Thursday, September 07, 2006


Secular Coalition Grades 109th Congress

The Secular Coalition for America today released its House and Senate Scorecards of the 109th Congress. The SCA, an advocacy group for atheists, humanists, freethinkers, and other nontheists, provides roll-call votes to demonstrate the members' commitment to the separation of church and state and their willingness to protect the interests of the nontheistic community.

The scorecards cover votes taken from January 2005 until August 2006. The SCA used ten key votes in both the House and Senate. Votes include: allowing organizations that receive federal funds to discriminate based on religion; promoting narrow religious beliefs over secular needs in science, marriage contracts, and the military; the confirmation of judicial appointees who seek to weaken the protections provided by the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment; and, stripping federal courts of their ability to decide constitutional issues.

In the House, only seven members of Congress earned a perfect score of 100 percent: Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.), Barney Frank (D-Mass.), Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio), Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), Jim McDermott (D-Wash.), Pete Stark (D-Calif.), and Lynn Woolsey (D-Calif.). From their records these Representatives demonstrate their strong support for the separation of church and state and the protection of minority rights.

"With the political strength of the religious right and the irrational demonizing of the nontheist community, I am very proud of these members of Congress," SCA Director Lori Lipman Brown said. "Our republican form of government was designed to protect the rights of individuals and minorities over the whims of the majority. It is very sad that so few members of Congress fully live up to the ideals embodied in our Constitution."

The scorecards, with voting descriptions and ratings of the members of Congress, can be found at the SCA website:

The Secular Coalition for America is a Washington-based advocacy organization for atheists, humanists, freethinkers, and other nontheistic Americans. SCA's mission is to increase the visibility and respectability of nontheistic viewpoints in the United States and to protect and strengthen the secular character of our government as the best guarantee of freedom for all.


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