The Catholic League’s Bill Donohue is the latest conservative to have an aneurysm over the formation of the Congressional Freethought Caucus. And just as you’d expect, since Donohue has nothing to actually complain about, he made everything up.
Of the 535 members of Congress, we can count on one hand how many members there are: four. There are probably more left-handed vegans on Capitol Hill than that.
There are actually five members, including Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA), who announced her participation on Twitter but wasn’t mentioned in the press releases. And this thing just got off the ground, so more members may be coming soon.
But this is also a weird thing to complain about. Donohue can’t seem to decide if he wants to mock the number of members or whine about how powerful they are.
So who are the members of the Congressional Freethought Caucus? Not surprisingly, they are all Democrats (this is the Party that threw God out of the 2012 Platform): Jared Huffman and Jerry McNerney of California, Jamie Raskin of Maryland, and Dan Kildee of Michigan. Huffman and Raskin are humanists who don’t believe in God. McNerney and Kildee tell their constituents that they are Catholic; they need to update their resume.
No they don’t. This isn’t an “atheist club.” This is a caucus for people who support reason and evidence-based policies, separation of church and state, and want to help protect atheists from religious discrimination. There’s no reason religious representatives, including Republicans, couldn’t join the group.
As for Democrats throwing God from their platform, Donohue doesn’t offer details or links for a reason. What happened was that a reference to helping people achieve their “God-given potential,” which was in the Democrats’ 2008 platform, had been removed in 2012. Keep in mind there was still a whole section on the importance of faith. But the right-wing lie about how Democrats supposedly kicked God out of their party spooked some leaders and party leaders quickly (and haphazardly) voted those words back in.
Donohue also says CFC members aren’t really pro-science since they’re in favor of abortion rights. You try making sense of that.
There’s also the part about how CFC members don’t truly care about religious discrimination since they have no “record of opposing discrimination against practicing Christians.” Spoiler: That’s because Christian persecution in the U.S. doesn’t exist.
The data do not feed the narrative that the “nones” are mostly atheists, or that they have given up on God. Which means the Gang of Four who comprise the Atheist Club are less representative of America than either they, or the media, believe.
I have no clue what he’s going on about. Everyone who’s ever looked at those surveys knows that the “Nones” are primarily religious people without an organized religion. But they do generally share views with atheists when it comes to social and political issues.
Using the 2014 survey Donohue cited, 7.1% of Americans are atheists or agnostics. If we wanted that kind of representation in Congress, we’re talking about 38 members of the CFC.
Donohue thinks the “Gang of Four who comprise the Atheist Club” are overselling their demographic in Washington. It’s really the opposite.
Recruiting new members will not be easy. How many people want to join a club where everyone sits around discussing why they believe in nothing? Can’t imagine it taking too long.
“That’s hilarious, dad,” said nobody.
Want to know why the Congressional Freethought Caucus exists? It’s to push back against people like Donohue who continue spreading lies about non-religious people. It’s to fight those religious groups who have plenty of power — and use it to their advantage — all while complaining about how hard it is to be them.
Donohue is just ranting without researching. There’s nothing wrong with the CFC, but any faith-based caucus not trashing atheists is considered a threat to Catholics like him.
(Screenshot via YouTube. Thanks to Sean for the link)