9.1.09

"Free Inquiry" on the religion of the US President

"Free Inquiry" is a publication by the Council for Secular Humanism.  I take the following excerpt from this webpage:

"The U.S. Constitution states that “no religious test shall ever be required” to hold “any office or public trust.” Yet surveys still show that a majority of Americans would not vote for an atheist candidate for president. Clearly there is more work to be done to realize a truly secular society."

What?  They are arguing that America is not secular enough--but why on earth did they need to put in that quote from the Constitution?  My first impression was that they were arguing that it is unconstitutional for the American people to elect a president based on his* religion.  It still seems to me that they are implying that. 

However, that argument is nonsensical.  The Constitution does not say what the American populace should use to determine their choice of a president.  It instead prevents presidential candidates from being legally disqualified based on religion.  Not that the American populace cannot or even should not chose a president based on religion.  That is not within the scope of the Constitution's power.

Maybe I'm just being picky or argumentative, but it does seem to me that if they weren't implying this, there would be no point in including the quote from the Constitution.  It just doesn't make sense. 

* Yes, I meant his.  Not his/hers.  Not h/i/er/s.  Those are superfluous and, besides, they're bad grammar. 

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