Atheism in Arkansas

Just found this interesting tidbit from the Washington Post:

Arkansas is one of half a dozen states that still exclude non-believers from public office. Article 19 Section 1 of the 1874 Arkansas Constitution states that “No person who denies the being of a God shall hold any office in the civil departments of this State, nor be competent to testify as a witness in any court.”

The “as a witness” part is interesting to me, as it seems that an atheist could still be charged with a crime, but not be allowed to testify on their own behalf.  I may be misconstruing this.  Certainly none of their atheist friends or family members would be able to testify on their behalf, though. 

There’s a bill in the Arkansas legislature to repeal this insanity.  I pray to God it passes quickly.  ;)


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{ 4 comments to read ... please submit one more! }

  1. This law is unenforceable (along with the ones in other state). It goes against the U.S. Constitution, which calls for no religious test for public office. This issue was tested in the Supreme Court case Torcaso v. Watkins.

  2. That is the most messed up thing I’ve read all day.
    I’m very weary about people who believe in God. I’m weary because that belief turns into their basis for nearly everything that they vote on. Laws are made and broken because of our lawmakers faith, and that, to me, is a very scary thing. I want lawmakers making decisions based on what is right for the state or the country, not what is right and wrong according to the bible or “what God told them” in their make believe conversation with him/her/it/himself/herself.
    The not being able to testify thing seems archaic. It really does seem that they are living in the past in Arkansas. This needs to be changed for the sake of that state, but damned if I’ll be the one to do it because I am never, ever going to buttfucking Arkansas for any reason. Ever.

  3. Interesting. So why are laws that have been struck down still kept on books? I’m guessing people might think Torcaso might be overturned one day?

  4. If a law is found unconstitutional, isn’t it just a formality to remove it from the books?

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