Christianity > Anglican | Catholic | Evangelical | Jehovah's Witnesses | Latter-day Saints | Orthodox | Pentecostal
Islam | Hinduism | Buddhism | Sikhism | Judaism | Baha'i | Zoroastrianism | more links

Religious Affiliation of U.S. Congress

Related pages:
- Religious Affiliation of U.S Presidents
- Religious Affiliation of U.S. Vice-Presidents
- Religious Affiliation of U.S. Governors
- Religious Affiliation of U.S. Supreme Court
- Religious Affiliation of Canadian Prime Ministers
Pages in this section:
109th U.S. Congress (2005-2006)
108th U.S. Congress (2003-2004)
107th U.S. Congress (2001-2002)
106th U.S. Congress (1999-2000)
105th U.S. Congress (1997-1998)
104th U.S. Congress (1995-1996)
103rd U.S. Congress (1993-1994)
First U.S. Congress (1789-1791)
Signers of the Declaration of Indepence and the U.S. Constitution

109th U.S. Congress (2005-2006)

Religious AffiliationSen.Rep.Total% of
% of
U.S. pop.
Latter-day Saints511163.0%1.9%
United Church of Christ/Congregationalist64101.9%0.7%
Christian Scientist0550.9%0.09%
Eastern Orthodox/Greek Orthodox2240.7%0.31%
Assemblies of God0440.7%0.53%
Christian Reformed0220.4%0.04%
Seventh-day Adventist0220.4%0.35%
African Methodist Episcopal (AME)0220.4%0.58%
Evangelical Free or Evangelical (not further specified)1120.4%0.5%
Community of Christ (RLDS)0110.2%0.05%
Foursquare Gospel1010.2%0.10%
United Brethren in Christ0110.2%0.01%
Community Church0110.2%N.A.
McLean Bible Church1010.2%0.005%
"Protestant" (not further specified)120213.9%2.2%
"Christian" (not further specified)0550.9%6.8%

Stone-Campbell/Restoration Movement churches:
Alternatively, the Stone-Campbell groups could be listed separately, as below:

Religious AffiliationSen.Rep.Total% of
% of
U.S. pop.
Church of Christ1120.4%1.20%
Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)0220.4%0.24%
Christian Churches and Churches of Christ (CC/CC)0220.4%0.3%

For the most part, official biographical listings for senators and representatives clearly identify which group they are a part of. However, some senators and representatives who attend Stone-Campbell/Restoration Movement churches go to megachurches or other highly independent congregations which are difficult to clearly associate with one of the factions. As with all denominational familes (including Baptists, Methodists, Presbyterians, Lutherans and Quakers), the separate Stone-Campbell factions are not identical. The "Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)" is considered more liberal or progresive. The "Church of Christ" (or "Churches of Christ") is considered conservative or fundamentalist. The "Christian Churches and Churches of Christ" (or "Christian Church/Churches of Christ", abbreviated "CC/CC") is considered the middle or moderate group.

109th U.S. Congress, 2005: Senators

Chuck Grassley (Iowa-R)Baptist
Mitch McConnell (Kentucky-R)Baptist
Thad Cochran (Mississippi-R)Baptist
Trent Lott (Mississippi-R)Baptist
Tom Coburn (Oklahoma-R)Baptist
Robert Byrd (West Virginia-D)Baptist
Lindsey Graham (South Carolina-R)Southern Baptist
Lisa Murkowski (Alaska-R)Catholic
Ken Salazar (Colorado-D)Catholic
Christopher Dodd (Connecticut-D)Catholic
Joseph Biden (Delaware-D)Catholic
Mel Martinez (Florida-R)Catholic
Sam Brownback (Kansas-R)Catholic
Tom Harkin (Iowa-D)Catholic
Richard Durbin (Illinois-D)Catholic
Jim Bunning (Kentucky-R)Catholic
Mary Landrieu (Louisiana-D)Catholic
David Vitter (Louisiana-R)Catholic
Edward Kennedy (Mass-D)Catholic
John Kerry (Mass-D)Catholic
Barbara Mikulski (Maryland-D)Catholic
Susan Collins (Maine-R)Catholic
John Sununu (New Hampshire-R)Catholic
Pete Domenici (New Mexico-R)Catholic
Mike DeWine (Ohio-R)Catholic
George Voinovich (Ohio-R)Catholic
Rick Santorum (Penn-R)Catholic
Jack Reed (Rhode Island-D)Catholic
Patrick Leahy (Vermont-D)Catholic
Maria Cantwell (Washington-D)Catholic
Patty Murray (Washington-D)Catholic
John Cornyn (Texas-R)Church of Christ (Stone-Campbell)
Ted Stevens (Alaska-R)Episcopalian
Blanche Lincoln (Arkansas-D)Episcopalian
John McCain (Arizona-R)Episcopalian
Saxby Chambliss (Georgia-R)Episcopalian
Evan Bayh (Indiana-D)Episcopalian
Chuck Hagel (Nebraska-R)Episcopalian
Bill Nelson (Florida-D)Episcopalian
Lincoln Chafee (Rhode Island-R)Episcopalian
Kay Hutchison (Texas-R)Episcopalian
John Warner (Virginia-R)Episcopalian
Mark Pryor (Arkansas-D)Evangelical
Paul Sarbanes (Maryland-D)Greek Orthodox
Olympia Snowe (Maine-R)Greek Orthodox
John Ensign (Nevada-R)International Church of the Foursquare Gospel
Joseph Lieberman (Connecticut-D)Orthodox Judaism
Barbara Boxer (Calif-D)Jewish
Dianne Feinstein (Calif-D)Jewish
Carl Levin (Michigan-D)Jewish
Norm Coleman (Minnesota-R)Jewish
Frank Lautenberg (New Jersey-D)Jewish
Charles Schumer (New York-D)Jewish
Ron Wyden (Oregon-D)Jewish
Arlen Specter (Penn-R)Jewish
Russell Feingold (Wisconsin-D)Jewish
Herb Kohl (Wisconsin-D)Jewish
Michael Crapo (Idaho-R)Latter-day Saint
Harry Reid (Nevada-D)Latter-day Saint
Gordon Smith (Oregon-R)Latter-day Saint
Robert Bennett (Utah-R)Latter-day Saint
Orrin Hatch (Utah-R)Latter-day Saint
Conrad Burns (Montana-R)Lutheran
Byron Dorgan (North Dakota-D)Lutheran
Tim Johnson (South Dakota-D)Lutheran
John Thune (South Dakota-R)McLean Bible Church
Jeff Sessions (Alabama-R)Methodist
Johnny Isakson (Georgia-R)Methodist
Daniel Inouye (Hawaii-D)Methodist
Larry Craig (Idaho-R)Methodist
Richard Lugar (Indiana-R)Methodist
Ben Nelson (Nebraska-D)Methodist
Pat Roberts (Kansas-R)Methodist
Jeff Bingaman (New Mexico-D)Methodist
Hillary Clinton (New York-D)Methodist
Craig Thomas (Wyoming-R)Methodist
Debbie Stabenow (Michigan-D)United Methodist
Richard Shelby (Alabama-R)Presbyterian
Jon Kyl (Arizona-R)Presbyterian
Thomas Carper (Delaware-D)Presbyterian
Mark Dayton (Minnesota-D)Presbyterian
Christopher Bond (Missouri-R)Presbyterian
Richard Burr (North Carolina-R)Presbyterian
Elizabeth Dole (North Carolina-R)Presbyterian
James Inhofe (Oklahoma-R)Presbyterian
Jim DeMint (South Carolina-R)Presbyterian
Lamar Alexander (Tenn-R)Presbyterian
Bill Frist (Tenn-R)Presbyterian
George Allen (Virginia-R)Presbyterian
John Rockefeller (West Virginia-D)Presbyterian
Michael Enzi (Wyoming-R)Presbyterian
James Talent (Missouri-R)Presbyterian (PCA)
Kent Conrad (North Dakota-D)Unitarian-Universalist
Barack Obama (Illinois-D)United Church of Christ
Jon Corzine (New Jersey-D)United Church of Christ
Max Baucus (Montana-D)United Church of Christ
Daniel Akaka (Hawaii-D)Congregationalist
Judd Gregg (New Hampshire-R)Congregationalist
James Jeffords (Vermont - Indep.)Congregationalist
Wayne Allard (Colorado-R)"Protestant"

109th U.S. Congress, 2005: Representatives

Alcee Hastings, DAfrican Methodist Episcopal (AME)
James Clyburn, DAfrican Methodist Episcopal (AME)
Marilyn Musgrave, RAssemblies of God
Timothy Johnson, RAssemblies of God
Todd Tiahrt, RAssemblies of God
Jo Ann Davis, RAssemblies of God
Terry Everett, RBaptist
Mike Rogers, RBaptist
Spencer Bachus, RBaptist
Trent Franks, RBaptist
J.D. Hayworth, RBaptist
John Boozman, RBaptist
Barbara Lee, DBaptist
Bill Thomas, RBaptist
Juanita Millender-McDonald, DBaptist
Dana Rohrabacher, RBaptist
Duncan Hunter, RBaptist
Corrine Brown, DBaptist
Kendrick Meek, DBaptist
Sanford Bishop, DBaptist
John Lewis, DBaptist
Lynn Westmoreland, RBaptist
Nathan Deal, RBaptist
John Barrow, DBaptist
David Scott, DBaptist
Jesse Jackson, Jr., DBaptist
Danny Davis, DBaptist
Donald Manzullo, RBaptist
Julia Carson, DBaptist
John Hostettler, RBaptist
Ron Lewis, RBaptist
Geoff Davis, RBaptist
Harold Rogers, RBaptist
William Jefferson, DBaptist
Rodney Alexander, RBaptist
Albert Wynn, DBaptist
Steny Hoyer, DBaptist
Elijah Cummings, DBaptist
Carolyn Kilpatrick, DBaptist
John Conyers, DBaptist
Chip Pickering, RBaptist
Sam Graves, RBaptist
Roy Blunt, RBaptist
Donald Payne, DBaptist
Steve Pearce, RBaptist
Gregory Meeks, DBaptist
Edolphus Towns, DBaptist
Major Owens, DBaptist
G.K. Butterfield, DBaptist
David Price, DBaptist
Charles Taylor, RBaptist
Stephanie Tubbs Jones, DBaptist
Frank Lucas, RBaptist
Chaka Fattah, DBaptist
J. Gresham Barrett, RBaptist
Bill Jenkins, RBaptist
Zach Wamp, RBaptist
Lincoln Davis, DBaptist
Harold E. Ford, Jr., DBaptist
Louie Gohmert, RBaptist
Randy Neugebauer, RBaptist
Tom DeLay, RBaptist
Henry Bonilla, RBaptist
Eddie Bernice Johnson, DBaptist
J. Randy Forbes, RBaptist
Virgil Goode Jr., RBaptist
Alan Mollohan, DBaptist
Gwen Moore, DBaptist
Bobby Rush, DBaptist
Mike Sodrel, RBaptist
Al Green, DBaptist
Roger Wicker, RSouthern Baptist
Henry Brown Jr., RSouthern Baptist
Mike Conaway, RSouthern Baptist
Rick Renzi, RCatholic
Ed Pastor, DCatholic
Raul Grijalva, DCatholic
Mike Thompson, DCatholic
Dan Lungren, RCatholic
George Miller, DCatholic
Nancy Pelosi, DCatholic
Ellen Tauscher, DCatholic
Richard Pombo, DCatholic
Anna Eshoo, DCatholic
Dennis Cardoza, DCatholic
George Radanovich, RCatholic
Jim Costa, DCatholic
Devin Nunes, RCatholic
Xavier Becerra, DCatholic
Hilda Solis, DCatholic
Diane Watson, DCatholic
Lucille Roybal-Allard, DCatholic
Grace Napolitano, DCatholic
Linda Sanchez, DCatholic
Ed Royce, RCatholic
Joe Baca, DCatholic
Loretta Sanchez, DCatholic
Christopher Cox, RCatholic
John Salazar, DCatholic
Bob Beauprez, RCatholic
John Larson, DCatholic
Rose DeLauro, DCatholic
Michael Castle, RCatholic
Virginia Brown-Waite, RCatholic
Connie Mack IV, RCatholic
Mark Foley, RCatholic
Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, RCatholic
Lincoln Diaz-Balart, RCatholic
Clay Shaw, RCatholic
Mario Diaz-Balart, RCatholic
Jim Marshall, DCatholic
Cynthia McKinney, DCatholic
Phil Gingrey, RCatholic
Butch Otter, RCatholic
Dan Lipinski, DCatholic
Luis Gutierrez, DCatholic
Henry Hyde, RCatholic
Jerry Costello, DCatholic
Lane Evans, DCatholic
Ray LaHood, RCatholic
Peter Visclosky, DCatholic
Steve King, RCatholic
Anne Northrup, RCatholic
Bobby Jindal, RCatholic
Charlie Melancon, DCatholic
Mike Michaud, DCatholic
Richard Neal, DCatholic
James McGovern, DCatholic
Martin Meehan, DCatholic
Edward Markey, DCatholic
Michael Capuano, DCatholic
Stephen Lynch, DCatholic
Bill Delahunt, DCatholic
Bart Stupak, DCatholic
Dave Camp, RCatholic
Dale Kildee, DCatholic
Joe Schwarz, RCatholic
Joe Knollenberg, RCatholic
Thaddeus McCotter, RCatholic
John Dingell, DCatholic
Gil Gutknecht, RCatholic
Betty McCollum, DCatholic
Mark Kennedy, RCatholic
James Oberstar, DCatholic
Gene Taylor, DCatholic
William Clay, Jr., DCatholic
Kenny Hulshof, RCatholic
Jeff Fortenberry, RCatholic
Jon Porter, RCatholic
Frank LoBiondo, RCatholic
Christopher Smith, RCatholic
Frank Pallone, DCatholic
Michael Ferguson, RCatholic
Bill Pascrell, DCatholic
Robert Menendez, DCatholic
Timothy Bishop, DCatholic
Peter King, RCatholic
Carolyn McCarthy, DCatholic
Joseph Crowley, DCatholic
Nydia Velazquez, DCatholic
Vito Fossella, RCatholic
Charles Rangel, DCatholic
Jose Serrano, DCatholic
John Sweeney, RCatholic
Michael McNulty, DCatholic
Maurice Hinchey, DCatholic
John McHugh, RCatholic
Sherwood Boehlert, RCatholic
James Walsh, RCatholic
Brian Higgins, DCatholic
Walter Jones, RCatholic
Virginia Foxx, RCatholic
Patrick McHenry, RCatholic
Steve Chabot, RCatholic
John Boehner, RCatholic
Marcy Kaptur, DCatholic
Dennis Kucinich, DCatholic, Vegan
Patrick Tiberi, RCatholic
Timothy Ryan, DCatholic
Bob Ney, RCatholic
John Sullivan, RCatholic
Peter DeFazio, DCatholic
Robert Brady, DCatholic
Phil English, RCatholic
Melissa Hart, RCatholic
Michael Fitzpatrick, RCatholic
Paul Kanjorski, DCatholic
John Murtha, DCatholic
Michael Doyle, DCatholic
Tim Holden, DCatholic
Tim Murphy, RCatholic
Patrick Kennedy, DCatholic
Jim Langevin, DCatholic
Kevin Brady, RCatholic
Michael McCaul, RCatholic
Ruben Hinojosa, DCatholic
Silvestre Reyes, DCatholic
Charles Gonzalez, DCatholic
Henry Cuellar, DCatholic
James Moran, DCatholic
Doc Hastings, RCatholic
Paul Ryan, RCatholic
David Obey, DCatholic
Mark Green, RCatholic
Ike Skelton, DChristian Church (Disciples of Christ)
John Tanner, DChristian Church (Disciples of Christ)
Dan Burton, RChristian Churches and Churches of Christ (CC/CC)
Randy Cunningham, RChristian Churches and Churches of Christ (CC/CC)
Peter Hoekstra, RChristian Reformed
Vernon Ehlers, RChristian Reformed
David Dreier, RChristian Scientist
Christopher Shays, RChristian Scientist
Lamar Smith, RChristian Scientist
Robert Goodlatte, RChristian Scientist
Thomas Davis, RChristian Scientist
Ted Poe, RChurch of Christ (Stone-Campbell)
Mike Pence, RCommunity Church
Michael Bilirakis, RGreek Orthodox
Melissa Bean, DEastern Orthodox
Jo Bonner, REpiscopalian
Don Young, REpiscopalian
John Shadegg, REpiscopalian
Sam Farr, DEpiscopalian
Robert Simmons, REpiscopalian
Ander Crenshaw, REpiscopalian
John Mica, REpiscopalian
Jim Davis, DEpiscopalian
Adam Putnam, REpiscopalian
Jack Kingston, REpiscopalian
Judy Biggert, REpiscopalian
Jim Leach, REpiscopalian
Charles Boustany Jr., REpiscopalian
Chris Van Hollen, DEpiscopalian
Denny Rehberg, REpiscopalian
Jeb Bradley, REpiscopalian
Charles Bass, REpiscopalian
Robert Andrews, DEpiscopalian
Rodney Frelinghuysen, REpiscopalian
Louise Slaughter, DEpiscopalian
Randy Kuhl, REpiscopalian
Brad Miller, DEpiscopalian
Ralph Regula, REpiscopalian
Greg Walden, REpiscopalian
Todd Platts, REpiscopalian
Jim Cooper, DEpiscopalian
Jeb Hensarling, REpiscopalian
Michael C. Burgess, REpiscopalian
Robert C. Scott, DEpiscopalian
Jim McDermott, DEpiscopalian
James Sensenbrenner, REpiscopalian
Barbara Cubin, REpiscopalian
Cathy McMorris, REvangelical (Grace Evangelical Free Church)
Tom Lantos, DJewish
Brad Sherman, DJewish
Howard Berman, DJewish
Adam Schiff, DJewish
Henry Waxman, DJewish
Jane Harman, DJewish
Bob Filner, DJewish
Susan Davis, DJewish
Robert Wexler, DJewish
Debbie Wasserman Schultz, DJewish
Rahm Emanuel, DJewish
Janice Schakowsky, DJewish
Benjamin Cardin, DJewish
Barney Frank, DJewish
Sander Levin, DJewish
Shelley Berkley, DJewish
Steven Rothman, DJewish
Steven Israel, DJewish
Gary Ackerman, DJewish
Jerrold Nadler, DJewish
Anthony Weiner, DJewish
Eliot Engel, DJewish
Nita Lowey, DJewish
Allyson Schwartz, DJewish
Bernard Sanders, Ind.Jewish
Eric Cantor, RJewish
Jeff Flake, RLatter-day Saint
Wally Herger, RLatter-day Saint
John T.Doolittle, RLatter-day Saint
Howard McKeon, RLatter-day Saint
Mike Simpson, RLatter-day Saint
Tom Udall, DLatter-day Saint
Ernest Istook, RLatter-day Saint
Rob Bishop, RLatter-day Saint
Jim Matheson, DLatter-day Saint
Christopher Cannon, RLatter-day Saint
Mark Udall, DLatter-day Saint
Leonard Boswell, DCommunity of Christ (RLDS)
Artur Davis, DLutheran
Lois Capps, DLutheran
John Shimkus, RLutheran
Jim Nussle, RLutheran
Tom Latham, RLutheran
Martin Olav Sabo, DLutheran
Collin Peterson, DLutheran
Michael Oxley, RLutheran
Sherrod Brown, DLutheran
Darlene Hooley, DLutheran
Bill Shuster, RLutheran
Stephanie Herseth, DLutheran
John R. Carter, RLutheran
Norm Dicks, DLutheran
Dave Reichert, RLutheran
Ron Kind, DLutheran
Tom Petri, RLutheran
Zoe Lofgren, DLutheran
Robert Cramer, DMethodist
Jim Kolbe, RMethodist
Marion Berry, DMethodist
Mike Ross, DMethodist
Robert T.Matsui, DMethodist
Jeff Miller, RMethodist
Allen Boyd, DMethodist
Ric Keller, RMethodist
Bill Young, RMethodist
Charles Norwood, RMethodist
Steve Buyer, RMethodist
Jerry Moran, RMethodist
Edward Whitfield, RMethodist
Jim McCrery, RMethodist
Richard Baker, RMethodist
Wayne Gilchrest, RMethodist
C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger, DMethodist
Mike Rogers, RMethodist
John Kline, RMethodist
Bennie Thompson, DMethodist
Russ Carnahan, DMethodist
Emanuel Cleaver II, DMethodist
Lee Terry, RMethodist
Tom Osborne, RMethodist
H. James Saxton, RMethodist
Heather Wilson, RMethodist
Rob Portman, RMethodist
Paul Gillmor, RMethodist
Ted Strickland, DMethodist
David Hobson, RMethodist
Steven LaTourette, RMethodist
Dan Boren, DMethodist
Tom Cole, RMethodist
John Peterson, RMethodist
Donald Sherwood, RMethodist
Bart Gordon, DMethodist
Sam Johnson, RMethodist
Ralph Hall, RMethodist
Joe Barton, RMethodist
John Culberson, RMethodist
Kay Granger, RMethodist
Chet Edwards, DMethodist
Lloyd Doggett, DMethodist
Solomon Ortiz, DMethodist
Gene Green, DMethodist
Pete Sessions, RMethodist
Rick Boucher, DMethodist
Rick Larsen, DMethodist
Dennis Hastert, RMethodist
Sue Myrick, REvangelical Methodist
Donna M. Christian-Christensen (V.I.)Moravian
Kenny Marchant, RNazarene
Vic Snyder, DPresbyterian
Lynn Woolsey, DPresbyterian
Jerry Lewis, RPresbyterian
Diana DeGette, DPresbyterian
Joel Hefley, RPresbyterian
TomTancredo, RPresbyterian
Cliff Stearns, RPresbyterian
Katherine Harris, RPresbyterian
Tom Feeney, RPresbyterian
Tom Price, RPresbyterian
John Linder, RPresbyterian
Chris Chocola, RPresbyterian
Jim Ryun, RPresbyterian
A.B. Chandler, DPresbyterian
Candice Miller, RPresbyterian
Jo Ann Emerson, RPresbyterian
Carolyn Maloney, DPresbyterian
Sue Kelly, RPresbyterian
Thomas Reynolds, RPresbyterian
Bob Etheridge, DPresbyterian
Howard Coble, RPresbyterian
Mike McIntyre, DPresbyterian
Robin Hayes, RPresbyterian
Melvin Watt, DPresbyterian
Earl Pomeroy, DPresbyterian
Deborah Pryce, RPresbyterian
David Wu, DPresbyterian
Charlie Dent, RPresbyterian
Joe Wilson, RPresbyterian
Bob Inglis, RPresbyterian (PCA)
John Spratt, DPresbyterian
Jimmy Duncan, RPresbyterian
Marsha Blackburn, RPresbyterian
William Thornberry, RPresbyterian
Frank Wolf, RPresbyterian
Shelley Moore Capito, RPresbyterian
Nick Rahall, DPresbyterian
Rush Holt, DQuaker
Roscoe Bartlett, RSeventh-day Adventist
Sheila Jackson Lee, DSeventh-day Adventist
Pete Stark, DUnitarian
Nancy Johnson, RUnitarian-Universalist
Mark Souder, RUnited Brethren in Christ
Mark Kirk, RUnited Church of Christ
Thelma Drake, RUnited Church of Christ
Fred Upton, RCongregationalist
Robert Aderholt, RCongregationalist-Baptist
Ken Calvert, RProtestant; Objectivist
Mary Bono, RScientologist; Protestant
Michael Honda, D"Protestant"
Elton Gallegly, R"Protestant"
Gary Miller, R"Protestant"
Darrell Issa, R"Protestant"
Ed Case, D"Protestant"
Dennis Moore, D"Protestant"
Thomas Allen, D"Protestant"
Jim Ramstad, R"Protestant"
Jim Gibbons, R"Protestant"
Scott Garrett, R"Protestant"
Mike Turner, R"Protestant"
Jim Gerlach, R"Protestant"
Curt Weldon, R"Protestant"
Joseph Pitts, R"Protestant"
Ron Paul, R"Protestant"
Jay Inslee, D"Protestant"
Brian Baird, D"Protestant"
Neil Abercrombie, DProtestant (raised)
Maxine Waters, D"Christian"
Dave Weldon, R"Christian"
Jerry Weller, R"Christian"
Todd Akin, R"Christian"
Adam Smith, D"Christian"
Tammy Baldwin, DGLBT (relig. affil. unspecified)
John Olver, Dunspecified
John Tierney, Dunspecified
Earl Blumenauer, Dunspecified

From: James L. Evans, "Spirituality of members of Congress", published 16 December 2006 in The Decatur Daily (; viewed 2 June 2007):

We may enjoy some level of separation of church and state in this country, but there hardly exists anywhere a separation of faith from public office. There is spiritual vitality in virtually every branch of government. From President Bush's heartwarming Methodism, all the way to the disciplined Catholicism of Justices Alito, Scalia, Kennedy, Thomas and Roberts, faith and government are linked arm in arm.

This is nowhere more evident than with the incoming Congress. According to a story distributed by Newhouse News Service, this Congress will be one of the most religiously diverse bodies we have ever had. For instance, for the first time in our history, Congress will include among its ranks a Muslim. Keith Ellison, a newly elected representative from Minnesota, converted from Catholicism to Islam when he was 19 years old. As you would imagine, his religion was a source of contention throughout his campaign.

The new Congress will also feature two Buddhists - Hank Johnson from Georgia and Mazie Hirono from Hawaii.

For the first time in our history, Jews will outnumber Episcopalians - not that either of them can boast overwhelming numbers. Overall among the Jews, there are 30 representatives and 13 senators. Compare Episcopalians, who have 27 House seats and 10 senators.

With Mitt Romney, governor of Massachusetts, considering a run for the presidency, it is interesting to note that 10 representatives and five senators share his Mormon faith [as members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints]. In fact, Harry Reid of Nevada, the new Democratic majority leader in the Senate, is a Mormon [Latter-day Saint].

The largest religious group represented in the new Congress is Roman Catholic. Catholics will have 129 representatives and 25 senators. The next largest group is Baptists with 59 representatives and seven senators. Coming in third are Methodists with 48 representatives and 13 senators. It also is interesting to note who is not represented in the new Congress. No one from the Church of God is in the House, but there is one senator from that group. There no Congregationalists in the House, but there is one senator from that group as well. The opposite is true for Quakers - one in the House, but none in the Senate.

Interestingly, there are six House members who describe themselves as unaffiliated. Of course, given the evangelistic proclivities of Baptists and Methodists, that could change in the course of their term.

The big question is what does all this mean? Well, for one thing, our new religiously diverse Congress seems to be "awash in a sea of faith." This expression comes from the title of Yale historian Jon Butler's award winning history of early American religion. True now as then, Christianity may dominate the religious landscape, but it is not alone in representing faith journeys in America.

Our religiously diverse Congress also serves to remind us of the power of religious freedom. This freedom is established in the First Amendment of our Constitution. Because Congress must never show partiality to any one faith, nor hinder anyone's free exercise of faith, spirituality has blossomed in the rich soil of American freedom.

James L. Evans, a syndicated columnist, also serves as pastor of Auburn First Baptist Church. He can be reached through his Web site,

Related Links

  • Sen. Trent Lott - Mississippi Baptist was leader of Senate Republicans
  • Sen. Joe Lieberman - Popular Orthodox Jew was first of his faith to run for V.P. on major party ticket
  • Sen. Harry Reid - Senate Minority Leader, nation's highest-ranking Democrat, and highest ranking Latter-day Saint congressman
  • Sen. Dianne Feinstein - outspoken Jewish Feminist from California
  • Sen. Orrin Hatch - songwriter and influential Republican leader


Custom Search
comments powered by Disqus

Please submit suggestions, comments, corrections, etc. to
Webpage created circa May 1999. Last modified 2 June 2007.