Atheist? Not If You Want To Finish High School in Arizona

Author: January 26, 2013 9:47 am
Atheist high school students organize; @ National Catholic Report

Atheist high school students organize; @ National Catholic Report

We all know that this country was founded on religious freedom, but we also know that many Christians of the nation wish to rewrite history to make it seem as if we were founded upon Judeo-Christian values. Not so. The Treaty of Tripoli says, and I quote:

“The United States government is in no way founded upon the Christian religion.”

But tell that to Arizona Republicans, who have introduced a bill that would require high school graduates to take an oath that includes the words “so help me God.” In other words, if you’re an atheist, you have to proclaim belief in God to graduate high school. Unbelievable in 2013, in a country that was founded upon religious freedom, right?


Here is the oath:

I, _______, do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic, that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge these duties; So help me God.

The bill, House Bill 2467, would violate the Constitution by requiring a religious declaration to graduate. Hell, Pentecostal and Jehovah’s Witness students can’t even say the Pledge of Allegiance due to religious liberties, and you cannot legally make them do it. How the hell do they expect to make something like this stand?

Now, it is bad enough that they even have this. It is a complete waste of time. This is the work of quite a few GOP legislators: Bob Thorpe, Sonny Borrelli, Carl Seel, T.J. Shope, Jeff Dial, David Livingston, Chester Crandell, and Steve Smith. Aren’t they supposed to be making school better, or something? Like, imparting more knowledge? Memorize their names, folks. They are the ones wishing to take away your religious freedom.

The thing is, we aren’t taking oaths of office when we graduate high school. We are taking courses that we pass to show we have a certain amount of knowledge to gain a rite of passage, and to show we know certain things. I repeat, we are not taking an oath of office. But that isn’t the point. Hell, even if we were, it is unconstitutional to have a religious test for public office. So, Republicans, guess what? On this one, your argument is invalid. Get a life. You cannot and will not sneak fundamentalist Christianity into public schools and essentially make being an atheist illegal. It is against the Constitution you all claim to uphold so righteously.

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5 Comments

  • In 19th century England a Jew was elected to Parliament. His people back home respected him so much they elected him over and over. But for a long time he couldn’t get the membership. England required an oath on the name of Jesus. So every time he was elected he would make a short speech asking the other members to exempt him from those words in the oath “as it would not be binding on my conscience”.

    Arizona is demanding that an atheist tell a lie in the oath. They have thereby contradicted the moral basis of an oath.

  • How could they force noncitizens to swear to uphold the constitution? I’m English and graduated from an American high school. Yes, I’m legal…I have a green card. For me to swear to defend the US against any threat from others would be a very serious undertaking.
    I’m not opposed to it as such since I am in the process of gaining citizenship and will have to say a similar thing but for those that are here on visas, this could be a very serious thing. Especially from their home country’s point of view. Many places would not look favorably upon them taking such an oath.

  • Ummm…the Pledge of Allegiance kind of has this covered, eh? Oh well…for those of us that live in AZ…we’re used to the nuts…we’ll deal with this clown….

  • Is it a big deal? To simply lie when giving an oath?

    Yes it is. Even setting aside the manner of Honor and Integrity, there is also the notion of commonality.

    We all have “In God We Trust” on our legal tender. Those were largely only added in the 1950′s. Yet Xtians like to scream like it was on our money since the start of the Union.

    Ergo: America being a Christian Nation.
    I do not give my word, lightly.

  • I live in AZ. These people are fascists, plain and simple. There are a lot of them in this state. These types of bills keep reminding us who they are.

    Requiring a loyalty oath to graduate from high school is simply ridiculous. As an atheist, if I were in HS and needed to swear a silly oath to graduate, I’d do it knowing that, “so help me God” is a meaningless phrase.

    In the interest of full disclosure, I am 70 years old. I also took this oath when I joined the military 51+ years ago. I swore to defend the Constitution and that is the part I revere, not the part where I sealed it with a declaration to an imaginary spirit.

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