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Religion and Politics

Here is an article that caught my eye. It documents, much like the Doven Pa. case did with respect evolution vs ID Creationism being taught in public schools, the need to be ever vigilant against theist mixing their religion in with politics.

Below are a few snipets from an Associated Press story:

------------------------------------ NORTH CAROLINA Foes go after atheist public official in N.C. Nonbelievers not allowed in state constitution.

By Alysia Patterson ASSOCIATED PRESS

Saturday, December 12, 2009

RALEIGH, N.C. Asheville City Council member Cecil Bothwell says he believes in ending the death penalty, conserving water and reforming government but he says he doesn't believe in God. His political opponents say that's a sin that makes him unworthy of serving in office, and they've got the North Carolina Constitution on their side.

Bothwell's critics are threatening to take the city to court for swearing him in, even though the state's antiquated requirement that officeholders believe in God is unenforceable because it violates the U.S. Constitution.

"The question of whether or not God exists is not particularly interesting to me and it's certainly not relevant to public office," the recently elected 59-year-old said.....

That has riled critics, who cite a section in North Carolina's constitution that disqualifies officeholders "who shall deny the being of Almighty God." The provision was included when the document was drafted in 1868 and wasn't revised when North Carolina amended its constitution in 1971. One foe, H.K. Edgerton, is threatening to file a lawsuit in state court against the city to challenge Bothwell's appointment. "My father was a Baptist minister. I'm a Christian man. I have problems with people who don't believe in God," said Edgerton, a former local NAACP president and founder of Southern Heritage 411...

In 1961, the U.S. Supreme Court reaffirmed that federal law prohibits states from requiring any religious test to serve in office, but the protections don't necessarily spare atheist public officials from spending years defending themselves in court.

Arkansas, Maryland, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas have similar provisions. ------------------------------

Wow! Cecil is the man!

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