Letter to Rep and Senators Regarding New Congressional Freethought Caucus

The following letter has just been posted to the following Congresspersons:

  • Congresswoman Marcia Fudge
  • Senator Sherrod Brown
  • Senator Rob Portman

and will be shortly followed by hard-copy letters sent by US Mail:

As you well know, the United States was established as a secular nation.  There is no mention of any form of deity in our Constitution, and where religion is mentioned, the government is restricted from using religion in any kind of discriminatory form.  Over the years, various religious interests have approached the government with the desire to be heard, sometimes within the bounds of state / church separation and sometimes not, and it may be rightly said that religion in general and Christianity in particular has found a pied a terre with some Congresspersons.  One group which has not generally been afforded such access or attention are those of us who do not subscribe to any religious belief.  To address that oversight, House Representatives Huffman, Raskin, McNerney and Kildee have recently launched something new: the Congressional Freethought Caucus.

The Freethought Caucus has four very straightforward goals it wishes to achieve:

  1. To promote public policy formed on the basis of reason, science and moral values
  2. To protect the secular character of the government by adhering to the strict constitutional principle of the separation of church and state
  3. To oppose discrimination against atheists, agnostics, humanists, seekers, religious and nonreligious persons, and to champion the value of freedom of thought and conscience worldwide
  4. To provide a forum for members of Congress to discuss their moral frameworks, ethical values and personal religious journeys.

As a retired engineer, freethinker, and atheist, myself, I find these goals to be well thought out and desirable, and at the same time, not at all at odds with what a religious person might also wish to pursue.  I submit that it was the intent of the founding fathers to treat all Americans equally, regardless of belief or lack of belief.  Religious favoritism of any sort should be anathema to our government, as expressed in the First Amendment.  Further, US citizens should have confidence that the policies enacted by our government are religion-neutral, not favoring one belief system over another and that they are founded on rational considerations.

That said, I urge you to join the Freethought Caucus and support its work and goals, to better insure the egalitarian nature which should be the hallmark of the United States of America.

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Replies to This Discussion

Loren, as you do so powerfully, you make the case for "US citizens should have confidence that the policies enacted by our government are religion-neutral, not favoring one belief system over another and that they are founded on rational considerations."

I know the answer, but may I send a copy of your letter to my Congresspeople, make appropriate personal changes? 

Please do so, Joan.  This is one organization where, in this time, membership or lack thereof make a powerful statement, one very positive, one not so much!

Well, ye gods and little fishes!  I just now heard back from Sherrod Brown regarding the above:

Dear Mr. Miller:

Thank you for getting in touch with me about joining the Congressional Freethought Caucus Caucus. I have asked a member of my staff to obtain more information.

Issue-specific caucuses allow Congressional Members and their staff to coalesce around certain topics of interest. Even without becoming a member of a caucus, my staff and I benefit from the many resources and educational opportunities provided by the various Congressional Caucuses.

Thank you again for contacting me.

Sincerely,

Sherrod Brown
United States Senator


It may not be the most rousing of endorsements, but at least he responded, which is more than I can say for the other two addressees to this point.  Whether this amounts to a genuine foot-in-the-door or not, I don't know.  What I do know is that Senator Brown has demonstrated a willingness to be open to new things over the years, and maybe this is the beginning of yet another new thing that he might gain from.

We'll see.

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