Welcoming to a New State?

Carol and Chris--East 2008 112

I just moved to North Carolina.

{I know, I know. . .  The state where you have to choose your bathrooms carefully}.

I moved for family and for the natural beauty.

Nature can’t be tainted by the politics (though it can be harmed by ignorant decisions).

I’m not sure yet what I will do here, but maybe I won’t run for public office.

I was scanning over the State Constitution of my new state and found these “welcoming lines” from Article VI:

Sec. 7. Oath.
Before entering upon the duties of an office, a person elected or appointed to the office shall take and subscribe the following oath:
“I, _______________, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and maintain the Constitution and laws of the United States, and the Constitution and laws of North Carolina not inconsistent therewith, and that I will faithfully discharge the duties of my office as _______________, so help me God.

Sec. 8. Disqualifications for office.
The following persons shall be disqualified for office:
First, any person who shall deny the being of Almighty God.
Second, with respect to any office that is filled by election by the people, any person who is not qualified to vote in an election for that office.
Third, any person who has been adjudged guilty of treason or any other felony against this State or the United States, or any person who has been adjudged guilty of a felony in another state that also would be a felony if it had been committed in this State, or any person who has been adjudged guilty of corruption or malpractice in any office, or any person who has been removed by impeachment from any office, and who has not been restored to the rights of citizenship in the manner prescribed by law.

Note that the VERY FIRST disqualification for public office is about FAITH.

Given that the PREAMBLE for the NC State Constitution sets the whole tone for “public” service:

We, the people of the State of North Carolina, grateful to Almighty God, the Sovereign Ruler of Nations [acknowledge] our dependence upon Him for the continuance of those blessings. . .

I guess Freethinkers like me aren’t much welcome in these parts.

But, so far I feel pretty much welcome.  Nice folks.  And I love the green, the birdsongs, the lightning bugs. . .   Lots of beauty. . .beyond belief.  Yes, Beyond Belief.

We’ll see how it goes.  I probably won’t try to run for office. . .right now.

See what YOUR state constitution says.  THEN consider how this stands against the Constitution of the UNITED STATES:

no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.

Oddly enough (or purposely?) this is Article Six.  The same as Article VI in the NC Constitution.

Isn’t “Leadership” a strange thing?



Choices in Faith

Loopy Religion

A variation of something I used to say in religion classes I taught:  choosing a religion is like wandering down the cereal aisle in a grocery store.  Packaging is important.  Ingredients are important.  Choices are important.  Unfortunately, for many, there is only One Choice.

{something organic with a banana and tea sounds good to me}

When Facts Violate Your Faith and Freedom


Anti-abortion “pregnancy centers” in California are stomping their feet because a federal judge says they have to. . .hold your breath. . .follow the law and. . .keep holding. . .present patients with facts about available contraception and abortion services (Huff).

Facts can really get in the way of Faith sometimes, can’t they?

Freedom just isn’t what it used to be. . .I guess.

Back when “freedom” meant protecting the freedoms of others too.

But then, faith and freedom have a troubled relationship.

Thank Good for Living Beyond God(s)


A colleague in the Religious Naturalist Association uses this quote on his website:

Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Letters and Papers from Prison (SCM, London 1971, p. 360)

God as a working hypothesis in morals, politics, or science, has been surmounted and abolished, and the same thing has happened in philosophy and religion (Feuerbach!). For the sake of intellectual honesty, that working hypothesis should be dropped, or as far as possible eliminated. . . . Honesty demands that we recognise that we must live in the world as if there were no God. And this is just what we do recognise – before God! God himself drives us to this realisation. – God makes us know that we must live as men who can get along without Him. The God who is with us is the God who forsakes us (Mark 15:34)! We stand continually in the presence of God who makes us live in the world without the God-hypothesis.

Bonhoeffer was BIG in seminary days.  Now I remember why.  And I am reminded how and why we have left even Bonhoeffer’s God behind.  We continue to move out, beyond, and truly live in a world where there is no real or hypothetical deity.

Take a deep breath of fresh air.  Ahh.  It’s good out here, beyond, isn’t it?

Seasons of Nature

In this “Holiday” Season, I hope we can often turn to the natural world around and in us, to enjoy and celebrate the Seasons of Nature–the daily beauty of our little home spinning in space.

For me, one season is not more “blessed” or “holy” than any other.  Each and all have their beauty, lessons, challenges and joys.

With faith or faithless, may we each be grateful to Goodness for the natural gifts throughout the year.

Pope Kiss

Baby Pope


baby’s tumor is apparently shrinking.  Great.  The parents say it’s because of prayer and a kiss from the Pope when he was poping through America.

Well, this begs, really begs, the question:

Why doesn’t the Pope just kiss every sick child’s head?

Just KISS everyone!

Seriously, why doesn’t he kiss everyone’s head in the world, or at least send out an Army of Kissing Priests bearing his papal lips, to kiss every sick person on the planet?

Wouldn’t that be something!

Just for a second, can you imagine. . .

can you imagine how many would be healed. . .

and how many wouldn’t?

I suppose that’s why he doesn’t kiss everyone.

Do you suppose?

(Babies work in mysterious ways. . .)