Congressman Jared Polis Gives a Brief Shoutout to Nonbelievers at DNC

After introducing himself by saying, “I’m Jewish, I’m gay… but first and foremost… I’m an American,” Rep. Jared Polis (D-CO) spoke at the Democratic National Convention earlier tonight and gave a shout-out to “nonbelievers”:

… Ladies and gentlemen, now is our chance to tell the dividers, “No.” To tell the special interests and cynical Washington insiders, “No.” To tell the lobbyists and PACs, “No.”

And to tell our fellow countrymen and countrywomen; gay and straight; Christians, Jews, Mormons, Muslims, and nonbelievers; rich and poor; black and white; Latino and Asian; east and west; north and south — It’s time to tell them “Yes”!

Together — Together, we are stronger.

Together, we are better.

Together, we are America!

And that’s why we must continue bringing America together.

Yes, it’s just a mention. No, it’s not referring to policy. Yes, it’s similar to the rhetoric President Obama used during his Inaugural Address. But it’s inclusion in the fabric of American society and that’s worth more than a brief soundbyte would suggest.

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.

  • GodVlogger (on YouTube)

    Even Mitt Romney gave a similar nod to “nonbelievers” a few months ago when he was speaking at Liberty University.
    While we can agree there is a LONG way to go, it is notable  that we are becoming increasingly acknowledged in a neutral, rather than demonizing, way.

  • C Peterson

    Nice. Makes me happy to have a guy like that here in Colorado. Unfortunately, my district is represented by Doug Lamborn, who is the most extremist wingnut in Congress… and that’s in a pot of wingnuts.

  • DougI

    One could take it that these mentions mean the Democratic party notices that non-believers make up a sizable portion of the population (19% now?).  Overall there’s still a huge difference between the Democrats and Republicans when it comes to religion in government.

    Bush gave a shout out to non-believers once, it didn’t matter a hill of beans as his criminal regime pushed a lot of religion upon the people.  I can’t recall that Obama has done much more than have some obnoxious preacher give a speech at a convention.

  • Bob

    CNN was making an issue of the DNC platform that discusses faith, but for the first time does not say “god”.

  • A3Kr0n

    And yes, it would have been unheard of just a short time ago.

  • Rich Wilson

    19% would be pushing it I think.  Maybe if you include apatheists we could be getting close.  But I think a very large chunk of that 19% (or whatever it is) couldn’t care less about some background theism.  They don’t care if our money has “IGWT” or our pledge has “Under God”.  In fact, they may be so used to it that the lack of direct references to God and faith might make them feel uncomfortable, even if they can’t be bothered to pray or go to church.  It must be good for the kids or something, right?

  • snoozn

    Proud to say I voted for Jared Polis — yes, I’m lucky to have a great congressman!

  • Reality Enthusiast

    Same here. The guy spoke out against SOPA, relentlessly grilled the DEA Administrator on marijuana policy, and has of course been a tireless advocate for gay rights.

  • DougI

     The number comes from a Pew poll back in July.

  • Maggie Schafer

    I love Jared.  He is the poster boy for the ideal elected official.  He really cares about the people who put him into office and HE LISTENS!  HE  IS OPEN, HE IS AVAILABLE TO TAKE COMMENTS, CONCERNS, WHATEVER! I have never know him to put special interests above the interests of the people in his district. I wish more were like Jared.