June 26, 2005


Kevin Drum discovers that the governor of California from 1939-43 was a devout atheist--the president of the United Secularists of America.

Ain't that a hoot? The president of the United Secularists of America probably couldn't get elected dogcatcher in Berkeley, let alone governor of California these days. How times change.

I think he's right about forthright atheists. (And I think that's shocking. I disagree pretty strongly with this, but I think the fact that about half of Americans tell pollsters they wouldn't vote for an atheist for president is pretty virulent prejudice.)

But--Rocky Anderson, the two-term mayor of Salt Lake City, has no organized religion. That doesn't mean he's an atheist--he says he's had profound spiritual experiences (via here--but it surprised me. I think one of the factors may be that in Salt Lake City about half the population is non-LDS, and in the face of a single extremely well-entrenched religion we were particularly likely to rally around someone secular.

Posted by Matt Weiner at June 26, 2005 11:58 AM