Here’s the gist: North Carolina’s constitution says that no one denying the existence of god can hold public office. The US Constitution says that there shall be no religious test for holding office. Which one trumps the other? I think that should be fairly clear, but to the residents of North Carolina that seem to be stuck in the 1600’s, it is a fight worth fighting. Never mind the fact that Cecil Bothwell was duly elected to the Asheville City Council.
In an article in the Asheville Citizen-Times, H.K. Edgerton, former president of the Asheville NAACP said, “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.”
Wait wait wait. Someone who is affiliated with the NAACP, an organization that seeks to preserve the rights of a group of people oppressed for generations, is now wanting to deny rights to someone? Who cares if it’s in the state constitution? It’s forbidden in the US Constitution. How hard is this, people? There’s even case law to back this up. In 1961, Maryland’s religious requirement was deemed unconstitutional as it violated the first amendment’s freedom of religion.
I suppose what irks me the most is that Christians never give pause to consider how they would feel if they were the ones being barred from holding office due to their beliefs. But they don’t consider that because they are in a healthy majority and don’t have to.