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North Carolinians Seek to Bar Atheist From Office

cecilbothwellHere’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.

Are You Concerned?

I am concerned. I’m concerned that our country is legislated at all levels by people who put faith in front of reason. I’m concerned that children are deluded into believing nonsense during their earliest stages of development by equally clueless parents. I’m also concerned that if something isn’t done to stop the viral spread of religion and other disastrous ways of life, our way of life, not to mention our world, may be in serious danger.

These are not the same things that Kirk Cameron is worried about. See the transcript and my responses to Kirk (in blue) after the jump.

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Discriminatory Insurer Fined in Kentucky

kyflagKentucky just can’t seem to untangle itself from religion. From being home to the Creation Museum to housing a legislature that has apparently never heard of the Establishment Clause, Kentucky is slowly, but surely, making me feel slightly better about living in Alabama.

The most recent incident of religious boneheadedness concerns the extension of discounts to insurance policyholders who were churchgoers. Offering a discount based on religion is in violation of the Fair Housing Act, a federal statute that “protects” buyers and renters by maintaining their right to discriminate.

I hope I don’t lose anyone here, but hear me out. While I am not at all a Libertarian, the following part may make some of my Libertarian friends moist in their nether regions.

While it is generally a good thing to keep religion out of things like buying a home, there are certain places where the marketplace could course-correct and eliminate the need for Federal intervention. If I were to own an insurance company, of course I would gladly take the money of anyone that walked through my door, regardless of their religious beliefs. As an atheist, it would absolutely make my day to meet a fellow non-believer, and if I wanted to tip them a discount, I should be able to. After all, I would be doing no harm except to my bottom line. Hell, if I was in a progressive enough area, I might be so bold as to offer a discount on auto insurance to customers who show me their Darwin fish emblem. But none of these things are legal thanks to the Fair Housing Act.

What makes this a particularly sticky situation is that our current system is not sufficiently competitive to allow for consumers to have access to alternatives to such religious buffoonery, as was the case in Kentucky. There are many laws (particularly state and local laws) which prevent some properties from being insured by out-of-state insurance policies. This could be super sucky for someone living in Kentucky who may have no other choice but to purchase homeowner’s insurance from a fundy.

However, it would be nice if some brave soul opened the Atheist Insurance Agency and his or her loyal customers from all 50 states could enjoy discounts, great service, and truly be in “good hands”.

Sarah Palin is Too Good to Pray With You

sarah_palinI didn’t think it was possible after this past election cycle, but Sarah Palin has continued to make herself look even dumber in the months following the McCain/Palin defeat.

This time she reached new lows by expressing her elitism regarding prayer. She apparently found herself in a situation where she looked around at a bunch of campaign staffers, judged them, and decided that they weren’t fit to pray with her. What a psycho.

Here’s the blurb:

“So I’m looking around for somebody to pray with, I just need maybe a little help, maybe a little extra,” she said of the moments before the debate. “And the McCain campaign, love ’em, you know, they’re a lot of people around me, but nobody I could find that I wanted to hold hands with and pray.”

To which the room full of Alaska Republicans guffawed heartily. Oh but at least she went on to specify that she didn’t mean any disrespect. Yeah no disrespect, except I have looked at you and sized you up to be inadequate to aid me in my spiritual needs.

It’s no surprise that some of the former McCain staffers are pissed at the comments. I would be too, if I actually gave a crap about that kind of thing. I just think it goes to show how delusional so many people were to vote for her to be one heartbeat away from the red button.