Atheism flexing its muscles: Secular group endorses six Democrats in upcoming races

By Eric W. Dolan
Tuesday, December 17, 2013 15:51 EDT
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[Image via TEDxBoulder, Creative Commons licensed]
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A new political action committee for nonbelievers has endorsed six Democratic candidates for the 2014 elections.

“It’s long past due for our elected officials to stand up and advocate for humanistic values, and we will strongly support candidates that do,” Freethought Equality Fund Coordinator Bishop McNeill said in a statement.

Only two of the six candidates — Oregon state Rep. Carolyn Tomei (D) and Arizona state Rep. Juan Mendez (D) — are self-described secular humanists. The other four candidates are U.S. Reps. Jared Polis (D-CO), Rush Holt (D-NJ), and Bobby Scott (D-VA), as well as U.S. House candidate Dr. Lee Rogers (D-CA).

“This was just our first slate of endorsements, not our last,” McNeill told Raw Story. “A candidates voting record, or for challengers, their questionnaire responses indicating how they would vote on particular issue we care about, is more important than one’s religious beliefs.”

Bishop told Raw Story the group plans to support endorsed candidates with “financial contributions, individual contributions from our members, and with grassroots volunteer support.”

Reps. Polis and Holt both scored a perfect 100 percent on the group’s 2013 Congressional Scorecard. Rogers, meanwhile, is seeking to oust Rep. Buck McKeon (R-CA), who scored a paltry 14 percent on the scorecard.

“I believe that everyone deserves equal representation in Congress, regardless of the color of your skin, who you love, or if you believe in a particular religion,” Rogers said. “While it is appropriate to have your decisions be guided by your own set of family values and morals, people serving in Congress should not use the tenets of any particular religious faith to make laws that affect all Americans.”

The Freethought Equality Fund was launched by the American Humanist Association’s Center for Humanist Activism in September. The group aims to promote a more secular government and help nonbelievers get elected to public office.

[Image via TEDxBoulder, Creative Commons licensed]

Eric W. Dolan
Eric W. Dolan
Eric W. Dolan has served as an editor for Raw Story since August 2010, and is based out of Sacramento, California. He grew up in the suburbs of Chicago and received a Bachelor of Science from Bradley University. Eric is also the publisher and editor of PsyPost. You can follow him on Twitter @ewdolan.
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