Friday, February 20, 2009

Religious test two step

PZ Myers has taken note of a couple maneuvers across the country, involving how to treat faith and the absence.

Arkansas - Surprisingly there is a move to allow atheist in.
It's an ugly little open secret that Arkansas, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas have constitutions that explicitly forbid atheists from holding state office. These laws are archaic and unenforceable in principle — they were all ruled unconstitutional in 1961 — but of course they're still in effect across all 50 states in practice, since public opinion makes it almost impossible for an atheist to get elected to high office.

Now, though, a representative in Arkansas has submitted a bill to amend the Arkansas constitution and remove the prohibition of atheists. ...

Washington - Don't disrespect my faith, and don't forget to acknowledge it.
While Arkansas takes a small step forward, a few people in my home state of Washington want to take a great leap backwards. Some crank named Kimberlie Struiksma, who is apparently associated with education, has proposed to put a remarkably clueless measure onto the ballot. Behold Initiative Measure No. 1040:
Ballot Title
Initiative Measure No. 1040 concerns a supreme ruler of the universe.

This measure would prohibit state use of public money or lands for anything that denies or attempts to refute the existence of a supreme ruler of the universe, including textbooks, instruction or research.


Deny? What does that mean. If a text contradicts "your beliefs", it's out? If research would bring troubling, to "your beliefs", realities of science to light, is it to be blocked? If I want to put up a Christmas display at the capitol that challenges "your beliefs, it is banned? Oh, you bet.

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