Richard Dawkins, noted scientist and avowed atheist, told talk show host and fellow atheist Bill Maher recently that they have a friend-in-faith in the White House.
"Like many people, I'm sure that Obama is an atheist," Mr. Dawkins said during an appearance on HBO's "Real Time with Bill Maher."
He went on to claim another president shared the humanist view.
"I'm sure Kennedy was an atheist," he said.
Mr. Dawkins is a well-known biologist, author and atheist who founded the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science, and who penned the book, "An Appetite for Wonder: The Making of a Scientist."
His comments come amid the release of White House adviser Joshua DuBois' book, "The President's Devotional: The Daily Readings That Inspired President Obama," which aimed to highlight how Mr. Obama has turned to his faith and prayer in tough times.
"I've certainly seen the president's faith grow in his time in office," Mr. DuBois told the Associated Press. "When you cultivate your faith, it grows."
Few atheists in political office profess their lack of belief. Former Massachusetts Rep. Barney Frank come forward to admit his atheism a few months after he left Congress.
Mr. Maher said that situation was bound to change, however.
Atheists are "out there, they're thinking it, they're just afraid to say it," he said during an interview with the Wrap in September. "But that's changing. It'll be the new gay marriage."
He also said that he wouldn't currently consider a run for political office, because his views would make him "the last person who could ever win."
In 2008, Mr. Maher appeared in "Religulous," a film that mocked organized religion.
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