CD Divorces Atheist Wife to Win Election to State BOE

March 21st, 2010

I have probably completely ruined my husband’s political career. Not that my husband ever had a political career.  But if he ever wanted one, it is completely shot to hell.  The Country Doctor is currently serving on the local school board. He ran unopposed, but I wasn’t an atheist when he was elected – so who knows how it would have worked out if I had been an atheist during the election.

As I have been following the news about the Texas BOE, I have grown more and more panicky about my own state and what could happen if the Kansas school board decides to wreak the same kind of havoc as the Texas BOE. (After all, Kansas has been through this before) And so I suggested to my husband that he consider running for the state BOE.  But then I realized, that as an atheist blogger, I have probably destroyed his chances to win any type of public election. So I decided right then and there that in order to increase his chances of winning, he needs to file for divorce before he files to run for election.

He said, “Would I re-marry you in secret after I won?”

I said, “No… we will just shock everyone by LIVING TOGETHER!”

Somehow I don’t think I am cut out for politics…

Or for being a politician’s wife.

Because I don’t know how to cast a demon out of a VCR.

But I do have about a year to destroy all evidence of ever having been atheist blogger.  My current state BOE representative is Kathy Martin and her term will be up in 2011.  If there is a single member on the Kansas BOE that the Texas BOE would like to marry and have lots of babies with it would be Kathy Martin.

After the 2005 evolution debate in Kansas, Martin was one of six conservative members who forced Kansas science teachers to follow a curriculum that was practically written by the Discovery Institue of Intelligent Design.  Four of those members rapidly lost their bids for re-election and the new ludicrous science standards they created were over turned within a year, but Martin won a re-election bid (against a gay opponent) and remains on the board until 2011.

If a creationist whack job can defeat a moderate democrat because he is gay – what are the odds she will defeat a straight man who is married to an atheist?

What if the straight man is devastatingly handsome?  

What if the handsome straight man divorces his atheist wife?

These are the real issues my friends – at least when it comes to quality public education in Kansas.

The famed Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster wrote an open letter to the members of the Kansas BOE during the evolution debacle requesting that equal time be given to their personal creation theories as well. Three members of the board responded to the FSM with warm letters appreciating the momentary levity, but Kathy Martin said in her letter -

“It is a serious offense to mock God.”


Last night, as I read more articles and watched a few videos especially of Cynthia Dunbar – the woman who might just make Thomas Jefferson disappear in Texas schools debate Eugenie Scott, the executive director of the National Center for Science Education, I got more and more freaked out.  Middle America laps religious conservatism up like a thirsty dog.  It makes us swoon.  It makes us shiver in delight.  Our eyes roll up in our skulls as we throw our heads back and moan and groan and make breathy whimpering sounds,  Oh god… oh God.  Oh… Oh.. OH MY GOD!!!!  

Because in American you cannot get elected to public office as a public atheist unless you are Pete Stark D. California and you have been there since 1973.

In the following video, the 2008 presidential candidates were asked to raise their hands if they did NOT believe in evolution.

Three men raised their hands.

Mike Huckabee
Tom Tancredo
and the man currently running for governor of my state.

Sam Brownback

Because of Brownback’s funding and the fact that people in my state know who he is, his chances for election are very high. His opponent, Holland faces an uphill battle.

I sure hope Holland’s wife isn’t an atheist.
Or if she is…
I hope she doesn’t write a blog about it!


  • oooh, this is a tough one! is it worse to be “unequally yoked” to a heathen, or worse to commit the sin of divorce?

    you should take a survey, and let the poll decide :-p

  • Martha in Kansas:

    The CD has my vote! But I’m in a different district. I would consider moving!

  • LucyGolden:

    I’d vote for the CD, too!

  • Could CD run against Brownback? Because Brownback kind of scares me a little.

  • Betsy:

    Hubby and I have decided the same. He used to talk about getting into politics but the past few years have basically taken the decision away from him. We’re both atheists, I’m bi and we’ve dabbled in open marriage and we’re rather, well, open about it. I think he’s screwed. :)

  • efrique:

    Thanks for blogging about education. These are important issues and it’s very interesting to read about it from someone who has seen it from more than one side.

  • Isabel:

    I just had to google “Texas BOE” because somehow I interpreted it as meaning Texas Board of Evil.” But I discovered that I was wrong.

  • Centricci:

    If I remember correctly it was Sam Brownback who, during one of those early presidential debates, said that if a woman was raped
    and has gotten pregnant by it, she should be forced to keep the baby
    beacause that baby was “a beautiful gift from a loving god”.

    Such a statement alone, should be enough to bar a person from
    holding any public office ever.

  • Kathy J:

    As a science teacher (GASP) in the state just to the north I was a little horror struck about what was going on in Kansas. It never ceases to amaze me that people will put their very lives into the hands of science when the methods and mind set that discovered their “cure” is the same one that worked out evolution.

    I think folks don’t like the fact that there is always more testing of scientific theories and that folks change when the weight of fact shows them that changing your idea (hypothesis) is the thing to do.

    As for mocking God (yeah I know you don’t think he exists) I really think he can take it and not hold a grudge – I’m just sayin’….

  • Cherie:

    Wow! I’m sending money to Tom Holland’s campaign right now! Thanks for waking me up! It’s time to help Tom Holland because Brownback is a whole lotta scary!!!

    And about the whole divorcing thing… my husband used to suggest we get divorced for tax purposes, pay me child support and continue to live together “in sin”. Somehow he thought this would save us some money. He didn’t work too hard at convincing me, though – so here we are, still married – and paying taxes, for 37 years.

  • Wendy:

    @Isabel Texas Board of Evil is actually not wrong

  • Megan:

    This is my major beef with religion, it should never, EVER enter into public policy making. When lawmakers start writing legislation based on their religious beliefs they are not representing all of their constituency and it opens the door for rampant discrimination, all bible based of course.

    It always shocks me when people insist that we need to elect more pious people to public office and run this country on the “Christian principles it was founded on”. Those same people think that we need to bring “democracy” to Iran and Iraq. The only thing we need to bring to Iran and Iraq are separation of church and state.

  • Even if we *weren’t* both FAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAR left-wing liberal nutjobs (I like to say “so relatively moderate by general European standards”), DH and I are also pretty effectively ruled out of political participation – me because I won’t shut my yap, both of us as card-carrying members of our college’s Freethinkers Society, and him for his propensity to call people “fucking idiots” (only when they deserve it, of course).

    But more seriously, even though it’d be nice to say “I’ll vote for an atheist who runs for office!” it would really boil down to politics more than personal beliefs. I’m a strong believer that one’s religion and personal beliefs should in no way effect how one participates in government, and that goes both for the Creationists/neoconservatives and myself. It just so happens, I suspect, that nonbelievers have/would have an easier time sticking to that commitment than would a deeply, outwardly religious person. So hypothetically if some candidate came along claiming to be an atheist but supporting a platform which I can’t endorse, I might be more likely to vote for a religious person who kept the religion to himself/herself and had a platform that’s compatible with my politics. Just like I wouldn’t want to be represented/governed by someone who governs by their beliefs, nor would I vote for someone with whom I disagree politically just because I happen to agree with them on religion.

    Not that there are a bunch of publicly-atheist Republicans running around anyway, so it’s unlikely to ever be an issue. Or Democrats, for that matter.

    And yes I know that was a bit of a tangent. :-)

  • noalder:

    I’ve been troubled by Kansas for some time, and I’ve decided that the only thing I can do about it is drive around it.

  • Aretha:


  • Joel Wheeler:

    Eugenie Scott rules.

  • If I didn’t mention before that you’re my hero, for oh, about a million reasons, just thought I should make it clear, now. You rock, Rechelle. And so do your readers.

  • Joel – I know. She’s my new hero. Really love that girl.

  • cpilgrim:

    Been thinking through some of the content on your site, decided I owed you an apology. My anger at your attitude has laid heavily on my mind, and I believe I have judged you unfairly. You are working out some stuff that is laying heavily on your mind as well, and sometimes that process is messy. I can say that if you can go through this process without alienating people, that your restraint will be a blessing to you. I know this firsthand– I have gone through the same process as you, although the result was different. I was an atheist for a very long time and have recently started investigating Christianity and can count myself among the faithful. Now that I am faithful, I really regret alienating all the believers I encountered when I was in that phase of my life. I was hateful toward them, really hateful! I prided myself on being more intelligent, more thoughtful, than they are. I know right now you don’t want to be proselytized to, nevertheless I feel compelled to tell you that the questions you have about God are shared among believers and unbelievers as well, even if most believers won’t admit it. Being a Christian doesn’t mean you understand perfectly the mind of God, that you don’t sin (as I have done toward you), or that you believe that the world is a perfect place, that people don’t suffer. Being a Christian is a daily struggle and I have hope that you will come out of this with a renewed, stronger faith. Don’t judge Christianity by the polemic atheists, and don’t judge it by its broken practitioners like myself. As a former atheist one thing I have seen spring out of that movement is bitterness towards other people (yes, it springs from Christianity as well– it is, after all, a human problem) and it pains me to see anyone revel in bitterness, as it is a problem I struggle with and a poison I must address continually. It is a trap.

    Anyway, I apologize. I won’t come back here because I think the conversations on this site are a stumbling block to my own moral development. I think sometimes we think that the internet is a place where we can freely judge people– they’re not real people, just virtual people, people who can’t really be hurt. But that is wrong. You’re not a character, you’re a person! So if I hurt you I do apologize. I doubt I did, because you seem like a pretty strong person, but just in case I thought I would drop in one last time to make amends.

    • Christine – This apology is a bit unapologetic and I love the ending where you say you are leaving the site (so nice!) – but I am glad that it makes you feel better about yourself. That is after all, what christianity is all about.

  • cpilgrim:

    And I should mention that a sudden turn to atheism is explicitly laid out as not a reason for divorce in the Bible :)

  • stephanie:


    OK, Rechelle, onto more important topics. Since you still haven’t revealed whether you guys root on the Cats or the Hawks, were you happy or sad last night? ;)

  • Jill:

    Seriously? Sam Brownback? Oh. no.

  • Lori:

    @cpilgrim- Very kind and well said even if it wasn’t well received…

  • Stephanie – Rock Chalk Jayhawk. I was sad to see them lose and now I’ve only got Kentucky and K-State still alive in my final four bracket. Ugh!

    Lori – It wasn’t kind. She called me arrogant. She said that I am hurting people and she said she couldn’t stand to read this blog anymore. So no – not really kindness and not really an apology.

  • bPer:


    Really? “[K]ind and well said”? I thought it was likely another pathetic attempt to bring Rechelle ‘back into the fold”.

    My BS alarms were sounding loud and clear as I read cpilgrim’s comment. The “I was an atheist until I found Jeezus” ploy is as common as dirt. It’s used in two ways: first, to an atheist, to try to ingratiate yourself with the ‘mark’; and second, when witnessing to fellow theists, to boast of how much of a sinner you used to be. Ironically, the ploy is only effective with second audience – atheists see through it almost immediately. I think it’s much more likely that cpilgrim is either deluded as to what an atheist is (e.g. thinking that being ‘angry with God’ means she was an atheist*), or has convinced herself that lying in the service of her religion (aka being a Liar for Jesus™) is morally justified. Some morals!

    Other things that triggered the BS alarm: “investigating Christianity” is another ploy to try to ingratiate yourself by making yourself look open-minded. All an atheist demands is “show me the scientific evidence for the existence of God”. No evidence exists … end of investigation. Also, the “gotta run because my morals are in danger” crap is the classic “atheists are amoral” slur. No former atheist would buy that theist propaganda.

    I suspect that Rechelle saw through cpilgrim’s ploy. If so, her polite response was more than cpilgrim deserved.


    * here’s a clue – you can’t be angry at a fictional character

  • DirtyKSmama - Nikki:

    Brownback and Martin are scary, and they’ve got really good odds for election out here conservativeland. Kansas is slipping backwards. What a nightmare.

    Sorry about your Jayhawks. Our household does watch and cheer for them when they aren’t playing K-State.

  • efrique:

    Kathy J said:

    It never ceases to amaze me that people will put their very lives into the hands of science when the methods and mind set that discovered their “cure” is the same one that worked out evolution.

    It’s even worse. The development of many modern medicines – particularly modern antibiotics – are explicitly *based* on evolutionary ideas. (They have to be or they wouldn’t work – bacteria keep evolving.)

    [I read the blog of a HIV researcher, and as she explains it, constantly dealing with the problems that arise from a rapidly evolving target (in that case a virus) are a major part of why HIV is so hard to deal with. Everything they do is based on evolutionary ideas, because the thing evolves before their eyes.]

    So evolution deniers that go to get antibiotics are not just indirectly hypocritical, but directly hypocritical.

  • Brian V.:

    Dear Rechelle, I have sinned against you! Pastor Poe has knelt with me and well, we have shared things in private that freed me from my heinous crimes and the guilt I have had to live with regarding my transgressions toward you. I have had awful thoughts and unforgivable desires but I am free now and will faithfully fast (my spouse has agreed to leave me alone for up to four weeks in my bedroom) until you stop hurting others, especially dear cook bloggers with happy buns on the run for them. I swear this is true and don’t you laugh at me. I won’t have a bite. Please let me know when you are willing to let go of your embrace with Satan himself so I can eat again. Do not mock!

  • Brian V.:

    And I shall never take antibiotics again!

  • Brian V.:

    geez, can a Christian, have ibuprofen at least?

  • km:

    The reliance on “the christian principles our nation was founded on” always puzzles me. When I think of the 13 original states it always strikes me that most of them are pretty liberal. Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Georgia, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maryland, South Carolina, New Hampshire, Virginia, New York, North Carolina, Rhode Island There are a few conservative pockets in there but the majority are places where I can comfortably live with my Euro lefty tendencies :)
    The code word for “what is wrong with this country” is the cradle of liberty itself, Massachusetts. Even their newly elected anamolous conservative Senator was a nude centerfold:)

    Brian V. it’s poultices for you to draw Satan out :)

  • Brian V. Are you going on a hunger strike for my soul? Awwww. That is SO SWEET! I do however apologize to your spouse for the bedroom strike. I think that may be taking it a bit too far and not really ‘loving your neighbor as yourself!’

  • You crack me up! Seriously…I live a town with a college that requires you to sign a pledge that you will not be gay, have sex before marriage or drink. It is uber Christian which involves being judged daily for my beliefs. I come here for a reality check. Just joined the spaghetti church on facebook…he cracks me up too. I am either losing my mind or gaining it…who knows…

  • Brian V.:

    Aw, geez, I apologize for apologizing and realize that I shouldn’t have and now I want to apologize for mentioning that I cannot eat anymore because that probably makes you feel guilty and I’m sorry for that… I’m not hungry anyway….. oops, sorry.

  • marewood:

    The State BOE, Glenn Beck, Texas… what happened to sanity?
    Christian or not, I’m pretty sure the Bible was written AT that time, FOR that time and not meant to be taken literally.
    CD should run anyway – he’ have my vote. Besides, divorce is expensive and you’ll need the money for his campaign.

  • Shelly:

    Sam Brownback is the scariest thing to come out of Kansas. I for one, will NOT be voting for Sammy…

  • Reading cpilgrim’s comments, I remember how Christians can be so manipulative, particularly when they want to make a statement or do something ‘good’ – they usually do it publicly. Which is what she did, instead of emailing you personally. How rude! If she wanted to apologize, she should have kept it short, sweet, to the point, and with NO excuses. What was she apologizing for? Oh yeah, anger…something in her head.

  • Twin-Skies:

    Something tells me cpilgrim needs to brush up on biblical text:

    “So when you give to the poor, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, so that they may be honored by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full.”

    Matthew 6:3

  • Amphigorey:

    Pete Stark is my representative. It made me very happy in the last election to vote for someone who’s not only out as an atheist, but is a bona fide liberal.

    I was sad to move from Barbara Lee’s district (she is a hero), but I’m happy to have Mr. Stark representing me.

  • Beth:

    Kathryn, you are waaaaay generalizing.