Congressional Nonbeliever to "Out" Himself

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Update to my column yesterday on an atheist president: The Secular Coalition of America says an openly "nontheistic" member of Congress will announce himself on Monday . Were I a betting man, I'd put my wager on Rep. Barney Frank. But I'm hoping it's a Republican.

(Thanks to Amy Phillips for the link.)

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  1. Darn!

    I thought this was going to be some nut who thinks the Congress is illegal. Kind of like those 16th amendment deniers who think Ohio is not a State.

  2. Barney the weenie for president? Oh lord!

  3. Sadly, collection of signatures for his recall election will begin Tuesday.

  4. Sadly, collection of signatures for his recall election will begin Tuesday.

    Why? All Romney said was that we needed a “person of faith.” Anyone who is in Congress (except maybe Ron Paul and Jeff Flake) certainly has faith in the irrational…

  5. …faith in the irrational…

    Not to pick nits, bit isn’t that a redundancy?

  6. Time to dust off the “but atheism is a faith too!” argument that always surfaces here.

  7. Not to pick nits, bit isn’t that a redundancy?

    Not to pick nits, but isn’t that begging the question 😉

  8. Oh, you mean religious faith (traditionally defined?)? I would think any believer would have to admit that religious faith is irrational, otherwise it isn’t faith (traditionally defined?).

    But in general, what if I say I have faith that my best friend will come through for me in a pinch? Is that irrational? Perhaps it is, but it may also be true.

  9. We’ve already got TWO non-theistic Congressfolk: the new Buddhist members of the lower chamber.

  10. Rhywun,

    Global Warming has replaced atheism here.

    Need some carbon credits?

  11. d,

    Don’t forget the majority who are non-theistic most of the time, unless they need to campaign in a “black” Church.

  12. Whoo hoo! Believers are poopheads!! Yay!

    Sorry, just had to let out my inner adolescent there for a second. Thanks for your indulgence.

  13. Secular is the new atheist.

  14. …faith in the irrational…
    Not to pick nits, bit isn’t that a redundancy?

    I have faith in the free market.

  15. I have faith in the free market.

    I can see the invisible hand of the free market.

  16. “Global Warming Denial has replaced atheism here.”

    Fixed that for you.

  17. “Global Warming Denial has replaced atheism here.”

    Wouldn’t that then mean Global Warming has replaced Jesus? Sounds about right.

  18. Yeah – but Global Warming can’t do really cool stuff like water to wine. Heal the poor leper, walk on water. All it does is ruin the egg salad at the church mixer. Boo! to Global Warming!

    O/T
    has anybody seen this blurb on fox

    NSFW due to some really strange racism…

  19. “Wouldn’t that then mean Global Warming has replaced Jesus?”

    With Ron Bailey as Paul on the road to Damascus.

  20. Damn, I could have been prescient. Yesterday, I thought about floating my theory in the atheism bigotry thread that the first open non-theist* would be a sitting member in a safe district who would out himself or be outed. A secular Barney Frank if you will.

    How many members claim to be Unitarian? My money is one of those guys or gals.

    (* – I hear you, d, but most folks do not realize that about Buddhism.)

  21. You know, Frank’s Jewish. Given the overlapping cultural/religious/ethnic connotations of the term, a Jewish politician with no religious life would have an easier time passing than an Irish/Italian/WASP or whatever politician.

    He says he’s Jewish, meaning he’s ethnically and culturally Jewish and comes from a Jewish family, and the question of whether he belongs to a religion never comes up.

  22. It’s global cooling that lets you walk on water.

    Global warming is the one that can swim in ice.

  23. “He says he’s Jewish, meaning he’s ethnically and culturally Jewish and comes from a Jewish family, and the question of whether he belongs to a religion never comes up.”

    they’re crafty like that! how do you think they snuffed jesus? like a ninja!

  24. dhex,

    This brings a whole new meaning to staying away from the fruitcake story that was going around in December.

  25. they’re crafty like that! how do you think they snuffed jesus? like a ninja!

    I am still trying to figure out how the Jews were supposed to be secretly telling the Romans what to do and the Romans going along with it. However, it does require fewer illogical hoops than how the moon landings were “faked”.

  26. “Global Warming Denial has replaced atheism here.”

    Who is it that are making the most senstionalist claims? Intelligent people withold judgement until all the facts are in, not take a position on faith one way or the other.

  27. dhex,

    “they’re crafty like that! how do you think they snuffed jesus? like a ninja!”

    Wait a minute, I said “Jewish,” not “Italian.”

  28. “Who is it that are making the most senstionalist claims?”

    James Inhofe, and he co-religionists, who claim that climate science is a global conspiracy to undermine the United States and impose a socialist world order.

  29. “James Inhofe, and he co-religionists, who claim that climate science is a global conspiracy to undermine the United States and impose a socialist world order.”

    I admit that Inhofe is kind of kooky when it comes to religion. (A friend of mine was married to his niece, by the way.) I don’t think there is a conspiracy, but I do believe that the unproven theory of AGW does play into the hands of those who want more control over business and our lives.

  30. Can a true believer in Christ hold public office without striving to make the govt. a theocracy? If not then he is ignoring his faith and calling. To require a theocracy goes against biblical free will. therefore, in my opinion, a christian has no business in politics. The only mission for a brother or sister in christ is the spreading of the gospel for the salvation of souls to the glory of God.

  31. Herb,

    Don’t forget, AGW folks have penance now too. Instead of lighting an evil candle in a Church, they can buy carbon credits.

  32. “if not , then he is ignoring…”

    should have read, “If so, then he is ignoring…

  33. “brotherben | March 7, 2007, 11:29am | #”

    Juanita, is that you? Or are you Tros or Jane?

  34. Apparently the AGW forces of industry are trying to prevent another Congressional hearing. We are having another Milk, Bread and Toilet Paper alert in DC.

  35. How many members claim to be Unitarian? My money is one of those guys or gals.

    UU congresspeople? Really?

  36. Well keep me updated on this. I am mildly curious.

  37. “Wait a minute, I said “Jewish,” not “Italian.””

    right…italians aren’t crafty…[guido joke here]

    “I am still trying to figure out how the Jews were supposed to be secretly telling the Romans what to do and the Romans going along with it.”

    duh, magic! how many times do i have to explain this? C-R-A-F-T-Y.

  38. highnumber,

    I couldn’t find 110th stats, but here’s the 109th breakdown.

    http://www.adherents.com/adh_congress.html

    I really like the people who claim “Protestant” or “Christian”

  39. “right…italians aren’t crafty…[guido joke here]”

    Ah, dhex, I could kiss you.

    Once.

  40. Thanks, de stijl.
    One of the US Reps is listed as a UU & a Republican. What alternate universe is she from?
    I know most UUs are Dems. I know some are Greens. Counting me, I know my congregation has at least two libertarians. Republican UUs I have never met. Theoretically, it seems possible, but I never would have imagined that they really exist.
    Ah well, good for her, although I think she lost the last election.

  41. highnumber,

    You are Green? Cool! So is my 1972 hybrid Charger 🙂 At least, the inside is right now. The outside will be green again when I paint it.

  42. dhex,

    Whatever you do, do not go for a boatride with joe or any of his known associates!

  43. VM, No, I am not those other folks. I do feel that Christians have no place in politics because their beliefs should preclude the wasting of time on worldly pursuits while souls are being lost eternally in hell. The gospel is meant to be shared, not shoved down someone’s throat. The love of christ and the infilling of the holy spirit is what changes peoples behaviour, not laws about moral standards, as moral standards differ. A person running for office should be discussing the issues, and their belief system should have absolutely no bearing on the race.

    I will look at the other folks’ posts to see why you thought I might be them.

  44. Bro:

    cuz it seemed over the top, just as Tros, Juanita, and Jane can be. He/She says extreme, black-and-white statements, and the “christians shouldn’t be in politics” if that means “individuals who happen to be christian shouldn’t be in politics”, then it felt like a Tros statement.

    If you mean, “keep the christianity out of politics”, then that’s somewhat different and doesn’t seem like a Tros statement.

    But then you should settle in, check out some of the threads on religion and politics, and watch the fireworks!

  45. “it felt like a Tros statement”

    My opinion is that most of Tros’ statements sound like they come out of the mouth of the kid in backseat at the beginning of Super Troopers who gobbled all the contraband.

    If I’m not paying attention to the commenter name and I start reading, after a sentence or two it all sounds like “These snozzberries taste like snozzberries” or “I’m freaking out, man.”

  46. OT: It has been snowing again since 1300. Think the Congress will go home early before they do any more damage?

  47. Actually, BrotherBen is right. Jesus didn’t ask his followers to please go to church if they got a chance. He asked them to essentially turn their back on the world, and focus on salvation. The ‘render unto Ceasar’ comment was about taxes only on the surface. What the man was getting at was much deeper than that.*

    *Spoken as a Spinozan Deist/smartass Discordian who attended 17 years of religious school, including 8 under the Jesuits.

  48. Number 6,

    Were those the really cool commando Jesuits who were going to go into the Soviet Union after it’s collapse and help rebuild Christianity?

  49. brotherben,

    Depends on the type of Christian they are.

    Since Christ (and Paul) believed that the apocalypse was going to get here pretty dang soon – that’s why slaves were supposed to obey their masters – what’s the point in causing a fuss when it was all going to change soon anyway – maybe a “true Christian” shouldn’t be that concerned with what is happening in the world (aside from fulfilling the “Great Commission” that is).

    Then again, Christians have different viewpoints on these matters.

  50. Number 6,

    Christ asked people to do a number of things, among them was to try to live the new kingdom here at this time, before the new kingdom comes into place and the poor are blessed, etc. It was in its own way a fairly standard, world turned upside down in the future way of looking at things. You see folks preaching a similar message throughout human history.

  51. My favorites from the adherants.com list:

    Dennis Kucinich, D Catholic, Vegan
    Ken Calvert, R Protestant; Objectivist
    Mary Bono, R Scientologist; Protestant
    Neil Abercrombie, D Protestant (raised)
    Tammy Baldwin, D GLBT (relig. affil. unspecified)

  52. Anyway, what apparently made Christ successful was Paul, a guy he never met. Pondering on that relationship as a late teen is one of the things that made me skeptical of Christianity.

  53. Contrary to the pronouns used above, it could be a woman. The announcement doesn’t specify. I wonder whether that would be more or less upsetting to the people who are likely to become upset.

  54. Fenevad wrote: Oh, you mean religious faith (traditionally defined?)? I would think any believer would have to admit that religious faith is irrational, otherwise it isn’t faith (traditionally defined?).

    I’m pretty sure there are lots of traditional Christians over the years who think their religious faith is not irrational. St. Thomas Aquinas, for instance.

    I mean, I don’t consider myself an expert on orthodox Christianity, but I think it’s a pretty deep misunderstanding to think religious faith is supposed to be ipso facto irrational. Not everyone’s Tertullian. (Heck, Tertullian might not have been Terullian.)

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