Thanks to Hemant Mehta, our Friendly Atheist, for posting this story.


So apparently the good citizens of Asheville, North Carolina are a bit upset that they elected an atheist to the City Council - so now they want the seat back. Amazingly, they have a legal claim to do so as the North Carolina State Constitution has a proviso that stipulates in Article VI, Section 8 that the denial of the existence of Almighty God is reason enough to disqualify a person from holding elected office.

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Comment by Wanda T on March 29, 2011 at 5:08pm


That's a link to a petition at to urge all states that still have this archaic law to change it. I'm in Texas and we have it here too. Yeh, I know it's a long shot that voters will in these bible belt states will approve such a thing, but we gotta try. 'Scuse me, there's a brick wall waiting for me to beat my head against it.......

Comment by Sean Asbury on March 29, 2011 at 3:19pm

@ Ashleigh - ;)  happens to me all the


Comment by Ashleigh Carter on March 29, 2011 at 3:13pm
And by thank god, I meant thank the founders. Man I have got to get out of that habit.
Comment by Ashleigh Carter on March 29, 2011 at 3:09pm
Thank god for the US constitution. All hail the supremacy clause!
Comment by David Anam on March 29, 2011 at 2:57pm

The thing about that is that the supreme court doesn't get to take up a case on its own. There has to be a court case where someone has valid standing to say that a situation has done harm to them. Only then can the supreme court get involved.


For example, if "Under God" ever makes it to the supreme court, it's almost a sure bet that it will get kicked out for being unconstitutional. However, as of yet, no one has been able to convince the courts that they have been harmed by it, so those cases always get thrown out before making it to the supreme court.


In a lot of these states, no atheists have been able to say "I would have been elected if it weren't for that stipulation." As soon as someone can say that, it will go to the supreme court, and the supreme court will say it's unconstitutional to ban someone from office based on religous beliefs. But that has to happen for each state.

Comment by Sean Asbury on March 29, 2011 at 1:50pm
These stipulations either need to be removed from the state constitutions as a matter of course or ruled invalid by the Supreme Court - that these provisos remain "law" today is disgraceful...
Comment by David Anam on March 29, 2011 at 1:26pm
If they want to push it, it will go to the supreme court and be declared unconstitutional. A lot of states have these laws barring non-believers, but they are meaningless because as soon as the law actually affects somene so that they have a case, it will get struck down.



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