Is This True?

Can anybody tell me if the following is true? Or is it some sort of a joke? Or an exaggeration?

I mean, Maryland, Pennsylvania? That just makes no sense. And how come some states should be allowed to trample the US Constitution in this way?

I’ve read 6 posts bemoaning the decision by Mayor Bloomberg to forbid the sale of big-sized soda drinks in my thread today. Where are the Libertarians who are protesting this kind of barbarity? They care about soda and not about religious freedom? Vile hypocrites and brainless idiots.

This is yet another piece of proof that all of the so-called Libertarians in this country are nothing but religious fanatics.

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22 comments on “Is This True?

  1. As a Libertarian I certainly do not support banning atheists from holding office, but I must admit that this is the first time I have heard of this. There are so many violations of the Constitution it is hard to keep track of them all. I suspect that this is something on the books, but which cannot be enforced. Keep in mind that until the 20th century the first amendment was assumed to only apply to the Federal government. For example many states used to have official churches. If these laws are on the books they should be removed. If anyone tried to put them into practice every libertarian in this country will be up in arms to fight it.

    • The diffrence between anarchists and right (not left) LIE-BERT-ARYANS is that anarchists are against hierarchy of power. Right LIE-BERT-ARYANS have generally no problem with hierarchy of power.

      • The Libertarians seem to have no problem with anything but the imagined offenses to religious fanatics. In the US, a Libertarian is a code word for an Evangelical fundamentalist.

      • For most libertarians the issue is irrelevant. What we are concerned with is to avoid physical coercion. Those on the left seem to be just as willing as the conservatives they claim to abhor to use force when it can be covered in the halo of government and suits their purpose.

      • “For most libertarians the issue is irrelevant. What we are concerned with is to avoid physical coercion. Those on the left seem to be just as willing as the conservatives they claim to abhor to use force when it can be covered in the halo of government and suits their purpose.”

        - What’s coercive and physically forceful in my suggestion that we respect the constitution and remove any discussion of people’s religious beliefs from the decision as to who can hold public office?

      • Walter Block is still alive. Here is his position regarding religion. http://www.lewrockwell.com/block/block103.html. One of his arguments is that libertarians find themselves almost having to get into bed with organized religion because that is the only sort of institution that is in a position to challenge government.
        Let us be clear. Atheists should be allowed to run for public office as their constitutional right. We are not arguing. Can you name a single libertarian figure who opposes atheists holding office?

      • “One of his arguments is that libertarians find themselves almost having to get into bed with organized religion because that is the only sort of institution that is in a position to challenge government.”

        - Well, at least he is honest that getting into bed takes place. That’s good because it doesn’t deny what’s happening.

        “Let us be clear. Atheists should be allowed to run for public office as their constitutional right. We are not arguing. Can you name a single libertarian figure who opposes atheists holding office?”

        - The question is: who is arguing against this legislation? It’s too late to argue in favor, since it’s in place already. And everybody who is silent on the subject supports it.

      • Clarissa
        Now that is just not fair. I am certainly not an Evangelical fundamentalist. Milton Friedman was Jewish. Murray Rothbard and Walter Block are Jewish atheists. Read Hayek’s essay “Why I am Not a Conservative.” When talking to you I focus on how liberals violate the rights of religious fundamentalists. When talking to religious fundamentalists I defend the rights of liberals.

      • But they end up defending the values and beliefs of Evangelicals. Every politician who claims to be a Libertarian ends up begging Evangelicals for endorsements. As for Milton, Hayek and Rothbard, they are all dead, aren’t they? Of course, it would be fascinating to hear what they would say about today’s Libertarians in this country.

  2. It was certainly true in Tennessee when I took Tennessee history and Civics classes. It was also forbidden for a preacher/minister to be elected to any state office, the given reason being that a minister had a profound responsibility to people’s immortal souls which allowed no time for politics. (I am paraphrasing, no doubt.)

  3. There is a very high likelihood that these are what are sometimes called “gas lamp” laws, i.e. laws put in place a very long time ago that are not removed because everyone’s just about forgotten they exist and they’re just ignored. Or, laws everyone knows would be thrown out as unConstitutional (which these laws almost certainly would be) if challenged in Federal court.

    There’s laws all over the US like this. In Michigan it’s still illegal to use cuss words in front of a woman. No, really. And no, no one enforces them.

      • Yeah that’s pretty much what I expected. Typically when a law is overturned by the courts or just becomes irrelevant or ignored as unenforceable, it doesn’t get “removed from the books” because frankly it’s a waste of time. Anybody who even remembers its existence generally figures out sooner or later “oh, this isn’t enforceable” and moves on.

        There are likely still laws “on the books” in any number of states regarding the treatment of slaves, which haven’t been removed because slavery doesn’t (legally) exist anymore, but nobody’s going to spend weeks poring over the law books looking for the laws that no longer apply and up this long list of laws and pass a legislative bill saying “these are to be stricken.” Everybody knows they’re no good anymore so they’re just ignored.

  4. I think that the laws against big cans of soda are basically unenforceable. A much better way would be to enact a soda or fat tax on unhealthy foods/empty calories. This would always give someone an incentive to eat healthier (if only by avoiding bad foods), while avoiding the “loophole” of buying two smaller cans. You’d still pay the tax if you buy two cans.

    And speaking of buying two cans, the libertarian arguments against the ban are completely ridiculous. Besides the fact that no one is in any way prevented from buying two cans, removing unhealthy additives from food doesn’t restrict anyone’s freedom.

    Consider this example:

    Someone names Camellia likes to drink tea. And Camellia is inviting lots of her friends over for a party. She’ll serve tea. And Camellia is deciding whether to add sugar to the tea.

    The Angel Camellia decides not to add any sugar to the tea. She instead fills a bowl of sugar and lets people who have sugar in their tea add it themselves.

    By contrast, the Devil Camellia adds loads and loads of sugar to the tea, making really sickly sweet. She reasons that “No is being forced to drink sugary tea, so if they don’t like it they can shut the **** ** and not have any.”

    Libertarian sorts often take the side of the Devil Camellia. They fail to realize that not adding sugar to the tea gives people the freedom to have sugary tea, as well as the freedom to not have sugary tea. Somehow, making people add their own sugar is “oppressing them”.

    And how many of them are walking the walk and telling people who don’t like having to only buy small cans of soda to “pack up and live somewhere else”? That’s what they often tell left-wingers to do that when conservatives do something left-wingers don’t like.

    Not many, I presume.

    (Example/argument based on a comment by “Triplanetary” at Pandagon)

  5. I tried to verify the atheists can’t hold office claim back in December. It’s unenforceable because of the federal constitution, but the ban certainly in the state constitutions for Tennessee and North Carolina. Maryland’s Constitution excludes atheists from the no-religious-test-for-office pledge. For some of the other states where it has been claimed, the link goes to an older version of the state constitution. See:
    http://weeklysift.com/2011/12/19/christopher-hitchens-and-the-politics-of-atheism/

  6. Yes and no, while it is true that all of those states listed(except for PA) have it written into their constitutions banning atheists from serving, this was overruled in Torcaso v. Watkins (1961)

    Now, the states listed(again, except PA) DO have it written into their constitutions banning atheists from serving, this however cannot overrule the supreme court & cannot be enforced, but it is still written in:
    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/2009/12/15/which-states-ban-atheists-from-holding-public-office/

    Pennsylvania is actually a misunderstanding of what was written: “No person who acknowledges the being of a God and a future state of rewards and punishments shall, on account of his religious sentiments, be disqualified to hold any office or place of trust or profit under this Commonwealth.” So it actually does not say atheists cannot serve, it says believers cannot be disqualified from serving because of their beliefs.

    If there is a state that still bans atheists & agnostics from running for office regardless of the supreme court ruling(Texas comes to mind) this would immediately get overturned if it were challenged. Though you’d have to wonder how many atheists would be willing to do this & run for office anywhere in the U.S. (Where over 50% of Americans wouldn’t vote for an atheist!)–Let alone a very religious state like Texas or such.

    Cecil Bothwell is living proof that the constitutional ban doesn’t hold any water anymore(NC city councilman).

    Though this has still not kept people from challenging his election because of it.

    References:
    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/2009/12/15/which-states-ban-atheists-from-holding-public-office/

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Torcaso_v._Watkins

    http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/health/2011/12/14/religious-believers-dont-trust-atheists-says-new-study/

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cecil_Bothwell

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cecil_Bothwell#Local_politics

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