The Humanist Resource Connection is dedicated to organizing resources that foster the understanding, discussion, advocacy and application of the principles of secular Humanism.
Transcript of Congressman Pete Stark's speech at Reason Rally 2012
The following is the text of Congressman Pete Stark's speech at the Reason Rally, held Saturday, March 24, 2012 on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. The full video of the speech can be found here.
Hi, it's great to join you and your Reason Rally today. I'm Congressman Pete Stark and I represent the East Bay in the San Francisco area of California and, as many of you know, I'm considered the highest ranking politician in the country who does not believe in a Supreme Being.
When I made this fact known about five years ago, people said it would be political suicide. Hardly. I received over 5,000 emails and contacts from around the world, almost all of them were supportive and said it was a courageous act. It wasn't courageous, I just said what I believe. About 500 of them didn't agree with me. They felt I needed religion in my life and they offered to pray for me. Never have I been criticized so nicely in my political life.
I represent perhaps the most religiously diverse district in the country in the East Bay of San Francisco and my constituents, however, are concerned about all the other things we need to do: about jobs, about the environment, about education for our children. These are the important things that are troubling them, not whether they go to the temple or the mosque or the church. That isn't on their minds.
A public servant doesn't need to believe in God or any other religious character to do an efficient job to bring about changes in the world that are necessary. I've noticed that ironically the more a member of Congress talks about religion, the less they do to help people. So many bad things are done in the name of religion, like going to war, which we'd all like to end. And so I hope that you have today, that you enjoy celebrating reason. We have a lot of work to do to maintain the separation of church and state and I'm pleased to be with you to encourage you to continue your work as we will all continue to work toward getting Congress to be more constitutional and a true democracy.
Thanks for being here today.
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