Pete Stark – Atheist

I’m sorry, but Pete Stark’s (D-CA) admission that he is an atheist doesn’t concern me as much as it seems to concern others. However, other bits in this announcement I find much more interesting.

The SCA said in a press release that Americans without a “God-belief” are more distrusted than any other minority group in the nation. The organization said that surveys suggest the majority of Americans would not vote for an atheist president even if he were the most qualified candidate.

Hmmm, now why would that be? Perhaps, those that have a “God-belief” have a basic structure of morality, outside of themselves, upon which their thoughts and actions can be judged upon, and hopefully their thoughts and actions will be in concert with¹.

Lori Brown of the SCA says:

It starts breaking down people’s misunderstandings of who we are when they start seeing that this person, who has served in Congress for over 30 years of exemplary service, may have a different belief system … but is a perfectly patriotic member of our society.

I remember Pete Stark from my life in California, not positively either. Just because a person has been in Congress for any length of time, does not make them patriotic, nor does it mean they served “exemplary”, it means that they have successfully negotiated the morass called elections. That’s it.

Now for a tad bit of intellectual honesty. According to the Unitarian Universalist Association, I can believe in God and still be a member. In fact, the Unitarian trumpet themselves as supporting religious (their words, not mine) self-expression, including believing in god (I won’t capitalize it, as their definition does not seem to meet either the Jewish non-Jesus or the Christian view of God).  Pete Stark, in an email to the New York Sun, did say he was an atheist Unitarian.  This boggles the mind.  Pete Stark, in his pew at his “religious” service at Unitarian, could very well sit next to some sort of theist.  A comment comes to mind from a non-practicing Jew who said, “Unitarians are those who want to be part of a church, but don’t want God to interfere.”

¹This goes back to the whole sin thing. We all have ideals, which we fall short of.»


  1. As an atheist with no moral code outside of myself, it’s a wonder that I haven’t killed more people. I just haven’t found the time.

    Check yer premise, pardner.

  2. Allen:

    I didn’t want to comment on this immediately after you posted, but I was also working on class stuff.

    With all due respect and love, perhaps you might wish to rethink your premise instead. Upon what is your (or the atheist) morality based? That is the question.

    There has be a strong presupposition by people such as Pete Stark, the SCA, Hitchens, et al that says see we are okay (such as your argument) therefore all is fine. However, you were raised in a strongly Christian environment almost from birth. Despite your unbelief, that is very much a part of who you are. Christopher Hitchens was also raised in such in an environment, and calls himself a cultural Christian.

    Much of the argument in regards to morality cannot be truly experienced as we already have an overriding “morality”, which, granted, is quickly changing, which is also the point.

    So let’s start with a blank slate. Somehow we have two tribes, neither have a moral code (doesn’t work in reality, I know). One is “bestowed” Christian morality, one is bestowed atheist morality. You and both know the general nature of Christian morality (although it is far too rarely practice fully, including by me), and have a general idea of what the tribe would look like.

    What would the atheist tribe look like? What is morality?

  3. Starlyth,

    Thank you for your considered response. My less than considered response was the result of my immediate reaction to reading your assertion that atheists have no morality. I took it personally and I should have not done so. For that I apologize.

    I’m having a very difficult time engaging this subject without once again sliding into an uncomfortable disposition. Let me say for now that I value our friendship much more than I value participating in this argument. I fear I lack the necessary finesse to put my views forward in writing without causing insult. I am, if nothing else, a snark machine… and I don’t want to be snarky with you (again). Perhaps we could discuss this in person sometime.

    Thank you for your patience, understanding, love and friendship.


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