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Congressman Jamie Raskin

Representing the 8th District of Maryland

Reps. Huffman, Raskin, McNerney, & Kildee Launch Congressional Freethought Caucus

April 30, 2018
Press Release

(WASHINGTON, D.C.)-Representatives Jared Huffman (D-CA), Jamie Raskin (D-MD), Jerry McNerney (D-CA), and Dan Kildee (D-MI) announced the launch of the Congressional Freethought Caucus to promote sound public policy based on reason, science, and moral values, protect the secular character of our government, and champion the value of freedom of thought worldwide.

“I’m thrilled to be a co-founder of the new Congressional Freethought Caucus, which will help spark an open dialogue about science and reason-based policy solutions, and the importance of defending the secular character of our government,” said Rep. Huffman. “There currently is no forum focused on these important issues, and with this Administration and certain members of Congress constantly working to erode the separation of church and state, this new caucus is both important and timely.”

“This is historic,” said Rep. Raskin. “Two-and-a-half centuries after the Founders of our country separated church and state and guaranteed the individual freedoms of thought, conscience, speech and worship, it is a high honor to be a co-founder and member of the Congressional Freethought Caucus, which is organizing to defend these principles and values against continuing attack. We face a constant undertow in Congress of dangerous efforts to stifle science and promote official religious dogma and orthodoxy. Our job is to remind Congress of the kind of Enlightenment Republic that Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, John Adams, Tom Paine, Ben Franklin, Abraham Lincoln, Susan B. Anthony, Franklin D. Roosevelt and John F. Kennedy were fighting for and to seek a democracy that protects both the rights of individual conscience and worship and the central role of reason, science and morality in the making of public policy.” 

“As co-founder of the Freethought Caucus, I believe strongly in the separation of church and state, and as a scientist, I understand clearly the need to bring rational decision-making to Congress for the good of our nation,” said Rep. McNerney.

The Caucus will be co-chaired by Reps. Huffman and Raskin.

The Congressional Freethought Caucus has four main goals: 1) to promote public policy formed on the basis of reason, science, and moral values; 2) to protect the secular character of our government by adhering to the strict Constitutional principle of the separation of church and state; 3) to oppose discrimination against atheists, agnostics, humanists, seekers, religious and nonreligious persons, and to champion the value of freedom of thought and conscience worldwide; and 4) to provide a forum for members of Congress to discuss their moral frameworks, ethical values, and personal religious journeys.