Paul Ryan Earned an F on the Secular Coalition for America’s Congressional Scorecard

When the Secular Coalition for America released its 2011 Congressional Scorecard (PDF), Mitt Romney‘s just-announced running mate, Rep. Paul Ryan, received a solid F:

That made him one of 230 Republicans to receive a failing grade (5 earned Ds, 6 earned Cs, and none received anything higher).

The one bright spot for Ryan was RC 673, which provided “for the establishment of the Special Envoy to Promote Religious Freedom of Religious Minorities in the Near East and South Central Asia.” Ryan correctly voted “Yes” on the measure, which supported religious minorities in places where they were being persecuted.

After that, though, lots of fail.

Not that this is news to most of you, but if care about things like church/state separation and science, then don’t vote for Paul Ryan.

Ditto with the guy who thinks God lives near the planet “Kolob.”

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

    Ditto with the guy who thinks God lives near the planet “Kolob.” 

    As opposed to the guy who thinks someone came back from the dead?  Well, ok, they both believe that.

    Point being, we’re going to have to make our decisions on how we think they’ll run the country, not what they believe.  They all believe crazy shit.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/ Hemant Mehta

      Touché, sir.

    • advancedatheist

      We had no rational basis for believing in the existence of exoplanets before the 1990s, according to secular skeptics’ own criteria (the dragon in my garage principle). We just laughed at the exoplanet claims of Mormons, Scientologists & UFO cults because people we considered uncool made them, while giving Carl Sagan’s ET snipe hunt a pass because we considered his exoplanet beliefs “scientific.”

      • Jsaun314

        Sagan never put forth that extrasolar planets existed as a matter of fact. Only that it was likely unless something about our system was special. Your other examples all asserted that they were only real, but beings beings from those planets visit here, or that we may rule on them. I think these are important differences.

      • http://gadlaw.com gadlaw

        The difference between scientific theory and completely made up beliefs is what is clear, your comment tries to equate the two which is a false equivalence.

      • http://dogmabytes.com/ C Peterson

        There absolutely was a rational basis for believing in the existence of exoplanets before any were discovered: the Earth itself, as well as theories of planetary system formation which were partly developed.

        “Scientific” exoplanet ideas ran something like this: “given our knowledge of our own solar system, and our developing ideas about stellar system formation, it’s reasonable to think there are other planetary systems, and we can go about looking for them like this…”. That is very different than the claims of “Mormons, Scientologists & UFO cults”, which literally pulled names and locations of such things out of their asses, and treated them as unquestionably truths.

        • Bo Tait

          Figuratively.

          Unless there’s a crazy story to go with the imagery.

    • Illy

      The other guy has shown a lot more skill at keeping his religious beliefs where they belong: At home.  Until we’re able to get more nonbelievers into elected office, theists who can govern more like secularists are the most we can ask for.  As for exoplanets, I think most of us consider them likely, based on the formation of our own solar system’s planets.  There’s just no Kolob with Yahweh a couple light years past it.

      • http://friendlyatheist.com Richard Wade

        As of today, there are 2321 candidates for extrasolar planets, and another 729 confirmed by NASA/JPL. http://planetquest.jpl.nasa.gov/

        Talk about these two clowns and other planets seems somehow appropriate, since they both seem to be living in a world far beyond Planet Earth. 

        • Illy

          Consider?  I really meant “considered,” as in considered exoplanets likely before we ever found one.

      • http://www.zazzle.com/atheist_tees The Godless Monster

        “… theists who can govern more like secularists are the most we can ask for.”

        I believe there are more theist secularists in the United States than atheist ones.

    • http://annainca.blogspot.com/ Anna

      Yes, Mormon beliefs aren’t any crazier than traditional Christianity. We’re just more used to hearing about the other kind. Personally, I’m kind of tickled that we have a Mormon candidate simply because it annoys the “true” Christians so much.

      • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

        Evangelicals will be voting for anyone but the Muslim.

      • Reginald Selkirk

        Mormon beliefs aren’t any crazier than traditional Christianity

        That is arguable. The story about the exodus through the Sinai Desert is totally fake, but at least the Sinai Desert exists. Mormon stories about a Jewish tribe living in the New World are completely unsupported by archaeology, and are full of anachronisms, such as horses and metal weapons in the New World 2000 years ago.

        • http://annainca.blogspot.com/ Anna

          That’s true. I admit I was thinking of their supernatural beliefs, not the historical stories made up by Joseph Smith.

  • Margaret Whitestone

    Two narcissistic, theocratic plutocrats.  What could go wrong? 

  • http://friendlyatheist.com Richard Wade
    Ryan correctly voted “Yes” on the measure, which supported religious minorities in places where they were being persecuted.

    Would it be too cynical to suspect that he was mainly thinking of Christian minorities in those parts of the world?  Would it be too naive to assume that he was including nonbelievers as one of the religious minorities needing protection?

    • Stev84

      Nope. There is already some government council dealing with religious freedom in the world. It’s filled with very conservative Christians and only really concerned with spreading Christian doctrine

      • Ibis3

         And the Harper government is cloning it here in Canada. I also suspect that, as per usual “religious freedom” to these people includes suppressing women’s reproductive rights, criminalising homosexuality, and throwing people in jail for blasphemy.

  • Agnostic

    A: “That stupid doctor. How can he be so stupid to believe what he believes.”

    B: “He’s no dumber than atheists who want to protect religions of the minorities. Then those religions will grow and there will be more religious people to contend with.”

    • M J Shepherd

      Here’s a cookie.

      • Agnostic

        Sounds like cookie got a reply from a nut.

        • M J Shepherd

          Aww, you’re so sweet.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QOSCDCTNUAV4XT4RFJT27FZ7CQ stocketrader24

    there is no question this guy is at the very least agnostic. that votes along party lines. 

  • Luther

    Romney claims he has paid taxes for the last 10 years, but expects us to take it on faith! 

  • Raising_Rlyeh

    If I ever get the chance to ask Paul a question it would be this: How do you reconcile your love for the economic philosophy of ayn rand  with your professed catholic faith, which states that you should be an advocate for social justice and the poor.

    Paul Ryan is a huge stain on our state. He is probably the worse thing for America since McCarthy.

    • http://www.theartolater.com/ Jeff

      You do not have to be an advocate for big government in order to be an advocate for social justice.

      • http://twitter.com/KevinSagui Kevin Sagui

        The world is not divided into big government and the economic philosophy of Ayn Rand.

      • amycas

        It’s my contention that the right and the left both advocate for what could be called “big government.” The left advocates for a government that strives forsocial as well as legal justice and regulates the economy and businesses to prevent fraud and for environmental protection (among other things).  The right advocates for a government that funds a large military, gives the police more powers and restricts the rights of some margenalized groups (today it’s the lgbt community and women, wrt strict abortion laws, as well as to agrowing degree hispanics). Neither side wants a small government, they just have different ideas of what the government should or shouldn’t regulate and which parts of the government should be large. In essence, “Big Government” is a red herring. 

      • Baby_Raptor

        “Big government” is a talking point that politicians use to get the sheep riled up. Neither side is for smaller government, and smaller government would be bad. 

  • Renshia

    Having a loony neighbour that is a bit eccentric is one thing. But to have a batshit crazy one with a need to fulfill religious objectives, that’s really scary.

     Damn, we really need to build a wall.

  • amycas

    I have a feeling that most Christians would support the rights of religious minorities in Asia, because over there Christianity is a minority religion. I remember growing up in church, they used to bring in missionaries to talk about their experiences and they always claimed that going to Asia (I don’t remember them specifying which country) was dangerous because Christians and Christian missionaries are persecuted over there. I don’t know how much of what they said is true, but I can understand why they would support such a measure for religious minorities when they perceive that they (or people likethem) are a persecuted minority in that part of the world.

  • kaydenpat

    So Romney picked someone who could care less about how his budget would impact the very poor.  Interesting.

  • http://annainca.blogspot.com/ Anna

    I wonder if this guy is going to hurt Mitt Romney’s chances with evangelicals. A Mormon and a Catholic on the ticket? Or is Ryan the same sort of pandering uber-Catholic as Santorum?

    • RonTruth

      I would have to agree with you as you refer to Rick Santorum; it shows a thinking mind. As a Messianic Jew (a Christian, Torah-observant at least in principle) I wonder
      if Ryan would be so uncaring for the religious days and ways of religious minorities as
      was Santorum when Rick’s dislike of religious freedom and separation of organized religion from government (separation of church and state) caused him to use a posted
      film clip of the slain US President John F. Kennedy’s speech in 1960 to a large organization of religious leaders who questioned him about his beliefs about separation of church and state. Kennedy strictly favored “complete separation between the functions of government and those of organized religion.

      Once again, Santorum said “It makes me want to throw up.” As an 18 year old in
      1963, I was preparing to cast my very first presidential vote for Kennedy who was Catholic. Those who hated peace, civil rights, etc. made sure I never had the chance to
      vote for him.  After Rick Santorum’s stunt on that subject, we need to be sure of how Ryan sees the same issue.

  • ThisBlogisDumb

    Terrible Blog. 
    haha I’m laughing every time I hear
     “but if care about things like church/state separation and science, then don’t vote for Paul Ryan.”
    Your really going to think you have respectable blog when you post this kind of stuff?
    SO what do you think is going to happen? Ryan takes the VP Office, and gets a bill through all of the HOUSE and SENATE to start teaching Christianity in schools? Your so far off base. 
    Can we forget religious and social aspects when voting? In America, we are smart people, SOCIAL PROBLEMS WORK THEMSELVES OUT! A president now a days has zero control over anything social. 
    Can we please get our economy on track? 


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