I think it’s unfortunate that people are discriminated against and have been for years for not being believers. The fact that it is written in the Constitutions of so many states to make it illegal to hold office for not believing in a god is vile and contemptuous to me. Atheists aren’t going to drink your children’s blood in the middle of the night and they’re not going to have orgies on your front lawn. They just don’t believe in a god. So. Freaking. What. I guess it’s noodle time.
The Washington Post points out HERE:
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled all such state provisions unconstitutional and unenforceable in a 1961 ruling in a Maryland case: “We repeat and again reaffirm that neither a State nor the Federal Government can constitutionally force a person ‘to profess a belief or disbelief in any religion.’”
The Constitution for Arkansas, article 19, section 1 can be found HERE:
1. Atheists disqualified from holding office or testifying as witness. No person who denies the being of a God shall hold any office in the civil departments of this State, nor be competent to testify as a witness in any Court.
The Constitution for Maryland, article 37 can be found HERE:
Art. 37. That no religious test ought ever to be required as a qualification for any office of profit or trust in this State, other than a declaration of belief in the existence of God; nor shall the Legislature prescribe any other oath of office than the oath prescribed by this Constitution.
In Mississippi – article 14, Section 265 can be found HERE:
Article 14, Section 265. Denial of Supreme Being disqualification to hold office.
No person who denies the existence of a Supreme Being shall hold any office in this state.
The Constitution for Pennsylvania – article 1, section 4 can be found HERE:
No person who acknowledges the being of a God and a future state of rewards and punishments shall, on account of his religious sentiments, be disqualified to hold any office or place of trust or profit under this Commonwealth.
The Constitution for South Carolina – article 17, section 4 can be found HERE:
SECTION 4. Supreme Being.
No person who denies the existence of a Supreme Being shall hold any office under this Constitution.
The Constitution for Tennessee – article 9, section 2 can be found HERE:
Section 2. No person who denies the being of God, or a future state of rewards and punishments, shall hold any office in the civil department of this state.
The Constitution for Texas – article 1, section 4 can be found HERE:
Sec. 4. RELIGIOUS TESTS. No religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office, or public trust, in this State; nor shall any one be excluded from holding office on account of his religious sentiments, provided he acknowledge the existence of a Supreme Being.
I was surprised Georgia and Alabama weren’t on this list, but apparently, at least in this sense they have evolved, although I would wager an Atheist would have a hard time getting elected to public office, any public office, in either one of those states. The fact is religious persecution is still very much present in the United States. The Baptists hate the Presbyterians, the Episcopalians hate the Catholics, and the Catholics hate everybody. The common denominator of hate however is Atheism. A failure to embrace Jesus and his Bible dooms the non-believer to the fiery pit, at least according to the religious crazies, and even some mainstream Christians.
Many thanks to Class Warfare Exists for their contributions to this article.
Hat tip to Marianne for the link.