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

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While as a theist even I think the "So help me God" is rather unnecessary and out of place in an oath that is supposed to demonstrating fealty to the constitution, which for all intents and purposes is not a religious document and even within itself says that the state is to remain secular in the laws it makes, the concept of the whole thing rather disgusts me. The constitution is a living document. We've amended it many times, and the meanings of certain passages are challenged and debated every day. And if we wish to continue to thrive as a country, we will keep changing and challenging it. It will never be perfect, and I'm rather disgusted at this idea that we're supposed to "support and defend" it at all times when if there is anyone who should be challenging and pushing it to the next level, it's us. I've never understood this conservative notion that there are some things that are too sacred to question or critically examine, and that to question these things is to not be patriotic.

Kopikatsu:
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.

I would love it if we did that in schools, rather than pushing the myths that they push now about how "In 1492 Columbus sailed the ocean blue and discovered America" when what he really did was discover the West Indies and it was the Vikings who were really the first Europeans to reach America. And rather than having kids spend their time memorizing the preamble and regurgitate it on command like good little dogs, that we actually teach them what it means in relation to the other rights stated in the constitution, and freely discuss the full meaning and context of each passage. But no, we're more interested in the Mayflower and Squanto and all the nice little stories that are easy to tell and that don't have quite enough substance to debate.

Additionally, that isn't what this "oath" is trying to do at all. If anything, it's discouraging people from knowing their rights. Because if they know their rights as they are dictated in the constitution, they might want to discuss these and how they affect our lives today. But no, this oath is only about accepting the constitution verbatim and never debating or questioning it, because apparently questioning the constitution shows weakness and is unpatriotic. This oath isn't about knowing what's in the constituion, it's about making sure they vow to never question it.

Lilani:

I would love it if we did that in schools, rather than pushing the myths that they push now about how "In 1492 Columbus sailed the ocean blue and discovered America" when what he really did was discover the West Indies and it was the Vikings who were really the first Europeans to reach America. And rather than having kids spend their time memorizing the preamble and regurgitate it on command like good little dogs, that we actually teach them what it means in relation to the other rights stated in the constitution, and freely discuss the full meaning and context of each passage. But no, we're more interested in the Mayflower and Squanto and all the nice little stories that are easy to tell and that don't have quite enough substance to debate.

I'll always remember when my Jr. High history teacher welcomed us all to "Vespuccica." Because it was Amerigo Vespucci who (re)discovered "America" (and mapped a chunk of the eastern seaboard) and it was odd that the name took after his first name, rather than his last.

That same teacher also dressed up as a union soldier when we were studying the civil war, and brought in replica period equipment including firearms for us to see.

Mr.Mattress:
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.

I think most people know it's illegal to tamper with currency, but it's also the sort of thing that's pretty much impossible to enforce unless you either see someone do it or actively track and monitor every bill in circulation (which is impractical and a waste of money at least, but more likely, impossible).

Lilani:
While as a theist even I think the "So help me God" is rather unnecessary and out of place in an oath that is supposed to demonstrating fealty to the constitution, which for all intents and purposes is not a religious document and even within itself says that the state is to remain secular in the laws it makes, the concept of the whole thing rather disgusts me. The constitution is a living document. We've amended it many times, and the meanings of certain passages are challenged and debated every day. And if we wish to continue to thrive as a country, we will keep changing and challenging it. It will never be perfect, and I'm rather disgusted at this idea that we're supposed to "support and defend" it at all times when if there is anyone who should be challenging and pushing it to the next level, it's us. I've never understood this conservative notion that there are some things that are too sacred to question or critically examine, and that to question these things is to not be patriotic.

While I am very well aware that others disagree, particularly those who happen to be behind the bill, that is not what it means to me at all.

Choosing to "support and defend" the constitution does not prevent being able to treat it as a living document. What the oath ultimately requires is that one adhere to, support, and/or enforce the primary laws of the land. Since said laws include a means for themselves to be changed, that includes adhering to and/or enforcing the people's right to change the constitution as needed, at least so long as that change is done properly.

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. I find it saddening how that is a relatively rare phenomenon these days.

I'm sure many of us take our word seriously. However, when your high school diploma (the most important accomplishment of your life at that point and the basis for most future accomplishments going forward) is being held hostage, outright lies don't seem nearly so horrendous. Obviously, this is stupid and shouldn't possibly happen, but do we really expect anything better from Arizona at this point?

Aris Khandr:

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. I find it saddening how that is a relatively rare phenomenon these days.

I'm sure many of us take our word seriously. However, when your high school diploma (the most important accomplishment of your life at that point and the basis for most future accomplishments going forward) is being held hostage, outright lies don't seem nearly so horrendous. Obviously, this is stupid and shouldn't possibly happen, but do we really expect anything better from Arizona at this point?

I would likely do the same, but the temptation to simply flip them off and walk would be quite strong. What I am saying is that being willing to lie for something that important, and being OK with being forced to do so, are two entirely different things. Even if the majority are willing to simply mouth the words, it is still exceptionally wrong to force them to do so by holding something of that much importance hostage

Ironically enough, it is in large part because I believe in doing the primary portion of that oath, that I would fight this bill to the last.

Heronblade:
While I am very well aware that others disagree, particularly those who happen to be behind the bill, that is not what it means to me at all.

Choosing to "support and defend" the constitution does not prevent being able to treat it as a living document. What the oath ultimately requires is that one adhere to, support, and/or enforce the primary laws of the land. Since said laws include a means for themselves to be changed, that includes adhering to and/or enforcing the people's right to change the constitution as needed, at least so long as that change is done properly.

However, that is exactly what a high schooler is going to think it means, so when they say the oath it's going to be begrudgingly and only because the school is holding their diploma over their head. It won't mean anything to them, because that isn't what they went through school for. If anything, going through school should be the time when they develop their own image of what America looks like and how they feel about it. Not when they go through a system to be shaped into some idyllic image of a perfect Uncle Sam worshipper.

Honestly, what do they think this is, the Red Scare? What do they hope to gain from making kids say this oath? Everything about it encourages blind and unthinking "patriotism." "Without mental reservation," "faithfully discharge these duties." And what exactly are they defending the Constitution from? Hell, what does it even mean by "defending the Constitution?" The Constitution is located in Washington DC. Surely they don't mean the actual physical constitution, so they simply mean it figuratively, as in the principles established by the constitution. Which means they're "defending" the constitution from everybody who disagrees with it. Which is quite a few people, including a number in the middle east and a few parts of Africa and Asia.

And what exactly is wrong with people disagreeing with the constitution? That's not illegal, not even for citizens of the US. People are allowed to be anarchists or communists or socialists. And those people who disagree with the constitution who are citizens deserve just as much defense as the other citizens of the US. If anything, we should be asking them to defend America in general.

And then, in what way are they expected to "defend" the constitution or America or whatever? Surely not like the way the military does. This is a high school graduation for God's sake, not an introduction ceremony to bootcamp. So what else is there, arguing everybody who disagrees with the constitution into the ground?

I think I get what they're trying to do with this oath, but the wording is all wrong and really very creepy if you think about it. Trying to initiate every kid who graduates high school as a soldier into some unofficial war against everybody who dares to disagree with the constitution.

Lilani:
snip

All of which tie into why this is a disgusting idea. All I wished to challenge was the assertion that the oath required treating the constitution as if it was unchangeable and perfect.

P.S. Nothing is wrong with disagreeing with the constitution. That was part of what I was trying to get at before. The "enemy" the oath speaks of does not include John Smith the auto mechanic, who happens to think that Marxism was the best governmental idea ever, and freely advocates changing our system of government. Instead, the "enemy" would include those attempting to take away the rights of others. Such as the Arizona politicians responsible for this bill.

Heronblade:

Lilani:
snip

All of which tie into why this is a disgusting idea. All I wished to challenge was the assertion that the oath required treating the constitution as if it was unchangeable and perfect.

P.S. Nothing is wrong with disagreeing with the constitution. That was part of what I was trying to get at before. The "enemy" the oath speaks of does not include John Smith the auto mechanic, who happens to think that Marxism was the best governmental idea ever, and freely advocates changing our system of government. Instead, the "enemy" would include those attempting to take away the rights of others. Such as the Arizona politicians responsible for this bill.

Aaaah I see, sorry for being so hostile and assumed we disagreed over stuff we didn't, lol. And I love the fact that you pointed out the delicious irony of it all. While there's nothing wrong with patriotism or not being so happy with one's current government system, there is always something wrong with trying to brainwash somebody into feeling one way or the other against their own judgement.

We live in a secular society so it is illegal to only allow certain religions to graduate.

And its a really stupid law.

Kenbo Slice:
snip

I don't usually do this, but your thread title is about as misleading as it could be, so I reported it. I probably should have quoted you or something first, but then again you had to know what you were doing, and you should have known better.

There is nothing in this bill that prevents atheists from graduating. They can still say the oath, the last part just won't mean anything to them. Same way I have said "one nation under God" many times despite being an atheist; it's something you just do sometimes because it's easier than dealing with all the bullshit you'll take from your peers otherwise, and it's not a big enough problem to make a big deal out of.

This is not to say that I agree with the law; I don't think separation of church and state is complete if any government-mandated proclamation includes mention of one God. I dislike that people think this is a good idea, but it's not what you say it is.

McMullen:

Kenbo Slice:
snip

I don't usually do this, but your thread title is about as misleading as it could be, so I reported it. I probably should have quoted you or something first, but then again you had to know what you were doing, and you should have known better.

There is nothing in this bill that prevents atheists from graduating. They can still say the oath, the last part just won't mean anything to them. Same way I have said "one nation under God" many times despite being an atheist; it's something you just do sometimes because it's easier than dealing with all the bullshit you'll take from your peers otherwise, and it's not a big enough problem to make a big deal out of.

This is not to say that I agree with the law; I don't think separation of church and state is complete if any government-mandated proclamation includes mention of one God. I dislike that people think this is a good idea, but it's not what you say it is.

The title is not misleading at all. It's just the title of the article. They shouldn't have to state something they don't believe in. Also not to mention how stupidly patriotic this is. You shouldn't have to recite some oath just to graduate high school.

Kenbo Slice:

McMullen:

Kenbo Slice:
snip

I don't usually do this, but your thread title is about as misleading as it could be, so I reported it. I probably should have quoted you or something first, but then again you had to know what you were doing, and you should have known better.

There is nothing in this bill that prevents atheists from graduating. They can still say the oath, the last part just won't mean anything to them. Same way I have said "one nation under God" many times despite being an atheist; it's something you just do sometimes because it's easier than dealing with all the bullshit you'll take from your peers otherwise, and it's not a big enough problem to make a big deal out of.

This is not to say that I agree with the law; I don't think separation of church and state is complete if any government-mandated proclamation includes mention of one God. I dislike that people think this is a good idea, but it's not what you say it is.

The title is not misleading at all. It's just the title of the article. They shouldn't have to state something they don't believe in. Also not to mention how stupidly patriotic this is. You shouldn't have to recite some oath just to graduate high school.

Ah, I see now that it wasn't your headline. Still, it would be more honest to say in the title what the bill actually does instead of perpetuating a dishonest headline. I agree that they shouldn't have to state something they don't believe in, and that you shouldn't have to recite an oath. And I wouldn't even call it stupidly patriotic; patriotism should mean that it is done for the benefit of the country, but this bill merely promotes obedience to politicians in the guise of serving one's country. In that respect, is is dangerously unpatriotic.

But none of that prevents students from graduating unless, possibly, the oath is legally binding, and an atheist would break the oath by taking it. But I'm fairly sure that such a charge would be ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court.

Mr.Mattress:
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.
.

you can deface money, it just can't be for the purpose of fraud or counterfeiting.
So adding zeros to a $10 is a no no
but crossing out the word God is not.

Since there still seems to be a bit of confusion, I'll clarify my earlier statement. The oath that they want students to recite is the Uniformed Services Oath. Both my grandfather and myself have had to recite the oath on separate occasions. 'So help me God' is optional and does not have to be said if you object to it. This also applies to any oath required by the US government. There is no matter of 'If it is brought to court it would be found unconstitutional and is a violation of our rights!'. The provision to omit that segment of the oath is already part of the constitution.

Also, I'd be hard pressed to take a blogger who goes by 'The Friendly Atheist' as an unbiased source, especially when he quotes comedians on the subject.

I..um..I just..wait what the fuck. *hits head on desk* God..why are some people such morons. Fuck it. I'm done trying to get the two sides, religious and non religious to work together. Even as a christain I think this bill is beyond stupid. Hell as a human being this bill..is just..STUPID.

Mr.Mattress:
Fun Fact: That's illegal.

Interesting, but like Vivi22 said, it's unenforceable. Plus, you might just consider it civil disobedience of sorts.
Anyway, as I said, I think only very few of them do it. Most probably don't care enough to even bother.

Kopikatsu:
Since there still seems to be a bit of confusion, I'll clarify my earlier statement. The oath that they want students to recite is the Uniformed Services Oath. Both my grandfather and myself have had to recite the oath on separate occasions. 'So help me God' is optional and does not have to be said if you object to it. This also applies to any oath required by the US government. There is no matter of 'If it is brought to court it would be found unconstitutional and is a violation of our rights!'. The provision to omit that segment of the oath is already part of the constitution.

Also, I'd be hard pressed to take a blogger who goes by 'The Friendly Atheist' as an unbiased source, especially when he quotes comedians on the subject.

As far as I'm concerned, the entire oath as it applies to high school students should be optional. There's enough patriotic mumbo-jumbo indoctrination involved in the U.S. school system as it is.

And discounting a blog because the author happened to quote a comedian? You come off as crabby as your avatar looks. Take a chill pill, dude.

I would honestly not be surprised if it passed. With what has been going on in this country as of late. What with Texas and it's abortion proposal as of today attempting to ban abortions at six weeks. Perhaps it's time I move across the world yet again.

ShiningAmber:
I would honestly not be surprised if it passed. With what has been going on in this country as of late. What with Texas and it's abortion proposal as of today attempting to ban abortions at six weeks. Perhaps it's time I move across the world yet again.

Again? That raises the question of where you were before.

Kenbo Slice:
image

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.

This is actually old news. The bill did not make it into law.

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