Rep. Jared Huffman Comes Out As a Non-Believer
Rep. Jared Huffman, a California Democratic Congressman, in an interview, announced he identifies as a humanist, and he believes there is “too much religion” in the politics of United States.
He says too many Republicans, including President Donald Trump and Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos use religion negatively as a political tool. “I’ve seen religion wielded in such negative ways around here, lately. Trump does it all the time, so implausible,” he declares.
In his interview with The Washington Post, Huffman says for years, he has been leaving the religion column in questionnaires blank, or wrote “none of your business.” The 53-year-old Congressman is also strongly against “religious tests” and the perceived idea that in order to appeal to constituents, politicians have to be religious. With this announcement, Huffman is now among only nine Congress members to leave their spiritual profiles blank.
“I don’t believe in religious tests, and I don’t believe my religion is all that important to the people I represent,” he says. “I think there’s too much religion in politics. For those reasons I felt good about not even answering it.” Even though he is “non-religious,” he says he is not hostile towards religion. Neither does he judge other people for their religious views.
Regarding him going public with his stance on religion and politics, he explains that it no longer feels like the right decision to just ignore the question, perhaps because of the current landscape. “Because your religious views can speak to your moral and ethical framework on the world. And that is something I think the public is entitled to know.”
Another reason he does not identify as an atheist, but rather a humanist is because “he is not completely closing the door to spiritual possibilities.” Even so, some humanists are in total denial of the possibility of religious or supernatural influences. Huffman clarifies that just like how some people have had experiences they believe to be truly divine, he is also open to such experiences happening to him.
As of now, Congressman Huffman appears to be the second Congress member, after retired Democrat Pete Stark, to go on contemporary record and make known that his ethical system is not God-based.