A Thank-You Letter from Pete Stark

Now that Congressman Pete Stark has lost his re-election bid and Congresswoman-elect Kyrsten Sinema is running away from the A-word like it’s some kind of disease, there are no members of Congress who openly deny the existence of a higher power.

When Pete Stark’s campaign was in trouble, a lot of readers of this site pitched in to help out. It didn’t ultimately protect his seat — and one could argue it’s a good thing that money didn’t sway this election — but Stark wants you to know how much he appreciated our support.

Yesterday, I got this in the mail:

It’s addressed to me, but I can’t take credit for all your donations.

Stark will always mean a lot to our community because he didn’t shy away from saying he didn’t believe in a god. Many liberal members of Congress, as we’re already seeing, can’t bring themselves to do the same. It’s not the reason Stark lost the race — though his atheism was indeed used against him — so there’s hope that others will soon follow in his footsteps and declare their non-theism publicly, too.

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.

  • Tony Miller

    Class act.

  • http://friendlyatheist.com Richard Wade

    I will miss him. Despite the fact that his successor is a Democrat and represents part of my state, I will never support Swalwell because he used Pete’s non-belief against him, and he also pandered to the pious by voting for another meaningless reaffirmation of our alternate national motto national prayer, “In God We Trust.”

  • Keulan

    Sad to see him go. According to this, there were (before the election) 27 other atheist members of Congress. Not sure what those numbers might be when the new Congress is sworn in, but I wish one of them had the courage to be open about their atheism.

  • bernardaB

    There are probably a number of Republicans who are also non-believers. But it is unlikely they will come out of the closet.  I wouldn’t be surprised that among them are some who express the most fervent belief in the supernatural.

  • eonL5

    I hope you write to Swalwell and tell him how despicable it was of him to harp on Stark’s atheism. “No religious tests for public office” and all that, y’know. Disgrace to Democratic party (of which I am not a member — and part of the reason why I’m Independent).

  • http://friendlyatheist.com Richard Wade

    Oh, I let him have it 20 days ago, and so did many other people. http://www.swalwellforcongress.com/do_we_trust_pete_stark_to_represent_our_views  Enjoy them.

    He will probably dismiss and forget about us because he won, but we won’t forget about him. He’s a freshman in Congress, and he already has a growing category of people who dislike and distrust him, even in his own party.

  • http://twitter.com/frostylava Ted Letcher

    How can I send a letter to Pete Stark?