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View Diary: I know you think praying at government events is normal, but it's really not. (302 comments)

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  •  Actually, no (7+ / 0-)

    The constitutions of the former Confederate states were all written after the war at the insistence of the then-occupying federal government.

    It happened that I was reading the Tennessee state constitution the other night, which dates from 1870. It prohibits religious tests but then goes right on to bar ministers from the legislature (on the amusing basis that their services are desperately needed in the churches) and then bars atheists from holding any state office.

    Naturally, these provisions are unenforceable due to the federal constitution, but I don't have to tell you that the odds of them being removed during a constitutional convention are even lower than finding the necessary state legislators willing to call a convention for that purpose in the first place.

    And in case you're wondering, yes, even after thirty years it is still surreal to live here.

    And the bright side of the downward thermodynamic spiral is, um...

    by eodell on Sat Nov 10, 2012 at 10:38:24 PM PST

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    •  Actually, yes. (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      lotlizard, Pluto, lazybum, sidnora, BYw

      While the 14th Amendment passed in 1868 the Incorporation Doctrine didn't even begin until about 1925 and it still isn't really complete.   Everson v Board of Ed is from 1947, Torcaso v Watkins dates from 1961, and the Lemon Test is from 1971.

      Those theocratic post-civil war constitutions were very much enforced until case law was established which long post-dates the 14th Amendment.

    •  But isn't the mere (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      presence of these provisions a form of discrimination, in that they would intimidate any atheist who considered running for office?

      I see the analogy to state laws that outlaw sodomy or other private behavior that were mostly ignored (until it happened to be convenient to not ignore them), but these rules speak to the most public kind of behavior; it's not something you could just just choose to conceal while running for office.

      "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself."........ "The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little." (yeah, same guy.)

      by sidnora on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 06:48:33 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

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