5/28/12

Mississippi Law Prohibits Atheists From Holding Office

How many times have you heard some version of the argument that atheists, while disliked, are not actually being discriminated against? I have heard this from a number of Christians and more than a few atheists. It makes sense that Christians would claim this; it is in their self interest to deny it. What about the atheists? What they seem to be saying is that because they have not personally experienced discrimination, nobody else does either. This bit of irrationally occurs too frequently and should be exposed for what it is.

Mississippi Code, Article 14, Section 265:
No person who denies the existence of a Supreme Being shall hold any office in this state.
This is what discrimination looks like, and it is right there in our state law for all to see.

I'm not sure if this section of our state law would be enforced if an atheist could somehow be elected. That really isn't the point. The point is that it is part of our state law today, and that is unacceptable.

This is a church-state issue, but it is also a fundamental civil rights issue. Atheists do not have equal rights under the law in Mississippi today.

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