Sunday, December 07, 2014

NYT Surveys Atheists' Push To Remove Belief Requirement For Public Office

The New York Times posted an article yesterday titled In Seven States, Atheists Push to End Largely Forgotten Ban. Reporting on the bans in Maryland, Arkansas, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas, it says in part:
Maryland and six other states still have articles in their constitutions saying people who do not believe in God are not eligible to hold public office. Maryland’s Constitution still says belief in God is a requirement even for jurors and witnesses.
Now a coalition of nonbelievers says it is time to get rid of the atheist bans because they are discriminatory, offensive and unconstitutional. The bans are unenforceable dead letters, legal experts say, and state and local governments have rarely invoked them in recent years. But for some secular Americans, who are increasingly visible and organized, removing the bans is not only a just cause, but a test of their growing movement’s political clout.