December 14, 2009

Good Old Fashioned Bigotry

Controversy surrounds atheist city councilman

Cecil Bothwell was voted to the position of city councilman in Ashville, North Carolina, last month, but his opponents claim he is ineligible to serve public office.

Why? Because Bothwell is an atheist.

“I'm not saying that Cecil Bothwell is not a good man, but if he's an atheist, he's not eligible to serve in public office, according to the state constitution,” said H.K. Edgerton, a former Asheville NAACP president. Read the article this quote came from.

Article 6, section 8 of the North Carolina constitution says: The following persons shall be disqualified for office: First, any person who shall deny the being of Almighty God.

A 1961 Supreme Court decision, however, ruled any kind of religious test for public office is unconstitutional. The U.S. Constitution overrides any state constitution.

Bothwell, an active member of the Unitarian Universalist Church, claims "the question of whether or not God exists is not particularly interesting to me and it's certainly not relevant to public office."

He was sworn into office on Monday using an oath excluding the phrase Almighty God, which upset Edgerton.

"My father was a Baptist minister. I'm a Christian man. I have problems with people who don't believe in God," he said.

Full Story Here...


Blueberry said...

There are still a few states with these old laws still in the books. Time to go to the Supreme Court with cases like these. Unconstitutional.

Kulkuri said...

Something like this happened in the 20's or 30's in Michigan. A guy won election as Sheriff but the county clerk refused to swear him in. He told the clerk to find where in the Constitution, state or federal, it says that he can't hold office because he is a non-believer. When he went back a week or so later he was sworn in as the clerk couldn't find anything against non-believers holding office.
The irony is that his grandson is as religious as they come!!

Artman2112 said...

hmmmmmmm, didnt Hitler have a similar "problem" with jews?

i have to laugh at these religious zealots who cry patriotism and americanism all the while ignoring one of the most basic concepts of the US constitution: seperation of church and state. these so-called patriots seem to have forgotten one of the biggest reasons the first settlers came to this country!!

Lemmy Caution said...

Whenever debating someone who uses the insanely false premise "the judeo-christian principles our country was founded on", I usually ask them to point out ONE SINGLE MENTION of either God, Jesus, or Christianity in the US Constitution.

They always seem surprised at the result of that search.