Monday, March 11, 2013

Perversion of the First Amendment

Amazingly, I just hijacked these curious state laws from an atheist Facebook page:

  • Arkansas, Article 19, Section 1: 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.
  • Maryland, Article 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.
  • Mississippi, Article 14, Section 265: No person who denies the existence of a Supreme Being shall hold any office in this state.
  • North Carolina, Article 6, Section 8: The following persons shall be disqualified for office: Any person who shall deny the being of Almighty God. 
  • South Carolina, Article 17, Section 4: No person who denies the existence of a Supreme Being shall hold any office under this Constitution.
  • Tennessee, Article 9, 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.
  • Texas, Article 1, Section 4: 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.
In view of the above, we should ask, "How is it that we now can't mention God in the schools but yet our laws forbid His non-belief in regards to public office?" And what does this say about the US Supreme Court’s present radical misinterpretation of the First Amendment?

This Amendment states that government should neither set up a religion nor interfere with the free exercise of religion. It was later termed the “separation clause,” separating church and state.

Still no problem! However, what does the “separation of church and state” mean? For one thing it never forbade prayer in the Congress nor even support for the Bible. Nor did it forbid the States from establishing their own qualifications for office-holders. Had the First Amendment forbade this, these State laws could not have seen the light-of-day!

I’m not saying that States should now establish religious tests for holding office. However, these laws speak forcefully about the First Amendment and the way our religious freedoms are being limited today by a perverted understanding of this Amendment.

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