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Thread: Atheists not eligible to serve in North Carolina?

  1. #1
    Friend of Gossip Rocks! buttmunch's Avatar
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    Default Atheists not eligible to serve in North Carolina?

    North Carolina's constitution is clear: politicians who deny the existence of God are barred from holding office.

    Opponents of Cecil Bothwell are seizing on that law to argue he should not be seated as a City Council member today, even though federal courts have ruled religious tests for public office are unlawful under the U.S. Constitution.

    Voters elected the writer and builder to the council last month.

    “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.

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

    Rights enshrined in the U.S. Constitution trump the restriction in the state constitution, said Bob Orr, executive director of the N.C. Institute for Constitutional Law.

    “I think there's any number of federal cases that would view this as an imposition of a religious qualification and violate separation of church and state,” said Orr, a former state Supreme Court justice.

    In 1961, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled Maryland's requirement for officials to declare belief in God violated the freedom of religion guaranteed by the First Amendment.

    Additionally, Article VI of the U.S. Constitution says: “no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.”

    Bothwell's campaign treasurer, Jake Quinn, said everyone should be entitled to their own beliefs.

    “The test occurred on (Nov. 3),” Quinn said. “It was called an election.”

    Fliers mailed before the election criticized Bothwell over his atheism and his book, “The Prince of War,” which denounces evangelist and Montreat resident the Rev. Billy Graham for pushing what Bothwell says is a theocratic agenda.

    Now, denizens of Internet message boards and the blogosphere are arguing over whether he can legally serve.

    Edgerton said City Council should hold off swearing Bothwell into office until a constitutional question can be resolved.

    “If they go ahead, then the city of Asheville and the board of elections could be liable for a lawsuit,” said Edgerton, who is known for promoting “Southern heritage” by standing on streets decked out in a Confederate soldier's uniform and holding a Confederate flag.

    Bothwell didn't respond Monday to requests for an interview, but he wrote in an e-mail to the Citizen-Times: “I am not ‘an avowed atheist.'”

    He has told the Citizen-Times in the past he believes in the Golden Rule, not a deity.

    Bothwell labels himself an atheist on his MySpace page, though he wrote in an online post last week on fellow incoming councilman Gordon Smith's blog, Scrutiny Hooligans, that he prefers the term “post-theist.”

    Bothwell added: “I don't ‘deny the being of Almighty God;' I simply consider the question of denial or acceptance irrelevant.

    “Could make for a very interesting court case, seems to me.”Critics of Cecil Bothwell cite N.C. bar to atheists | citizen-times.com | Asheville Citizen-Times
    These people need to go live in a nice theocracy, like Iran. Or under the Taliban. They aren't comfortable in a secular society, it's obvious.
    'Those who sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither.' Ben Franklin

    "When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying the cross."
    --Sinclair Lewis

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    US Constitution trumps State constitution. This is unconstititutional.

    These people need to go live in a nice theocracy, like Iran. Or under the Taliban. They aren't comfortable in a secular society, it's obvious.
    Yep. Why do they hate America?

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    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    why are people so fucking stupid
    I am from the American CIA and I have a radio in my head. I am going to kill you.

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    Friend of Gossip Rocks! buttmunch's Avatar
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    It's a question that is asked more and more frequently. I don't remember this level of stupidity until about the last decade or so.
    'Those who sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither.' Ben Franklin

    "When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying the cross."
    --Sinclair Lewis

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    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    Yeah, I've noticed the same thing. It seems all the climate change deniers, the anti vaccination retards, and every other kind of knee jerk fearful ignorant brand of stupidity is spreading at an alarming rate.
    I am from the American CIA and I have a radio in my head. I am going to kill you.

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    Elite Member katerpillar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grimmlok View Post
    Yeah, I've noticed the same thing. It seems all the climate change deniers, the anti vaccination retards, and every other kind of knee jerk fearful ignorant brand of stupidity is spreading at an alarming rate.
    I've been thinking that, too. So, so frustrating...

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    Tawk Radio.

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    Elite Member witchcurlgirl's Avatar
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    Here's a pic of the man who is leading the objections. Obviously an interesting character.

    .

    He's chairman of the board of theh Southern Legal Resource Center, their wiki page says:

    The Southern Legal Resource Center, Inc.(SLRC) is a South Carolina non-profit public law corporation which offers legal support to defend what they see as First Amendment violations, violation of civil rights, or discrimination of advocates of Southern Heritage.


    I guess he doesn't think discrimination against atheists counts.
    It's no longer a dog whistle, it's a fucking trombone


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    Friend of Gossip Rocks! buttmunch's Avatar
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    Wait a sec...a black dude carrying a confederate flag? I'm confused.
    'Those who sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither.' Ben Franklin

    "When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying the cross."
    --Sinclair Lewis

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    Elite Member witchcurlgirl's Avatar
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    Yep, he's a walking conundrum. I read up a bit on him after hearing this story. He's odd to say the least.


    Here's more:

    It's no longer a dog whistle, it's a fucking trombone


    All of God's children are not beautiful. Most of God's children are, in fact, barely presentable.


    If I wanted the government in my womb I'd fuck a Senator

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    Elite Member lurkur's Avatar
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    Not just atheists, but those not following "Almighty God." Gotta love those KKKristians.

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    Super Moderator Tati's Avatar
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    WTF is this horseshit?
    If you reveal your secrets to the wind you should not blame the wind for revealing them to the trees.

    - Kahlil Gibran

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    Elite Member MontanaMama's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by buttmunch View Post
    It's a question that is asked more and more frequently. I don't remember this level of stupidity until about the last decade or so.
    Stupidity knows no temporal connection, we just know about more of it now. How could this provision be part of a state constitution? Unconscionable. The Carolinas suck, let's send them adrift in the Atlantic.
    If i hear one more personal attack, i will type while drunk, then you can cry! - Bugdoll
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    Quote Originally Posted by shedevilang View Post
    (Replying to MontanaMama) This is some of the smartest shit I ever read

  14. #14
    Friend of Gossip Rocks! buttmunch's Avatar
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    I'll buy the boat, you chop off the anchor.
    'Those who sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither.' Ben Franklin

    "When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying the cross."
    --Sinclair Lewis

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