A member of the board of the Secular Coalition for America, an umbrella group that represents “atheists, agnostics, humanists, and nontheistic Americans,” claims that there are 30 members of Congress who do not believe in God.
This unnamed individual has reportedly been able to get admissions from politicians on both sides of the aisle, though the person said that he or she believes that the actual number might really be higher, according to The Washington Examiner.
“While I have no specific knowledge, I am sure the number is significantly higher than those I know,” the person said.
Gallup found in 2017 that about 12 percent of the country does not believe in God. This would essentially mean that, in practice, around 64 members of Congress out of 535 would be atheists.
The claim comes as Rep. Jared Huffman (D-CA), 53, told The Washington Post in a recent interview that he’s a humanist, a member of a belief system that is based on human beings working to be good, while not relying on anything supernatural in the process.
Huffman also explained why he chose the “humanist” descriptor instead of “atheist” to describe himself.
“I’m not hostile to religion, and I’m not judging other people’s religious views,” the congressman said, adding that he believes people like him shouldn’t need to hide their faith perspective.
Huffman said that recent political events and the use of religion in political life has caused him to more definitively clarify his past “unspecified” faith proclamations.
“I don’t believe my religion is necessarily relevant to the work I do,” the congressman said. “But I do think it doesn’t quite feel right to just take a pass on the question, because your religious views can speak to your moral and ethical framework on the world. And that is something I think the public is entitled to know.”
Will more members of Congress come forward as atheists, agnostics or humanists? Only time will tell.