By Hemant Mehta
Rep. Jared Huffman, the only openly atheist member of Congress, is being criticized by a prominent Republican for the crime of… defending the Constitution.
A little background: Huffman sits on the House Committee on Natural Resources. Earlier this year, after control of the committee flipped to Democrats, Ranking Member Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva agreed to strike the words “So help me God” from the default oath.
That shouldn’t have been controversial. As it stood, every person being sworn in had to say those words — even if they were atheists, even if they were Muslim, etc. The Democrats wanted to make it optional. That move, however, was treated as blasphemy by Republicans who lied and said the Democrats were effectively killing God.
GOP Rep. Liz Cheney, who never shies away from hyperbole, responded at the time by saying, “They really have become the party of Karl Marx.” (Because allowing Christians to openly declare their faith if they want to was the utopia Marx always dreamed of…)
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