Who’s Underrepresented in Congress? Baptists, Pentecostals and “No Religion”

Tuesday, January 18, 2011
Continental congress begins iwth a prayer September 7, 1774
There are no atheists in foxholes, and only one in the 112th Congress.
A survey of those serving in the U.S. House and Senate reveals only one member considers himself an atheist, agnostic or “nothing in particular”: Pete Stark (D-California) This is in contrast to the general population of the country, of which 16% falls into the non-religious category.
There also are some religious denominations that are underrepresented in the new Congress. Baptists make up 17.2% of the nation, but only 12.7% of politicians on Capitol Hill. Pentecostals account for 4.4% of Americans, but are not represented at all.
Those overrepresented include Episcopalians (8% Congress; 2% nation), Presbyterians (8% vs. 3%) and Jews (7.3% Congress; 1.7% nation).
The majority of representatives and senators are Protestant (57%), which is somewhat higher than the U.S. rate of 51%. The second largest group is Catholics, who make up 23.9% of American adults, but 29.2% of Congress.
These numbers contrast with the Supreme Court, which includes six Catholic members, three Jewish members and no Protestants.
-Noel Brinkerhoff
Faith on the Hill (Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life)


Lisa Smith 13 years ago
thank god. the baptists and pentecostals are some of the most dysfunctional people in the country. congress is dysfunctional enough without adding more unstable folks to its membership. at least, the supreme court gets it right.

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