Congressman Jerrold Nadler’s Speech at the Secular Summit & Lobby Day

Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) spoke at the Secular Summit & Lobby Day sponsored by the Secular Coalition for America, and video of his speech is now online (as is Sen. Tom Harkin‘s address from last week).

Nadler has been a longtime critic of the government’s faith-based program. In 2010, he held hearings about taxpayer money going to “pervasively sectarian organizations” in the US House of Representatives Constitution Subcommittee, of which he’s a ranking member.

The video’s grainy, but the audio is just fine:

One particular highlight (8:20 mark):

Here in Congress, there is always pressure to have more official declarations of faith. Some of you might remember, for example, the debate a few years ago… the demand to place the words “In God We Trust” in the new Capitol Visitor Center. It’s there.

You sometimes hear from our colleagues careless references to the United States as a Christian nation. When called out on it, a member of the House or Senate will often correct himself and say he didn’t mean that. He was simply referring to our nation’s Judeo-Christian heritage… I would prefer these religious chauvinists… leave us Jews out.

The question-and-answer session starts around the 13:45 mark.

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.

  • DavidMHart

    And of course, if everyone starts acknowledging the third major branch of Abrahamic monotheism too, and talks about ‘Judeo-Christo-Islamic heritage’, then I’ll bet you’ll start hearing less of it :-)

  • Gus Snarp

    “I would prefer these religious chauvinists… leave us Jews out.”

    So. Much. Win. I love this guy!

  • MineApostasy

    Excellent speech.

    Also, as an aside, can we get everyone using a DSLR to turn their AF-sound off? I understand that you can’t help the shutter sound, but the constant beeping starts getting annoying just a few minutes in.


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