Podcast #75 – Can Atheists Hold Office in NC?

Cecil Bothwell has just been elected to the city council of Asheville, North Carolina.  He happens to be an atheist.  The North Carolina state constitution bars atheists from holding elected office.  (For what it’s worth, seven other states still have constitutional provisions that discriminate against non-believers.)  Is this a case of continuing institutionalized bigotry, or just an amusingly unenforceable “quirk” left over from the 19th century?  (For more on Mr. Bothwell visit cecilbothwell.wordpress.com)

Also discussed in this episode:

There’s a War on Christmas: haven’t you heard?  South Carolina Congressman Henry Brown has introduced (nonbinding) House Resolution 951, which “seeks to express the sense…that the symbols and traditions of Christmas should be protected.”  Dozens of Brown’s (mostly Southern, mostly Republican) peers have jumped on the Save-Christmas-from-the-Multicultural-Heathen bandwagon, but HR951 is destined to die in committee.  Is this really how our elected representatives spend their time?

The Washington, DC city council has okayed same-sex marriage.  But the District is under Congressional oversight: Congress has 30 days to reverse any actions of the council.  This puts Republicans (currently in the minority) in an interesting pickle.  They’re against gay marriage, but they crow all the time about the rights of state and local governments to run their own affairs.  So which way’s it gonna be, fellas?

Disturbing News Alert: Another case of a child endangered by kooky, dangerous religious beliefs.  In Brazil, a man has confessed to inserting 42 needles (and leaving them in place!) into his two-year-old stepson, as part of a series of black magic rituals directed by a trance-tripping woman.

Plus: It’s David’s turn to do jury duty, and he’s amazed to read a local journalist’s confession that you have to be irrational to be Christian.

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Theme music by Body Found.

Recorded December 17, 2009.  Hosted by John C. Snider and David Driscoll.

To listen to this episode click here.

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