Secular Coalition for America Gives Elizabeth Colbert Busch an ‘A’ Rating

On May 7th, Elizabeth Colbert Busch (D) will run against Mark Sanford (R) and Eugene Platt (Green) in the special election for South Carolina’s 1st congressional district.

The Secular Coalition for America — a non-partisan group — just released their report card of the candidates based on their public responses to matters concerning church/state separation. And, in this race, Colbert Busch received the highest grade while Sanford failed miserably (PDF):

“While voters choose candidates for many reasons and based on many issues, we hope the Secular Coalition’s scorecard will be one more tool they use to inform their decision,” said Edwina Rogers, executive director of the Secular Coalition for America. “We will continue to work at the federal and state level to curb legislation based on religion and to hold our politicians accountable to our nation’s core founding principle of secularism.”

The district is heavily Republican, but Colbert Busch is in a very close race and has one hell of a supporter on her side…



About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the chair of Foundation Beyond Belief and a high school math teacher in the suburbs of Chicago. He began writing the Friendly Atheist blog in 2006. His latest book is called The Young Atheist's Survival Guide.

  • brian dean

    Platt scored an ‘F’, an ‘A’ and “Not Available” – to say that averages a ‘B’ suggests the grader is anti-republican – nothing wrong with that in general, but I figured a math guy like Hemant would comment on it.

    • Michael

      Going by the thresholds in the pdf, if a candidate only has two categories listed and is equally good in one and bad in the other then they will average 1.50 / 3.00 which is the bottom threshold of a B.

      But it does intuitively feel like the methodology is biased in favour of people with a single N/A.

      • http://abb3w.livejournal.com/ abb3w

        It also seems a quite odd conversion of letters to numbers being used in the methodology.

        • Michael

          Agreed, A,B,C,F is odd. I expect it’s taken from some other system which uses it for historical reasons.

    • Baby_Raptor

      Actually, that suggests that you need to brush up on your math skills. Or at least read the entire thing before crying persecution.

    • 3lemenope

      I think it really just suggests that averaged grades are not very useful. A person who gets flying colors for one thing and an abysmal record for the other really doesn’t have an average record, they have a highly uneven one; something strongly distinct from a person getting average grades on both items. This is especially true when the subjects of the items being averaged together are qualitatively distinct.

    • http://abb3w.livejournal.com/ abb3w

      Not so much anti-Republican as pro-Green.

  • duke_of_omnium

    It helps that she’s running against a guy whose staff called his Argentine mistress “the Appalachian Trail”


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