Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

Current Events & Hot Topics Current Events & Hot Topics

Arizona Republicans Propose Bill That Would Not Allow Atheists To Graduate High School

Posted by on Jan. 27, 2013 at 6:19 AM
  • 75 Replies
1 mom liked this

 

 

Arizona Republicans Propose Bill That Would Not Allow Atheists To Graduate High School

January 25, 2013 By 1,159 Comments

A group of Arizona politicians - all Republicans, of course - have proposed a law (House Bill 2467) requiring public high school students to recite the following oath in order to graduate:

 

 

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.

 

To quote Comedy Central's Ilya Gerner: "Nothing says ‘I take this obligation freely' quite like a state law that withholds your diploma unless you swear an oath."

 

Kevin Bondelli adds:

 

... graduating high school is not the same thing as voluntarily accepting the responsibility of a public office or admission to the legal bar. A high school diploma is, with extremely few exceptions, required to have a chance to live above the poverty level. It is the culmination of an education that up until that point was compulsory.

 

It's bad enough the Republicans are demanding loyalty of the kind normally reserved for members of Congress and beyond - but there's also no way I would say those last four words, and the current text of the legislation does not allow for any alternatives.

 

In other words, if this bill were to become a law, atheists would either not be allowed to graduate... or they would be forced to lie so they could graduate. Neither option is acceptable.

 

Mike Sunnucks of the Phoenix Business Journal points out another problem:

 

The Arizona bill could also face legal challenges if it is approved.

 

Jehovah's witnesses, some Muslims and pacifist Quakers have in the past challenged loyalty oaths imposed by the federal government and other agencies, saying they conflict with their beliefs and religious professions. Similarly, some Arizona students could challenge the proposed high school oath as a violation of their religious liberties and freedom of expression.

 

This bill is the work of Representatives Bob Thorpe, Sonny Borrelli, Carl Seel, T.J. Shope, Jeff Dial, David Livingston, Chester Crandell, and Steve Smith.

 

Smith and Shope have also introduced legislation demanding that all students in grades 1-12 recite the Pledge of Allegiance (with "Under God") every day. At least in that bill, students can get out of saying it with their parents' permission.

 

No such exemption exists in the Loyalty Oath.

 

Keep in mind that in both cases, the bills do not help children get a better education. That's the saddest thing about all this. The people who are in charge of fixing the education crisis are proposing solutions that would only waste more classroom time and exclude many students from graduating despite fulfilling their current requirements.

 

***Update***: While the bill still includes the God language, Think Progress reports that it may be revised:

 

As written, the bill does not exempt atheist students or those of different faiths from the requirement, though Thorpe has pledged to amend the measure. "In that we had a tight deadline for dropping our bills, I was not able to update the language," he wrote in an e-mail to the Arizona Republic. "Even though I want to encourage all of our students to understand and respect our Constitution and constitutional form of government, I do not want to create a requirement that students or parents may feel uncomfortable with."

 

So it's possible alternative language may solve the atheist problem, but *requiring* students to take the oath still poses a host of constitutional issues. Another option would be to make the oath optional, but that would make this bill completely irrelevant.

 

Which would be fine by me.

 

(Thanks to Brian for the link)

 

by on Jan. 27, 2013 at 6:19 AM
Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Replies (1-10):
lokilover
by Bronze Member on Jan. 27, 2013 at 7:26 AM
4 moms liked this

Nationalistic Christianity is the worst Christianity.

Proud2BWeird
by Member on Jan. 27, 2013 at 7:35 AM
6 moms liked this
This is ridiculous and will never pass.

Stupid bills are proposed all the time, by people in both parties, and the vast majority don't get passed. This is simply one of those.
Posted on the NEW CafeMom Mobile
colins_mom
by Silver Member on Jan. 27, 2013 at 7:43 AM
1 mom liked this
Yeah the whole oath thing.... No bueno.
Posted on the NEW CafeMom Mobile
LilyofPhilly
by Gold Member on Jan. 27, 2013 at 8:51 AM
11 moms liked this
The good people of Arizona should demand that these nutbags be removed from office for wasting their tax money.
Posted on the NEW CafeMom Mobile
cammibear
by Gold Member on Jan. 27, 2013 at 9:13 AM
3 moms liked this
I think requiring students to take a course on the Constitution would meet their objective. I'm pondering if forced allegiance is allegiance at all...

Posted on the NEW CafeMom Mobile
somuchlove4U
by on Jan. 27, 2013 at 10:13 AM
4 moms liked this
It's ridiculous! They've already earned the right to graduate. They should not be forced into saying an oath.
Posted on the NEW CafeMom Mobile
gammie
by on Jan. 27, 2013 at 10:17 AM


i agree!!

Quoting Proud2BWeird:

This is ridiculous and will never pass.

Stupid bills are proposed all the time, by people in both parties, and the vast majority don't get passed. This is simply one of those.



PurdueMom
by Sherri on Jan. 27, 2013 at 10:19 AM
5 moms liked this

I can't wait to see how many jobs this creates!


gammie
by on Jan. 27, 2013 at 10:20 AM

The funny part is everybody in Washington ignore that oath!


shannonnigans
by Platinum Member on Jan. 27, 2013 at 10:24 AM
4 moms liked this
There's only two words I can think of in response to being told that my diploma hangs upon forced allegiance and forced religion.

And after those two words, it's a quick trip to the clerk of the court so they can spend outrageous amounts of money defending mine and other students' lawsuits, which are guaranteed slam dunks.

The sheer malice here is mind-boggling in its own right, but do they not also look at the bigger picture, and how this has no chance of success, and could be extremely costly? No wonder this is a dying party.
Posted on CafeMom Mobile
Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

close Join now to connect to
other members!
Connect with Facebook or Sign Up Using Email

Already Joined? LOG IN