Friday, March 12, 2010

The Christian Nation Debate- Circa 1788

By KOI, With Editorial Suggestions by J. Rowe

I carefully followed the recent posts about federalism, religious tests, and the "Godless Constitution." So what follows hits on this general theme, and also fits with the "Big Tent" theme of my previous posts.

John Fea noted a story on a religious test oath in North Carolina:

This morning I was reading an old news story about a newly elected councilman in Asheville, North Carolina who refused to say "so help me God" or place his hand on the Bible during his swearing in ceremony. The man in question--Cecil Bothwell--is an atheist. Unfortunately for him, the North Carolina constitution (written in 1868) disqualifies from public office "any person who shall deny the being of Almighty God." As you might imagine, conservative Christians are invoking this clause to remove Bothwell from office.

This seems the perfect showdown for the latest "Christian Nationalists" v. "Secular Nationalists" culture war battle.