The Lamp

Where truth can be shared.

A Dubious Honor

Posted by thelamp on April 2, 2007

Usually, being the first to accomplish a task or make a mark in a particular field is worthy of accolades. Not so in the case of U.S. Rep. Pete Stark. Last week, the California Democrat became the first congressman in American history to publicly acknowledge that he is an atheist. Secular groups applauded the news, of course. The announcement even prompted the American Humanist Association to place an ad in the Washington Post recognizing Stark as the highest-ranking elected official to ever disavow the Lord.

Instead of being commended for his honest declaration, however, Stark should be the recipient of an onslaught of sympathy cards. Indeed, being the highest-ranking nonbeliever is a dubious distinction. Those who know God and have experienced His love for the world – which He created – should pray for the congressman to have an encounter with God so that he, too, can experience love and everlasting life.

Roy Speckhardt, the American Humanist Association’s executive director, had this to say, “With Stark’s courageous public announcement of his nontheism, it is our hope that he will become an inspiration for others who have hidden their conclusions for far too long.”

It’s disheartening enough that anyone would deny God, but it does not bode well for America’s future when a publicly elected official steps forward with such a revelation. Consider why Stark made his atheistic beliefs known. An association of eight humanist and atheist groups known as the Secular Coalition for America offered $1,000 to the person who could name the “highest-level atheist, agnostic, humanist or any other kind of nontheist currently holding elected public office in the United States.”

An adage has it that there is security in numbers. One has stood to be counted. Know this, others will follow, and collectively they will intensify the assault on the nation’s biblically based policies. Stark, who is chairman of the health subcommittee of the House Ways and Means Committee, said as much. “I look forward to working with the Secular Coalition to stop the promotion of narrow religious beliefs in science, marriage contracts, the military and the provision of social services,” Stark said last week in a prepared statement.

Stark has served in Congress since 1973.



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