Joe Rogers: Making room for non-believers in God’s Country

Jan 12, 2015

By Joe Rogers

Framers of the 1890 Constitution wanted to make sure that heathens couldn’t seize control of Mississippi.

“No person who denies the existence of a Supreme Being shall hold any office in this State,” Section 265 reads.

The provenance goes all the way back to the original 1817 Constitution, Article VI, Section 6: “No person who denies the being of God, or of a future state of rewards and punishments, shall hold any office in the civil department of this State.”

With some minor wording variations, the same prohibition was in the 1832 and 1869 Constitutions, as well.

A problem – and this is not a minor problem – is that 50-plus years ago, the United States Supreme Court ruled unanimously that such bans violate the United States Constitution.

Yet Mississippi and six other states still have them on the books.


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4 comments on “Joe Rogers: Making room for non-believers in God’s Country

  • Seems Neil Carter is indeed in a good position to act as mediator/liaison. Good for him, it’s never easy to un-do something, esp. when it’s grandfathered in.

    Can’t envision the Southern Baptist Conference using its wing to cover the Atheist chick, though. Baby steps, such as an endorsement from the “Dixie Quilt Club”, to start.



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  • Interesting, considering the pervasive religious mindset of the period, albeit with some noteable exceptions, none of whom I suspect ever went near Mississippi, that the question even arose.



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  • You can see that reasoning to this day. They think without the threat of torture, there is no motive to behave well. It is just as important to believe in torture as in the deity.

    You have to wonder about someone who thinks like this. You don’t shoot my dog ONLY because you fear torture? But otherwise, you would? It suggests Christians are seething with hatred. Perhaps all that phony niceness creates a pressure cooker.



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  • Roedy Said:
    You don’t shoot my dog ONLY because you fear torture? But otherwise, you would? It suggests Christians are seething with hatred.

    Chuck Says:
    Thousands of years ago, humans were a pretty rough bunch of apes. I think that the “Heaven and Hell” stories were more beneficial back then.

    Modern Christians are stuck with the old hellfire story, and they keep getting the sneaking suspicion that the story is absurd, and maybe malicious. The Internet age puts them under pressure. This helps to explain Fundamentalists’ seething hatred. Cognitive Dissonance is sneaking up on them and poking them with knives.

    Humanism (including the Dawkins website) can help them to make the transition from ancient supernatural beliefs.

    In the meantime, things can get pretty scary for some of these evangelical folks.

    http://tinyurl.com/pnswxrj



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