These six states in America up until 1961 unconstitutionally banned atheists from holding public office. Though the 1961 SCOTUS case of 'Torcaso v. Watkins' ruled this unconstitutional, I still feel it is time to change the constitutions in these states and have these passages removed, NOT just amended:
Arkansas: "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."
Maryland: "That no religious test ought ever to be required as a qualification for any office of profit or trust in this State, other than a declaration of belief in the existence of God; nor shall the Legislature prescribe any other oath of office than the oath prescribed by this Constitution.”
Mississippi: "No person who denies the existence of a Supreme Being shall hold any office in this state."
South Carolina: "No person who denies the existence of a Supreme Being shall hold any office under this Constitution."
Tennessee: "No person who denies the being of God, or a future state of rewards and punishments, shall hold any office in the civil department of this state."
Texas: "No religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office, or public trust, in this State; nor shall any one be excluded from holding office on account of his religious sentiments, provided he acknowledge the existence of a Supreme Being.""
You DO NOT have to be an atheist to understand the ignorance, illogic, and bigotry of the words and intention of those that approved those passages in the first place. Do the right thing and follow the intention of our forefathers to include ALL good people to be able to run for and hold public office no matter what their religious belief.
Yours in reason,
Bernard "Flash" Kellish
Treasurer & Executive Board Member
National Atheist Party
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