I know, I know, Pete Stark is an admitted “nontheist,” but he describes himself as a Unitarian so technically he doesn’t count.
Amazing. Not the raw numbers, I mean — those are clearly bogus. No doubt there are plenty of closet agnostics/atheists in Congress. In fact, given how virtually all other religious subgroups have representation that’s roughly proportional to their size of the population, I wonder if secret nonbelievers in Congress might exceed 10 percent. No, what’s amazing is that even with more than 15 percent of the American public claiming no affiliation — the third biggest group overall, behind Protestants and Catholics — and notwithstanding the fact that incumbency and gerrymandering make many members of Congress virtually invulnerable electorally, there’s still not a single member apart from Stark willing to cop to agnosticism. I know it’s a heavy liability politically (see this all-time classic poll from Pew from a few years ago to understand how heavy), but still. Not a single member besides Stark has the courage of his/her convictions? Embarrassing.
Speaking of closet agnostics/atheists, Bill Maher’s taking this straight to the top.