Sunday, February 22, 2009

Bad Company To Be In

I saw this interesting link on Secular Right about a group challenging some Arkansas law still on the books (not generally enforced) barring nonbelievers from holding elected office.

I thought to myself 'well, it is Arkansas!'  Unfortunately, the same link mentions that similar laws are also on the books in Tennessee and...Texas.  Ouch!  Volokh has a deeper dive on the same topic.  There, I learned a bit more about the Texas case: it's in the state constitution!  The official link for the Texas Constitution shows Article I (Bill of Rights), Section 4 (Religious Tests) as:

Sec. 4.  RELIGIOUS TESTS. 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.

Whack.  I had no idea it was enshrined in our state constitution!

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