The Religious Times, They Are A-Changin'

| Mon Mar. 12, 2007 6:41 PM EDT

Here's a nice trend: religious diversity in Congress is increasing. This past November, Minnesota elected the nation's first Muslim to Congress. Now Pete Stark, a congressman from California first elected in 1973, is the nation's first openly nontheist lawmaker. In a response to a question from the Secular Coalition for America, Stark acknowledged recently that he does not believe in God. He's the first federal-level lawmaker in American history to say this publicly.

Anywhere from 8-15% of Americans don't believe in God, according to surveys and census data. Thus, "If the number of nontheists in Congress reflected the percentage of nontheists in the population," says the director of the Secular Coalition, "there would be 53-54 nontheistic Congress members instead of one."

Spotted on The Plank.

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