Godless: Claiming there’s “too much religion in politics,” Rep. Jared Huffman announces that he does not believe in God, says that he is a “humanist.”
In a recent interview with The Washington Post, Huffman, a Democrat based in Northern California, came out of the closet, declaring:
I suppose you could say I don’t believe in God.
Rep. Huffman said that he’s a “non-believer, a skeptic,” going on to note that he identifies as a “humanist.”
The American Humanist organization explains humanism:
Humanism is a progressive philosophy of life that, without theism and other supernatural beliefs, affirms our ability and responsibility to lead ethical lives of personal fulfillment that aspire to the greater good of humanity.
Huffman explained that he was going public with his personal stance because he was tired of “religious tests” and the idea that lawmakers must be religious to appeal to constituents.
I don’t believe in religious tests, and I don’t believe my religion is all that important to the people I represent. And I think there’s too much religion in politics.
Huffman went on to criticize President Trump, and the power religious superstition currently wields in politics:
I’ve seen religion wielded in such negative ways around here, lately. [President] Trump does it all the time, so implausibly.
In the past, Huffman has hinted at his status as a non-believer, but never came out of the closet until now. In a memorable 2014 appearance on “The Colbert Report,” Huffman was teased by Colbert for leaving his religious status vague:
COLBERT: I see you’ve listed your religion as “Unspecified.”
COLBERT: Would you like to re-specify as Roman Catholic?
COLBERT: Door’s always open.
HUFFMAN: … nothing against Roman Catholics and I love your new Pope…
COLBERT: Thank you very much. “Unspecified.” C’mon, grow a pair. What is it? What is it? Are you an atheist?
HUFFMAN: I–I don’t know…
COLBERT: Agnostic then?
COLBERT: What is an Agnostic but an atheist without any balls?
HUFFMAN: [Awkwardly nods]
COLBERT: [Smiling] I see you’re choosing not to specify your response to that “Unspecified.” I’ll just put you down for heathen-slash-hellbound.
Huffman may be a heathen, but he’s also smart enough to know that there is no hell.
Bottom line: Jared Huffman, the U.S. Representative for California’s 2nd congressional district, does not believe in God, and more importantly, he is willing to say so publicly. In a more perfect world, this would not be newsworthy. However, our world is far from perfect.