Non-Theistic Congressman Pete Stark Takes Over Charlie Rangel’s Chair

Rep. Charlie Rangel of New York has stepped down from the House Ways and Means Committee — at least temporarily — due to ethics violations.

This is one of the most powerful committees in Congress — it has jurisdiction over taxes, Social Security, unemployment benefits, and Medicare.

And, at least for the time being, it is being chaired by the sole openly non-religious person in Congress: Congressman Pete Stark of California:

At a morning meeting of committee Democrats, Stark told his colleagues he would take the gavel only on an interim basis and would not seek to retain it after the midterm elections in November, no matter what the outcome is of the ongoing Rangel ethics probes, according to lawmakers in attendance.

The Secular Coalition for America announced in 2007 that Stark was the highest ranking, non-theistic, elected public official in America. In 2008, the American Humanist Association named him Humanist of the Year.

Most of the articles I’ve seen about Stark don’t even point out the non-theist angle. I suspect it won’t be long until that becomes an issue…

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