Thursday, August 30, 2007

Texas Constitution Bans Atheists From Office

Did you know that it is unconstitutional for me to hold a public office in the state of Texas? Article 1, Section 4 of the Texas Constitution states:

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.


Not that I was planning on running for Governor any time soon, but still, I'd have liked to think that I could in theory give something back to my state in the form of public service.

Guess not.

This is the kind of thing that made me "come out". Prejudice against people without a belief in god is enshrined in the actual constitution of the state I inhabit.

Think about that for a moment.

A child molester could hold office here. Or an admitted terrorist. Or a serial murderer. All of them are in theory qualified to hold the public trust, as long as they were Catholic, or Southern Baptist, or Hindu, or what have you.

But not me.

P.S. I better stay the hell out of Arkansas, South Carolina, and Tennessee, too.

(Hat tip to Holly Orr for the link.)

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

Any supreme being?

A lot of fun could be had with that. And I can just imagine arguments over what constitutes a supreme being.

carlsonjok said...

And I can just imagine arguments over what constitutes a supreme being.

Well, I think Tom Landry and Mack Brown probably fall into that category. And what self-respecting Texan doesn't believe in them?

Adam H, said...

man, that is horrible! why is someone who values reason and critical thinking unelectable?

George said...

I thought you couldn't hold office in Texas because you are foreign born (Baton Rouge).

Anonymous said...

I read some of Holly Orr’s posts and enjoyed reading some viewpoints that are radically different from mine. I thought it significant that, in Holly’s view,
The slogan of America has always, but hopefully will not always be, “If you do not believe what we believe, if you do not do what we do, then you are against us.”
In light of so much evidence I can see why she feels this way.
However, I always felt and believed that America’s “unofficial” slogan was
“I do not believe in what you are saying, but I will fight to the death for your right to say it.”
I also see evidence of this everyday in so many ways. Perhaps I am looking for it. I have always been like the little boy in the room of poop believing there was a pony under all of that pooh pooh! Of course neither Holly nor myself is right or wrong in our claims of America’s slogan, but I suspect each of us hears what we want to hear. Again, we all may be fooling ourselves that our emotional and, for lack of a better word, spiritual ( Holly is a poet, I think, and I am speaking about that aspect of humanity) part of us is really independent from our rational intellect.
Peace,
Jimmy H

Anonymous said...

So an atheist can't run but a Satanist can? Yeah, that's a winner of a way to run the state(s)...

"...nor shall any one be excluded from holding office on account of his religious sentiments,"

Satanists have a religious sentiment...

"...provided he acknowledge the existence of a Supreme Being."

...and they'd claim Lucifer is the Supreme Being >:-)


And is it just your quote or the actual language of the constitution that excludes women? I'm pretty sure some have held office. Did they lie? ;-)

Anonymous said...

quote:

However, I always felt and believed that America’s “unofficial” slogan was:

"I do not believe in what you are saying, but I will fight to the death for your right to say it."


Unfortunately too often it has come off more as:

"I do not believe in what you are saying, but I will fight YOU to the death for your right to say it."

:-(

Adam H, said...

Satanists have a religious sentiment...

...and they'd claim Lucifer is the Supreme Being


actually, satanists are atheists. they're out.

Taz said...

*shrug*

They're probably trying to avoid policy-making derived from a belief that you just die, and that's it. Gotta admit that will alter one's personal goals and priorities in life tremendously.

Everybody worships something, God, things, people, or themselves.

Maybe it's the need for accountability to Someone higher than ourselves. I dunno, I'm really curious about your state's reason for that policy.

Peace
Taz