Recently elected Arizona senator Kyrsten Sinema chose to be sworn in not on a religious book, but on a book containing the U.S. and Arizona constitutions, courtesy of the Library of Congress. Sinema’s spokesman John LaBombard told The Arizona Republic that it’s a common practice for Sinema, who makes a point to hold true to the law. LaBombard said, “Kyrsten always gets sworn in on a Constitution simply because of her love for the Constitution.”
Swearing in on the literal law of the land might be widely considered logical and sound if Christianity weren’t the overbearing force it is in the U.S. But that’s not the case. Sinema’s class of Congress, though one of the most religiously diverse to date, is still 88 percent Christian, per CNN. As a result, speculation runs rampant about whether Sinema is an atheist. Nonbelievers are happy for the assumed representation, but wish she were confident enough to admit her religious stance, while more closed-minded Christians throw holy water at her while she’s not looking.
Theism is an issue that’s followed Sinema for awhile. She’s stayed relatively quiet about it, opting to claim no religious affiliation and saying terms like “atheist” and “nonbeliever” don’t describe her well, probably not wanting to hurt her voting numbers by coming out as not religious. However, she is, of course, able to provide as much or little information as she chooses about her personal life.
Sinema is no stranger to pioneering representation. Her election marks Arizona’s first female senator, the first openly bisexual person elected to Congress and now the only congressperson to claim no religious affiliation.
Although Sinema may choose not to openly declare whether she’s an atheist, one thing’s certain: Watching the openly LGBTQ+ senator being sworn in by vice homophobe Mike Pence is immensely satisfying. Check it out.