’re trying to increase the acceptance of non-theists as every bit as American as everybody else.”