Can’t say I’m upset! Let the increasing “nones” have the day for a change. Other than a brief period when I became a born-again, I’ve been a “none” since I emancipated myself from church when I was 12. That’s decades ago, so I guess I’m ahead of the curve, influenced at a young age by the secular American Founding Fathers such as Jefferson, Franklin and Paine (the “forgotten” FF).

As many have told me who have felt liberated after reading my work, there is nothing better mentally than being a freethinker, which means one is allowed to think freely, especially as concerns religious matters. My definition of “freethought”:

“the liberty to question and doubt unscientific and uncritical beliefs, especially as concerns religion.”

This ability to think freely, however, does not mean restricting oneself to atheistic views, as such restraint obviously would not represent freethought. In “true freethought,” so to speak, it is no one else’s business what one is thinking inside one’s own head, so long as it doesn’t spill out deleteriously onto others.

Number of Lawmakers Who Don’t Identify With a Religion Is on the Rise

The number is hardly huge but it still marks quite the change from three decades ago. In the early 1980s, not a single member of Congress publicly said he or she didn’t belong to a particular religious affiliation or refused to disclose their religion. In the 113th Congress, that number has increased to 10, according to an analysis by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life.  Even though around one-in-five U.S. adults describe themselves as atheist, agnostic of “nothing in particular,” only one member of the new Congress has publicly taken on that label. But 10 other members of the 113th Congress, or around 2 percent, “do not specify a religious affiliation,” marking an increase from six members from the previous Congress.

“The numbers here caught my eye,” writes Politico’s Charles Mahtesian, “not because of the disparity between non-believers in the general population and in Congress, but because I was surprised so many members actually admitted to it.” Religious affiliation for politicians without a religion is a very sensitive issue but the Pew poll seems to show that “the taboo about religious identification is being broken and members of Congress are increasingly comfortable admitting they don’t adhere to any particular faith,” writes Mahtesian.

Further Reading

Did George Washington and Thomas Jefferson Believe Jesus was a Myth?
Separation of Religion and State (forum thread)
Study: Atheists Most Discriminated Minority
Freethought: Euphemism for Atheism?
Freethought Gear designed by D.M. Murdock/Acharya S