The religious affiliations of Congress

Pew just released a report on the religious affiliations of the 112th Congress. While Congress certainly isn’t a good picture of the American people in some ways (Congress is still mostly white, male, and upper-class, after all), it serves as a decent picture in terms of religion. Sort of. The Protestant and Catholic population of Congress roughly mirrors the American people, including the top two denominations. On the other hand, there are no unaffiliated members of Congress, or at least there are no unaffiliated members of Congress who will admit their lack of faith. Sadly I still live in a country where being a nonbeliever is still socially unacceptable to the general public. Even if the six who refused or didn’t know are unaffiliated, that’s still terribly nonrepresentative of the American people when nearly one in six people don’t affiliate with a religion.

But I’m not looking just for that representation. It’s the principle that no nonbelievers who are willing to admit it exist in Congress when there are so many in the American population. The general trustworthiness of nonbelievers is still questioned by the general public, just as for any other minority group. This is one of those things that time will probably change, given current attitudes of the youth. I hope so.

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