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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Do Republicans in Buncombe County Understand the US Constitution???
Or Do They WANT A Religious Test for Officeholders?

**2.14pm** I've had several emails from Republicans in Buncombe County objecting to my use of the term Republican in my headline, several of whom I respect. I'm letting the descriptor stand because I feel it fits, and I know of no significant numbers of Republicans who have come out in support of Cecil Bothwell's religious freedom. If I am mistaken in this, please correct me.

I hope that certain people in Buncombe County will realize the folly of allowing themselves to be stirred up by listening to a moron on the radio regarding Cecil Bothwell. That guy has done nothing but cause trouble for Republicans, and as soon as they realize that, the better.

One of his latest efforts has succeeded in making the target briefly on the national radar (see
AshVegas) while simultaneously exposing our side as hypocritical idiots who don't understand the US Constitution. (As many Republicans are want to do these days since it is the style of the times). I'll wager less than one in a hundred "Republicans" have read the US Constitution and the documents that supported it, The Federalist...also known as The Federalist Papers. Or, for that matter, the Anti-Federalist Papers written by people who opposed the Constitution, and were in favor of religious tests of office.

Here is the 3d clause of Article VI:

The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the members of the several state legislatures, and all executive and judicial officers, both of the United States and of the several states, shall be bound by oath or affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.

That is very simple language, and should be easy to understand. The US Constitution trumps the state constitutions in this case.

Further, requiring a religious test for office violates the 1st and 14th Amendment rights of the person in question, as Torcaso v. Watkins has decided in a very similar case.

The Supreme Court ruled on this case, so it is the law of the land unless you are willing to take this all the way to the Supreme Court and get it over turned. That will not happen.

I dislike Cecil Bothwell being in the Asheville City Council. However, the voters have spoken.

If you want anyone to blame, you have no need to look past what
John Jay, an author of The Federalist Papers, the first Chief Justice of the United States and the second president of the American Bible Society, said when he declared, "Providence has given our people the choice of their rulers, and it is the duty, as well as privilege and interest, of a Christian nation to select and prefer Christians for their rulers." If you wanted a religious test, the time to apply it would have been during the election campaign...not afterward.

So blame the conservative candidates running, blame the 80% of Republicans who did not go to the polls that day, blame the party leadership in that county for not having an organized GOTV plan for Election Day that could have been adapted by the candidates running for City Council.

Maybe next time there is an election campaign going on, these people will be involved in walking the precincts, seeking voters and donations to help get someone who shares their values elected to office. If they are not doing that, then they are part of the problem, not part of the solution.