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Austin Cline

Profile of Atheist Lobbyist Lori Lipman Brown

By October 29, 2005

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Lori Lipman Brown, the new lobbyist for the Secular Coalition for America, is attracting increasing attention. This is expected, I guess, given the fact that she is the first and only lobbyist for atheists, atheist groups, and atheist interests in Washington. The question is, will media attention translate into legislative attention?

CBS News reports:

"My beef is with people who have taken [religion] out of the 'sacred' sphere and used it instead as a political tool," Brown told CBSNews.com. "Having done that denigrates religion."

The Secular Coalition for America is a non-profit political organization for Atheist Alliance International, Secular Student Alliance, Institute for Humanist Studies and other groups that do not believe in a deity. Private donations fund the umbrella group and are earmarked for administrative purposes to run the two-person office. Brown brings to Washington her experience as a state senator in Nevada, a self-described budget hawk and "secular Jew."

It's unclear just how much impact she will have in her new job, but at least an explicitly atheistic voice is being heard. Even if not much happens, it should be a good start and may, over time, make it clear to legislators that atheists, skeptics, humanists, and nonbelievers are not irrelevant.


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