Perhaps the greatest disparity between the religious makeup of Congress and the people it represents, however, is in the percentage of the unaffiliated - those who describe their religion as atheist, agnostic or “nothing in particular.” According to information gathered by CQ Roll Call and the Pew Forum, no members of Congress say they are unaffiliated. By contrast, about one-sixth of U.S. adults (16%) are not affiliated with any particular faith. Only six members of the 112th Congress (about 1%) do not specify a religious affiliation, which is similar to the percentage of the public that says they don’t know or refuses to specify their faith.
The House isn’t very representative, is it?
Jamelle Bouie offers a theory or two on the case of the missing nonbelievers.
The underlying reality is that atheists remain the most unpopular minority group in America. This data dates to before the 2008 Presidential election, but the relative rankings of different groups is clear: “Fully 53% state that they would not vote a for an atheist candidate nominated by their own party, as compared to 43% who would refuse to vote for a homosexual candidate, 24% for a Mormon, 12% for a Hispanic, 11% for a woman, and single digit percentages who would refuse to support a black, Jewish, or Catholic candidate.”
In happier news, Eric Cantor remains the sole member of the Republican Jewish Caucus, which is as it should be.