When passing a law, wouldn't it make sense to check it's legality before submitting it? Right wing idiots do it all the time, especially around election time. As for the following states, did these nonsense and somehow slip through the cracks when no one was looking or are these state government plain mentally challenged? As for the southern states, I really do believe they have morons running the joint. I do have a problem of people running our government that believe in talking snakes.
CORRECTION: These laws are 200 years old and the U.S. Constitution allows for an affirmation instead of an oath in order to accommodate atheists and others in court or seeking to hold public office. In 1961, the United States Supreme Court explicitly overturned the Maryland provision in the Torcaso v. Watkins decision, holding that laws requiring "a belief in the existence of God" in order to hold public office violated freedom of religion provided for by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. This decision is generally understood to also apply to witness oaths.
The 1961 case is interesting because there is nothing in the Constitution, and specifically the first amendment, to prevent states from setting up a state religion that everyone must attend. Only the federal government is banned from such action.
Then there is a problem under the concept of the first amendment, states cannot set up some religious litmus test to keep otherwise eligible candidates from holding office. If it not expressly provided in the constitution as applicable to the states, I say that in view of the principle involved that it is strongly implied.
That principle was originally included because the individual states of the union didn't want other states interfering in their religion. The reasoning, then, does not include forbidding a state run religion, although court decisions have seen fit to turn their head and cough a bit when handing down decisions contrary to the constitution.
A good thing they have, too, or we could well have more than a handful of states being run by various religions and trying to force their ideas on other states.
Yes, indeed. But, I would be more concerned about the state interfering in my choice of religion or lack thereof as an individual.
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