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The current U.S. Congress is dominated by Protestants (57%) with Catholics a distant second (29%), according to the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life. No surprise there, but, as Pew researchers point out, one constituency lacks adequate representation:

“In 2011, one large segment of the population, the roughly 16% of Americans who are unaffiliated with any particular religion, remains completely unrepresented on Capitol Hill. Not one of the 435 members of the House of Representatives or one of the 100 senators serving in the 112th Congress lists his or her religion as atheist, agnostic or ‘nothing in particular.’”

Congress has a historical past of not mirroring the many constituencies in the United States. Is it time for more atheists and agnostics to run for office and represent this small but growing population?


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6 Comments

What's the percentage of Buddhists in the US?

Count on it. There are atheists and agnostics in Congress. They just don't identify themselves that way. They figured out that that would ruin their chances, so they found a nice church and joined it.

Oddly enough, BostonPoet, about 0.7% according to the Pew study.

Also interesting is how over represented Jews are in congress. This seems to me to have more powerful implications give how vested we are in Israel.

Mmm. I don't know. There are a lot of Jews I know who are more critical of Israe's policies and behaviors than are many Christians and unaffilitateds.

What are the "All Others?"

While the point is a valid one, the claim there's NO representation of atheists/agnostics/etc is somewhat misleading. As the article linked points out, Pete Stark has said he's an atheist. However, since he's also a member of the Unitarian Universalist Association, they categorize him as belonging to "Other Faiths."

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