Allison Kilkenny: Unreported

Does Your State Forbid Atheists From Holding Public Office?

Posted in atheism, politics, religion, Texas by allisonkilkenny on February 18, 2009

Pharyngula

the-atheist-eIt’s an ugly little open secret that Arkansas, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas have constitutions that explicitly forbid atheists from holding state office. These laws are archaic and unenforceable in principle — they were all ruled unconstitutional in 1961 — but of course they’re still in effect across all 50 states in practice, since public opinion makes it almost impossible for an atheist to get elected to high office.

Now, though, a representative in Arkansas has submitted a bill to amend the Arkansas constitution and remove the prohibition of atheists. This could get very interesting, or it might not. If the Arkansas legislature does the sensible thing and simply and efficiently removes an old law that can’t be enforced anyway, I will be pleased, but there won’t be much drama.

Since when are legislatures sensible, however? I can imagine indignant Christians defending an unconstitutional law and insisting that it be kept on the books as a token of their contempt. It is an awkward situation for the Christianist yahoos, because their constituencies might get inflamed, but on other hand, do they really want to go on record defending the indefensible?

I’m looking forward to it, and kudos to Rep. Richard Carroll of North Little Rock for poking a stick into this nest of snakes and stirring it up.

Bear Found Dumped at WCU with Obama Signs

Posted in Barack Obama, voter disenfranchisement by allisonkilkenny on October 21, 2008
Dale Neal

A dead bear was found dumped this morning on the Western Carolina University campus, draped with a pair of Obama campaign signs, university police said.
Maintenance workers reported about 7:45 a.m. finding a 75-pound bear cub dumped at the roundabout near the Catamount statute at the entrance to campus, said Tom Johnson, chief of university police.
 

“It looked like it had been shot in the head as best we can tell. A couple of Obama campaign signs had been stapled together and stuck over its head,” Johnson said.

 

University police called in N.C. Wildlife Resources officials to remove the body and help in the investigation. Bear season is currently under way in Western North Carolina.

 

“This is certainly unacceptable,” Johnson said. “Someone was wanting to draw attention to the election. If we find out who they are, we’ll make sure they’ll get some attention themselves.”

 

Western Carolina University deplores the inappropriate behavior that led to this troubling incident,” said Leila Tvedt, associate vice chancellor “We cannot speculate on the motives of the people involved, nor who those people might be. Campus police are cooperating with authorities to investigate this matter.”

 

Anyone with information should call WCU police at 828-227-7301.

McCain Supporters Heckle North Carolina Early Voters

Posted in Uncategorized, voter disenfranchisement by allisonkilkenny on October 20, 2008

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more about “Republicans protest at North Carolina…“, posted with vodpod