[quote:4542080b31]For Immediate Release
Contact: Lori Lipman Brown, (202) 299-1091
March 5, 2006
On Monday, March 12, the Secular Coalition for America will make history by announcing the name of the first openly nontheistic member of Congress.
Elected officials who do not hold a god-belief are a rarity and only a few nontheist politicians have been open about their beliefs. Perhaps the best-known was Robert G. Ingersoll, called the Great Agnostic. He was a famous orator and gave the nomination speech at the 1884 Republican Presidential Convention for James G. Blaine. Influential Illinois Republicans wanted Ingersoll to run for Governor, but on the condition that he conceal his agnosticism. Ingersoll refused, and he never held elected office.
As put forward in law by the U.S. Constitution, "no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States." However, in practice politicians are compelled to expound on their religiosity, forcing nontheists to keep quiet about their beliefs or opt out of pursuing public office.
With next Monday’s historic announcement, the Secular Coalition for America hopes additional elected officials will self-identify as nontheists and establish that a god-belief is not a necessary prerequisite for public service.
This announcement is the result of a contest sponsored by the Coalition. For more information read the original contest release.[/quote:4542080b31]
Well hot damn, I thought I’d never see the day.