Skip to comments.There are states where you technically canít hold public office if youíre an atheist
Posted on 07/09/2014 1:26:46 PM PDT by SeekAndFind
Eight state constitutions include restrictions on people who dont believe in a supreme being.
In Arkansas, denying the existence of God means you cant hold civil office or testify in court, while in Tennessee there are also guidelines about belief in the hereafter.
However, the Supreme Court ruled in a 1961 case that a Maryland man appointed as a notary public didnt have to declare his belief in a supreme being to hold office, arguing it violated his rights under the First and Fourteenth Amendments. Since then, these restrictions havent been enforced, said Dave Muscato, a spokesman for American Atheists.
Still, candidates for office who are openly atheist face discrimination at the polls. Muscato said a belief that atheists arent moral or trustworthy contributes to voters reluctance to say theyd vote for them. A 2014 Pew poll found 53 percent of Americans think its necessary to believe in God to be moral, and a 2012 Gallup poll found 43 percent of voters would not vote for a candidate who was atheist.
Here are the states and what their constitutions say about belief in a supreme being:
(Excerpt) Read more at washingtonpost.com ...
I would think that would be a violation of Article VI of the Constitution:
“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.”
Yeah, poor atheists have really been denied their rights.
there are a lot of statutes on state books that are never ever enforced. I suspect these are among those.
I’ve heard this discussed, that atheists have a high negative rating; that a large number of voters would not vote for an avowed atheist for public office. Whereas prejudice against minority, homosexual, divorced, women candidates for office has greatly declined in recent years, prejudice against generic atheist candidates for office is still strong. According to some polls I have seen.
So, would this get one out of jury duty?
RE: but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.
This is an interesting case because barring of atheists from holding public office is in the STATE constitution.
The problem is this — many of the state constitutions CAME FIRST before the US Constitution.
So, it becomes STATE CONSTITUTION vs The UNITED STATES Constitution.
In my view, then the previous clause would apply:
“This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.”
“Still, candidates for office who are openly atheist face discrimination at the polls.”
Which is perfectly legal and proper.
Everyone discriminates at the polls all the time. That’s what VOTING is all about.
There is no “religious test” specified by those states though, so that is how they got away with it. A religious test would be like what some colonies had before the Revolution, for example, only allowing Catholics or Anglicans to hold office.
Big deal. In Toronto until the 1960s, a Roman Catholic could not work for the city.
The reason is that we don’t really know what they believe in. Even in my atheist days, I had more confidence dealing with Christians & Jews because I knew where they stood.
Yeah, but hardly anyone even knows the definition of the word anymore. “Discrimination=bad” is the extent of their thought process.
That’s why you never see commercials or ads anymore with taglines like “For discriminating tastes...”, because idiots would assume they were pitching their product to bigots.
Since it is ONLY 8 states, that have “disparaging ideas about atheists”, (mind you, a Buddhist fits these terms too), let the disparaged atheists MOVE to another state, say California?
Where they stood on what?
On just about anything. My first observations of real Christianity (not the organized form that drove me away from God) was the fact that its practitioners were straightforward on just about everything.