12/11/09

Cecil Bothwell - An American Hero


Fellow southern heathen and religious satirist Mark Twain once wrote:

"So much blood has been shed by the Church because of an omission from the Gospel: Ye shall be indifferent as to what your neighbor's religion is. Not merely tolerant of it, but indifferent to it. Divinity is claimed for many religions; but no religion is great enough or divine enough to add that new law to its code."

I wholeheartedly agree with my kindred philosopher.

Now, the citizens of North Carolina are fortunate enough to have Cecil Bothwell to put such a religious test "to the test" at the state level.

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

This same anachronism has been made moot by our United States Constitution, which is rather unambiguous regarding such tests, but it is nice to see these outmoded and rather theocratic codes brought out of the musty closet and into the brilliant light of day so that the implicit and explicit bigotry and discrimination against the non-religious, the secular and the American atheist citizens of our United States can be exposed, examined and buried in the same historical graveyard as so many others.

History is in the making and these are the days of authentic folks, from the very heart of our country, stepping up for the greater good to bravely and civilly engage the inherent pressures of both family and social demands to conform to and obey assorted religious edicts emanating from those purporting to be special representative conduits to divine cravings, and thoroughly rejecting them in no uncertain terms on sound foundation.

The stark and horribly sad irony is that the religious adherent in this particular case challenging the right of an atheist to hold an office he was legally and freely elected to is a former president of the NAACP and a founder of an organization that promotes the interests of black southerners...arguably one of the most similarly victimized groups regarding human rights and liberty in our history.

The same irrelevant law stands mostly unopposed and unchallenged in our own state of Mississippi to this very moment as well ~


SECTION 265.

No person who denies the existence of a Supreme Being shall hold any office in this state.

To be completely clear and specific, I am an atheist police officer who (for nearly twenty years now) has avowed a non-religious oath to protect and serve others and who has given testimony in hundreds of criminal court cases leading to convictions, some of which have even been taken all the way to the MS Supreme Court to be reviewed and fully affirmed.

Never once did I call upon or require the purported deities for any help in telling the truth regarding the evidence and the facts.

Our United States is a secular government not a theocracy and, for the sake of our cherished future generations, we must finally and officially repeal these morally abhorrent assertions that have remained dormant in our state mandates.

Mr. Bothwell, sir, I appreciate your good works and if you ever find yourself anywhere near the Mississippi Gulf Coast, please look me up and I will treat you a well deserved lunch.

Sincerely,

Steve Schlicht
Biloxi MS