Please join me to combat this! We MUST do something to fight this clear unconstitutional laws on the state constitutions! Organize a protest! A petition! File a Lawsuit! DO SOMETHING! If we work as a group we can overcome theocratic policies like this!


Before I begin let me site the 6th Article of The Constitution of the United States [which is widely held as the HIGHEST law in the land! - the constitution that is]:

" No religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States."


Now! Let's take a look at the states that violate the highest lawbook of the land!


ARKANSAS: "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."


SOUTH CAROLINA: "Person denying existence of Supreme Being not to hold office. No person who denies the existence of the Supreme Being shall hold any office under this Constitution."


TENNESSEE: "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: "The Bill of Rights last amended on September 13, 2003 states that an official may be excluded from holding office if she/he does not acknowledge the existence of a Supreme Being."


MARYLAND: "That as it is the duty of every man to worship God in such manner as he thinks most acceptable to Him, all persons are equally entitled to protection in their religious liberty� provided, he believes in the existence of God, and that under His dispensation such person will be held morally accountable for his acts, and be rewarded or punished therefore either in this world or in the world to come.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."


MISSISSIPPI: "No person who denies the existence of a Supreme Being shall hold any office in this state."


Thoughts? Ideas? Etc?


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I'm not entirely sure that those ARE unconstitutional. State offices aren't offices or public trusts 'under the United States'. States are, theoretically, sovereign.

So, while I find these things repugnant, I'm relatively sure they're not unconstitutional.
They are unconstitutional. States aren't actually sovereign. They USED to be. That's why we kept the name 'state'. But they definitely are not sovereign. They function more like provinces than states (state actually refers to a separate country usually which has sovereignty). Their law is trumped by the laws and constitution of the federal government. If the two conflict, the federal government and constitution win, meaning that states aren't sovereign. They can make their own laws, but they don't matter if the federal government challenges it. That being said, because it's in the constitution that belief in God will never be required for one to hold office, a state cannot turn around and say it is. It can be written there, sure, but it can't be enacted or enforced. If someone actually tries to take the Atheist committee member to court for his position (the Supreme Court), they will throw the North Carolina clause out in favor of the constitution's clause and state that the state's clause is unconstitutional, which will force all states to change that clause under threat of penalty because the Supreme Court doesn't want to waste its time on it-- they're there to uphold constitutional rights, not break them. That being said, let's apply that to another right to show how much sense it wouldn't make to be constitutional:

What if a state's constitution stated that one had no right to free speech?

No right at all to bear arms?

No right to remain silent when charged with a crime?

No right to privacy (meaning police can search your house without a warrant)?

We would be living in a police state. If they allowed the state constitution to trump the federal constitution, then our constitution by direct consequence wouldn't be consequential, or even have a purpose for existing. If it applies to one amendment, it could apply to any of them. It goes against what was promised to us if they made us state our belief in God to hold office.

Now, that doesn't mean voters have to vote for someone who denies god, but a person who achieves the votes and holds the seat cannot be removed or denied their position on those grounds, nor can they be stopped from campaigning on those grounds.
While this is ostensibly true, the difficulty is that such unconstitutional laws can and often are used to curb the rights of people. The basic way this works is that while these laws won't hold up in court, a person can file suit anyway and attempt to oppress through legal intimidation.

While the non-believers in office isn't a hot issue at the moment, there are other such issues where the right wing in particular is continually and repeatedly attempting to get unconstitutional laws passed (often succeeding), and then oppressing people for the years it takes major court cases based upon those laws to make their way through the court system. Gay marriage in California is an example here, as is teaching creationism in schools, and laws restricting abortion in many states (e.g. parental consent laws regarding abortion that don't give clear indication as to how such consent is to be given, but provide harsh penalties if it is not, effectively banning abortion for most minors).
Sadly... this is true. The constitution only works if the government [particularly the courts] are willing to uphold it. That is why it is important to be vigilant on constitutional issues. Complacency in upholding constitutional rights has happened.

The 15th Amendment gave all people the right to vote regardless of race. However, those who wished to keep blacks from voting quite effectively did so by intimidation, poll taxes, impossible "literacy tests" given specifically to blacks... which had nothing to do with literacy and were intended to make the test taker fail no matter what... not to mention the terrorist bully tactics of the KKK. All of this was ignored until the civil rights movement.
State offices aren't offices or public trusts 'under the United states.' states are, theoretically sovereign.

Sure... they have their own rights in certain things... but the 10th amendment of the bill of rights only allows states to decide on things to which are either 1. assigned specifically to them, or 2. are not covered in the constitution.
10th Amendment: The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

Also... states are not "sovereign" in the idea that the laws of the constitution do not necessarily apply, they would be if they "secede from the union" which has been impossible since the end of the Civil War in 1865. So... they are NOT exempt from the 6th article of the US Constitution because they are PART of the US.
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.

Members of state legislatures and all executive and judicial officers covers representatives of the counties or parishes in the legislatures of the respective states.
As the other person responded, that's not true. The Constitution strictly says that no office under the United States can require a public test of faith. It doesn't say federal only. And you're right in one way: when the federal law stays silent on something, a state is allowed to require more or make more stipulations so long as they aren't conflicting with anything in the constitution or laws. That being said, because the constitution strictly says that no public test of faith will be necessary to hold an office in the US, a state can't make it so. They could say that they require the person to have an upstanding moral background to run, but they can't require them to be religious. But again, the 'failsafe' for that is that only those elected will make it into office, theoretically, so if the US didn't want an Atheist in office, he wouldn't get in (they hope).
The idea that the 6th article "religious test" clause applies only to federal office is easily thrown out. Whatever the intentions of the founders with regards to this... the intentions are not quite as relevant as the text itself. And the arlticle makes no distinction between State and Federal government offices... No religious test shall be required to hold public office or trust under the United States.

Furthermore... if this fails... there is a backup plan that could work. States are not immune to the 1st Amendment either. Since they are not independent countries they cannot "establish religion" and a religious test could certainly be considered this.
The Supreme Court can prevent states from enforcing their barbaric religious test; however it cannot force a state to re-write its consitution.


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