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Last Leper in the Colony:

An Atheist Runs for Congress in the Bible Belt

By Wynne LeGrow, MD

Wynne LeGrow, MD, attends church regularly while growing up, the son of a protestant minister father and schoolteacher mother. By the time he reaches the age of sixteen, however, he realizes he is an atheist.


After twenty-nine years of practicing internal medicine and nephrology, LeGrow retires from his work as a physician and runs for a congressional seat as a Democratic atheist in southern Virginia, deep in the Bible Belt. His opponent is the founder and chairman of the Congressional Prayer Caucus, Representative Randy Forbes. LeGrow’s primary motivation for running is to contribute to the fight against global climate change.


Although books by New Atheists such as Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, Sam Harris, and Daniel Dennett attracted wide acclaim, the national press doesn’t bother to cover LeGrow’s attempt at running for national office as an atheist. But lack of coverage aside, the results are encouraging: LeGrow manages to garner a respectable 37.5 percent of the vote. Find out how in this candid—and often quite humorous—memoir.






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