Help Us Remove the Atheist Ban from the North Carolina Constitution

Todd Stiefel
"It's discriminatory, offensive and unconstitutional."

Secular Coalition for NC: We support the efforts of the Openly Secular coalition, a joint project between the Secular Coalition for America (SCA) and other organizations, to remove atheist bans from the constitutions of North Carolina and six other states (NY Times: Dec 7, 2014).

“If it was on the books that Jews couldn’t hold public office, or that African-Americans or women couldn’t vote, that would be a no-brainer. You’d have politicians falling all over themselves to try to get it repealed. Even if it was still unenforceable, it would still be disgraceful and be removed. So why are we different?”

- Todd Stiefel, SCA Advisory Board

Join us today and help lobby our state legislators to remove this offensive language from our state constitution. Per Article 13, we will need legistation to pass by three-fifths in both houses of the General Assembly and also obtain a majority of the popular vote (in a referendum). The NC Constitution states:

Sec. 8.  Disqualifications for office.

The following persons shall be disqualified for office:

  • First, any person who shall deny the being of Almighty God.
  • Second, with respect to any office that is filled by election by the people, any person who is not qualified to vote in an election for that office.
  • Third, any person who has been adjudged guilty of treason or any other felony against this State or the United States, or any person who has been adjudged guilty of a felony in another state that also would be a felony if it had been committed in this State, or any person who has been adjudged guilty of corruption or malpractice in any office, or any person who has been removed by impeachment from any office, and who has not been restored to the rights of citizenship in the manner prescribed by law.

However Article VI, paragraph 3 of the US Constitution states clearly that "no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States." 

"I engaged in an eight-year legal battle with my state, which finally ended in a South Carolina Supreme Court victory, nullifying the anti-atheist clause in our Constitution. South Carolina spent close to $100,000 in an attempt to keep me from holding the exalted position of notary public."

 - Herb Silverman, SCA President

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Hemant Mehta explains for The Atheist Voice:

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