***Update*** (Sep. 1): Some of you have been wondering how the scoring system works. The Secular Coalition explains the process in this post.
Only 5 members of Congress — all Democrats in the House — received an “A” grade on the Secular Coalition for America’s 2014 Congressional Report Card.
First, the U.S. House of Representatives:
Grade A: 5 Democrats, 0 Republicans
Grade B: 34 Democrats, 0 Republicans
Grade C: 127 Democrats, 13 Republicans
Grade D: 32 Democrats, 83 Republicans
Grade F: 3 Democrats, 137 Republicans
(One Rep was not included.)
The grades were based on the representatives’ votes on 8 different issues, including recognizing the National Day of Prayer (SCA was against it) and Darwin Day (SCA was for it).
The only Representatives to get the top grade were Mike Honda (D-CA), Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DCAL), Hank Johnson (D-GA), Chuck Rangel (D-NY), and Steve Cohen (D-TN).And the Senate?
Grade A: 0 Democrats, 0 Republicans, 0 Independent
Grade B: 13 Democrats, 0 Republicans, 1 Independent
Grade C: 25 Democrats, 0 Republican, 0 Independent
Grade D: 13 Democrats, 9 Republicans, 0 Independent
Grade F: 2 Democrats, 36 Republicans, 1 Independent
Those grades were based on how Senators voted on 9 issues, including the WWII Memorial Prayer Bill Act and the State Marriage Defense Act of 2014 (SCA was against both).
“The drastic drop in total ‘F’ grades from 315 to 179 in just one year indicates Congress is feeling the winds of change on church-state separation issues, but there is still a lot of work to be done” said Kelly Damerow, the Interim Executive Director of the Secular Coalition for America. “With nonreligious and nonbelieving Americans on track to be the largest religious affiliation come election time in 2016, a race to the middle on these issues won’t cut it.”
The 2016 elections can’t come soon enough at this point.