It would seem that the US Constitution doesn’t allow a religious test to be elected in this country. In fact that prohibition is written in clear language in Article Six. It is why the group, the Secular Coalition for America is taking the time to release a video of the attempts at a religious test during the recently concluded 2008 election campaign and calling for the all secularists to stand up and call for an end to it.
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.
Even though it is written in plain language, unlike the religious clause of the first amendment or the right to bear arms of the second, it seems that candidates are put through a religious test. The Secular Coalition for America released a video of clips full of examples from the 2008 election cycle:
The Secular Coalition is also asking secularists to help call attention to this undemocratic anti-American trait. They are sending out a New Year’s Alert:
Pastor Problems, Faith Forums and Godless Gotcha’s on the campaign trail. 2008 was a tough year for atheists, humanists, agnostics and all Americans who are proud of our secular traditions.
I am asking you to join me in signing onto the Secular Coalition for America’s Nine Resolutions for Secular Citizens. I am asking you to make a commitment in your everyday life to help the Secular Coalition and citizens like me change the way our leaders are elected and our country is governed. By signing your name – first, last, or even anonymous – to the resolution, you will help us show that there is a big constituency for the issues the Secular Coalition fights for, and that we intend to be heard in the coming year.
Please go to the New Year’s Resolution sign-on list now and add your name to the hundreds who have already resolved to fight for increased respect and visibility for nontheists and our secular traditions in 2009.
They also have commented and sent a letter to President-elect Obama concerning the inclusion of Rick Warren in the inauguration ceremony on January 20th.
President-elect Obama announced the program for his inauguration this week, and it begins with an invocation from the Rev. Rick Warren, an evangelical mega church pastor. Although Obama and his spokesperson insist his inaugural will be inclusive and offer diverse viewpoints, the choice of two Protestants to open and close the ceremony suggests otherwise.