Omnipresent Atheists Message Board › NEW CONGRESS UNDERREPRESENTS NONRELIGIOUS AND 'NONES'
AND, I don't mind boasting, she's a friend of mine!
NEW CONGRESS UNDERREPRESENTS NONRELIGIOUS AND 'NONES' -
Jaweed Kaleem reports:
“Nearly one-in-five Americans have no religion, but only one member of the 533
people in the new 113th Congress that was sworn in Thursday would fall into one of
the largest and fastest growing American demographics when it comes to religion or
“A new analysis from the Pew Forum shows that while the new Congress is more diverse
than ever before -- it includes the the nation's first Buddhist Senator and the
first Hindu in either chamber of Congress, for example -- it's still far less
diverse than the nation it represents.
“Like the one before it, the new Congress is majority Protestant, but its changing
membership is part of a ‘gradual increase in religious diversity that mirrors trends
in the country as a whole,’ according to the Pew analysis. Congress is ‘far less’
Protestant today than it was 50 years ago, when almost three-quarters of its
membership was Protestant, according to the analysis.
"’Protestants, Catholics, Jews and Mormons each make up a greater percentage of the
members of Congress than of all U.S. adults. The same is true for some subgroups of
Protestants, such as Episcopalians and Presbyterians. By contrast, Pentecostals are
a much smaller percentage of Congress than of the general public,’ the analysis
says. ‘Due in part to electoral gains in recent years, Buddhists, Muslims and Hindus
now are represented in Congress in closer proportion to their numbers in the U.S.
adult population. But some small religious groups, such as Jehovah’s Witnesses, are
not represented at all in Congress.’"
“Pew says that ‘perhaps greatest disparity, however, is between the percentage of
U.S. adults and the percentage of members of Congress who do not identify with any
particular religion.’ One-in-five U.S. adults are atheist, agnostic or ‘nothing in
particular,’ a group that's altogether often called the ‘nones.’ But only one person
in the 113th Congress, Rep. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.), does not affiliate with any
particular religion, though Sinema has also said through a spokesman that ‘the terms
non-theist, atheist or non-believer are not befitting of her life's work or personal
character.’" (continued below)