Politics Religion

Jared Huffman, First Open Humanist in Congress, Claims Colleagues Are ‘Closet Humanists, Atheists’

(PJ Media)  Many members of Congress do not believe in God and secretly identify as Humanist, atheist, or agnostic, a California congressman said in announcing his own Humanist worldview.

“For the closet Humanists, atheists and agnostics out there (including many of my colleagues in Congress — yes, we talk about these things!), maybe this will show that it’s OK to just say what you believe and that there’s room in American politics for people with secular, nonreligious views,” Rep. Jared Huffman (D-Calif.) wrote in a Facebook announcement.

Huffman identified himself as “a non-religious Humanist” and insisted, “I’m not pushing my views on anyone and I’m not judging anyone else’s religious choice.”

“I value my working relationships and friendships with people of faith, the interfaith community, spiritual seekers and all sorts of secular, non-religious people,” the lawmaker added. “I think we should all work together to make the world a better place.”

Huffman repeated his claim about members of Congress secretly rejecting faith in God, in an interview with The Washington Post.

“I think in this day and age, it needs to be okay for there to be a member of Congress with my particular religious views, and I will tell you there are many who would agree with me — this place is full of humanists, agnostics and folks with nonreligious views of various types,” the congressman told the Post.

The vast majority of members in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives identify with one religion or another, and most of them explicitly believe in a God.

According to the Pew Research Center, a full 88.3 percent are Christian (90.7 percent including the 2.4 percent who are Mormon), with 55.9 percent Protestant, 31.4 percent Catholic, and 0.9 percent Orthodox.

Other members of Congress identify as Jewish (5.6 percent), Buddhist (3 members), Muslim (2 members), Hindu (3 members), and Unitarian Universalist (1 member).

Only one member of Congress, Rep. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.), officially identified herself as “unaffiliated.” Ten members (1.9 percent) refused to identify their religious beliefs in Pew surveys.

Huffman told the Post he felt comfortable publicly identifying as Humanist because his constituents would not mind and because he thinks religion has too large an impact in politics.

“I don’t believe in religious tests, and I don’t believe my religion is all that important to the people I represent, and I think there’s too much religion in politics,” the California congressman said. “I’ve seen religion wielded in such negative ways around here, lately. Trump does it all the time, so implausibly.”

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