Pete Stark Mentions the Lord to Ron Paul

Pete Stark (D-CA) is the only openly non-theistic congressperson. I sometimes wonder how much his colleagues know about his non-theism. Is it something they ever talk about? Joke about? As far as I can tell, Stark barely mentions it…

The congressional newspaper The Hill recently published an exchange Stark had with Ron Paul (R-TX). They don’t give us much context, but if it’s any indication, Stark’s colleagues are definitely aware of his atheism.

There was an interesting exchange between Reps. Pete Stark (D-Calif.) and Ron Paul (R-Texas) last week.

Passing each other in the Capitol on Thursday, Stark smiled and told Paul, “Keep on doing the Lord’s work.” Paul laughed.

Stark announced in 2007 that he is an atheist.

If he can make a passing comment like that, I have to think Stark brings up faith (even in a friendly-mocking sort of way) during one-on-one conversations with other members of Congress, too.

Oh, to be a fly on that wall…

  • http://veggiecrocker.com Veggiecrocker

    Oooh, now I am itching to find out more!

  • http://blog.crispen.org/ Rev. Bob

    The other edge of that remark is Goldman Sachs claiming to be doing the lord’s work and Ron Paul’s well known policy of privileging corporate predators. I’m purposely leaving the l-word out of this. In honor of the solstice season, please do the same, folks.

    • Anonymous

      That has got to be the most nonsensical statement I could possibly imagine. What could be more predatory on behalf of corporations than to, instead of failing from their irresponsibility, be saved by taxpayers (ala Goldman Sachs); instead of competing for business, have it guaranteed; instead of following the rules, creating them?
      Ron Paul has been essentially the leading Congressional activist for the avoidance of these awful situations for over 20 years now.
      Assuming you weren’t saying that out of sarcasm, you are a truly ignorant man.

  • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ WMDKitty

    What’s the “l-word”? (Other than a freakin’ FABULOUS show, I mean.)

  • Andrew Morgan

    It must be a slow news day for us atheists. :)

  • littlejohn

    Since Ron Paul is a Libertarian, it’s reasonable to suspect he’s a fan of Ayn (“rhymes with swine”) Rand, the openly atheist author of “Atlas Shrugged” and other unreadable stuff that appeals to college sophomores.
    I wonder if Paul, who is a bit of a cheerleader for science, including evolution, is a skeptic himself?
    With presidential aspirations, he can’t really say so.

  • http://religiouscomics.net Jeff

    I think Ron Paul is now too old to give the presidency another try the next time around. He might as well speak his mind on religion assuming he has anything to say.

  • Nick

    I wonder if Paul, who is a bit of a cheerleader for science, including evolution, is a skeptic himself?

    Ron Paul doesn’t accept evolution.

  • http://sunombreenvano.blogspot.com/ Diego, El Mapache

    Ron Paul a Skeptic? Give me a break. Just like Huckabee, Palin and other nutjobs, he doesn’t believe in evolution.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6JyvkjSKMLw

    He is just another creationinst who doesn’t know what “theory” means in a scientific context. In other words, just another idiot.

  • Colin

    The L-word… hmmm… I KNEW it! Ron Paul is a lesbian! You heard it here first.

  • Jasen777

    Paul is a dedicated christian.

  • littlejohn

    I’m just taking Paul’s word for it. In the GOP primary debate leading up to the ’08 election, CNN asked the candidates who doesn’t believe in evolution. Huckabee, Brownback and Tancredo raised their hands. Paul did not.
    Being a Christian doesn’t mean you reject evolution. It just means you’re a dumbass (or a liar who’s running for president).
    I’m no fan of Ron Paul’s – except in one area. He opposes unnecessary wars.
    Of course, he also wants to abolish the IRS, privatize the sidewalks, etc.

  • http://religiouscomics.net Jeff

    Keep on doing the Lord’s work.

    Sarcastically challenging the Republican premise that the Lord doesn’t want healthcare reform or any increase in government spending (except for the military).

  • http://sunombreenvano.blogspot.com/ Diego, El Mapache

    @littlejohn: According to some christians, a real christian HAS to reject evolution, since the bible says otherwise. But then, if every christian who has been called not a real christian by another chirstian disappeared, there would be no christians.

  • False Prophet

    @littlejohn,

    Aren’t most Libertarians just “cafeteria Objectivists”? They’ll preach Rand on laissez-faire markets, and no taxes, and so on, but conveniently ignore Rand’s stringent atheism. (A friend of mine has read a lot of Rand, and gets really pissed at these half-assed Objectivists.)

    I’m sure a lot of this is cynical, since many of them are politically aligned with conservative Christians (the same guys who’ve totally misrepresented their Scriptures to oppose welfare and public healthcare).

  • http://lagunatic.wordpress.com/ Lagunatic

    I’d really like to know how many congressmen are “in the closet” about their beliefs.
    I’d love to see Stark “out” them all one day.

  • ckitching

    Aren’t most Libertarians just “cafeteria Objectivists”?

    Worse, many are just conservatives who want to distance themselves from the name when their party start getting a bad name. Ron Paul seems to have a real libertarian bent, but he’s probably one of the only ones who do. Most of the others seem to think that “cut taxes! cut taxes! cut taxes!” is the entire libertarian platform.

    Sadly, though, the gospel of cutting taxes seems to have become common to both parties at this point. Sadly, you can live off of selling your tomorrows for only so long before it catches up to you. Inevitably, taxes will have to go up.

  • Thegoodman

    If we could read the minds of all statesmen, I would be surprised if most were any more religious than an agnostic. Any intelligent person, deep down, must question the existence of any deity (especially a Christian god).

    The problem is that the nature of politics as well as the nature of religion discourage individuals from speaking out on these matters. If 85% of the country smoked cigarettes, you can bet your ass politicians would say they smoke too. They must do what they can to get elected. The only way to make a difference is to actually be in office, and the only way to get into office is by appealing to the masses. The sheep must trust the shepard, and most sheep are religious, and the religious inherently have a distrust of the non-religious.

  • wall0645

    I dunno, I read the statement as a sort of inside joke.

    Passing each other in the Capitol on Thursday, Stark smiled and told Paul, “Keep on doing the Lord’s work.” Paul laughed.

    Knowing nothing else about the situation, it seems as though Stark, and open atheist, knows Paul to be an atheist, and the statement was a sarcastic comment they’d both laugh at.

    Ron Paul doesn’t come off to me as somebody who would laugh at something he didn’t agree with in a haughty/arrogant way, like I would imagine a super conservative doing in the same situation.


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