US/NC/religious requirement

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Religious Requirement

The NC State Constitution makes some very firm statements about God:

  • The preamble: "We, the people of the State of North Carolina, grateful to Almighty God, the Sovereign Ruler of Nations, for the preservation of the American Union and the existence of our civil, political and religious liberties, and acknowledging our dependence upon Him for the continuance of those blessings to us and our posterity,..." (Article I)
  • Religious liberty: "All persons have a natural and inalienable right to worship Almighty God according to the dictates of their own consciences, and no human authority shall, in any case whatever, control or interfere with the rights of conscience." (Article I, Section 13) This makes no allowance for those who do not choose to worship a monotheistic God and, as a definition of "religious liberty", sounds rather like Henry Ford's idea of choice: "You can have any color you like, so long as it's black." (in reference to the Ford Model T)
  • Disqualifications for office: "The following persons shall be disqualified for office: First, any person who shall deny the being of Almighty God." (Article VI Section 8) It's not clear whether accepting the being of Almighty God as a fictional character is adequate (has this ever been tried in court?).

Article Six of the US Constitution, however, says this:

The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.

So basically the NC State Constitution is in violation of the US Constitution.

kudos: Dana Hunter