No Religious Test2012-07-07 at 09:00 am Blog RSS
“The No Religious Test Clause of the United States Constitution is found in Article VI, paragraph 3, and states that:
The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.” Source.
Nonetheless, several states have had and some still have it as a matter of state law that one is not eligible to run for public office if they have no belief in any gods…in other words, atheists are not citizens and need not apply. Obviously, this is unconstitutional. Of all the boneheaded miscreants running about yelling about “Obamacare” being supposedly unconstitutional (it is not, acording to the Supreme Court), how many do you suppose would publicly complain that denying atheists the right to run (never mind be elected) for public office is unconstitutional? I’d be astounded if you could find one.
The thing is that it is now some 236 years since that Constitution was approved. It is now time to get away from the notion of there being no religious test for public office. By the time that meme were to become feasible (if it ever would), perhaps the technology would be such that the contents of one’s thoughts could be empirically tested and verified. It should then be unconstitutional for any person actually possessing beliefs in supernatural beings and other things which are logically impossible and for which there is no evidence whatever, to be eligible to hold public office.
The notion of one’s personal beliefs and “conscience”, per se, being somehow sacred, or beyond objective scrutiny and testing is pure bullshit. The brain can and does malfunction and fail to function at least as much as any other organ in the body. Who thinks it would be perfectly acceptable if a person professing a passionate belief that the earth is a flat disk, should run NASA? I assure you, there are plenty of people who will assert that such a state of affairs would be just fine.
Several other tests should apply as well, including some minimum standard of empathy, of respect for truth in general, of a genuine desire to work for the general benefit of the populace, not merely a small fraction of them. Regardless of intellect, sociopaths and psychopaths should never be eligible to hold office either in a political sense or a corporate sense. Although I have no doubt at all that the technology to accurately discern the content of a given person’s thoughts will eventually “come online” so to speak, I also have no illusions at all that the people who control such technology will magically be transformed into kind, caring people.
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