Monday, October 30, 2006

Congressional “Secularist” Quotient

The Missional Church Network

Congressional “Secularist” Quotient

Secular Coalition rates secular quality of U.S. Congress

By: BOB ELLIS Dakota Voice
September 12, 2006

A scorecard of Godly and Godless congressional members is now available. Compiled by the Secular Coalition for America, the scorecards were based on ten key votes of the following type:

- allowing faith-based organizations receiving federal funds for secular programs to determine their associations based on like faith;

- allowing faith values to influence votes on science, marriage and military matters; confirmation of judicial appointees who don’t ascribe to the myth of “separation of church and state”;

- and votes that would limit the jurisdiction of federal courts in certain areas such as religious freedom.

Here in South Dakota, Senator Tim Johnson (D) was scored at 70% secular, while Senator John Thune (R) was found to be 0% secular. Rep. Stephanie Herseth (D) received a 40% secular rating.

Senators who scored perfectly secular scores were:

Richard Durbin (D-OH),
Evan Bayh (D-IN),
Barbara Mikulski (D-MD),
Paul Sarbanes (D-MD),
Edward Kennedy (D-MA),
John Kerry (D-MA),
Carl Levin (D-MI),
Debbie Stabenow (D-MI),
Mark Dayton (D-MN),
Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV),
Robert Menendez (D-NJ),
Hillary Clinton (D-NY),
Charles Schumer (D-NY), Ron Wyden (D-OR),
Jack Reed (D-RI),
Patrick Leahy (D-VT),
Patty Murray (D-WA), and
Russ Feingold (D-WI).

Senators with a 0% secular rating were:

Jeff Sessions (R-AL),
Jon Kyl (R-AZ),
Wayne Allard (R-CO),
Mel Martinez (R-FL),
Saxby Chambliss (R-GA),
Johnny Isakson (R-GA),
Larry Craig (R-ID),
Mike Crapo (R-ID),
Chuck Grassley (R-IA),Sam Brownback (R-KS),
Pat Roberts (R-KS),
Jim Bunning (R-KY),
Mitch McConnell (R-KY),
David Vitter (R-LA),
Norm Coleman (R-MN),
Kit Bond (R-MO),
Jim Talent (R-MO),
Conrad Burns (R-MT),
Chuck Hagel (R-NE),
Ben Nelson (D-NE),
John Ensign (R-NV),
Pete Domenici (R-NM),
Elizabeth Dole (R-NC),
Mike DeWine (R-OH),
George Voinovich (R-OH),
Tom Coburn (R-OK),
James Inhofe (R-OK),
Rick Santorum (R-PA),
Jim DeMint (R-SC),
Lindsey Graham (R-SC),
John Cornyn (R-TX),
George Allen (R-VA),
Mike Enzi (R-WY) and
Craig Thomas (R-WY).

Overall, 36% of senators received a 0% secular rating while only 17% received a 100% secular rating; the rest were somewhere in the middle.

In the House, 162, or 37%, of the 435 members received a 0% secular rating, but only 7, or 1.6%, received a 100% secular rating.

While these numbers illustrate that there are more members of congress who aren’t afraid to honor America’s Christian heritage than those who would suppress it, they only constitute about 1/3 of the legislative branch. This could help explain why religious freedom and public acknowledgment of faith are on the decline in the United States.

The Secular Coalition for America is a nonprofit organization that seeks to “amplify the diverse and growing voice of the nontheistic community in the United States.”

Coalition members include the:
- American Humanist Association, the
- Atheist Alliance International, the
- Freedom From Religion Federation, and the
- Institute for Humanist Studies.

The Secular Coalition forAmerica is based in Washington, D.C. and lobbies Congress to secularize America is based in Washington, D.C. and lobbies Congress to secularize America.


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