NC: asinine, irrelevant law cited in attempt to keep atheist off of the Asheville City Council

By pams
Friday, December 11, 2009 8:39 EDT
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Inane laws are still on the books in a lot of places; in North Carolina it says in our state constitution that one must believe in God to hold public office. No one pays attention to this nonsense, of course…except the fool in Asheville who believes the newly elected members of the city council, who is an open atheist, should step aside. Bonus horror: the man making the charge is the former head of the Asheville NAACP.

Opponents of Cecil Bothwell are seizing on that law to argue he should not be seated as a City Council member today, even though federal courts have ruled religious tests for public office are unlawful under the U.S. Constitution.

“I’m not saying that Cecil Bothwell is not a good man, but if he’s an atheist, he’s not eligible to serve in public office, according to the state constitution,” said H.K. Edgerton, a former Asheville NAACP president.

Article 6, section 8 of the state constitution says: “The following persons shall be disqualified for office: First, any person who shall deny the being of Almighty God.”

…Fliers mailed before the election criticized Bothwell over his atheism and his book, “The Prince of War,” which denounces evangelist and Montreat resident the Rev. Billy Graham for pushing what Bothwell says is a theocratic agenda.

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