Category: atheism

Atheist Wins Re-Election to New Jersey General Assembly

By Hemant Mehta

Andrew Zwicker is exactly the kind of person you wish were in elected office but almost never is. He’s not only a physicist, he’s the Head of Science Education at the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory. Unlike the Republicans who treat science as a four-letter word, Zwicker, a Democrat, is a proud advocate of the STEM fields.

In 2015, when he ran for the New Jersey General Assembly, he beat a Republican incumbent by one of the narrowest margins you’ll ever see: less than 100 votes. But it was enough to put him in office.

He just ran for re-election yesterday, and the voters rewarded him with another term, this time with a much more comfortable margin of victory.

Why mention him on this site? Because Zwicker is an open atheist who was endorsed by the Freethought Equality Fund PAC.

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This lawmaker isn’t sure that God exists. Now, he’s finally decided to tell people.

By Michelle Boorstein

For years, as he rose from California state government to Congress, Jared Huffman felt justified — even a bit smug, perhaps — when he’d decline to answer questionnaires about his religious beliefs.

He’d always put one form or another of unspecified, decline to state or “none of your business,” said the 53-year-old House lawmaker, who comes from a left-leaning district that runs from the Golden Gate Bridge to the Oregon border. That made him one of nine members of Congress of 535 who opted this year to keep their spiritual profiles blank.

“I don’t believe in religious tests, and I don’t believe my religion is all that important to the people I represent, and I think there’s too much religion in politics. For those reasons I felt good about not even answering it,” he said during an interview in his office.

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Secular Humanist, Endorsed By Atheist PAC, Wins North Carolina City Council Seat

By Hemant Mehta

I know it was a big night for Democrats with a lot of important victories. But I don’t want to let this story go under the radar.

The Apex Town Council — near Raleigh, North Carolina — had an election tonight with three seats up for grabs (on the five-seat council). Five names were on the ballot so this wasn’t a runaway for anybody.

One of the candidates was Audra Killingsworth, a proud Secular Humanist and member of both the American Humanist Association and Triangle Freethought Society.

Earlier this year, she was endorsed by the Freethought Equality Fund PAC.

“After watching the impact that government can have on us,” says Audra, “I realized that I want to contribute. I want to make a difference. What better place to start than locally, in my own community.”

Last night, she was among the top three vote-getters, winning a spot on the city council.

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Atheist Woman Sues to Remove “So Help Me God” From Oath

By Summer Meza

An atheist woman seeking citizenship in Massachusetts is suing to remove the phrase “so help me God” from the United States citizenship oath.

Olga Paule Perrier-Bilbo, a French national who has lived in the U.S. since 2000 with a green card, says that the inclusion of the phrase is an unconstitutional violation of her religious freedom. Her lawyer, Michael Newdow, drew attention for a similar Supreme Court case in 2004, when he argued that the Pledge of Allegiance should be rewritten to omit “under God.”

This is Perrier-Bilbo’s second application for citizenship, according to The Sacramento Bee.The first time around was in 2009, when she was offered the chance to participate in a private citizenship ceremony that would allow her to omit those four words. But the fact that the oath includes them at all is what she’s objecting to now. The lawsuit was filed in federal court on Thursday.

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The Economist The Economist asks: Richard Dawkins

Anne McElvoy and Jan Piotrowski ask one of the world’s best-known evolutionary biologists whether science can guide us through a turbulent world of post-truth. Can there really be an objective truth, or will our existing biases win out?

Richard Dawkins signing James Hayward’s copy of ‘the…

Richard Dawkins signing James Hayward’s copy of ‘the God Delusion’ at ‘Protest the Pope’ march. 

Richard Dawkins at ‘Protest the Pope’ march, taken…

Richard Dawkins at ‘Protest the Pope’ march, taken by James Hayward 

Richard Dawkins and a friend from Twitter at ‘Protest the…

Richard Dawkins and a friend from Twitter at ‘Protest the Pope’ march.