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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.

Atheists = 1, Kentucky = 0

Nelson-HahaIt’s been almost two weeks, so the most dedicated atheist newshounds out there will already have seen this. A Kentucky circuit judge ruled that the 2006 statute that created the State Office of Homeland Security is in violation of the establishment clauses in both the U.S. and Kentucky Constitutions.

Ten brave Kentucky residents and the American Atheists sued the state and WON! In their case, they successfully argued the following:

“It is clear that the purpose underlying the display of the plaque and the contents of Office of Homeland Security training materials is not to celebrate the historical reasons for our great nation’s survival in the face of terror and war. Its purpose is to declare publicly that the official position of the Commonwealth of Kentucky is that an Almighty God exists and that the function of that God is to protect us from our enemies. Consequently, a reading of the statute’s plain language makes that clear. Effectively, the General Assembly has created an official government position on God.”

Judge Thomas Wingate delivered an 18-page decision in favor of reason stating:

“The statute pronounces very plainly that current citizens of the Commonwealth cannot be safe, neither now, nor in the future, without the aid of Almighty God. Even assuming that most of this nation’s citizens have historically depended upon God, by choice, for their protection, this does not give the General Assembly the right to force citizens to do so now.””This is the very reason the Establishment Clause was created: to protect the minority from the oppression of the majority,” he wrote. “The commonwealth’s history does not exclude God from the statutes, but it had never permitted the General Assembly to demand that its citizens depend on Almighty God.”

I have to admit: I didn’t think Kentucky was going to do the right thing on this one. A tip of my hat to Judge Wingate for proving me wrong.

Black Holes Exist

Black holes exist. And one of them has a television show on Fox News. All reason, common sense, and rationality are sucked in and crushed to nothingness in a blowhard singularity. While some black holes emit radiation, this particular one emits bullshit and bigotry.

The first part is a little slow, and while I agree that the media often portrays things contrary to how they exist in reality, to state that the people on the edges deserve no voice is tyrannical. Of course, if you watch Fox News or CNN on a regular basis, you probably aren’t concerned with too many viewpoints other than those within your comfort bubble anyway.

GlennBeck copyIt’s only mentioned briefly in the video, but Glenn is so upset because of media attention that surrounded the use of the word “God” in the presidential oath of office. Old news, I know, but the principle is still important. He goes on to say that “89% of us believe in God” and “89% want the phrase ‘under God’ to stay in the Pledge [of Allegiance].” Unless two polls just happened to produce identical results, I think Glenn is making an incorrect inference. I know of several theists personally who dispute “under God”‘s presence in the Pledge of Allegiance, as it was added as an afterthought and does nothing to truly unify the people of this nation. Of course, what Glenn is really saying is that he doesn’t give a rat’s ass about the 11% of Americans who don’t believe in his definition of god.

Just another example of the elitist, blowhard babble to come from a talking head that claims to respect the voice of the unheard, except he takes the easy route by redefining the group of people that he think ought to be heard more.

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.