More atheists in Congress... (write your reps!)

Apparently, there are some 28 atheists in Congress, only one of which is open about their atheist views.

Personally, through a wide variety of inputs (perhaps I've written about these?  And/or perhaps I will (more) in the future), I've come to the conclusion that only an open atheist is really in the best of positions to be a legislator.

As such, I've just written to Jim McDermott, my representative in the House, the following message (which says a little more about why I hold this position):

Dear Congressperson McDermott, 
I've been voting for you for the last several years, and I've seen you speak a few times, and generally I must say: I like what you're doing. Which means I'm inclined to want to see you continue to represent me in congress. 
However, there's a point where I'd like to be more represented, where I'm less sure about how well you represent me: 
I'm a staunch believer in evidence and reason for deciding truth, and as such, my reason and the best evidence I've been able to find so far leads me to being a fairly strong believer in the absence of a personal god, or really pretty much any deity, though one does have to carefully define ones terms before one can reasonably have the conversation. 
At any rate, I've further come to the belief that I strongly want those who represent me in government to have a similar position, and take it openly.  For I feel there are basically two main possibilities for someone (and particular, someone in congress) who identifies as a religious believer (and specifically a believer in a personal god - which may or may not be you?  I'll get back to that): 
1. That this someone either has not looked at, or is ignoring (for whatever reason or reasons), the evidence for non-theistic explanations of the way the world works, and evidence against the existence of a personal god; or
2. Someone who has examined the evidence, and doesn't believe in a personal god, but for whatever reason or reasons (and there are some arguably good ones; cf. a talk on this topic by Daniel Dennett[1]), has chosen to lie about it. 
In the former case, I'd worry about this person's ability to use evidence and reason to make good decisions about how to interact with the world, especially when making policy decisions as my representative in congress. 
In the latter case, I'd worry about the mental hoops this person has to jump through in order to lie to me and others, and about what else they might be able and willing to lie about in the course of their service. 
In either case, I'd much prefer a representative who had examined the evidence, concluded that a personal god did not exist, and was then able and willing to openly admit to this. 
Now, according to wikipedia, you're a member of the Episcopal church.  According to the same page, you also led a recitation of the pledge of allegiance, rightly (in my opinion) omitting the added words "under God".  I've done a little bit of searching, and don't immediately find more information on your actual beliefs in this area... 
So I ask you: 
Are you, privately, an atheist? 
If so, I simply ask you to consider "coming out", and making your atheism public. 
If not, I ask you to consider the evidence (as presented, e.g., by Victor J. Stenger[2]) that exists against the hypothesis that a god exists, and if you find it convincing, to then consider my "if so" statement again. 
Either way, if you're willing to speak candidly (either in direct correspondence with me, or publicly) about your beliefs, or if you have in the past and can point me at some record of such, I would greatly appreciate hearing your views.  The one thing I will ask you NOT to do is to tell me that you're a believer if in fact, deep inside, you are not.  If you will keep your non-belief hidden, I can respect that (to some degree).  If you truly do believe, well, I'd again ask you to look more closely at the evidence, and/or I'd be happy to have a conversation with you about it, should you wish to do so.  If you disbelieve and explicitly say otherwise, though, then I have real trouble with that.  So I ask you not to do so. 
With respect and continued support, 
- David Lindes, a Seattle constituent.

[1] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BvJZQwy9dvE 
[2] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/God:_The_Failed_Hypothesis

Now, I ask you to do something similar.  Write it in your own words, to your own representatives (whether in the senate or the house, or ideally both; perhaps I'll follow up with Murray and Cantwell, as well).  If you'd like to link to this blog post, feel free, but mostly, just write, OK?

Thank you for reading.

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