Arizona Republicans Propose Bill That Won't Allow Athiest's to Graduate High School

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Some Republicans are proposing a bill that won't allow students to graduate high school unless they recite this 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."

There's just no way this could go through, I'm pretty sure people aren't that stupid.

Source:http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/2013/01/25/arizona-republicans-propose-bill-that-would-not-allow-atheists-to-graduate-high-school/

Thoughts?

Edit: I guess they revised the oath to make it more inclusive, but having to recite an oath to graduate high school is still stupid.

Edit 2: For the record, I don't hate republicans, and I am not anti-religion. I'm just pointing out how stupid this is, regardless of your political leanings or religious beliefs.

To pay devils advocate.... God's on the money. I don't see any atheist refusing to carrying it around or use it.

Oh thats probably a strawman.... Well FUCK YOU! I stand by it. WHO WANTS SOME?!?!

Which God, though?

The oath is a bit ambiguous in that regard.

Zeus? Odin? Ra?

Olrod:
Which God, though?

The oath is a bit ambiguous in that regard.

Zeus? Odin? Ra?

Maybe The Flying Spaghetti Monster?

And yet another story set up to cause issues. Correct me if I'm wrong but isn't that oath similar to what people going into U.S government jobs have to swear. I really don't see the issue here. The U.S of A is founded on Christian principles, its very Constitution based on the Christian idea of Natural Law (and the title of the National Anthem is God Bless America, does that mean Atheists can't sing it?). Now yes a lot has changed since the founding of the U.S of A but some things shouldn't entirely change. I see no issue with the use of God in this oath. What I do think is stupid is the fact that they want to withhold education unless people take this oath. An oath is something that should be given freely not forced by withholding something that is a basic human right (education in this case). Just how binding would this oath be anyways. I mean it can't hold much weight or purpose behind it. People aren't going to suddenly stop questioning the American government because they take an oath and it almost seems like a step towards a police state mentality where everyone just does what they are told.

Take off that last bit, and it is still a reprehensible idea.

Personally, I'd like to see more people choosing to do as the oath in question requires. (At least given some thought on their part towards what it actually means. For instance, in spite of what they may think, I would count those proposing this bill as "domestic enemies of the constitution") Here's the thing though, it is, and absolutely must remain, a choice. Even the wording of the oath itself requires that the individual not be coerced into taking it.

Pretty awful.
But even if it passed, the moment the ACLU or some other sensible group started any action against it, it would go down in flames, I predict. Something as blatant as that would not stand; they usually have to be a lot sneakier and more deceitful to get something in that vein done.
The whole oath-thing is stupid in itself, but if they want to push that through, it'll have to be done without the reference to a Monotheistic god entity.
So, in conclusion, it'll either fail outright, it'll be challenged and gotten rid of or it'll be modified.

SaneAmongInsane:
To pay devils advocate.... God's on the money. I don't see any atheist refusing to carrying it around or use it.

Some cross out "God" on their money, though. At least I've heard of some doing that. Most probably don't bother.
Anyway, it being on the money and money being a necessary tool for trade doesn't imply some sort of agreement to theocratic notions.

Skeleon:
Pretty awful.
But even if it passed, the moment the ACLU or some other sensible group started any action against it, it would go down in flames, I predict. Something as blatant as that would not stand; they usually have to be a lot sneakier and more deceitful to get something in that vein done.
The whole oath-thing is stupid in itself, but if they want to push that through, it'll have to be done without the reference to a Monotheistic god entity.
So, in conclusion, it'll either fail outright, it'll be challenged and gotten rid of or it'll be modified.

SaneAmongInsane:
To pay devils advocate.... God's on the money. I don't see any atheist refusing to carrying it around or use it.

Some cross out God on their money, though. At least I've heard of some doing that. Most probably don't bother.
Anyway, it being on the money and money being a necessary tool for trade doesn't imply some sort of agreement to theocratic notions.

It's also in the pledge of allegiance. We still haven't changed that.

The fuck?

Even without the God part this is too overly nationalistic for my taste.

SaneAmongInsane:
It's also in the pledge of allegiance. We still haven't changed that.

But that one's not mandatory, so while people may be annoyed with it, it's much less relevant than this would be if it were to pass.

It also isn't in the original pledge of allegiance, by the way. It was added later, in the last century, during the whole Red Scare business.

SaneAmongInsane:

Skeleon:
Pretty awful.
But even if it passed, the moment the ACLU or some other sensible group started any action against it, it would go down in flames, I predict. Something as blatant as that would not stand; they usually have to be a lot sneakier and more deceitful to get something in that vein done.
The whole oath-thing is stupid in itself, but if they want to push that through, it'll have to be done without the reference to a Monotheistic god entity.
So, in conclusion, it'll either fail outright, it'll be challenged and gotten rid of or it'll be modified.

SaneAmongInsane:
To pay devils advocate.... God's on the money. I don't see any atheist refusing to carrying it around or use it.

Some cross out God on their money, though. At least I've heard of some doing that. Most probably don't bother.
Anyway, it being on the money and money being a necessary tool for trade doesn't imply some sort of agreement to theocratic notions.

It's also in the pledge of allegiance. We still haven't changed that.

There are no reprocussions for not saying the pledge.

It won't pass. Even if it did, it would be a quick injunction follow by it being struck down by a federal court. The US precedent on compelled speech is pretty straight forward on this one.

Shadowstar38:

SaneAmongInsane:

Skeleon:
Pretty awful.
But even if it passed, the moment the ACLU or some other sensible group started any action against it, it would go down in flames, I predict. Something as blatant as that would not stand; they usually have to be a lot sneakier and more deceitful to get something in that vein done.
The whole oath-thing is stupid in itself, but if they want to push that through, it'll have to be done without the reference to a Monotheistic god entity.
So, in conclusion, it'll either fail outright, it'll be challenged and gotten rid of or it'll be modified.

Some cross out God on their money, though. At least I've heard of some doing that. Most probably don't bother.
Anyway, it being on the money and money being a necessary tool for trade doesn't imply some sort of agreement to theocratic notions.

It's also in the pledge of allegiance. We still haven't changed that.

There are no reprocussions for not saying the pledge.

Legit? When I was like, in middle school they flipped a bitch if you didn't say it.

SaneAmongInsane:

Shadowstar38:

SaneAmongInsane:

It's also in the pledge of allegiance. We still haven't changed that.

There are no reprocussions for not saying the pledge.

Legit? When I was like, in middle school they flipped a bitch if you didn't say it.

But they still let you graduate right?

I think you're looking at this from the wrong angle. Its not that they have to say "So help me god", its that they have to say this fucking oath in the first place. Its wrong on ever fucking level. You can't have this kind of oath be required to graduate from High School, its absolutely insane, and as someone else already said, really fucking illegal. Its just incredible to me that someone would think an oath that is quite similar to a military oath would be appropriate for a high school graduate.

CrazyBlaze:
And yet another story set up to cause issues. Correct me if I'm wrong but isn't that oath similar to what people going into U.S government jobs have to swear.

Quite similar. In fact, this is word for word identical to the oath of enlistment for military personnel, just with a few bits removed. Thing is, if one is not willing to follow at least the spirit of that oath, a government position simply won't do, so there is indeed call for it there. Requiring it of all high school students however...

CrazyBlaze:
I really don't see the issue here. The U.S of A is founded on Christian principles, its very Constitution based on the Christian idea of Natural Law (and the title of the National Anthem is God Bless America, does that mean Atheists can't sing it?). Now yes a lot has changed since the founding of the U.S of A but some things shouldn't entirely change. I see no issue with the use of God in this oath.

Yes and no.

Natural law, and the other principles behind the Age of Enlightenment, came from a wide variety of sources. While the ideas were refined in more recent years by Christian and Deist philosophers, their origins mostly lie elsewhere (I would also argue that they blatantly contradict principles of the early Christian faith, but that is a different discussion). The Grecian philosopher Aristotle in particular gets a large portion of the credit. Regardless, the country was primarily founded on a principle of religious freedom. Forcing that choice on others is prohibited.

P.S. National anthem is "The Star-Spangled Banner". "God Bless America" is just an incredibly poorly written song that got popular due to implied patriotism.

EDIT: apparently, according to captcha, I don't eat enough mashed potatoes

Heronblade:

CrazyBlaze:
And yet another story set up to cause issues. Correct me if I'm wrong but isn't that oath similar to what people going into U.S government jobs have to swear.

Quite similar. In fact, this is word for word identical to the oath of enlistment for military personnel, just with a few bits removed. Thing is, if one is not willing to follow at least the spirit of that oath, a government position simply won't do, so there is indeed call for it. Requiring it of all high school students however...

CrazyBlaze:
I really don't see the issue here. The U.S of A is founded on Christian principles, its very Constitution based on the Christian idea of Natural Law (and the title of the National Anthem is God Bless America, does that mean Atheists can't sing it?). Now yes a lot has changed since the founding of the U.S of A but some things shouldn't entirely change. I see no issue with the use of God in this oath.

Yes and no.

Natural law, and the other principles behind the Age of Enlightenment, came from a wide variety of sources. While the ideas were refined in more recent years by Christian and Deist philosophers, their origins mostly lie elsewhere (I would also argue that they blatantly contradict principles of the early Christian faith, but that is a different discussion). The Grecian philosopher Aristotle in particular gets a large portion of the credit. Regardless, the country was primarily founded on a principle of religious freedom. Forcing that choice on others is prohibited.

P.S. National anthem is "The Star-Spangled Banner"

EDIT: apparently, according to captcha, I don't eat enough mashed potatoes

Thanks for correcting this absurd notion of "America was founded on Christian principles..."

Additionally, we didn't see "In God we trust," on our money until the 1860's at the earliest. That motto was challenged until 1956, when the 84th Congress passed a law making that motto our national motto. It's not like we have a choice in the matter...this motto has been challenged on numerous occasions, and due to a specific segment of the population (and some wacko SCOTUS Justices, it remains).

SOURCE on money: http://www.treasury.gov/about/education/Pages/in-god-we-trust.aspx

Kenbo Slice:
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Some Republicans are proposing a bill that won't allow students to graduate high school unless they recite this 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."

There's just no way this could go through, I'm pretty sure people aren't that stupid.

Source:http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/2013/01/25/arizona-republicans-propose-bill-that-would-not-allow-atheists-to-graduate-high-school/

Thoughts?

Edit: I guess they revised the oath to make it more inclusive, but having to recite an oath to graduate high school is still stupid.

There is no way in hell this survives a constitutional challenge.

I'm pretty sure this is covered under compelled speech cases

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_United_States_Supreme_Court_cases_involving_the_First_Amendment#Compelled_speech

There's a Supreme Court decision from 1943 that says that schools can't force students to recite the pledge. There's no way this will ever hold up, even if there was no mention of God.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/West_Virginia_State_Board_of_Education_v._Barnette

Now, it has been said that the oath itself is stupid stupid *head-desking sounds* STUPID.

But, with the entire god thing, doesn't the Christian god hate it when His name is spoken in vain? Because that's exactly what this oath would make people do. Speak His name in vain. He'd get cranky. Why piss off your own god by making people do something you know annoys Him? Silly, truly.

SaneAmongInsane:
To pay devils advocate.... God's on the money. I don't see any atheist refusing to carrying it around or use it.

Oh thats probably a strawman.... Well FUCK YOU! I stand by it. WHO WANTS SOME?!?!

I'd love some straw, can I have some?

SaneAmongInsane:

Shadowstar38:

SaneAmongInsane:

It's also in the pledge of allegiance. We still haven't changed that.

There are no reprocussions for not saying the pledge.

Legit? When I was like, in middle school they flipped a bitch if you didn't say it.

Supreme Court from 1943 says you can't compel students to recite the pledge. I'm sure some schools don't know this or choose to ignore this but if they do I'm pretty sure you can sue them.

CrazyBlaze:
And yet another story set up to cause issues. Correct me if I'm wrong but isn't that oath similar to what people going into U.S government jobs have to swear. I really don't see the issue here. The U.S of A is founded on Christian principles,

Not entirely. The first amendment gives you the freedom to break a couple of the ten commandments (though shalt not take the lord's name in vain, though shalt have no other god before me). And that's the point. The country is set up on the idea that you don't have to have Christian values, or even democratic values. We have free speech and free thought. You can advocate that we throw out the Constitution and replace it with communism or a theocracy if you want and that's otally legal. I think this oath wouldn't survive a constitutional challenge even if there was no mention of God

CrazyBlaze:

What I do think is stupid is the fact that they want to withhold education unless people take this oath. An oath is something that should be given freely not forced by withholding something that is a basic human right (education in this case). Just how binding would this oath be anyways. I mean it can't hold much weight or purpose behind it. People aren't going to suddenly stop questioning the American government because they take an oath and it almost seems like a step towards a police state mentality where everyone just does what they are told.

Yeah it is kind of pointless.

If that were to go through... Huge money to the first student who gets denied graduation. Lawsuit.

SaneAmongInsane:
To pay devils advocate.... God's on the money. I don't see any atheist refusing to carrying it around or use it.

Oh thats probably a strawman.... Well FUCK YOU! I stand by it. WHO WANTS SOME?!?!

And to be completely honest, if I could live comfortably without money, I would do so. Kinda like the Star Trek model.

That's the oath that Federal Employees must take, word for word (It's the Uniformed Services Oath). It has nothing to do with atheism or denying them the ability to graduate. You're reaching pretty far to try and push your narrative, OP.

Additionally, the last sentence is not required. If you have a personal or moral objection to it, then you do not need to say it as per article six of the US Constitution.

But no. The evil Republicans are suggesting it, so it must be horrific and a gross violation of our rights in an attempt to turn the US into a Christian wonderland.

You would think that people would actually want to learn about the foundation of their country and maybe read the Constitution at least once in their life so they know what their rights are. But that's probably asking too much.

Not a new thing, they try to force this on people from time to time. I would have thought that this bit:

" that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion"

might have been a bit of a clue that this was a bad idea.

This is why I have to call myself an agnostic, and why I feel atheism is bordering on religion. I don't get these ridiculous atheist stances like not saying "under god" in the pledge of allegiance. I can see how a Muslim would refuse to say that because it violates his religious beliefs, but atheists have no beliefs. Saying "under god" shouldn't be any more offensive than saying "under Legolas". These people must be anti-theist. I would just say the oath, take my diploma, and not even think about it.

cthulhuspawn82:
This is why I have to call myself an agnostic, and why I feel atheism is bordering on religion. I don't get these ridiculous atheist stances like not saying "under god" in the pledge of allegiance. I can see how a Muslim would refuse to say that because it violates his religious beliefs, but atheists have no beliefs. Saying "under god" shouldn't be any more offensive than saying "under Legolas". These people must be anti-theist. I would just say the oath, take my diploma, and not even think about it.

I am agnostic as well, but also an atheist. The two are not mutually exclusive.

And just because you're comfortable with it doesn't mean others are.

cthulhuspawn82:
This is why I have to call myself an agnostic, and why I feel atheism is bordering on religion. I don't get these ridiculous atheist stances like not saying "under god" in the pledge of allegiance. I can see how a Muslim would refuse to say that because it violates his religious beliefs, but atheists have no beliefs. Saying "under god" shouldn't be any more offensive than saying "under Legolas". These people must be anti-theist. I would just say the oath, take my diploma, and not even think about it.

If you are saying that the oath is meaningless, I think you might have just offended both religious people and atheists in one go, which is sorta impressive.

Kenbo Slice:

Some Republicans are proposing a bill that won't allow students to graduate high school unless they recite this 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."

I'm pretty sure you could just recite the oath, then turn around after they've let you graduate and say: "Nyeh nyueh nyeh-nyeh nyeh! I didn't mean a word of it!" and then blow them a huge raspberry....

i see less of a problem with the god part.

i think the bigger issue is the "herp derp 'muricuh is best burn all foreign communists" zeaque heyly part.

Swearing something 'under god', is as someone mentioned, not necessarily something you actually have to do, since the constitution says so. But, let's just keep ignoring that for indignities sake right?

The whole thing is stupid. That oath is to be taken by those who willingly volunteer to work for the government. Unless graduation in their high schools comes with an automatic government job, they shouldn't be taking it.

cthulhuspawn82:
This is why I have to call myself an agnostic, and why I feel atheism is bordering on religion. I don't get these ridiculous atheist stances like not saying "under god" in the pledge of allegiance. I can see how a Muslim would refuse to say that because it violates his religious beliefs, but atheists have no beliefs. Saying "under god" shouldn't be any more offensive than saying "under Legolas". These people must be anti-theist. I would just say the oath, take my diploma, and not even think about it.

Some of us take our word seriously.

For those that feel the same way as I do concerning this, it isn't that we are offended, it isn't about being anti-theist, it involves the fact that we are unwilling to take such an oath unless we actually mean it. I find it saddening how that is a relatively rare phenomenon these days.

Kopikatsu:
That's the oath that Federal Employees must take, word for word (It's the Uniformed Services Oath). It has nothing to do with atheism or denying them the ability to graduate. You're reaching pretty far to try and push your narrative, OP.

Given that the oath was created and enforced as method of purging the American government of atheists due to their association with communism it's flat out wrong to say "It has nothing to do with atheism".

Now the people saying "Why would you care? It's just words and if you don't believe in God it doesn't mean anything." are of course totally correct but that doesn't ideological indoctrination. Very weak indoctrination that's easy to ignore but still indoctrination.

Heronblade:

cthulhuspawn82:
This is why I have to call myself an agnostic, and why I feel atheism is bordering on religion. I don't get these ridiculous atheist stances like not saying "under god" in the pledge of allegiance. I can see how a Muslim would refuse to say that because it violates his religious beliefs, but atheists have no beliefs. Saying "under god" shouldn't be any more offensive than saying "under Legolas". These people must be anti-theist. I would just say the oath, take my diploma, and not even think about it.

Some of us take our word seriously.

For those that feel the same way as I do concerning this, it isn't that we are offended, it isn't about being anti-theist, it involves the fact that we are unwilling to take such an oath unless we actually mean it.

Beat me to it.
I always find various religious functions horribly awkward because of the difficulty in extracting myself from religious stuff without causing offence.
I've found a good balance is to follow other's lead (sitting down, standing up, facing pulpit, whatever), but I wouldn't actually recite the Lord's Prayer or whatever simply because I do not believe it.

Kopikatsu:

Additionally, the last sentence is not required. If you have a personal or moral objection to it, then you do not need to say it as per article six of the US Constitution.
But no. The evil Republicans are suggesting it, so it must be horrific and a gross violation of our rights in an attempt to turn the US into a Christian wonderland.

But the thing is, as you just pointed out, the legislation violates the constitution, and thus the bill is by definition attempting to commit "a gross violation our[1] rights".
Of course it isn't going to actually survive any legal challenge, but the fact that they're even trying is ridiculous, and it's a bit worrying that they either don't see, or don't care about, the blatant conflict with the Constitution.

[1] Feels weird to write that because not American, but I'm quoting goddammit!

Skeleon:

SaneAmongInsane:
To pay devils advocate.... God's on the money. I don't see any atheist refusing to carrying it around or use it.

Some cross out "God" on their money, though. At least I've heard of some doing that.

Fun Fact: That's illegal. It's illegal to tamper with the National Currency in any way: Tearing it, setting it on Fire, and especially drawing on it. Thats why the meme "Operation: Lioncash" is not as widespread as it could be. Now, I don't know how well enforced this law actually is, and I don't know if there are circumstances where you can destroy or tamper with American money, but I know it is against the law, so Atheists probably shouldn't have done it.

OT: I'm sure this isn't as bad as your making it out to be. I'm sure you can omit the "So Help Me God" from it, or ask for an alternative. Until I hear otherwise, I'm certain this isn't that bad.

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