The first atheist congressman

01Oct07

U.S. Rep. Pete Stark “Comes Out” as an Atheist – News

“Coming out” as the first openly nontheist member of the United States Congress, Representative Fortney “Pete” Stark (D-CA) quipped, “I’m pleased that I’m in Cambridge and not in Salem!” On September 20, 2007, Congressman Stark spoke publicly for the first time about his atheism to an audience of approximately 300 members of the Humanist Chaplaincy at Harvard, the Harvard Law School Heathen Society, and various other atheist, agnostic, secular, humanist, and nonreligious groups. The Boston Globe was also on hand to cover the event.

Stark, who is a Unitarian, is the highest-ranking American politician to openly declare that he is nontheist. Although Stark denies a belief in a god, he was quick to note that the Stark family does recognize a supreme being: Mrs. Stark.

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