Pete Stark was a congressman from California who spent more than 40 years in office. Stark is notable for being the first congressman to announce that he did not believe in God (which was noteworthy when he did so in 2007. He’s gone on to meet God at the age of 88.
Stark made the announcement of his atheism at the prompting of an organization called Secular Coalition for America. Aside from an atheist, Stark was also surprisingly (or non-surprisingly?) a Unitarian, a religion that is notoriously uncommitted to any degree of theological truth.
Serving in Congress in California’s 13th District since 1973, Stark was a senior member of the Ways and Means Committee and also the Chairman the Health Subcommittee. He earned his college degree from the University of California, Berkeley. Stark is best known for helping to craft ObamaCare.
A contest in that year, hosted by the Secular Coalition for America, invited people to submit the names of “the highest level atheist, humanist, freethinker or other nontheist currently holding elected public office in the United States of America.” The person who could identify this official (or if they were willing to name themselves) would win $1,000.
Stark publicly denied God for one-thousand dollars.
In light of the news that Stark died at his home several hours ago, it seems like a poor investment in the future.
“For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” (Mark 8:36)
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