Pop quiz: What do Clarence Darrow, Jodie Foster, Andy Rooney, and Kurt Vonnegut have in common?
The answer: None of them could be elected in Arkansas. And the reason is probably not what you would expect.
None of them would be elected to public office because they are atheists. Article 19, Section 1 of the Arkansas Constitution expressly prohibits atheists from holding public office, stating “No person who denies the being of a God shall hold any office in the civil departments of this State, nor be competent to testify as a witness in any Court.”
That’s right. In Arkansas, we are constitutionally protected from atheists who have the audacity to believe they have a right to take part in the democratic process. And Arkansas is not alone. There are about 6 other states that have similar laws. Shockingly, they are all in the South.
I am happy this is the law. It means that instead of ungodly heathens like Obama (or is he a Muslim? Why do we hate him again?), we get legislators like the one and only Loy Mauch, the white-trashiest loon to ever take off his starched white hood and run for office. (As a side note, I am saddened to point out that Representative Mauch’s recent “Arkansas Water Additive Accountability Act” failed to gain any traction in the legislature. Better luck next time, Crazy McShitburger!)
It raises an interesting question, though. Can someone be elected to office if he is willing to concede the existence of a God, but believes God to be kind of an asshole?
At least the Constitution’s wording says “a God”, leaving open the possibility that a person can run for office provided he believe in something.
By the way, Section 2 of that same Article deals with dueling (because why wouldn’t people in 2011 be concerned with dueling?), and states that no person who fights in a duel shall hold any office in the State “for a period of ten years.”
So to recap: If you don’t believe in God, you are unfit for public service for the rest of your life. But if you kill someone in a duel? C’mon back in ten years.