“The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.”
As far as your comment regarding the testimony of atheists in court, you may want to rethink that, unless you wish to claim that the proponents of faith never lie.
At least yours is a reasoned and rational response. I’ve been waiting for one all day.
While the Constitution is a remarkable document, and frames a remarkable form of government, it nowhere explicitly declares a moral compass, e.g. that murder or theft are illegal. Then, upon what can you base the illegality of these acts? Your own preconceptons? That you wouldn’t want anybody to do that to you? These reasons are not external, not objective, not transcendent, and definitely not eternal.
Furthermore, the Constitution draws its strengths from the faiths of those who compiled it.
One of the principal framers of the Constitution, John Adams, said, “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”
By my reckoning, the framers intended the proscription against any religious test to protect against sectarianism, as did the First Amendment. These were not intended to purge faith from the public arena, since the entire structure of the country was founded on men of faith and was intended to be upheld and obeyed by men of faith.
There is also the appeal in the Declaration of Independence to “the laws of nature and of nature’s God”, upon which the Constitutional Framers depended in order to “entitle them” to establish a new government and write a Constitution.
Virtually every one of the Framers of the Constitution were men of faith, however feeble. Virtually all believed at least in a Prime Mover who established the external, objective, transcendent Truths from which they fashioned virtually all of their remarks and the Constitution itself.
While the proponents of faith do lie, those to whom their faith is real, would have to live with an unsettled conscience all their days or make amends with any parties injured by their lies. I have seen this again and again after Christian conversions, including my own.
An Atheist, while he may actually be more truthful than a man of faith, has nothing upon which to base his truthfulness. In fact, it could be subject to change with the vicissitudes of life or fashion.
Ours is a Judeo-Christian heritage. For the heritage of the atheists, look to places like the Soviet Union, Cuba, and China.
The Judeo part of our heritage is not limited to the Old Testament. It’s symbology is on our money, as well. Look at the back of your dollar bill. Look at the star formed by the 13 stars over the Eagle’s head. Magen David. Then turn the bill upside down and look at the Shield under the Eagle. Menorah.
And finally I leave you with, “In God We Trust”.