Obama vs Bush on Medical Marijuana »« What Alaskans Think of a Palin Presidential Campaign

Barney Frank Comes Out as An Atheist

A couple decades after he came out of the closet as gay, Barney Frank has finally come out even further and publicly admitted that he is an atheist on Bill Maher’s HBO show — but not even on the main show, but on the “overtime” segment that is only available online.

Friday August 2, former US Congressman Barney Frank appeared on HBO’s Real Time: With Bill Maher. During the “Overtime” segment which takes place online after the show ends, Frank came out of the closet as an atheist…

He then continued to discuss his atheism by stating:

“I had asked my governor to appoint me to the open Senate seat and he decided not to, and I was looking forward to having my husband Jim hold the Constitution, not the Bible, and affirm, not swear, that I was gonna be a wonderful Senator.”

It says a lot that he felt safer coming out as gay and had to wait until he was out of office to admit to being an atheist. Atheists do not, of course, have it anywhere near as bad as gay people in terms of discrimination, but politically it is safer, at least in the Democratic party, to be out as gay than out as an atheist. And so the struggle continues.

Comments

  1. Sili says

    the Republican Party is pretty much run by an atheist, Karl Rove.</blockquoteAh. But he's suitably apologetic about it.

  2. says

    Why is a politician’s religion, or lack thereof, an issue? Why is it even of interest? My focus is on the person’s views and, ultimately, on how s/he votes.

  3. Synfandel says

    Why do we always say that peope “admit” that they’re atheists, as if there were something shameful about it; as if it were comparable to admitting one has a drinking problem or that one once shoplifted or that one likes NASCAR? I don’t hear of anyone “admitting” that he’s a Presbyterian.

  4. Synfandel says

    I respect Barney Frank a great deal. I just wish my mental image of him didn’t keep morphing into Buddy Hackett.

  5. timberwoof says

    It is time to introduce the fnord “self-avowed practicing Christian” and use it everywhere to describe self-avowed practicing Christians.

  6. Reginald Selkirk says

    given that the Republican Party is pretty much run by an atheist, Karl Rove.

    Rove, whose middle name is Christian, disputes that.
    Karl Rove refutes atheist Christopher Hitchens’ claims

    Karl Rove defended his Christian faith against allegations of being a nonbeliever by British atheist and author Christopher Hitchens…
    n an email exchange with Kamy Akhavan of ProCon.org, Rove wrote “I called Mr. Hitchens after he made his erroneous statement and as the true gentlemen he is, he apologized. He has seen a quote in which I remarked on my admiration for the faith of White House colleagues which I felt was deeper and richer than mine and misquoted it. I am a practicing Christian who attends a bible-centered Episcopal church in Washington and an Anglican church in Texas.”

  7. raven says

    Why do we always say that peope “admit” that they’re atheists, as if there were something shameful about it; …

    I admit to being a Protestant for many decades and am proud to be an….ex-xian.

    Thanks to the xian terrorists, forced birthers, female slavers, and creationist xians.

  8. regexp says

    Frank was a bombastic goof who only showed some talent in financial matters but not without major conflicts of interest. And as a gay man – I can’t point to one thing that he did in Congress that actually helped the causes of gay men and women. He did more harm than good. I seriously doubt him coming out as an Atheist will help this cause as well. One wishes he would just quietly retire instead of putting his foot in his mouth time and time again.

  9. raven says

    Why do we always say that peope “admit” that they’re atheists, as if there were something shameful about it; …

    It’s not shame.

    It is a realistic fear.

    Some xians will discriminate, persecute, and terrorize atheists any way they can. I recall one story posted on FTB’s by a commenter, about moving to Afghanabama. IIRC, their yard was vandalized, and someone kidnapped their cat. It was returned, dead.

    In Missouri, someone killed an out atheist cat as well.

    Would Barney Frank have gotten elected as an atheist? Doubtful. You can run around on your wife like Sanford and then stalk her after the divorce, wreck the country like Bush, hunt for Unamerican Moslems in the government like Bachmann, be an out gay, but an atheist? Not yet.

    Up until a few centuries ago, being an atheist was a death penalty offense. It still would be if the xians could get away with it.

  10. Synfandel says

    In Missouri, someone killed an out atheist cat as well.

    No cat is an atheist. They all know that they’re gods.

  11. sqlrob says

    Why is a politician’s religion, or lack thereof, an issue? Why is it even of interest? My focus is on the person’s views and, ultimately, on how s/he votes.

    Maybe because that religion influences how they vote?

  12. sc_d38a5ca3c2de851660c7bb2d91ca8189 says

    @14

    +1

    I honestly don’t quite get how any gay person could not reject his religion, presuming that we’re talking about one of the world’s major heterosexist, patriarchal religions. Why would anybody want to belong to a religion that historically has decried one’s preferences as a sign that said person is an agent of Satan?

    …and that brings us to Andrew Sullivan. How does he do it? Well of course he picks and chooses what he believes to be the truth in Christianity and merrily ignores that part of it that says he’s going straight to hell. When I was young and naive I thought that to be religious required that one hold to the belief system of one’s religion. But apparently the Sullivan method, where one picks and chooses religious beliefs a la carte, is far more common.

    p.s. I really should re-login with a proper user name.

  13. Rick Desper says

    p.p.s. Hmm…getting rid of the random string of letters and numbers was easier than I thought.

  14. Artor says

    Reginald Selkirk @9
    Do you realize you just quoted words from the mouth of Karl Rove as if they represented the real world? I wouldn’t believe Rove if he said the sky was blue without checking for myself. I think it’s not only possible, but probable that Rove lies about his church attendance to earn cred among the religitards he fleeces regularly.

  15. raven says

    I wouldn’t believe Rove if he said the sky was blue without checking for myself.

    Do we even know that Karl Rove’s real name is….Karl Rove. It’s not like he is the least bit believable about anything.

    It’s possible that quite a few politicians are atheists or at least apathetics. It really costs nothing to say you believe in invisible sky fairies. It costs a huge amount to say you don’t.

  16. says

    Artor “I wouldn’t believe Rove if he said the sky was blue without checking for myself.”
    Well, sure. I wouldn’t believe anybody if they said “the sky was blue without checking for myself”. I mean, learn to speak English rightly, people!

  17. congenital cynic says

    Barney Frank is/was one of the few sane voices in US government. But the fact that he had to wait until he was out of office to “come out” speaks volumes about how badly the discrimination is against atheists. I guess he didn’t want to be a victim of all of that Christian love or on the infidel end of “the religion of peace”.

    I wonder how many other politicians there are who are in the closet.

  18. Rip Steakface says

    Why is a politician’s religion, or lack thereof, an issue? Why is it even of interest? My focus is on the person’s views and, ultimately, on how s/he votes.

    Unfortunately, it’s one of the greatest attributes affecting how a politician votes, so if you care about their views or how they vote, you care about what their religion is.

  19. CaitieCat says

    Unfortunately, it’s one of the greatest attributes affecting how a politician votes, so if you care about their views or how they vote, you care about what their religion is.

    …in the US. I didn’t actually know that the Harpertron 5000 (current Prime Calculator of Canada) professed to be some sort of weird-ass Christian until well after he became PC. His repulsive views are well in line with those of plenty of other members of his party, who represent a wide variety of denominations and faiths, and Canadian pols don’t often mention their religion on the stump.

    The US has a strongly religionized political environment, and deliberately so since the creation of the amazingly dishonest Moral Majority back in the late 70s/early 80s. For all that the US Constitution claims to be opposed to a religious test for office, it has one: you have to be religious, and you have to be publicly religious, to have a reasonable chance in a primary in most of the nation.

    The other Western democracies tend to be somewhat less religionized, politically, though by no means free of it. But one can be publicly atheist in most and still expect to have a good chance at winning. There are *cough*Eire*cough* exceptions, as ever.

  20. says

    I think it’s not only possible, but probable that Rove lies about his church attendance to earn cred among the religitards he fleeces regularly.

    Or, more likely, he goes to whichever church his allies or potential allies go to, sleeps through the “services,” and does whatever shmoozing he can afterword, without even thinking or caring about the stated beliefs of the church he pretends is “his.”

  21. abb3w says

    My impression was that Barney Frank in part came out of the closet in the public partly due to increased media scrutiny of his private life making the eventuality inevitable. The atheism might have been more easily covered up.

Leave a Reply