This lawmaker isn’t sure that God exists. Now, he’s finally decided to tell people.

Nov 9, 2017

By Michelle Boorstein

For years, as he rose from California state government to Congress, Jared Huffman felt justified — even a bit smug, perhaps — when he’d decline to answer questionnaires about his religious beliefs.

He’d always put one form or another of unspecified, decline to state or “none of your business,” said the 53-year-old House lawmaker, who comes from a left-leaning district that runs from the Golden Gate Bridge to the Oregon border. That made him one of nine members of Congress of 535 who opted this year to keep their spiritual profiles blank.

“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. For those reasons I felt good about not even answering it,” he said during an interview in his office.

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4 comments on “This lawmaker isn’t sure that God exists. Now, he’s finally decided to tell people.

  • While I commend the coming out as a humanist, I consider this disingenuous!

    @ link – [I’m an atheist, but I had to walk away from the toxic side of online atheism]

    There is no “toxic side of online atheism”! There is only toxic theist venom in online debates and pulpit sermons, poured on to atheists and scientists, who challenge their delusional beliefs!

    Huffman said that at the moment, he’s a “nonbeliever,
    a skeptic,” but he’s open to having his mind changed.
    “I suppose you could say I don’t believe in God.

    An agnostic based on the possibility of a Mormon god existing, leaves considerable room for improvement in rational thinking skills!
    I have yet to meet ANY agnostic who is agnostic about ALL the thousands of gods people believe in, or have believed in, in the past!

    The only reason I hesitate is — unlike some humanists,
    I’m not completely closing the door to spiritual possibilities.
    We all know people who have had experiences they believe are divine
    and I’m open to something like that happening.”

    Perhaps he should read “The God Delusion”, and get a grip on the gapology and psychological causes of “experiences they believe are divine”!

    Being unable to discard anecdotal tall stories, “unlike some humanists”, is a badge of a weak mind, NOT a superior one! – unless this is just political pandering to bigots!



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  • There is no “toxic side of online atheism”! There is only toxic theist
    venom in online debates and pulpit sermons, poured on to atheists and
    scientists, who challenge their delusional beliefs!

    That’s not quite true. While there’s certainly plenty of theist venom, you only have to look at the Freethought Blogs (do they still exist?) to see some extraordinarily nasty, ugly, spiteful, vicious comments that more than deserve the epithet ‘toxic’.

    It’s just a feature on online communication, sadly, but we shouldn’t be so partisan as to imagine that atheists are immune from it.



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  • I think it’s important to pay attention to all others that may be seen as part of the secular, humanist, skeptical and atheist cohort and what they are asserting. Unlike the theists (there is honour amongst theist, which taints them all) we should identify and express concern about the quality of other’s arguments and moral positions.

    Honest and open debate rather than loyalty come what may is key to getting our moral position right even if that means, a few times, open disagreements and admissions of don’t knows.

    Yes it appears weak in the face of right wing loyalty and silence in the face of political horrors. But the young need to have better politics than they’ve so far been gifted. This time it has to be for keeps even if it takes a little longer.



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  • Marco #2
    Nov 9, 2017 at 1:01 pm

    That’s not quite true. While there’s certainly plenty of theist venom, you only have to look at the Freethought Blogs (do they still exist?) to see some extraordinarily nasty, ugly, spiteful, vicious comments that more than deserve the epithet ‘toxic’.

    Ah! That’s a place I have not looked at lately!

    My view was based on the comments on news articles / science articles, where generally disputing theists are quoting from YEC sites, or from fellow science/history illiterates, and posturing as having god-derived “superior faith-based knowledge”!



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