The 2020 presidential election has produced the most diverse field of candidates in history. There are women, people of color and an openly gay man. There are billionaires, socialists and a self-help guru. The Vermont senator Bernie Sanders’ view of religion is not particularly clear but there are no known atheists.

Non-believers remain few and far between in American politics. In Congress, the only one to publicly “come out” as such is Jared Huffman, a Democrat representing California’s second district and a leading proponent of impeachment of Donald Trump.

Huffman announced in late 2017 that he is a humanist, not an atheist. In an interview at his Capitol Hill office, he characterized himself as “non-religious, humanist, spiritual albeit without any particular dogma. I’m a spiritual drifter. ‘Seeker’ would be a perfectly good word, too.”

Asked how he would define spiritual, Huffman said: “I’m interested in the morality and values that hold us together, the things that through time have really been the foundations of many religions, but I just see so much in organized religion that doesn’t work for me that I can’t really find a fit there.”

Huffman, 55, has no desire to emulate militants such as Richard Dawkins or Christopher Hitchens. […]