James Woods Could Be America’s First Openly Atheist Congressman

If James Woods wins Arizona’s Congressional District 5, then he’ll be the nation’s first Congressman to openly campaign as a humanist. He would also be the first blind member of Congress in over a century, having lost his eyesight to a MRSA infection seven years ago. Regarding his views, Woods says that “Humanism requires that we treat everyone with dignity and respect. That we stand up for equality. That we govern compassionately. That we listen to what people need. We need to shift toward progressive Humanist values to address human suffering.”

His campaign is a long shot, seeking to unseat incumbent Rep. Matt Salmon. Also, running as an atheist in America remains a dicy prospect. A study by Gallup found humanists to be America’s “most unelectable group,” with only 54 percent of voters saying they’d be willing to even consider an atheist presidential candidate. And that’s saying nothing of a study from the University of Minnesota, which found atheists to be America’s most mistrusted minority group, …

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