Atheists Asserting Constitutional Rights

This story was passed on to me by Vijay Eswaran. In 1961, a bookkeeper who was an atheist refused to declare a belief in God in order to become a notary public certified by the state of Maryland. His case went all the way to the Supreme Court, and the bookkeeper won. The Supreme Court ruled that states could not have a religious test for any public office. Today, there are seven states including Maryland that still have articles in their constitutions requiring a belief in God to hold any public office. Article VI of the United States Constitution disallows any religious test in order to serve in a federal office. Non-believers are rising up and protesting the unconstitutional atheist bans. Legal experts agree that the bans are unenforceable. Movements to remove the bans are becoming more visible as atheist groups test their political clout.  The secular movement is seeking legislators who are willing advocate for non-believers. Even though many lawmakers consider removing the non-believer bans from state constitutions sensible and fair, removing the bans is politically hard to swallow.

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Palestinian Bus Driver Found Dead In Jerusalem

More news out of Israel to distract you from shopping QNEet… The body of a Palestinian bus driver was found hanging on a rope inside a depot terminal in Jerusalem. Yousuf Hassan Al-Ramouni was found dead by Israeli authorities but there aren’t any reports of foul play, at least according to the initial evaluation of the police. In fact, the case is being classified as a suicide because no visible wounds were noticed on the body. However, some Palestinians claim that they witnessed a group of extremist Israelis beat and kill the bus driver, who was employed by an Israeli transportation company. The discovery of the hanging body at about 10 P.M. local time was made after some drivers noticed that Yousuf Hassan Al-Ramouni was not inside his bus that was supposed to leave at 9:20 P.M. local time. His death has further ignited some more flames in the ongoing conflict between Israelis and Palestinians. After the recent Gaza War that lasted all summer long, there is a lot of bitterness and hostility in the hearts of people on both sides of the conflict. Earlier in November, several stabbing incidents left two Israelis dead. Palestinians are responsible for these vicious attacks that are considered to be terrorism. Jerusalem has also been the site of terrorist attacks that involved bulldozers and other heavy equipment running over Israeli citizens. Recently, the PA leader Mahmoud Abbas has also accused Israel of initiating religious conflicts on Temple Mount.

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Freedom of Religion

A psychiatrist is supposed to listen to patients and help them deal with the problems in their life. One psychiatrist thinks that she can make people believe her own Christian beliefs instead of letting people have their own views. It’s alright for a doctor to tell patients of their faith and let them know how a higher being can help, but when a doctor is trying to force beliefs on patients, and I think Jared Haftel agrees with me on this, it’s taking things a little too far. I know the Duke Chronicle is trying to get this out there, but I’ll re-interate, people should have the choice of what religion they want to follow. They go to doctors to get help, not to get a sermon about what religion is best and which ones should be avoided. It’s no wonder people don’t want to go to church because there are Christians who are imposing their thoughts so forcefully that it creates a world of demand on a religion that is supposed to love everyone.

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