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In the Spirit: When it comes to religious affiliation, Baldwin, Pocan 'unspecified'

In the Spirit: When it comes to religious affiliation, Baldwin, Pocan 'unspecified'

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Ten of the 530 legislators who make up the newly elected 113th Congress do not specify a religious affiliation, and two of them are from Wisconsin, according to a new analysis by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life.

Newly elected U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin and newly elected U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan, both Democrats from Madison, are listed as “unspecified” in the analysis. Neither returned calls for comment as of Monday afternoon.

John Kraus, a spokesman for Baldwin, told the New York Times two weeks ago that Baldwin was baptized Episcopalian but that the term no longer describes her religiosity. She prefers “unaffiliated,” Kraus told the Times.

As for the rest of Wisconsin’s congressional delegation: Sen. Ron Johnson (R) and Reps. Tom Petri (R) and Ron Kind (D) are Lutherans; Reps. Paul Ryan (R) and Sean Duffy (R) are Roman Catholics; Reps. Reid Ribble (R) and Gwen Moore (D) are Baptists; and Rep. James Sensenbrenner Jr. (R) is Anglican Catholic.

The 113th Congress includes the first Buddhist to serve in the Senate (Sen. Mazie K. Hirono, D-Hawaii), the first Hindu to serve in either chamber (Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii) and the first member of Congress to describe her religion as “none” (Rep. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz.).

Protestants remain the majority in Congress at 56 percent of seats.

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