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the god who wasn't there
My most recent film, The God Who Wasn't There, is available on DVD at the official site and elsewhere.

the god who wasn't there
Bat Boy: The Musical is currently being staged in productions of various sizes around the world. A movie adaptation directed by John Landis is in development, with no casting announced or shooting date set.

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My next feature film, Danielle, remains in development.

nothing so strange
Bill Gates is still dead.




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THIS ENTRY:
Who is that mysterious godless congressperson? According to nontheist lobbyist group the Secular Coalition for America, it's Congressman Pete Stark: There is only one member of Congress who is on record as not holding a god-belief. Rep. Pete Stark (D-Calif.),...


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March 12, 2007

Rep. Pete Stark (D-CA), nontheist. Apparently.

Who is that mysterious godless congressperson?

According to nontheist lobbyist group the Secular Coalition for America, it's Congressman Pete Stark:

There is only one member of Congress who is on record as not holding a god-belief.

Rep. Pete Stark (D-Calif.), a member of Congress since 1973, acknowledged his nontheism in response to an inquiry by the Secular Coalition for America (www.secular.org ). Rep. Stark is a senior member of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee and is Chair of the Health Subcommittee.

Although the Constitution prohibits religious tests for public office, the Coalition's research reveals that Rep. Stark is the first open nontheist in the history of the Congress.

And his office is thrilled! I was about to donate money to Stark's campaign fund when I thought I would call to confirm the information.

My call to the congressman's Washington office at 10 a.m. PT today:

Q: I just read a press release from the Secular Coalition for America. Is Congressman Stark an atheist?

A: Not that I'm aware of.

Q: Are you aware of the press release?

A: No.

Q: It says here in the press release, "Rep. Pete Stark, a member of Congress since 1973, acknowledged his nontheism in response to an inquiry by the Secular Coalition for America." You're not aware of this?

A: Not personally, no.

No "I'll check on that" or "You may want to check with..." Just a distinctly unenthusiastic, "Not that I'm aware of." Doesn't mean it's not true, of course. But I'm not expecting Rep. Stark's office to put out a press release of their own any time soon.

UPDATE (11:30 a.m. 3-12-07): Just got some more specifics. Our first godless congressman is...a member of a church! Stark is a Unitarian.

I got the details from our tireless godless lobbyist, Lori Lipman Brown at the Secular Coalition for America. Lori was surprised that the staffer at Stark's office wasn't aware of the press release, as the SCA coordinated with Stark's press team and they approved the release.

More details from Lori: In a questionnaire submitted by the SCA, Congressman Stark answered "Yes" to the statement "I am a nontheist," a term the questionnaire defined as "a humanist, atheist or other freethinker who does not believe in a supreme being or beings." Stark also answered "Yes" to a question asking if the SCA could publicize his answers.

However, Stark does not identify with the term "atheist."

Here's the rundown on the four politicians mentioned in the press release. In bold are the terms these politicians were willing to use to describe their religious beliefs:

--Terry S. Doran, School Board President, Berkeley, Calif.: "Atheist, humanist, Bright."

--Nancy Glista, School Committee Member, Franklin, Maine: "Atheist, humanist, freethinker."

--Michael Cerone, Town Meeting Member, Arlington, Mass.: "Atheist."

--Pete Stark, Congressperson, 13th District Calif.: "Unitarian."

The Unitarian Universalist Church accommodates both god-belief and godlessness.

Baby steps...

You can donate to Stark's re-election fund here.

You can donate to the SCA here.





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