List of atheists (politics and law)

List of atheists (politics and law)

Politics and law

* Guy Aldred (1886–1963): English anarchist communist and a prominent member of the Anti-Parliamentary Communist Federation. ["The defendant, in the witness-box, declared that the meeting was quite orderly, and there were cries of "Shame" when he was arrested. He denied the charges. Aldred said he was an Atheist and a Socialist." 'Hyde Park Speech Prosecution. Evidence For The Defence', "The Times", Wednesday, Mar 04, 1925; pg. 5; Issue 43901; col G.]
* Subhashini Ali (19??–): Indian Marxist politician and President of the All India Democratic Women's Association. ["There are religions that have very rigid rules and there are others that don't. Religion is something that I, as a person, am not interested in. I have always been an atheist. My parents were atheists. It doesn't bother me if somebody is religious. My problem is when religion is used to institutionalise other things." [ The Rediff Interview/ Subhasini Ali] , August 8, 2001 (accessed April 21, 2008).]
* Graham Allen (1953–): British Labour politician and Member Member of Parliament for Nottingham North, and a Distinguished Supporter of the British Humanist Association and an honorary associate of the National Secular Society. [Edward Leigh, Gainsborough MP: "That point was made in the excellent speech by the hon. Member for Nottingham, North (Mr. Allen), who is a convinced atheist—perhaps a member of the National Secular Society; I do not know." [ House of Commons Hansard, June 21, 2005: Column 728] (accessed April 24, 2008).]
* Salvador Allende (1908–1973): Chilean Marxist politician, President of Chile from November 1970 until his death during the coup d'état of September 11, 1973. [The inauguration was, however, followed by an ecumenical service in the cathedral, since, as the new President, an atheist and freemason, has already explained, many of those who voted for his "Popular Unity" programme are sincere Roman Catholics." Richard Wigg, '75 states witness Allende pledge to democracy', "The Times", November 4, 1970; pg. 9; Issue 58014; col E.]
* Luisa Isabel Alvarez de Toledo, 21st Duchess of Medina Sidonia (1936–2008): Spanish duchess, holder of the ducal title Medina-Sidonia, known as the "Red Duchess". ["The dictator Francisco Franco jailed her for championing workers, who nicknamed her the "Red Duchess". She challenged Spain's official history, arguing that Columbus didn't discover America. She was an atheist, a republican and reckoned her 13th-century ancestor Guzman el Bueno, ennobled for fighting the Moors, was a north African whose grandmother was black." Elizabeth Nash, 'Red Duchess a rebel to the last as she snubs family and leaves all to wife', "The Independent" (London), May 2, 2008, World News, Pg. 26.]
* William Crawford Anderson (1877–1919): British socialist politician, a founder member of the Union of Democratic Control. ["His mother was an intelligent and widely read woman of strong, radical, Presbyterian views who encouraged William to read extensively and passed on a love of literature which stayed with him long after he was converted to free-thinking atheism." Joseph Melling, [ 'Anderson, William Crawford (1877–1919)] , "Oxford Dictionary of National Biography", Oxford University Press, Sept 2004; online edn, Jan 2008 (accessed May 2, 2008).]
* Julio Anguita (1941–): Spanish politician and a former teacher, Mayor of Córdoba 1979–1988, then General Secretary of the Communist Party of Spain 1988–1998. ["Señor Julio Anguita, the mayor, who is a self-confessed atheist indifferent to both religions, has invoked Spain's 1978 constitution which separates church and state [...] ". Richard Wigg, 'Córdoba mayor upsets the bishop', "The Times", January 9, 1981; pg. 4; Issue 60821; col E.]
* Carmen Argibay (1939–): Argentinian lawyer, a member of the Argentine Supreme Court of Justice, the first woman to be nominated for the Court by a democratic government in Argentina. [Interviewer: "In interviews you have described yourself as "more left than right" and "a militant atheist" in a country that is overwhelmingly Roman Catholic, and where the political left continues to be a minority. Don't you think that most of the public might take your statements as a sign that you might be biased on certain issues?"
Argibay: "On the contrary -- if one reads my declarations correctly. I believe that saying up front who one is or what one thinks is an indication of honesty, which is the first step towards impartiality. My beliefs, or lack thereof, should not interfere in the judicial decisions I take." Diana Cariboni, ' [ Single Woman, Atheist, Heads to Seat on High Court] ', IPS News, January 21, 2004.
* Clement Attlee 1st Earl Attlee, KG, OM, CH, PC (1883–1967): Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1945 to 1951, under whose government the National Health Service and Welfare State were established. [" [...] then in 1896 at the age of thirteen went on, like all the boys in the family, to Haileybury College. Here he confirmed an unobtrusive atheism—he became disenchanted with church attendance and religious observance—and played rugby and cricket with the handicap of his small stature and lack of any real skill, but enjoyed the rifle corps." R. C. Whiting, [ 'Attlee, Clement Richard, first Earl Attlee (1883–1967)'] , Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, Sept 2004; online edition, January 2008 (accessed May 2, 2008).]
* Bob Avakian (19??–): Chairman of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA, and author of "Away With All Gods!" (2008). [Part Four of "Away With All Gods!" contains a section called "God Does Not Exist — And There Is No Good Reason to Believe In God". [ Table of Contents] from the publisher, Insight Books.]
* Edward Aveling (1849–1898): English Marxist activist and partner of Karl Marx's daughter Eleanor. ["His failed marriage aside, he was on a climbing path of conventional success and acclaim, which he left in 1879 when he abandoned his application for the chair of comparative anatomy because the post required its holder to profess Christianity. In July 1879 he made a public pronouncement that he had been an atheist for two or three years. In June 1881 he lost his lectureship, largely because of his atheism." C. A. Creffield: 'Aveling, Edward Bibbens (1849–1898)', "Oxford Dictionary of National Biography", Oxford University Press, 2004 [] (accessed April 29, 2008).]
* Uri Avnery (1923–): German-born Israeli journalist, left-wing peace activist, and former Knesset member. ["Well, I myself am a 100% atheist. And I am increasingly worried that the Israeli-Palestinian struggle, which dominates our entire life, is assuming a more and more religious character." Uri Avnery, [ A War of Religions? God Forbid!] , "Ramallah Online" February 19, 2007(?) (accessed April 28, 2008).]
* Michelle Bachelet (1951–): Chilean politician, the current President of Chile and the first woman to hold this position in the country's history. ["A paediatrician turned politician, Ms Bachelet is an atheist single mother with three children by two different partners - which makes her an odd choice in a macho and profoundly Catholic country." Jen Ross, 'Single mother becomes Chile's first female president', "The Independent" (London), January 16, 2006, News, Pg. 25.] ["Given this context, it is nothing short of extraordinary - even revolutionary - that the clear front-runner in the presidential vote being held on Sunday is Michelle Bachelet, a divorced mother of three who is an atheist and a member of the Socialist Party." Rafael Gumucio, ' [ Señora Presidente?] ', "New York Times", December 9, 2005 (accessed July 14, 2008).]
*Charles T. Beaird (1922—2006): Liberal Republican Party (United States) member and newspaper publisher. [ [ Obituary] : "He had many friends across a wide spectrum of economic, social and religious backgrounds, all of whom he respected and honored. While Carolyn [his wife] was a devoted Presbyterian, he was a 'nontheist,'"]
* Leo Blair (1923–): Barrister and father of Tony Blair, the former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. ["The pupil said he had read Richard Dawkins's book The God Delusion and it had helped turn him into an atheist. Mr Blair looked put out and eventually spluttered something about his new Tony Blair Faith Foundation also being about understanding people who had no god. His father Leo was a "militant" atheist, he added." Tim Walker, 'Pupil rattles Blair', "Daily Telegraph" April 5, 2008.]
* Bessie Braddock JP (1899–1970): British Labour politician, vice-chairman of the party in 1968. ["Mrs. Braddock, whose husband died in 1963, was an atheist, and her funeral service, next Tuesday at Liverpool crematorium, will be non-sectarian." Christopher Warman, ' 'Merseyside legend' Mrs Braddock dies at 71', "The Times", November 14, 1970; pg. 1; Issue 58023; col G.]
* Charles Bradlaugh (1833–1891): Political activist and one of the most famous English atheists of the 19th century. [Bradlaugh professes and defends atheism in his essay " [ A Plea For Atheism] ".]
* Edvard Brandes (18471931): Danish politician, critic and author, Minister of Finance 19091910 and 1913–1920. ["Because of his Jewish origin, his atheism, and his "European," rather than "Danish," outlook, Brandes was, from the beginning of his political career, at odds with the more moderate faction of the left coalition that formed the Left Reform Party in the late 1890s." ' [ Brandes, Edvard] ', "Encyclopædia Britannica Online" (accessed August 1, 2008).]
* Lori Lipman Brown (19??3–): American politician, lobbyist, lawyer, educator, and social worker supporter, Nevada Senator 1992-1994. [" "You can be elected as an openly gay politician in this country, but you can't be elected as an openly atheistic one," said Lori Lipman Brown, who was hired last fall to be the Washington, D.C., lobbyist for an organization devoted to atheist causes, the Secular Coalition for America. She's believed to be the first paid lobbyist for the unbelievers in the nation's capital, the front lines of the culture wars. Now, all Brown is seeking is a constituency willing to go public. "Think of where the LGBT movement was 25 years ago," said Brown, who has worked on gay and lesbian rights issues as a legislator and attorney. "That's where atheists are today." [...] Brown, who is married and was raised a "humanistic Jew," talks about how she "came out" as an atheist several years ago, and how most atheists aren't "out yet" at work. She says atheist kids -- like many gay children -- are made to feel outcasts at school, and explains that she wants to erase the negative connotation to the word "atheist" just as homosexuals have reclaimed slurs like "queer" and "dyke." " Joe Garofoli, ' [ Atheists hoping to assert rights in religious era] ', "San Francisco Chronicle", February 20, 2006 (accessed June 16, 2008).]
* James Callaghan KG, PC (1912–2005): British politician, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1976 to 1979 and the only person to have served in all four of the Great Offices of State. ["One of the more enduring marks on British life left by the atheist, Prime Minister Callaghan, was to remove exclusive responsibility for the appointment of bishops from his own office and share it largely with a commission of churchmen. Since 1976, the Prime Minister has been limited to choosing one from two nominees of the commission or, in exceptional cases, sending the list back for the commission to produce a new one." Hugo Young, 'A relic of history best left undisturbed', "The Guardian" (London), March 27, 1990.]
* Alastair Campbell (1957–): Director of Communications and Strategy for the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1997 to 2003. ["You are an atheist. Tony Blair is a devout Christian. Did that make you feel uncomfortable?" Campbell answering questions in The Independent newspaper " [] ".] ["Mr Campbell, who is an atheist, has been keen to stop Mr Blair discussing his faith since 1996, when the Labour leader gave an extensive interview on the subject in The Telegraph which proved highly controversial." " [] " "The Daily Telegraph".]
* Douglas Campbell (1959–): Atheist advocate and member of the Green Party of Michigan. Member, national advisory board, Godless Americans Political Action Committee [Godless Americans Political Action Committee national advisory board [] ] . Co-founder, Michigan Godless Americans Political Action Committee. [Michigan Godless Americans Political Action Committee [] ] Green Party candidate for Governor of Michigan, 2002 & 2006.
* Michael Cashman (1950–): British actor turned Labour politician, a Member of the European Parliament since 1999. ["Queer-boy, soap-star, luvvie, Blairite, Michael is also, for the final flourish, something of a Buddhist. 'It seems to me a wonderfully selfless religion - and of course the only one which has had no war fought on its behalf.' He was brought up a Catholic, 'but not any more. People who think you have to do things now for reward later might feel faced with a comeuppance that, as an atheist, I don't have to deal with. If it turns out that there is a God, and I meet her, I think she'll say: 'Well... you were pretty fearless, and you did what you thought was right. I've got a place for you.' " Victoria Coren, 'The Monday interview: Michael Cashman: Straight talker', "The Guardian", August 24, 1998, Pg. 14.]
* Colin Challen (1953–): British Labour politician. ["Opposition Members said that many Labour Members hate religion. Perhaps they think that those who support the new clause are atheists. Will my hon. Friend accept my assurance that it is possible to be an atheist and to admire religion? It is even possible to be an atheist and to study it, as I chose to do when I went to university." Colin Challen, [ House of Commons Hansard, 6 Feb 2002: Column 952] (accessed April 24, 2008).]
* Nick Clegg (1967–): Leader of the Liberal Democrats since 2007. [Asked directly in the interview on BBC Radio 5 Live, "Do you believe in God?", Mr Clegg replied simply: "No." [ I don't believe in God, says new Lib Dem chief] , "The Scotsman", December 20, 2007 (accessed April 1, 2008)] [Q: You had the courage publicly to declare that you are an atheist. How does your secular outlook affect your political views? - Simon Maynard. A: I have tremendous respect for people with faith, it's just not something I have myself. But I think it's absolutely vital to keep politics and faith separate. Government shouldn't make moral judgements about what people do or do not believe: faith is a private, personal decision that politicians should not interfere with. [ Clegg responds - Part II] , "Spectator" Coffee House, April 4, 2008 (accessed April 15, 2008).]
*Dimitris Christofias (1946–): Greek Cypriot politician, President of Cyprus 2008-Present. ["For instance, Chrysostomos might argue that certain self-declared atheists should not be allowed to vote. It's worth recalling that a couple of years ago, the leader of the communist party AKEL Demetris Christofias said he was an atheist." Elias Hazou, [ 'Church elections: how it works'] , "Cyprus Mail" archive article, September 17, 2006 (accessed May 15, 2008).]
* Georges Clemenceau (1841–1929): French statesman, physician and journalist, prime minister of France 1906-1909 and 1917-1920. Led France during World War I and was one of the major voices behind the Treaty of Versailles. ["M. Clemenceau does not belong to the Socialist party, but is nevertheless a convinced atheist. He opposes zealously the idea of God, and preaches revolt against Him." Eugne Tavernier, 'The Religious Question In France. I. A French Catholic's View', "The Times", November 6, 1909; p. 5; Issue 39110; col F.]
* Robin Cook (1946–2005): Secretary of State for Foreign & Commonwealth Affairs of the UK (1997–2001), whose funeral service was held in the High Kirk of Scotland, where he was described as a "Presbyterian atheist." [ [,,2-1733157,00.html Labour Party at prayer salutes Cook the atheist] , by Magnus Linklater, "The Times", August 13, 2005.]
* James Connolly (1868–1916): Irish socialist leader. ["When he left, after numerous rows with American socialists—De Leon ultimately dubbed the atheist Connolly a Jesuit agent; Connolly alleged De Leon was 'purposely doing the work of the capitalist class' (Connolly to Matheson, 8 Nov 1900, Dudley Edwards, 63)—though the class struggle was still his main concern he had developed a new sympathy with cultural and political nationalism." Ruth Dudley Edwards: 'Connolly, James (1868–1916)', "Oxford Dictionary of National Biography", Oxford University Press, 2004 [] (accessed April 30, 2008).]
* Vaso Čubrilović (1897–1990): Bosnian student, a conspirator in the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria. ["The philosophical and political differences among the conspirators were expressed at the trial. This was particularly obvious between the two Cubrilović brothers. [...] Veljko was a deeply religious man, who spent the whole night before the execution reading St. John's Gospel; Vaso was an atheist, scandalising judges with his statements; [...] ." 'Back to Sarajevo After 50 Years By Professor Vladimir Dedijer of Harvard', "The Times", June 26, 1964; pg. 13; Issue 56048; col F.]
* Clarence Darrow (1857–1938): American lawyer and leading member of the American Civil Liberties Union, best known for defending John T. Scopes in the so-called Monkey Trial (1925). ["I don't believe in God because I don't believe in Mother Goose." Clarence Darrow, speech in Toronto, 1930, as quoted in "Breaking the Last Taboo" (1996) by James A. Haught.] ["I say that religion is the belief in future life and in God. I don't believe in either." Clarence Darrow, 'Law is 'Horrible' says Darrow, 79', "New York Times", April 19, 1936.] ["In spite of all the yearnings of men, no one can produce a single fact or reason to support the belief in God and in personal immortality." Clarence Darrow, "Sign" magazine, May 1938 (from "Rawson's Dictionary of American Quotations" via [] , accessed August 1, 2008).]
* Meghnad Desai, Baron Desai (1940–): British economist, writer and Labour politician. ["Lord Desai: Like my noble friend Lord Dormand I am an atheist and therefore should not speak too much about religion, but I am glad that the C [hurch] of E [ngland] , having lost money in real estate, is now interested in sex and making money. That is always welcome." [ Lords Hansard, 4 Jun 1998: Column 481] (accessed April 24, 2008).]
* Frank Dobson (1940–): British Labour politician and member of Parliament for Holborn and St. Pancras. [In a House of Commons debate on historic churches, Sir Patrick Cormack said: "The chairman of the historic churches and chapels group, the right hon. Member for Holborn and St. Pancras (Frank Dobson) [...] is a self-proclaimed atheist but shares the affection [for historic churches] that I believe that the Minister has [...] " [ House of Commons Hansard, 14 Dec 2006: Column 1132] (accessed April 24, 2008).]
* Jack Dormand (1919–2003): British educationist and Labour politician. ["As the most insistent of atheists in the House of Lords, after he arrived there in 1987, Dormand demanded equal rights for the non-religious fifth of the population. As a former teacher and education officer, he wanted religions and humanism described neutrally in schools, not propagated. [...] But "after some years of very considerable thought", he became an atheist, though "I certainly attempt, although I fail regularly, to live by the Christian ethic." He became more overtly atheist in the Lords than he had been in the Commons, where he had to worry about his religious constituents. [...] He started teaching at 21, telling his headmaster that, as an atheist, he was not really qualified to take religious education." Andrew Roth, 'Obituary: Lord Dormand of Easington: Genial chairman during Labour's hard times', "The Guardian", December 20, 2003, Pg. 21.]
* Norman Douglas (1910–1985): New Zealand Labour Party politician. ["The influence of John A. Lee was reflected in his oratorical style and mannerisms, self-confidence and optimism, a sometimes scathing sense of humour, and probably his atheism." Hudson, Switzer: 'Douglas, Norman Vazey 1910 - 1985', [ Dictionary of New Zealand Biography] , updated June 22, 2007 (accessed July 16, 2008).]
* Alex Erwin (1948–): South African politician, the country's Minister of Public Enterprises since 2004. ["Although Hurley's ecumenical links stopped short of the Communist Party, Alec Erwin, today's South African Minister of Trade and Industry, recalled their friendship in anti-apartheid days, though Erwin was an atheist and "he knew of my support for the Communist cause"." Randolph Vigne, 'Obituary: Archbishop Denis Hurley, Progressive South African Prelate', "The Independent" (London), February 25, 2004, Pg. 34.]
* Giuliano Ferrara (1952–): Italian politician, journalist, and occasional talk show host. ["In his latest incarnation, Mr. Ferrara is running for Parliament on a small slate devoted to a single issue: "pro-life," which he defines loosely. An avowed atheist and nonbeliever, he has called for a "moratorium," but not a ban, on abortion, to call attention to the value of life." Rachel Donadio, ' [ The Atheist Urging Italy to Get Religion ] ', "New York Times", April 6, 2008 (accessed June 16, 2008).]
* Herbert Fisher OM (1865–1940): English historian, educator, and Liberal politician. ["Fisher may have underestimated the offence the book would cause because he was himself an agnostic in religious matters; in private letters he described himself as an atheist, and said firmly to his friends that religion 'rots the mind' (J. Hart, "Ask me No More", 1998, 204)." A. Ryan, 'Fisher, Herbert Albert Laurens (1865–1940)', "Oxford Dictionary of National Biography", Oxford University Press, Sept 2004; online edition, January 2008 [] (accessed May 1, 2008).]
* Donald Findlay QC (1951–): Senior Scottish advocate and Queen's Counsel. ["Mr Findlay, who describes himself as an atheist, also claimed that under European human rights law he had the right to free speech." ['Pope joke not intended as offensive, says QC'] , "The Journal Online", June 19, 2007 (accessed May 13, 2008).]
* Shreela Flather, Baroness Flather (1934–): British Conservative peer in the House of Lords, the first Asian woman to receive a peerage. ["I am an atheist and yet I am accepted by Hindus because as far as I can I follow the principles of the Gita, which I consider the most important Hindu book. In my small way I try to live by that. I do not believe in God but I believe that we have to live a good life on this Earth." Baroness Flather, [ Lords Hansard, 19 Apr 2007: Column 341] (accessed April 24, 2008).]
* Michael Foot (1913–): British politician and writer, leader of the Labour Party 1980–1983. ["Why are politicians such awful people, I asked Michael Foot. 'They're not,' he answered. 'Only the ones who don't do anything else.' His father's son, obviously. And also his own man. He became fatally estranged from his father's Methodist insistencies as a student, when he came upon Bertrand Russell's humanism. He kept quiet about it at the time. 'No point saying I'm an atheist. It wouldn't have been kind.' " Sally Vincent, "The Guardian", January 2, 1999, Weekend Page, Pg. 16.]
* Giuseppe Garibaldi (1807–1882): Leader of the Italian Risorgimento, unifier of Italy, "Hero of the Two Worlds". [In his "Life of Garibaldi" (1881) Bent reproduces a letter he wrote two years before he died. "Dear Friends-Man created God, not God man-yours ever, Garibaldi."]
* Sir George Taubman Goldie (1846–1925): Manx administrator who, as founder of the Royal Niger Company, played a major role in the founding of Nigeria. ["Goldie's opinions, as much as his actions, defied convention. He was a convinced atheist, an admirer of Huxley, Darwin, and Winwoode Reade." Scarbrough: 'Goldie, Sir George Dashwood Taubman (1846–1925)', rev. John Flint, "Oxford Dictionary of National Biography", Oxford University Press, 2004; online edn, Jan 2008 [] (accessed May 1, 2008).]
* Władysław Gomułka (1905–1982): Polish Communist leader. ["Above all, however, Mr. Gomulka is an atheist, and he is now strong enough to say so in a country which is not." 'Mr. Gomulka Bolder Against Church', "The Times", Wednesday, Feb 08, 1961; pg. 11; Issue 55000; col D.]
* Mikhail Gorbachev (1931–): Former Soviet president and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1990. ["I am an atheist. But I... respect the feelings and the religious beliefs of each citizen." Gorbachev interview with Peter Jennings, "ABC News", Sept. 6, 1991, reported in "The New York Times", Sept. 7, 1991.] [ [ Atheism: An Affirmative View (1980) by Emmett F. Fields] ] [ [] ]
* Dick Gross (1954–): Australia politician, President of the Municipal Association of Victoria and former three-time Mayor of the City of Port Phillip, Australia. ["An atheist who values religion, Dick Gross (who is the Mayor of the City of Port Phillip, Vic) wrote "The Godless Gospel" for people who don't believe in God but need the social and moral structures that religion provides. Atheists are his biggest critics, but Gross's sense of humour is equal to their righteous indignation." Programme summary, 'The Spirit of things', Radio National, with Rachael Kohn: ' [ Do We Need God To Be Good?] ', September 26, 1999 (accessed June 10, 2008).]
* Vincent Hallinan (1896–1992): American lawyer who ran for President of the United States in 1952, the third highest polling candidate in the election. ["He also served a two-year sentence for tax evasion in the 1950s, ran for US president for the Progressive Party, made a great deal of money, and as a militant atheist once pinned down a Catholic archbishop during cross-examination, forcing him to confess he could not prove Heaven existed." Christopher Reed, 'Obituary: Vincent Hallinan, A Brawler for Justice', "The Guardian" (London), October 6, 1992, Pg. 33.]
* Roy Hattersley PC (1932–): British Labour Party politician, author and journalist, Deputy Leader of the Labour Party 1983–1992. ["I was the visiting atheist on the BBC's weekly religious show a couple of Sundays ago." Roy Hattersley, 'Blighted by a moral code', "The Guardian", December 11, 2006, Comment and Debate, Pg. 25.]
* George Hawi (1938–2005): Lebanese politician and former secretary general of the Lebanese Communist Party. ["What united them was opposition to a supposedly corrupt and pro-western administration, unfairly dominated by factions of Lebanon's Maronite Christian community. Notwithstanding his own professed atheism, Hawi, Greek Orthodox by birth, was valued as an iconic Christian figure within a coalition often painted as sectarian Muslim." Lawrence Joffe, 'Obituary: George Hawi: Lebanese communist leader who espoused Muslim-Christian dialogue', "The Guardian" (London)June 22, 2005, Pg. 29.]
* Bill Hayden (1933–): Governor-General of Australia (1989–1996). [In 1996 Hayden was recognised as the "Australian Humanist of the Year" with the statement that "The award is made because he has shown that an avowed atheist who describes himself as a secular humanist can occupy the position of Governor-General with mounting approval." "Australian Humanist", No. 41 February, 1996] . ["Being an atheist--as I am--is not a necessary pre-condition for being a humanist." in his acceptance speech for "Australian Humanist of the Year", reported in "Australian Humanist", No 42, May 1996]
* Theodor Herzl (1860–1904): Austro-Hungarian Jewish journalist and founder of modern political Zionism. ["He [Chaim Maccoby] spoke out ever more vehemently against Herzl, the self-confessed atheist, and his followers, refusing to preach at one federation synagogue because it dared to host a branch of the Zionist Federation." Geoffrey Alderman, [ 'Maccoby, Chaim Zundel (1858–1916)'] , "Oxford Dictionary of National Biography", Oxford University Press, 2004 (accessed May 2, 2008).]
* Douglas Houghton PC CH (1898–1996): British Labour politician. ["Baroness Blatch: My Lords, if noble Lords, like me, believe in the life hereafter, then it is possible to believe that the doughty animal-lover, the late Lord Houghton of Sowerby, will be looking down on our proceedings today. Lord McIntosh of Haringey: My Lords-- Baroness Blatch: I know that the noble Lord is not a believer in these matters. I speak personally; I did make that point. [...] Lord McIntosh of Haringey: Before the Minister leaves Lord Houghton of Sowerby, it is not my beliefs that matter; Lord Houghton was to his dying day a devoted atheist." [ Lords Hansard, March 20, 1997: Column 1142-1143] ] .
* Enver Hoxha (1908–1985): Communist ruler who declared Albania the first atheist state, and who has been identified as an "arch-atheist." [Sang M. Lee writes that Albania was " [o] fficially an atheist state under Hoxha..." [ Restructuring Albanian Business Education Infrastructure] August 2000 (Accessed June 6, 2007)] [Kamm, Henry (1993, June 10). 'Hallelujah' is heard in the arch-atheist's temple. "The New York Times" (Late Edition (East Coast)), p. A4. Retrieved August 27, 2007, from National Newspaper Abstracts]
* Robert Hughes, Baron Hughes of Woodside (1932–): British Labour politician. ["Do we accept the fact that in a wholly elected Chamber there would be no Cross-Benchers and no representatives of the Church of England or any other faith? Fortunately there will still be room for atheists like me, although I would go as well under a wholly elected system." Lord Hughes of Woodside, [ Lords Hansard, 21 Jan 2003: Column 632] (accessed April 25, 2008). ]
* Ion Iliescu (1930–): Romanian politician, three times President of Romania. ["No wonder this politically-baffled people is now looking to the Church for a new ideological direction. Even President Ion Iliescu, once Nicolae Ceausescu's chief of propaganda and a self-confessed atheist, has conceded that the country needs the Church to bring moral renewal." Fiona Tupper-Carey, 'Faith and Reason: Romania's church faces up to its past', "The Independent" (London), November 9, 1991, Pg. 53.]
* Nilde Iotti (1920–1999): Italian politician, the first woman to became president of the Italian Chamber of Deputies for three consecutive legislatures 1979–1992. ["A diligent pupil, she won a scholarship to Milan's prestigious Catholic university - which left no traces of religiosity. An untormented atheist, she died without a priest at her side." Donald Sassoon, 'Nilde Iotti: Italy's leading post-war woman politician and a founding mother of the republic', "The Guardian", December 9, 1999, Leader Pages, Pg. 24.]
* Dale Jackaman (1956–): Canadian politician. [" Dale Jackaman doesn't believe in God. Those who do worry him, especially fundamentalists. "I'm an atheist," declares Jackaman, a former Army reservist who has served in the Middle East and now runs a computer security firm. [...] "Atheists tend not to bother anybody unless they're riled up," Jackaman said. "We're riled up now." [...] Jackaman gives the lie to the old saw that there are no atheists in foxholes. He did three tours of duty in the Middle East -- two in the Golan Heights and one in Cyprus -- with the Army signal corps. Far from igniting any spark of spirituality, his experience in the war-torn Middle East confirmed his belief that religious differences fan the flames of war. "It solidified my atheism," Jackaman said. " [ No god before me] , "Richmond News" October 23, 2007 (accessed April 22, 2008).]
* Tommy Jackson (1879–1955): English founder of the Socialist Party of Great Britain and later the Communist Party of Great Britain. ["When Jackson in his teens converted 'in a night' to socialism and atheism, he was 'literally ill for days afterwards', and it was another two years before he felt able to reveal his new beliefs to his parents (memoirs, People's History Museum, Manchester)." Kevin Morgan, [ 'Jackson, Thomas Alfred (1879–1955)'] , "Oxford Dictionary of National Biography", Oxford University Press, 2004 (accessed May 6, 2008).]
* Zoran Janković (1953–): Slovenian businessman and current mayor of Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia. ["Forty years later, nobody considers it a problem. If we want to engage in intercultural dialogue, we cannot let our Slovene, Ljubljana Muslims celebrate their holidays at sport halls. I am an atheist, but I think that every religious community should have a place of worship built by themselves." Zoran Janković, quoted in 'Mayor tells Bosnian daily building of mosque in Ljubljana "no longer a problem"', BBC Monitoring Europe - Political, May 14, 2008.]
* Jiang Zemin (1926–1955): Chinese communist politician, General Secretary of the Communist Party of China 1989–2002 and President of China 1993–2003. ["No one expects China's position on Tibet to become any more negotiable than it has been. But in one revealing moment, Mr Jiang gave a glimpse of the difficulties Peking has in understanding why other countries abhor its policies in Tibet. "I myself am an atheist," he said. "During my visit to the US last year and during my previous visit to European countries, I found that although the education, science and technology have developed to a very high level and the people are now enjoying modern civilisation, still quite a number of them have a belief in Lamaism." Teresa Poole, 'Jiang keeps channels open to Dalai Lama', "The Independent" (London), June 28, 1998, Pg. 16.]
* Joel Joffe, Baron Joffe CBE (1932–): South Africa-born British Labour peer in the House of Lords. ["I come to this debate with some hesitation because, although I am an atheist, I have always respected the Church of England for the courageous conduct of some of its clergy in South Africa during the apartheid regime, for its social and community work in the UK and for its stand on many human rights issues, and, of course, my admiration and respect for the most reverend Primate the Archbishop of York is unbounded." Lord Joffe, [ Lords Hansard, 19 Apr 2007: Column 357] (accessed April 24, 2008).]
* Sir Reginald Johnston (1874–1938): Scottish diplomat and tutor of Puyi, the last emperor of China, later appointed as commissioner of British-held Weihaiwei. ["Fiercely anti-Christian, he also found time to publish, under the pseudonym Lin Shao Yang, an attack on protestant missions in China, "A Chinese Appeal to Christendom Concerning Christian Missions" (1911). [...] Johnston's atheism was humourless, and privately coarse. His anger with Christianity was a reaction against the high-church Anglicanism of his early upbringing; his was a quarrel with God, as much as with the mission enterprise—although he claimed the latter was as morally indefensible as the opium trade." Robert Bickers, [ 'Johnston, Sir Reginald Fleming (1874–1938)'] , "Oxford Dictionary of National Biography", Oxford University Press, Sept 2004; online edition, January 2008 (accessed May 6, 2008).]
* Kanimozhi (1968–): Indian politician and poet, and daughter of the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi. ["It may be 60 years since the DMK broke away from the Dravidar Kazhagam, but some affinities run very deep, and across generations. Poet turned-politician Kanimozhi earned encomiums from DK president K Veeramani for expounding the ideals of DK founder, the late rationalist leader Periyar. The atheist in her was in full flow as she spoke at the DK's youth wing conference and posed some trenchant questions to believers and went on to express concern over the present-day youth's understanding of the Dravidian movement and its contribution. Veeramani was so impressed that he not only gave her 100 out of 100 in rationalist philosophy. And he laid claim to priority in her ideological loyalty. "You belong to us first, and then only to the DMK," he exulted." [ The rationalist poet] , "Times of India", 8 September 2008 (accessed 9 September 2008).]
* M. Karunanidhi (1924–): Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu. ["For the AIADMK enthusiasts, there is no conflict of ideologies. Their leader, the late M. G. Ramachandran, was an atheist turned ardent Mookambikai devotee. But, for the activists of the DMK, whose leader, M. Karunanidhi, is a sworn atheist, it is a tussle between personal beliefs and the party's ideological moorings." ' [ Rationalism takes the back seat] ', "The Hindu", 8 September 2002.] ["Since Karunanidhi is an atheist he seems to believe in Janatha Janardhan rather than the Janardhan (God) found in temples and places of worship." K. B. Ganapathy, ' [ Jaya scored a self-goal] ', (accessed 9 September 2008).]
* Jim Kemmy (1936–1997): Irish socialist politician. ["As an atheist in Ireland's most conspicuously Catholic city, and an opponent of ardent Republicanism at the height of the Troubles, Jim Kemmy never ran away from a battle. But, though vilified by opponents on issues from Northern Ireland to abortion to contraception, he survived to become the conscience of the Irish Left." Alan Murdoch, 'Obituary: Jim Kemmy', "The Independent" (London), September 27, 1997, Pg. 24.]
* Nikita Khrushchev (1894–1971): Soviet General Secretary, 1953-1964. ["I am not a religious believer, and the Bible is not an authority for me. I never did recognize it as an authority even before I joined the party. I always was an atheist." "Memoirs of Nikita Khrushchev: Volume 3: Statesman, 1953-1964", p.9. Edited by MR Sergei Khrushchev. 2007, Penn State Press, ISBN 0271023325.] ["Khrushchev was a convinced atheist who displayed little tolerance for the traditions and symbols of pre-revolutionary Russia." "Intellectuals and Apparatchiks: Russian Nationalism and the Gorbachev Revolution", p.61. Kevin O'Connor. 2006, Lexington Books, ISBN 0739107712.]
* Kim Jong-il (1941–): Korean politician, leader of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea and officially referred to as the "Dear Leader". ["Kim Jong Il is not a religious person. In contrast with his father, who was raised in a Protestant family and with age grew increasingly interested in the Bible and its disciples, conversations about God do not attract Kim Jong Il's attention. He is an atheist and, like an orthodox Marxist, still considers religion to be "opium for the masses." " Alexandre Y. Mansourov, ' [ Korean Monarch Kim Jong Il: Technocrat Ruler of the Hermit Kingdom Facing the Challenge of Modernity] ', DPRK Briefing Book, Nautilus Institute (accessed April 22, 2008).]
* Oona King (1967–): Former Labour MP for Bethnal Green and Bow (1997-2005). [King calls herself "a misguided 'cultural' Jew without any culture, and a born-again atheist." [ My week: Oona King] , by Oona King, "The Observer", Sunday March 5, 2006 (hosted at, accessed March 29, 2008)]
* Neil Kinnock PC (1942–): British Labour politician, Leader of the Opposition and Labour Party leader 1983–1992. ["Mr Blair's private faith is well-documented and almost certainly stronger than any prime minister in recent memory. Mr Hague is more typical in being an occasional church-goer. Neil Kinnock was unique in declaring himself an atheist." Michael White, Political editor, 'Blair to address Christian groups conference', "The Guardian", June 26, 2000, Pg. 4.]
* Aleksander Kwaśniewski (1954–): Former President of Poland (1995-2005). ["I am an atheist and everybody knows it..." " [ Atheist premier attacks lack of Christianity in EU constitution] ", by Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, "The Telegraph", June 4, 2003.]
* Ismael Leandry Vega (1979–): Puertorrican lawyer and author of La Maldad y la Imbecilidad de tu Dios y de tu Religión (ISBN: 978-0-6152-4471-6). [Ismael Leandry Vega. (2008). La Maldad y la Imbecilidad de tu Dios y de tu Religión. Morrisville, North Carolina.: Lulu Press. ISBN: 978-0-6152-4471-6.]
*Vladimir Ilyich Lenin (1870—1924): Marxist revolutionary, Bolshevik Leader and President of the All Russian Congress of Peoples' Soviets. Lenin considered atheist propaganda to be essential to promoting communism. [" ["Pod Znamenem Marksizma"] must be a militant atheist organ... a journal which sets out to propagandise militant materialism must carry on untiring atheist propaganda and an untiring atheist fight." [ On the Significance of Militant Materialism] , V. I. Lenin, "Pod Znamenem Marksizma" No. 3, March 12, 1922, as published in "Lenin’s Collected Works", Progress Publishers, Moscow, Volume 33, 1972, pp. 227-236 (Translated by David Skvirsky and George Hanna), hosted at [ Marxists Internet Archive] (Accessed November 14, 2007)]
* Ken Livingstone (1945–): Mayor of London 2000-08. ["I assume you're an atheist? I am too. Isn't life easier?" "Translation:"Interviewer: I would like to ask you about your relation to religion and atheistic humanism. When did you "come out" as [an] atheist and how did it happen?
Westerberg: If you mean in public, then I revealed it in connection to my candidacy as party leader for the People's Party. I got the question if I believed in God from Thomas Hempel in Radioekot (radioprogram) and answered no. That's when it became known, though I've never made any secret about it.
* Phillip Whitehead (1937–2005): British Labour politician, television producer and writer. ["It was entirely right that Phillip Whitehead, who loved the village and had lived there since he was three, should have left it in the way that Rowsley men and women have left it for 200 years and more. It was an English funeral in an English village according to the rites of the Church of England. But it is at least a paradox that a man who was an uncompromising atheist - and so described by one of his sons during the service - should be laid to rest with the promise of resurrection and eternal life." Roy Hattersley, 'A decent send-off: Even a hardline atheist can see that the church is better than anyone at staging the last farewell', "The Guardian" January 16, 2006, Pg. 31.]
* Alan Wolfe (19??–): American political scientist and sociologist, director of the Boisi Center for Religion and American Public Life. ["Wolfe, a self-proclaimed atheist, said he recognizes the importance of being open to religious ideas." Sara Esquilin, [ Celebrated atheists debate the ethics of non-believers] , "The Daily Free Press", April 29, 2008 (accessed April 30, 2008).]
* Mao Zedong (1893–1976): was a Chinese military and political leader, who led the Communist Party of China to victory in the Chinese Civil War, and was the leader of the People’s Republic of China from its establishment in 1949 until his death in 1976. Under his leadership, China officially became an atheist state. ["With revolution came a new, atheist regime - one that frowned on all religious belief." [ China's Catholics: Far from Rome] , by Holly Williams, BBC News, December 24, 2003, (Accessed April 14, 2008)] ["...Mao was an atheist..." [ Death Ritual as Political Trickster in the People's Republic of China] , by A. P. Cheater, "Source: The Australian Journal of Chinese Affairs", No. 26 (Jul., 1991), pp. 67-97 (p. 92), published by Contemporary China Center, Australian National University] ["Mao is not only a historical figure, of course, but is part of the (tattered) web of legitimacy on which the People's Republic rests. He is part of the founding mythology of the Chinese government, the Romulus and Remus of "People's China," and that's why his portrait hangs in Tiananmen Square. Even among ordinary Chinese, Mao retains a hold on the popular imagination, and some peasants in different parts of China have started traditional religious shrines honoring him. That's the ultimate honor for an atheist - he has become a god." [ 'Mao': The Real Mao] , Nicholas D. Kristof, "The New York Times", October 23, 2005 (Accessed April 25, 2008)] .

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