Arizona Republicans Propose Bill That Would Not Allow Atheists To Graduate High School

***Update*** (1/27/14): Just wanted to let everyone know the bill died a while back. Providing the update since this post still gets a lot of views.

A group of Arizona politicians — all Republicans, of course — have proposed a law (House Bill 2467) requiring public high school students to recite the following oath in order to graduate:

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.

To quote Comedy Central’s Ilya Gerner: “Nothing says ‘I take this obligation freely’ quite like a state law that withholds your diploma unless you swear an oath.”

Kevin Bondelli adds:

graduating high school is not the same thing as voluntarily accepting the responsibility of a public office or admission to the legal bar. A high school diploma is, with extremely few exceptions, required to have a chance to live above the poverty level. It is the culmination of an education that up until that point was compulsory.

It’s bad enough the Republicans are demanding loyalty of the kind normally reserved for members of Congress and beyond — but there’s also no way I would say those last four words, and the current text of the legislation does not allow for any alternatives.

In other words, if this bill were to become a law, atheists would either not be allowed to graduate… or they would be forced to lie so they could graduate. Neither option is acceptable.

Mike Sunnucks of the Phoenix Business Journal points out another problem:

The Arizona bill could also face legal challenges if it is approved.

Jehovah’s witnesses, some Muslims and pacifist Quakers have in the past challenged loyalty oaths imposed by the federal government and other agencies, saying they conflict with their beliefs and religious professions. Similarly, some Arizona students could challenge the proposed high school oath as a violation of their religious liberties and freedom of expression.

This bill is the work of Representatives Bob Thorpe, Sonny Borrelli, Carl Seel, T.J. Shope, Jeff Dial, David Livingston, Chester Crandell, and Steve Smith.

Smith and Shope have also introduced legislation demanding that all students in grades 1-12 recite the Pledge of Allegiance (with “Under God”) every day. At least in that bill, students can get out of saying it with their parents’ permission.

No such exemption exists in the Loyalty Oath.

Keep in mind that in both cases, the bills do not help children get a better education. That’s the saddest thing about all this. The people who are in charge of fixing the education crisis are proposing solutions that would only waste more classroom time and exclude many students from graduating despite fulfilling their current requirements.

***Update***: While the bill still includes the God language, Think Progress reports that it may be revised:

As written, the bill does not exempt atheist students or those of different faiths from the requirement, though Thorpe has pledged to amend the measure. “In that we had a tight deadline for dropping our bills, I was not able to update the language,” he wrote in an e-mail to the Arizona Republic. “Even though I want to encourage all of our students to understand and respect our Constitution and constitutional form of government, I do not want to create a requirement that students or parents may feel uncomfortable with.”

So it’s possible alternative language may solve the atheist problem, but *requiring* students to take the oath still poses a host of constitutional issues. Another option would be to make the oath optional, but that would make this bill completely irrelevant.

Which would be fine by me.

(Thanks to Brian for the link)

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • Ubi Dubium

    And how about students who aren’t US citizens? I’m not even talking about illegal immigrants here, just the children of foreign nationals who are here temporarily on work visas, or other similar situations. I don’t recall any proof of US citizenship being required for school enrollment, so where do they get off requiring loyalty oaths to graduate?

  • ggsillars

    WTF? This is identical (except for the “so help me God”) to the oath adminstered to anyone entering the U.S. Military or Civil Service. It makes no sense.
    Oh yeah, it’s Republicans.

  • Randomfactor

    Arizona has a bottomless treasury to defend against successful lawsuits, right? Just like those stupid school districts in Rhode Island and Connecticut?

  • The Other Weirdo

    Wow, that’s almost communist of them. They don’t even realize it.

  • Atheist Diva

    As a temporary government employee, I’ve been sworn in to defend the constitution three times. That is strange enough; this is truly abhorrent.

  • Brian Westley

    Good point; this is also an issue with the pledge of allegiance. In both cases, there are children who may be citizens of other countries where it is actually illegal for them to make such an oath.

  • Brian Westley

    Close; Arizona has bottomless stupidity.

  • Cecelia Baines

    You have got to be shitting me. How the fuck can the state with baseball leather-faced Brewer actually believe this can pass any constitutional challenge? Yet one more waste of taxpayer money on the idiots who are trying to pass this abomination/abortion. And wait, I just realized, this IS an abortion… Arizona….I thought this was the state that claims conception begins before fucking! (seriously, look it up. They now have a law on the books that says conception begins before fucking in Arizona….)

    I will not set one foot in the state until they make some serious changes. The first thing they can do is arrest or put Arpaio out to pasture.

  • Michael

    What a fucking waste of time! Do they really have nothing better to do?

  • ortcutt

    1. The Pledge bill is an straightforward violation of First Amendment Free Speech rights under West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette, 319 U.S. 624 (1943). It falls into the category of “Forced Speech”.

    2. “For grades seven through twelve, place a legible copy of the Constitution of the United States and the Bill of Rights adjacent to each classroom flag.”

    Do you think they are even aware that the Bill of Rights is part of the Constitution?

    Does it bother anyone else that Arizona Legislators seem to know nothing and care even less about the Constitution that THEY swear to uphold.

  • ortcutt

    I hate when people say things like that as if time wasting is the problem with this. It’s the fact that the bills are unconstitutional that is the problem, not whether it’s a good use of time.

  • coyotenose

    It’s extremely totalitarian. But then, so was the Pledge of Allegiance from the get-go.

  • Gus Snarp

    There’s really not much left to say after this:

    “Nothing says ‘I take this obligation freely’ quite like a state law that withholds your diploma unless you swear an oath.”

    Well except if this thing actually passes, then those who voted for it should be forced to personally cover all the legal costs that will be incurred through the process of these bills being ruled unconstitutional.

    And really, there should be mandatory classes in basic constitutional law for newly elected legislators. That would be way more useful than a loyalty oath.

  • Raising_Rlyeh

    Umm, why are they taking the oath that you take when you join the military?

  • GloomCookie613

    We rarely agree, but I’ve gotta say: This ^ That ^ and Those^
    You pretty much summed up my initial reaction perfectly.

  • Bad_homonym

    What a dilemma! Forced by the government, which is violating the constitution, to swear to uphold the constitution, or you don’t get to graduate. Sounds almost circular enough to be religious!

  • Dixie Melzer

    I was in the military, as was my husband, you don’t HAVE to say so help me God in our military oath.

  • Lana

    THIS is why I cut all ties with the Religious Right. They make themselves into a bunch of morons when they come up with this stuff. If these Christians believe in the Bible, then they should know what the Bible says – 1) the kingdom is not of this world 2) love other people above yourself 3) its about inward faith, not pledges.

  • Sean Kemmis

    Republicans love to drop the term “Orwellian” constantly, but nothing’s more 1984-ish than forcing students to swear an oath to their country in a blatant example of forced state worship. Arizona’s new tagline will read Arizona: We’re North Korea. With Deserts.

  • Edmond

    Can’t it be both? We PAY these clowns to do productive, respectable work. The fact that they came up with something unconstitutional only emphasizes that their time spent in crafting this bill was fruitless and pointless. This was time, and pay, that could have been spent on bills that actually address other issues worth addressing.

  • ortcutt

    The original salute that went along with the Pledge of Allegiance was, um, … unfortunate.

  • baal

    I didn’t swear to god when I got my law license either.

  • ortcutt

    It looks like the time they spent “crafting” the bill was about 3 minutes.

  • Jim Carpick

    No doubt pure politics: the legislators must know this won’t withstand judicial scrutiny, but meanwhile they’ll accuse Democrats of being godless communists for speaking against this bill — a no-lose proposition as they probably see it.

  • Richard Wade

    Forty-two years ago I was required to sign this very same oath just to get a part time job in the print shop of my state college. I thought that was weird and ridiculous then, now this is, well… I can’t think of a word or an analogy that expresses ten times weirder than weird, and ten times more ridiculous than ridiculous.

    I actually kind of hope it passes, and the inevitable and immediate lawsuits serve to spotlight the ignorance and arrogance of these idiot politicians.

  • pagansister

    Unbelievable! I have begun to wonder if AZ (along with Texas) is actually a part of this country (USA) at all?

  • ungullible

    At what point do these ridiculously unconstitutional acts become like frivolous lawsuits, and we can start countersuing for actual damages? Not just suing to stop them, but countersuing for monetary damages because they keep wasting our time and money making us fight shit that’s already been established as stupidly, ridiculously, and obviously unconstitutional.

  • pagansister

    I moved from RI a year ago—-and I often wondered why they had all those school districts also. I taught in one of the many Catholic schools for 10 years. The USPS offices are plentiful also, as are the individual fire districts. I did, however, enjoy all the 18 years I lived there. It is a beautiful state.

  • Daryn

    When the lawsuit tears them a new A, some lawyers will get richer and a school district will get poorer. Same stupid people, same stupid nonsense, different day.

  • Ronlawhouston

    Apparently many politicians claim to be fiscally conservative until it comes to spending money on attorney’s fees on cases you’re never going to win. Our former county attorney appealed a case to the 5th Circuit, lost, and ended up costing the county 1/2 million.

  • Chris Algoo

    The party of Small Government, folks!

  • Stev84

    There isn’t a single American state that doesn’t pretend that its an independent country.

  • Rich Goranson

    Have Article 2, Sections 12 and 13 of the Arizona Constitution been repealed? Would that not be a necessary prerequisite before enacting this legislation?

  • Glasofruix

    You yanks have an oath dependency problem that is getting out of control.

  • David McNett (Nugget)

    You can’t spell “CRAZY” without “R-AZ”

  • Nualaan

    This oath has no place in our public secular schools. The religious ending part should not be there for public officials or military personnel either. The Pledge of Allegiance has been altered several times from the original and religion should not be in it, not should religion be on our currency (Neither should “Federal Reserve Note”) and religion has no place in secular government functions. If anything, we need a new constitutional amendment making the absolute and impenetrable wall of separation between church/religion/deities and government a gold standard.

  • Bebe Bradley

    Sorry, gang, but this bill has no merit nor does it have any Constitutional statute to back it up. In a court of law in America, when you take an oath to tell the truth, you do NOT have to say, “I swear” nor “…so help me God.” You may say you “affirm” or just say “…so help me” because of personal/religious freedoms. I stand with AZ on a lot of things, but NOT this!

  • Rusty Yates

    The spirit of Joe McCarthy rises.

  • Jim Jones

    The pledge that Bellamy wanted had “with equality for all” but he couldn’t get that past the racists of his day. However there was no mention of ‘god’ in the original pledge. That was added by the Catholics in the 50′s as a magic spell to keep Communists away.

  • Jim Jones

    Time to bring it back!

  • Edmond

    How do you figure? The first link above, to House Bill 2467, gives the history, showing several steps on the 22nd, and a couple on the 23rd. The latest activity shows it as “Pending House Federalism and Fiscal Responsibility Committee”. I think a LOT more time than just 3 minutes has already been spent on this, with more to come. It may have the QUALITY of something done in 3 minutes, but don’t let that fool you.

  • Tyrrlin Flamestrike

    My thoughts exactly. When I joined the Army, I was well aware that Uncle Sam owned my ass. High scool students shouldn’t be held to that kind of oath.

  • shirl

    Interestingly, the bible tells you not to swear an oath:

  • Rich Wilson

    No. There’s nothing in general to keep a blatantly unconstitutional law from passing. It’s just that the law can be then challenged and declared unconstitutional by the courts. But the actual court case has to happen before it is officially unconstitutional.

  • nakedanthropologist

    Fuck those assholes. What they should be proposing is more teachers being held to higher standards, evidence-based learning programs, literacy standards, and standardized education requirements that clearly benefit the students themselves. Not this crap – this does nothing for the students, its only pacifies the poliiticians egos, as it is clear from the oath that they are trying to enforce is an authoritarian social framework. Thanks for being absolutely useless Arizona Republicans – because nothing says “I care about education” like adding a little ceremony instead of, you know, trying to improve the quality of education. I stand by earlier sentiment – fuck them.

  • jdm8

    I think it’s safe to call it a waste of time *because* it’s unconstitutional, though even if it were constitutional, it’s still a bad idea.

    Drafting the bill is only a portion of the time wasted. There’s committee time involved. If it lets out of committee, then then there’s debate, and the vote. If it passes, then it will require lawyer and judicial time, including the likely appeals process to get it thrown out. It may take years to resolve an issue that should have been scuttled in the first three minutes of drafting it.

  • Jimmi Shrode

    Totalitarian Democracy.

  • Jamal Igle

    Article11,Section 7 Arizona State Constitution:

    Sectarian instruction; religious or political test or qualification

    Section 7. No sectarian instruction shall be imparted in any school or state educational institution that may be established under this Constitution, and no religious or political test or qualification shall ever be required as a condition of admission into any public educational institution of the state, as teacher, student, or pupil; but the liberty of conscience hereby secured shall not be so construed as to justify practices or conduct inconsistent with the good order, peace, morality, or safety of the state, or with the rights of others.

    Open and Shut.

  • Banasidhe

    Can I use this as the quote, to go with this link, when I tweet this? Priceless! lmao

  • Jamal Igle

    According to Article 11 Section 7, this bill shouldn’t even make it to the house floor for a vote.

  • Jim Farmelant

    The GOP has become the party of morons, nincompoops, and fascist slime balls. I am afraid there is no surprises here.

  • Mac

    Okay……That may be the most idiotic deceptive headline i’ve ever seen………Had you said ‘Arizona bill prevents graduation without saying oath of enlistment’ this would be honest……..Atheists? Really? I’m an atheist…….Me saying ‘So help me god’ does not prevent me from saying something, nor is it against my belief system any more than ‘So help me easter bunny’……And the whiny atheists are idiotic.

    That having been said, it’s stupid bill……….And a stupid article, written by a Democrat, obviously. ;)

  • Laura Bucklin

    Apparantly there is nothing left to govern in AZ. Poverty is nonexistent, everyone equal, no pollution, no racism, every child born is healthy…hell EVERYONE is healthy, wealthy and fed. Otherwise how can one explain such douchebagging idiocracy?

  • Ronlawhouston

    Yes, please, please can I steal this?

  • Paul_Robertson

    And what about ex-pats who are studying in the USA? Should a non-citizen be forced to take a loyalty oath to a country that is playing temporary host?

  • Joshua Kricker

    First of all “loyalty oaths” were abandoned in the 1960s.” Second, it’s a clear violation of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment and finally, it’s not even a part of the Presidential Oath, what possible justification (even assuming there should be such an oath given under these circumstances) for having “so help me ‘god’” in this oath now?

  • Jake Dandridge

    This isnt targeting atheists. But you sure did do a great job of trying to convince people that atheists are the target here. What about Muslims? Hindus? Agnostics? How come they arent affected by this? Maybe because the focus of the bill isnt the last few words… the focus of the bill is to get a Constitution Oath requirement for graduating high school students. If you dont want to say “So help me God…” then you wouldnt have to. This bill wouldnt supersede the current laws that allow you to make an alternate statement indicating that you will follow the oath.

    Regardless if the oath is wrong or not, you should at least stick with the facts and quit trying to convince people that atheists are being targeted by the big evil Republicans. This is some biased nonsense.

  • Stanton Fink

    It’s probably deliberate: these Bigots for Jesus believe that a theocratic dictatorship is the promised paradise of God. Or rather, the most preferred and desirable way-station on the way to Paradise.

  • PsiCop

    Compelling citizens to take oaths or make pledges violates the country’s core principles. No one, not even school kids, should be forced to pledge his/her allegiance to a flag or anything else, nor should they be forced to swear a loyalty oath. They’re just graduating high school, fercryinoutloud, not taking office, joining the military, testifying in court, or anything like that.

    The people of the US are citizens of a constitutional republic, and their rights as such are spelled out in the federal and state constitutions and in the body of law. We don’t live in a feudal system under which one must swear fealty to one’s liege in order to acquire rights or privileges. Compulsory oaths and pledges are not only unnecessary, they’re insulting to everything this country stands for.

  • Rich Wilson

    Section 7. No sectarian instruction shall be imparted in any school or state educational institution that may be established under this Constitution, and no religious or political test or qualification shall ever be required as a condition of admission into any public educational institution of the state, as teacher, student, or pupil; but the liberty of conscience hereby secured shall not be so construed as to justify practices or conduct inconsistent with the good order, peace, morality, or safety of the state, or with the rights of others.

    Strictly speaking, what that says is that the law will be dismissed if taken to court. If the law were passed (unlikely) and never challenged (snowballs chance in an AZ summer) they it would stay, even though it were obviously in violation of the constitution. The constitution doesn’t prevent the legislature from doing anything.

  • Fed_Up18

    Oh, YES, THIS!! & *I* want a “three strike” law: introduce three types of this cockamamie legislation, & you’re OUT!

  • bbbbb

    You’re an idiot.

  • Question Everything

    Going out on a limb, here, but I’m guessing that maybe the reason this article focuses on the impact to atheists is because it’s an atheist blog. You’re right, it does impact lots of other folks as well, but keep in mind, this is an atheist-focused blog. Of course that’s going to be the primary point of reporting.

    As for the rest – if I swear an oath, that means all the words in the oath, not just the bulk of them. I don’t swear an oath if I don’t mean every word. And I couldn’t swear that oath. Also, laws forcing people to swear oaths seems rather wrong to me, don’t know about you…

  • kaydenpat

    How is it constitutional to force someone to make any statement that he/she doesn’t believe in?

  • Ivy Miller Sciandra

    Don’t these people have anything better to do?

  • Qu Quine

    I did graduate in AZ (long, long ago) so no big shock to see this level of stupid. It reminds me of the loyalty oath part of the book “Catch-22.”

  • Siobhra

    In the pledge I always say “under Goddess”.

  • Allison Stuckey Baxter

    Hey Arizona Republicans. Could you please do something more constructive with your time? Sincerely, tax payers paying your salaries.

  • Patrick

    Thanks for all your hard work, dick tards.

  • DAK23

    Nah… that salute itself is at least as old as the Roman Empire. Our ol’ cray cray Adolf took it, like so many old religious symbols and bastardized them.

  • Medicine Man

    And religious people wonder why us freethinking sane people hate some of them.

  • Fredric L. Rice

    Christian terrorism, Christian treason. These right wing Repubnlinazis hate everything our country stands for, they want to turn it in to another Iran when they should be packing the fuck up and moving to Iran where their theofascism and hatred for our country meets that government’s ideals. Fucking insane cult savages!

  • JPGK

    Hey, I’m with you in thinking this is a silly bill, a violation of rights, etc. etc., but I think your headline for the article is irresponsible. And in the internet culture we have of scanning and skimming, someone posting reputable content needs to keep that in mind.

    The headline makes it seem that the Arizona lawmakers outright proposed a law that targets atheists in some way. Which is does not. It’s just a stupid oath. So call it that. This is fishing for persecution, on the level of Fox News.

    I’m an atheist. I’m with you. I agree the law is unconstitutional, and downright dumb. But that doesn’t justify poor rhetoric.

  • Erc

    and you wonder why christians are the most hated religious people after muslims

  • Denis Freeland

    “I will support and defend the Constitution …. by demonstrating my ignorance of the constitution…..”.

  • Akumu

    wtf? what happened to separation of church and state????

    this is the most immoral thing to ever happen in the educational system.

  • Jmm

    This is absolutely never gonna fly, this is like they are being inducted into some cult.

  • Ben Labe

    The very fact that Republicans use the term “Orwellian” is Orwellian. It is another way for them to pervert language for their own hegemonic gain. As a socialist, Orwell would have despised everything that contemporary Republicans stand for.

  • jarod

    because there are more christians, both groups are equally bad

  • Jeff Vandenberg

    entire fucking oath is retarded. Why is there such a need to say the
    pledge of allegiance every day and then this oath? I pledge allegiance
    to myself. Fuck god and country. Shouldn’t the fact that you live daily
    in the country without making efforts
    to overthrow the good old white boy network, work hard daily, pay your
    taxes to support this failed experiment, and follow MOST of their
    ignorant laws be enough of an ass fucking?

  • Leila

    1.I definitely agree it shouldn’t be in schools. 2. It is not required to say anything about God in oaths for public officials/military personnel so that argument is invalid. 3. The supreme court has already ruled “under god” stuff on currency and whatnot is simply tradition. Just seeing the word ‘god’ isn’t oppression or a form of forced conversion. You could actually do good for protecting religious rights, and of course freedom from religion, if people like you would stop taking it to such a crazy extreme. A complete purging of anything religious is unwarranted and based in bigotry itself.

  • freethinkingpatriot

    I’m not an atheist; been a Christian since I was a teenager. And even I think this may be the stupidest thing I’ve ever seen state lawmakers do.

  • Jimmy Buffet

    Bring back Hitler. We can rebuild him. Better, Faster, Stronger.

  • Cindy Harvey McIntire

    The list of states I won’t visit is an ever-growing one lately. Tourism is a huge moneymaker, I guess those losing money in the hotel, restaurant and sales businesses don’t care much. They are the ones who need to vote these idiots out of office. It’s not simply that I choose to boycott them, I am so offended by their politicians that I couldn’t bear to share the state boundaries with even one of them. /c:

  • matfox

    well that should be fun seeing go straight to the Supreme Court.

  • Sharon Gibson

    That idea is about as favorable as suggesting to parents the name Adolf (which was at one time a popular name) for their newborn son.

  • matfox

    It is straightforwardly unconstitutional. It is not even just a matter of religious freedom. Nothing in American law or constitutional practice requires me to actively “uphold the constitution.” I have to obey the laws. That’s VERY different. Upholding the constitution is the specific job of leaders, and soldiers, that is why they take such an oath. Citizens are required to be law-abiding. The constitution protects–protects by defining–their rights, but it is also the “law” for those who run government. It is not the “law” that you and I need to obey and “uphold.” Again, it’s not my job as a private citizen.

  • Cole Jacobsen

    Bob Thorpe emailed me back right away, saying that the god part would be optional in the oath. The same way it is in court and in the military. Also it should be in the proposed bill. I haven’t read that though. Either way, seems silly to be giving 18 year old kids an oath to say.

  • Danie Francis

    Last I checked, the very Constitution stands against this. This is an OPPRESSION. This is, as far as I’m aware, an act of TREASON especially if this bill passes. These people could easily be charged with treason, perceived as a domestic threat and thereby subject to federal military law.

    (Professor Farnsworth face)
    I don’t want to live in this country anymore.

  • Danie Francis

    Can I use that too!

  • matfox

    exactly. it’s an unconstitutional nonstarter on so many levels, that being one of them. Unfortunately in AZ and many of these Repub-controlled state houses, they’ve thrown out the idea of constitution-checking legislation BEFORE enacting it.

  • wmdkitty


  • Christophla

    They certainly love to waste time and taxpayer dollars down there in Arizona…

  • Rich Wilson


  • Studious_Citizen

    It’s not an oath to their country. It is an oath to the constitution. You do understand the difference, no?

  • Kevin_Of_Bangor

  • Studious_Citizen

    Ah, “hegemony”…the buzzword of self-important leftists.

  • Persephone

    Yet another way Republicans are helping waste state revenue, introducing bills that will be challenged immediately if passed and guarantee lawsuits. Maybe the plan is to bankrupt the state and then have something else to blame on Obama.

  • wmdkitty

    True, but he kinda ruined it for everyone.

  • Corey Hawkins

    so stealing this line! with kudos given, of course!

  • matfox

    exactly. As I said above, oaths to uphold the constitution are for those whose literal, specific job it will be to uphold–both abide by and work to execute–the constitution. Private citizens do not have such a capacity as a legal obligation. Sure, you’d be a good citizen (probably) if you took the constitution as a personal moral code that guided your actions. But as a citizen it’s your legal obligation to be law-abiding, NOT to uphold the constitution.

  • John Morrison

    Arizona. America’s desert wasteland.

  • Studious_Citizen

    Carrying the “wall of separation” (a mythical concept, when it carries your definition) to the extent you desire is a violation of the First Amendment. You cannot purge all references to God simply because it makes you uncomfortable.

  • Deanna Jackson

    WTF is wrong with these people?

  • Studious_Citizen

    My word, if uttering the phrase “so help me God” makes one a fanatical fundie, then how many people have become fanatics in the course of giving court testimony over the years.

    Its like you atheists are afraid that if you utter the word “God”, you’ll burst into flames. Seriously, you’re bigots of the worst kind.

  • MechaVelma

    Well atheists aren’t going to burst into flames for saying “god”They just wont mean it.

    Besides, it wont pass any legal challenge on constitutional values.

  • Studious_Citizen

    Its funny to watch atheists toss the word “unconstitutional” around, especially when none lifts a finger or utters a word in criticism of forcing catholics to buy contraception or attempts to ban firearms.

    Its even funnier when you consider the fact that this is an oath to support and protect the constitution, and here you are citing that its “unconstitutional” to require such an oath.

    So…if people don’t swear to uphold and protect it, what weight does the document carry?

  • Fred Bosick

    How about, “Arbeiter, Fascist, Stormtrooper”?

  • Abby Grytdal

    It IS unconstitutional to have “forced speech.” Not only that, but it also violates the freedom of religion we claim to have in this country. I think I just saw a comment calling it “circular logic?” I think that about sums it up.

  • Rich Wilson

    It’s like you fundies are afraid that if you don’t make someone else utter the word “God”, you’ll burst into flames. Seriously, you’re bigots of the worst kind.

  • v_volker

    And they want less government? WTF? So, again, less government; but either do this, or you can’t graduate…

  • Thyler


  • Michael Powers

    The irony, of course, is that none of these legislative idiots have actually read the constitution that they want these kids to pledge an oath to. If they had, they wouldn’t have introduced the bill. This is aside from the painfully obvious fact that it is illegal as hell. If one is made to swear an oath under duress, then the oath is worth nothing.
    As an Arizonan, I have already contacted the offices of every single one of these idiots, for all the good it will do me. I have no doubt that I will be summarily ignored.

  • Rich Wilson

    In what way do you deduce that we want to stop you from saying “God”? Say it all you want- just don’t try to make us say it, that’s all.

  • Danie Francis

    Query if I may: Would a law like this be counted as “Treason”? Being that is goes against the very Constitution?

  • tinker

    Foreign exchange students cannot graduate here because the requirements are not enough for the home country. My parents signed up to host 2 foreign exchange students, one found out that she couldn’t graduate here and went right back home. The other was put in with the sophomore class and had a great year here, but had to go back and make up the classes that wouldn’t transfer.

  • the Otter

    Well, let’s face it: the Democrats spend at least as many resources destroying education as the Republicans do.

  • Bailey Bednar

    What the fuck is wrong with these people?

  • Studious_Citizen


    Yeah, you’re thinking alright.

  • tinker

    I like that too, but the state rep turnover would be every 2 months and I don’t know that I could deal with the ads constantly.

  • Rebecca Smith

    But good for you for fighting the good fight!

  • Andrew Benton

    Dear people who want this: GO FUCK YOURSELF.

  • Richard Stage

    This is the story ’bout how
    ‘Zona got flipped upside down.
    They started a fight
    to erase the rights
    of students by forcing a vow.

  • Fearghoul

    Arizonan Republicans are the dumbest pieces of shit known to man.

  • Miss_Beara

    First AZ-R’s say that women can be pregnant before they have sex. Now they are proposing high schoolers to recite an oath to their country and god in order to graduate.

    Texas has company at the bottom of the barrel.

  • Fearghoul

    Not true at all, fuckface.

  • DH

    Hey Arizona – your elected officials are so ignorant of constitutional law that they waste their time (and your money) on laws that will only end up losing in court. Oh, you were ignorant of this also? Your bad!

  • Steve

    GOP ‘tards.

    Plainly, obviously unconstitutional.

    But they don’t really care about the Constitution…or they couldn’t have backed the US Patriot Act I or II. Or Gitmo. Or Bush lying to start wars.

  • Studious_Citizen

    This oath is not a sectarian oath, nor is it a religious or political test.

  • Tammie

    Actually, it’s a little reminescent of somthing else. Remember that little thing in the book of Revelations where you can’t buy or sell without the mark of the beast? Doesn’t this sound a little like holding your survival hostage if you don’t do what they want? Makes you wonder who’s the real bad guy here, doesn’t it? If you believe in that type of thing, that is.

  • Studious_Citizen

    Yeah, totally strange that a government employee would have to swear not to violate the document that prevents government from infringing citizens’ rights. Totally strange.

  • JK

    For atheists, not such a biggie, really…an oath taken to a God you don’t believe in is just so much words. I’ve said it myself, and I’m not Christian (I’m Agnostic).

    Okay, what about Buddhists and Hindus. Or other religions that don’t worship a single monotheistic god? They could have a HUGE problem with this.

  • Studious_Citizen

    Superb debate tactic there. You obliterated him.

  • kateomoore

    There was a reason I left Arizona. This is absolute ignorant idiocy. It is not constitutional, it is not religious, and it is not the workings of a sound intellect.

  • Danie Francis

    Now you know why I want to emigrate so badly. Curiosity, where are you from?

  • Chris Townsend

    You forgot…All them filthy Messikunz sneakin into Arizona to have anchor babies, and steal our healthcare and jobs

  • tinker

    Well, I wrote my reps and copied the idiots. While looking through the list for the email addresses I realized what the problem here is: Every single member of the AZ house has a D or an R next to their name. When are we going to stop voting for the same political machines that get us crap like this. My district reps are not immune, both are Democrats but there is nothing but empty, meaningless bills sponsored by them.

    And then they wonder why we don’t vote for them to get a pay increase whenever it comes up.

  • Theron Corse

    And you can not use the public schools to advance your belief in an invisible magic man in the sky.

  • Ruth A Lopez

    Why do this when it cannot pass a court challenge?
    1. Fundraising – they will rake in big bucks for doing this.
    2. Distraction from the real work they will not be doing anytime soon
    3. Ken Starr. The GOP has learned that they can funnel money endlessly to their GOP attys, all on the taxpayers’ dime. The attys get rich. Persecuting Clinton made Ken Starr a multi-millionaire. The politicians get endless big donations and endless fundraising bucks.
    And they don’t even have to do any real work. It’s a great set-up if you don’t mind being scum.

  • Boarczar Zila

    Here’s an even better idea, why not throw atheists to the lions? That aught’a learn ‘em good and right.

  • Theron Corse

    Nobody is forced to buy contraceptives, they would simply be required to allow their employees to buy them with their own insurance. Why exactly do the religious beliefs of employers trump those of employees, anyway?

  • Greg Eatroff

    Mr. McNett, You win the internet.

    You win ALL the internets.

  • Dave Lanson


  • JibbaJabba

    So is the Swastika. Damn Hitler, ruinin’ everything.

  • Theron Corse

    Spoken from the voice of privilege. You’d sing a different tune if you were always being asked to say “Praise Satan!”

  • Michael Irvine

    The USAmerican move towards a totalitarian theocracy continues.

  • Don Gwinn

    No, no, you’re thinking of Heller, not Orwell. The loyalty oaths are getting out of hand again . . . .

  • Greg Eatroff

    I like the name. Adolphe Menjou, Gustavus Adolphus… one more thing that crazy Austrian ruined, along with swastikas and Charlie Chaplin mustaches.

  • Drew

    How can they say “that I take this obligation freely” when they would be forced to say it in order to graduate?

  • Kim Ferrari

    Wow. And I thought Kansas had gone off the deep end. Not that it hasn’t, but this is just as nuts.

  • Amelia Rush

    Agree with Kevin Bondelli …. it is ridiculous it is high school not public office or the military….

  • WoodyTanaka

    I think the “so help me God” is probably the least worst part of this garbage. Hell, no. I won’t support the constitution or bear allegiance to it. I reserve the right to object to it and favor those who wish to destroy it in whole or part and replace it with something better. Fascists.

  • Kate Sannicks-Lerner

    Actually, no, the pledge, originally composed in 1892, was amended four times, and the words “under God” were’t added until 1954 (the fourth and last revision). Sheesh…

  • Mike W.

    The republicans have truly gone around the bend and I believe can now be classified as “Batsh%$#” crazy, lets not forget the last time a loyalty oath was required, the unamerican activities witch hunt of the 1950′s, My kid was born a citizen and need not swear an oath to anyone.

  • Greg Eatroff

    Treason has a very specific constitutional definition: “Treason against the United States shall consist only in levying war against them, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort.” The bill is a violation of the Constitution, but not an act of treason.

  • Guy Ainge

    This law, if passed, will be a violation of the First Amendment. By forcing anyone to swear an oath of allegiance to the country requiring the term “So help me God” is a violation of the separation of church and state.

    Amendment 1 – Freedom of Religion, Press, Expression

    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

    What these ignorant, intolerant, hate mongering Republicans just do not understand is that the Government is prohibited from mandating that ANY citizen acknowledge ANY deity and that the term “free exercise thereof” guarantees freedom from being force to worship something your do not believe in.

    The politicians that submitted this legislation should be made to take a basic Civics class because they are to ignorant of the fact of our Constitution to be in office.

  • So much for LAND OF THE FREE

    “that I take this OBLIGATION WIHOUT ANY MENTAL RESERVATION or PURPOSE OF EVASION;” let’s see what mental reservation might I have???? I’m being forced to say this or I won’t graduate…. These kids are already US citizens. They are not graduating from boot camp or the law enforcement academy, some of them are not even 18 yet. I know a lot of kids I graduated with that would take that pledge wwwwaaaaayyyyyy too serious and get themselves in trouble by acting a little too harsh when attempting to defend the constitution.

  • BK215

    That is the oath of Enlistment HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHA

  • john

    IM NOT KIDDING THIS IS THE SHIT THAT STARTS CIVILWAR simply because you cant argue with these republican inhuman satanist freaks , “i am people”

  • Heidi Solberg Viar

    I see lawsuit all over this. Although I am born-again, if Annie Laurie Gaylor and her ilk were to get involved with this, I would not object.

  • Zooba

    Gee, except that the Constitution is what this country is built upon. You do understand that, no?

  • SteveSims

    Matthew 5: 34But I say unto you, Swear not at all; neither by heaven; for it is God’s throne: 35Nor by the earth; for it is his footstool: neither by Jerusalem; for it is the city of the great King. 36Neither shalt thou swear by thy head, because thou canst not make one hair white or black. 37But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil.

  • K

    Nazi Germany was fascist, not communist. Nationalism through indoctrination.

  • Greg Eatroff

    Do you understand that the difference is irrelevant in this context, that an oath appropriate to someone accepting a public trust as an official (civil or military) is not an appropriate requirement for a citizen or resident alien to obtain a diploma?

    Or that even people who do accept positions of public trust are exempt from religious tests of any kind, and cannot be required to swear to God according to Article VI of the Constitution we’re discussing here?

    How about the First Amendment forbidding the government to show preference for one set of religious views over another, and that the 14th Amendment extending that prohibition to state governments?

    Does ANY of this make you see the problem in this bill?

  • Joshua P.

    Dear AZ Republicans…
    What I’ve just read is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever read.
    At NO point in this short article were any of you even CLOSE to anything to be considered a rational thought. Everyone who has read this article is now dumber for reading it. I award you NO points, and may America have mercy on your souls.

  • Don Gwinn

    Hi there! I’m Don Gwinn. I’m a Life Member of the NRA, member of the ISRA (IL State Rifle Association) and the Second Amendment Foundation. I’ve moderated legal and political forums at both The Firing Line and The High Road forums in the past, and now serve on the board of directors for Illinois Carry. I’m currently recruiting marshals/hosts for our next IL Gun Owner Lobby Day, when we will again partner with the ISRA to bring thousands of gun owners to the state capitol to march, speak and lobby in person.

    I’ve lifted more than fingers, Citizen. And I’m an atheist. And I’m not taken in by your attempt to change the subject. To require a loyalty oath sworn on someone’s idea of a god simply to complete one’s legally required public education is silly, pointless, and immoral.

    Almost overnight the Glorious Loyalty Oath Crusade was in full flower.

    “Without realising how it had come about, the combat men in the squadron discovered themselves dominated by the administrators appointed to serve them. They were bullied, insulted, harassed and shoved about all day long by one after the other. When they voiced objection, Captain Black replied that people who were loyal would not mind signing all the loyalty oaths they had to. To anyone who questioned the effectiveness of the loyalty oaths, he replied that people who really did owe allegiance to their country would be proud to pledge it as often as he forced them to. And to anyone who questioned the morality, he replied that ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’ was the greatest piece of music ever composed. The more loyalty oaths a person signed, the more loyal he was, and he had Corporal Kolodny sign hundreds with his name each day so that he could always prove he was more loyal than anyone else.

    ‘The important thing is to keep them pledging,’ he explained to his cohorts. It doesn’t matter whether they mean it or not. That’s why they make little kids pledge allegiance even before they know what ‘pledge’ and ‘allegiance’ mean.”

    chapter 11, Catch-22
    Joseph Heller

  • Linnea Mupp

    A freaking law to prevent the only sane people from graduating? seems legit send your reaseach down the drain as well as the technogology you like so much you will go back to the medieval times.

  • Adam T

    If you don’t believe in God, then why does that part of it bother you? Also, this headline isn’t remotely accurate.

  • Linda Smith

    Next they will be requiring others to take blood transfusions, such as JW’s who don’t do that, others who don’t eat pork, to do so for school lunch. Hell, what is next. This is wrong.

  • Adam

    Communism is athiest.

  • Elizabeth Fox

    An oath taken under duress is not legally binding. That said; the oath immigrants take for citizenship is similar but it is taken freely, and it says so:

    I hereby declare, on oath,

    that I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen;

    that I will support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic;

    that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same;

    that I will bear arms on behalf of the United States when required by law;

    that I will perform noncombatant service in the Armed Forces of the United States when required by the law;

    that I will perform work of national importance under civilian direction when required by the law;

    and that I take this obligation freely without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; so help me God.

    In the Chapter 5 of the Guide to Naturalization you will find on page 38 the regulations for changing the oath to modify or waive the bearing of arms and being a combatant or serving in the Armed Forces and the regulations for modifying or waiving the words ‘on oath’ and ‘so help me God’. There is also a stipulation allowing for modification and/or waiving the entire oath in cases of disability. If the federal government can allow someone to become a citizen under these circumstances so can a school.

  • Thief

    lol, i just shamelessly stole this and used it on FB! Thx Dave!

  • Zooba

    It is unconstitutional to require that oath to include “so help me God” in it, particularly in public secular schools, as this is a blatant endorsement of one religious type over all others -because whereas many religions follow a god, most don’t refer to their deity as “God”- but no one is saying it’s unconstitutional to give an oath. What is wrong, besides the already stated, is to force someone to give said oath to receive their diploma, which as has been mentioned is the end result of years of compulsory school attendance. This is forced speech, which is unconstitutional. It is not like taking an office or entering the military, where you know and accept that oath as part of your JOB, but graduation is not a job, it is an achievement.

  • Tina

    The strange part is having to do it THREE TIMES!

  • dog less

    I generally vote R but even this is nuts

  • Adam

    If you don’t believe in God, then why does the inclusion of “So help me God” bother you?

  • ShawnInTerrorAtArizona

    is some of the slipperiest ground I have ever seen, requiring all
    school children to recite the military oath of enlistment and officers,
    so they can be good little soldiers! AMAZING that these folks
    are re-hashing history so well, the last time anyone had the GALL to
    require children to swear military oaths, it was der fuhrer enlisting
    the Hitler youth. I wonder if any of the brilliant minds that proposed
    this bill have ever read the history of Nazi Germany at the decline of
    the Weimar republic and the beginning of the most brutal and destructive
    regime that ever existed, done on the back of blind nationalism.

  • shadowkatt

    but could they (the idiots trying to do this) be sued for violating the constitution?? that would be fun – SUE their gop rich butts right off.

  • David Parsons

    is it really? you sir are an idiot

  • Cules

    This is not constitutional.

  • Diane Banning Stanley

    Hmmm, too much arizona sun fries the brain…

  • Fred Bresser

    They should require the sponsors of the bill to pay the legal fees required to defend their bill – See how many sign on!!

  • Greg Eatroff

    It’s not unconstitutional to force Person A to pay taxes into a public fund that allows person B to engage in action’s that violate A’s religious views. I’m Jewish, and my taxes help buy non-kosher food for the military and to build and maintain roads on which people drive on the High Holy days. Are my rights being violated because I’m subsidizing that behavior? Nope.

    Your Catholic example still has free exercise of religion. S/he still gets to go to church, to take communion, to not get an abortion for herself. What you’re demanding is the ability to impose your religious restrictions on others. And you have the gall to accuse *us* of denying you religious freedom because we won’t tamely let you deny it to us?

    I’ll bet you’re just fine with the government refusing to recognize gay marriages performed by Quakers or Wiccans or any of the many other religious organizations that think they’re OK, too. Bet you insist it’s persecution if the government doesn’t enforce your religious law on them.

    It’s not persecution when other people get to do things you don’t like.

  • aergern

    Are they applying for the military or civil service? No. They are not. They are asking for a piece of paper that says they successfully completed the required studies .. not that they will be good little Republic .. err… politbureau servants.

    We need to make good little robots because their is a scary black guy in the WH. And yes, it is the republicans. Bunch of frightened little ninnies

  • Michael

    It is a waste of time because of the spent on an unconstitutional bit of drivel that takes up time as lawmakers have to deal with it. While it is only my opinion, they should be spending their tax-payer funded time doing things that will actually make a positive difference in the lives of those who provide their salaries.

  • PB

    Are you serious?

  • DAK23

    Absolutely no sense of irony at all… none. This is indoctrination, pure and simple. Forcing, indeed, blackmailing children to recite a loyalty oaths reeks of fascism. What’s next, anti-sex leagues with girls wearing red sashes? “Here, say these magic words that will literally make you incapable of harming the U.S. and /then/ you can have your diploma.” It’s disgusting, and I feel bad that I have family in Phoenix.

  • aergern

    So what’s the buzzword of the conservative right .. maybe it sounds like Zod … ” KNEEL! “

  • Scott Sheperd

    Best line ever!!!

  • DAK23

    Oh, I totally agree, which was my point. Whenever a great evil uses old symbols of good, they become forever tarnished.

  • Michael

    It is the same problem a christian would have saying “so help me allah”.

  • aergern

    Yes, we do. But loyalty oaths are what tyranny and witch hunts are built upon? Umm.. 1950′s McCarthyism? You do understand that, no?
    You do understand that we are and always have been a nation of rebels … and we still should be. To raise a hand and have everyone swear a loyalty oath smacks of 1950′s Soviet Union style politics … but then again .. AZ is the papers please state so this makes sense.

  • Penelope McKibben

    Seems to me, that not only will it infringe upon the rights of Atheists, as well as Quakers and Jehovah’s Witnesses, but upon the rights of ANYONE who practices ANY religion or faith tradition or belief system and considers that to be a PERSONAL MATTER between themselves and their “deity,” (for want of another word). All in addition to being Unconstitutional, and Ironic, when one considers that it is a compelled recitation.

  • Randall E. Winn

    This move should create at least 5 job openings …
    …. in the Arizona legislature.

  • Vault ☠ Girl

    So basically you are saying that if you were required to recite an oath saying that you wish all babies would die a fiery death, that it’s okay because you don’t ACTUALLY believe that. So what’s the harm? The fact is, that it IS offensive. I do not believe in any Christian ideologies and if I were forced to recite something that felt morally wrong with me, yes, it would bother me. This country needs to stop acting like this is a Christian nation. Not everyone believes that and we shouldn’t be forced to.

  • tgrfan42069

    this is very misleading title.they can graduate all they have to do is recite it.some atheist baffle me.if you are so sure there inst a god then why do you get so emotional when someone mentions god.i mean really you are butt hurt over something that “doesnt” exist

  • Michael

    Are you the same “Adam” as above? If so, then this is a redundant question. To answer again, it would be the same as a christian being asked to say “so help me allah”.

  • Ernest M. Hughes

    If the POTUS and Congress won’t keep the same oath, faithfully, then they have no right to mandate that We, the People should do so. AZ is out of line.

  • James

    Hitler was a Christian. Hey this is fun!

  • Michael


  • Andrew Thorp

    This is complete BS. How would you rather it end? ‘Under the pains and penalties of treason’?

  • Glen

    Oh my flippin gosh, what the “F” are these idiots going to think of next. Talk about a waste of time and tax payer money. I honestly think it’s time to bury this moronic group of teapubliturds once and for all. They just don’t get it! They don’t even live in the same reality. That sounds like the oath I took to join the army. High school graduates should never be forced to take such an oath. Ever!!

  • James

    Ah, self-important. Like the bible thumping cavemen who support the American taliban. Jesus akbar!

  • wmdkitty

    None of the above, I has prescription naproxen, but thank you!

  • Andrew Thorp

    When in Rome do as Romans do.

  • Andrew Thorp

    I’m not sure you know what that word means.

  • tgrfan42069

    god bless you all

  • Dianne Herman Ellis

    I find it odd that they these lawmakers are violating the Constitutional separation of church and state in order to force others to swear to uphold the Constitution. Were they not sworn to uphold the Constitution?

  • Arkangelsk

    Nazi Germany wasn’t fascist. They were national socialist it’s like fascism but with more racial purity and jew hating. Benito Mussolini’s Italy was fascist.

  • Rebecca Williams

    Oh…my…you know, if the shoe was on the other foot…of course, these kinds of Christians don’t understand the concept of the Golden Rule or putting yourself in someone else’s shoes! I hope when they die that they go where they belong, and it isn’t heaven.

  • Mike

    Sorry folks – we vote our politicians in to embarrass us nationally and entertain you all and make you glad that these people don’t serve public office in your State.

  • Jamie

    Sounds like a sort of reverse-affirmative action, keeping the atheists back with all of the creatards. *ha*

  • Kelly Bustard

    No way that would EVER be constitutional…. but of course these days politicians have LITTLE regard for the US Constitution.

  • Rich Beatty

    Brilliant! Thanks David!!!

  • Pan Dimensional

    In Rome, they tortured Christians… still think fitting in with the local customs is a good idea? As long as you’re not the one being oppressed though, I guess you don’t mind.

  • F Religion

    This is why religious people are the worst. What a bunch of idiots.

  • Jose Rivera

    So they are graduating from the Citizenship class or what? I see no purpose in reciting any oath (and least religiously) in order to be given you diploma. It is not about how loyal or disloyal you might be but to be given recognition for your hard work. Politics and religious fanaticism should always be kept out of public education.

  • Jim Terwiliger

    Guess AZ wants to send those same atheists to college on their dime… short sighted Repugs

  • Tammylou

    This is funny, if you can’t allow God or any religious preference in our public schools and the pledge has been banned then how can you expect students to say an oath that is contradictory to the law. School is a place to learn anything and everything that is based on facts. Home is a place to learn morals, values and beliefs. If this is not simple enough to understand then our children will have more problems then we do now.

  • Pete B

    Unconstitutional as bills come, but shows the blatant discrimination atheists face in America.

  • Doug Mackey

    anyone notice yet that the oath invalidates itself – “to uphold the constitution” one can not be forced into any faith belief…..

  • Dr Zarron

    I’d like to introduce a bill that would dis-allow Shit-for-Brains from running for office.

  • Brian Westley

    Studious_Citizen is the kind of idiot who can’t even distinguish between person A willfully saying X and person B refusing to be required to say the same X. Anyone objecting to the latter is taken to want to prevent the former from happening. He is literally too stupid to argue with.

  • Gordon Hilgers

    I wouldn’t mind it personally, but honestly, what in the freakin’ hell is wrong with Arizona? People are getting pretty damned tired of conservatives and their “walk with Jesus” bit, especially when it’s so evident that they DO NOT walk with Jesus or even adhere to the bare minimum of what Jesus taught. Of course, when we realize that this latching-onto Christianity is merely the conservative “fix” for a nation without regulatory power, it all begins to make sense: Jesus, personal responsibility and the free market.

    Arizona Republicans aren’t much into democracy. They’re capitalists, and that’s a whole different ball game.

  • John Petry

    like writing laws which directly violate the US Constitution. In
    addition the Arizona State Constitution, Article II, Sections 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 12 and 13 would seem to
    directly prohibit this type of nonsense.

  • Dr Zarron

    For all of you who would like to see what fascism looks like, here it is.

  • Scott Hoge

    We need to just kick the Republicans out of the political scene and get a new party to compete with Democrats.

  • VeteranLiberal

    Sounds kind of statist to me. Big Government knows best on religion? I dunno, ask Iranians.

  • Roy Jones

    It is certainly highly questionable on constitutional grounds. If the bill becomes law, someone will challenge it in the courts.

  • andrew


  • Douglas Cole

    Unconstitutional, unconstitutional, Unconstitutional.

  • Paul Scott

    In regards to the Pledge, a couple from Chicago change three words that make it much better:

    “I pledge allegiance to the Constitution of the United States of America and to the principles for which it stands, one nation under law, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

    Only three words changed, but it makes all the difference. Instead of pledging to the flag, which is but a symbol, we pledge to the actual Constitution containing the principles upon which our laws are written.

  • Thomas Alex

    Complete idiots. The Constitution states the “Separation of Church and State.” Arizona Republicans need to go back to grade school!

  • Lars

    This is just as crazy as Taliban legislation. And you don’t call these fine US politicians terrorists.

  • Santana

    i fell like that is a stretch i agree that this isnt right but i dont think it works

  • Karl

    This news makes me ashamed to live in Arizona (Coincidently, I’m also a high school student). However, I seriously doubt this will pass, not due to Atheist objections but due to the resulting uproar of the many other religious groups present here that do not worship a deity named “God.”

  • Guest

    If that were all a diploma represented, why is it okay to require x hours of public service to graduate? That’s not relevant to the studies either. Not that this line of reasoning can justify this silly pledge, but there’s a little more reasoning behind such non-academic requirements.

  • Verandaguy

    How is this even legal?

  • Brian Westley

    Of COURSE it’s a religious test, you idiot. Any requirement to swear to a god is a religious test. See Torcaso v. Watkins moron.

  • RichardSpeaks

    Well, AZ just keeps showing its true (red) colors every day, doesn’t it? So, AZ, secede, please. Join Mexico or float out to sea with TX. But please, quit being so damn Communist. Oops. That’s what you keep calling the rest of us, isn’t? Surprise. It’s you.

  • Tom Eggebeen

    This is one of the dumbest things I’ve heard in a long time, but, then, nothing surprises me these days from the dying GOP; in their death throes, gasping for breath, speaking in delirium … Hitler would love this kind of crap.


    This is a joke, right?

  • Andrew Bares

    I agree that people are overreacting to this.

    I’m an atheist, and while I know that this oath thing is unconstitutional, what does it really matter? My life is going to be EXACTLY the same after I say the words “So help me God.” Why? Cause it’s just an *expression* and it means nothing to me.

    Should this law pass? Heck no. But would I care if it passes? Nope. It’s not a big deal. If silly religious people feel empowered by having those words in there, so be it. I could care less. I’m more mature than to freak out about some tiny little words that will not affect my life.

  • Billymac Mcyoung

    just take out the god part yet this smacks of hitler youth or the little red book

  • karlleuba

    OK, let’s ask the Atheist subversives if they would say the oath with fingers crossed.

    Nothing says loyalty with less conviction than a mandatory oath.

  • Andrew Bares

    Hopefully “Curiosity” was an auto-correct typo, otherwise I would say you need to spend some more time in school :P (or your school system isn’t doing its job).

    I’m pretty sure it was a typo though, cause you used the correct form of emigrate!

  • Nick

    You get that as an atheist, whether or not I believe in god, I consider myself to have some integrity, right? So yeah, it’s kind of a big deal to me if I’m being forced to swear an oath I don’t believe in.

  • Sinskae

    And yet in my graduating class we had a foreign exchange student graduate with us. He was from a country in Asian and he currently attends college in Australia.

  • EllenBeth Wachs

    One republican from Arizona down voted your comment, hah!

  • Nick

    Hey, congratulations, you don’t care if your word means anything or not. Some of us do, though, and we might resent being forced to swear an oath we don’t agree with. And even if we didn’t care about that, this would be worth opposing simply because letting it slide lets the theocrats think this kind of thing is okay. You let something like this go, and in ten years they’ll do something worse.

    If this is too whiny for you, then feel free to ignore it. We’ll be fine without you, honest.

  • The J Boat

    So a clear cut violation of the 1st Amendment? Only good thing to come out of that state is my driver’s license.

  • Silk Eotd

    Ya, if I was studying in the States for some reason (and paying extra for the privilege I’m sure as non-residents usually pay highly when getting schooling elsewhere in most countries) then I sure as hell don’t think it’s my responsibility to pledge allegiance to their constitution in order to graduate. We have foreign students who come for high school over here and we certainly don’t expect that of them.

  • Lana

    I am not an atheist. I do not have a problem with someone saying “so help me God.” You can’t expect people who are not Christians to say it, and even if you made them say it, it wouldn’t make them Christians anyway. As I said, that’s why, even though I’m a Christian, I cut off ties with the religious right.

  • Dr. J

    The Tea Party Republicans have way more in common with the Taliban than the founding fathers.

  • Gibson

    So what do you do when you have to be sworn in for something? There is the Bible you put your hand on, etc. Just wondering. Not being judgemental.

  • Dr. J

    Facism is what they are trying to do with gerrymandering and voter suppression. This is just evil stupidity.

  • Pat Chandler

    This isn’t the same oath. There are some parts that have been left out.

  • Alicia Joan Little

    This. Is. AWFUL!!!!

  • Jon Hardison

    The AZ Rs seem to like signing easily challenged bills into law. I thought they were supposed to be fiscal conservatives? Who is paying for all the court challenges?

    I still like this one cuz it’s funny, but most of the others are not funny at all. :-(

  • BarryG

    I think they should totally do this. Republicans have their freak on and they should let it all hang out. Rotting, festering and fetid wounds need to see the light and air of day.

  • PoodleSheep

    I’m naked underneath my clothes :(

  • Kevin

    I’d like to point out that this in and of itself is a huge problem. Our high school requirements do not meet those of other countries. This is deplorable.

  • Patrick

    lol. this is the first half of the oath of enlistment in the united states military.

  • beefchop

    It also ignores the fact that a lot of students are just residing in the US and are not citizens… their parents have been posted there by their companies, for example. I wouldn’t swear any oath with a ‘god’ in it, nor would I ever swear to uphold the constitution of the USA. It will be thrown out by the first sane judge it comes before.

  • Harper Greer Mangini

    I hope so. I was born to parents who are to this very day, Jehovah’s Witnesses. We weren’t allowed to stay the Pledge of Allegiance nor were we allowed to sing the National Anthem. It wasn’t our fault as children and we would have had Hell to pay at the hands of our parents and the JW society as well. I can’t imagine being put in a position at the tender age of 14 to defy my parents and my religion, at the time. I’m no longer associated with that religion, but I can’t help but think of the kids who will be put in very precarious positions should this legislation become law. What has happened to separation of Church and State? If they cannot operate separately, I suggest a full on divorce!

  • Confuscan

    The USA. The leader of the free world. God help us all. And the pun was very much intended.

  • Brandon Thurlow

    Morons everywhere..

  • Harper Greer Mangini

    It’s not. I swear Arizonastan is gunning for Religion to take over State!

  • Marie Cunningham

    If this Bill passes it is because the lemmings in AZ. let it pass another example of following your leaders blindly. I hope people have more sense than to let this become an issue.

  • Jon Lyons

    So… How goes fighting the deficit and creating jobs with that good ol’ conservative common sense you were always talking about? I’m assuming you’ll get around to it once all this culture war stuff is finally wrapped up for good.

  • 134735



  • ben

    so what if you’re not a us citizen but you’re going to school in arizona?
    you’d have no obligation to defend this country

  • imgonnagetalotofshitbut…

    This title is extremely misleading. In no way does this bill target atheists. I don’t believe in a god, but if I say God dammit am I suddenly living a lie? Since when does anyone actually care about any oath they make in highschool anyway? I’m pretty sure I made a couple of oaths regarding abstinence and drug use, neither of which had even the slightest influence on my life decisions. I hate Arizona and their dumb laws as much as the next normal person and believe this should be news, but choose a less sensationalized title next time…

  • Joshwa Kwanzaa

    I live here. Trust me, Arizona is a beautiful, beautiful state.

    Some of the people, on the other hand…

  • Cecelia Baines

    Blah blah blah…I’m a tool….blah blah blah….I like to think of myself as an erudite hillbilly…..blah blah blah…I am a hypocritical jackass.

    I figured I’d paraphrase this idiots scramblings for everyone to save them a precious minute of their life from reading your nonsense.

    I can just see you at your little gun club meetings, with your tri-cornered hat on, a spiffy minuteman outfit and a sign reading “don’t tread on me”. You might as well just put the white sheet over your head, say you hate them *ni*****s* and that the n*****r in office ain’t MY president.

    Go away racist bigot.

  • PersephoneK

    I actually have a problem with this bill both as an atheist and as a Libertarian.

  • sickofallextreems

    a bit sensationalist, don’t you think? Both left wing and right wingers love to go over the top, I’m sick of it all . . .

  • batmansdad

    The Soviet Union never had anything even close to a ‘pledge of allegiance’. Try fascist.

  • Shannon Hubbell

    Oh, man. I’m totally stealing the shit out of this.

  • PersephoneK

    It may not be “targeting” atheists, but it certainly harms them. Some people actually try to live their lives truthfully.

  • Snowdog

    I am amazed that people seem to worry about the ‘so help me God’ part, but just gloss over the whole ‘swearing allegiance to a nation-state’ part.

  • Adam Marc Leonard

    How would this not violate the FIRST AMENDMENT? In case you forget it reads:
    “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”
    Wouldn’t freedom of religion include the right to NO religion?

  • Anarchy Arachnid

    The bill is retarded but I don’t appreciate the misleading title.

  • Ron Pittser

    I think this is one of the stupidest things I’ve ever heard of. Loyalty oaths in the 21st Centrury? Have we learned nothing from history (Sen Joseph McCarthy and his house Unamerican activities committee, loyalty oaths, “blacklisting”, etc.). I find it fascinating that this looks exactly like the oath I swore as an enlisted man and also as a military officer (Civil Service employees and other government agents also take a similar oath). Of course, I NEVER said the last line “So Help Me God”; I always “affirmed” the oath which in the instructions to the oath administrator is allowed since it is NOT required to be said if the speaker has a personal or moral objection (Section 3331, Title 5, United States Code). Article Six of the United States Constitution requires that there be no religious test for public office.

  • Kevin N Mary Whitney

    I believe in God but I do NOT believe in Republicans! There is no need to take an oath to God to get your diploma.

  • Joshwa Kwanzaa

    Yes, the Wingnutocracy has thankfully solved all other problems so as to have time to deal with this. What a relief for those of us living here in this apparent Utopia!

  • Craig

    The religious elements aside, taking this oath could be illegal for a legal alien given that it promises some level of alligance to the US. While I have no desire to invoke Godwin’s Law, the fact is that this sort of thing was one of the first elements added to the German educational system in the 1930′s. In that case, it was a personal oath to obey Adolph Hitler. I’d have to dig out the wording, but it’s really very similar…except for the “so help me God.” The Taliban would be so proud.

  • Joshwa Kwanzaa

    As an AZ Resident and taxpayer, I support this message :)

  • Susan

    I didn’t have to do any hours of community service to graduate high school.

  • Randall Krause

    Is this really unconstitutional? I live in a municipality of 105,000 people and most of our polling places are churches. My religious convictions specifically deny idolatry, therefore being required to enter a place of worship and stand directly under a crucifix of Christ alongside a plaque of the Hail Mary while submitting my vote for political leaders is blatantly disrespectful of my beliefs. But yet, nobody questions such religious intervention in the performance my civic duty. In fact, my friends dismiss my qualms as pointless and sensationalist, arguing that if I don’t believe in the symbolism, then it is ineffectual. In the same way the last four words of the proposed oath are ineffectual to an atheist. So how is this any different?

  • DoubleDogDiogenes

    Just require them to swear to be loyal to a black president as commander in chief and these jack-holes will crawl back into their John Birch sewers!

  • Mike De Fleuriot

    Seems to me, an easy way to beat this if it comes to pass, is to have all atheists take the oath and after receiving their diploma, mention that as an atheist they do not believe that gods exist, and therefore the oath is non binding.

    Do this a couple dozen times, and the GOP will be at a total loss as to how they should handle it. They would have to prove gods can and do exist, from them to be able to claim that the oath has been broken instead of being made null.

  • Phoebs

    Isn’t this within clear violation of a thing called the Bill of Rights, not sure if anyone’s heard of it or?

  • coyotenose


  • coyotenose

    You can’t possibly be stupid enough to think that “hegemony” is in common enough usage to be a buzzword in anything except some science fiction series.

    Well, unless you’re an American conservative. Then the odds are good that you’re that stupid, or simply that desperate for a talking point.

  • tgrfan42069

    well if you know god doesnt exist then why complain about a mere word? the word god holds no bearing with atheists yet for some reason they fear it so much.

  • ConnorBehan

    God or no god, the oath is absurd. People who hate their home country and everything it stands for have as much right to an education as anyone else.

  • kevincarney

    Its bad when not being stupid is a stretch goal. Swearing an oath that you are freely and voluntarily accepting cohersion. Love it. Let me know when this makes it onto the Colbert show.

  • coyotenose

    I’m pretty sure you two are on the same side.

  • Anthony Ventarola

    So if the pledge had the last four words removed, you’d all be okay with it?

  • April Norman

    This is upsetting. Our kids deserve better.

  • Brandon Rinebold

    Congress would be pretty empty. Nobody else wants to deal with the headaches fo that job.

  • tgrfan42069

    funny people preach that..but forget all about it when the obama admin tries to force the catholic church to pay for birth control and how some states are trying to force churches to marry gay couples.

  • coyotenose

    Oh yah, I know that. I learned on Friendly Atheist, actually. Yay Education!

  • Frosty72

    Requiring students to say “So help me God” is a clear violation of the establishment clause of the 1st Amendment.

  • baggie

    It does teach them something. That the state owns them. Just straighten out that arm.

  • Ravi


  • tgrfan42069

    not really.considering a christian would be in fear of going to hell for putting another god before their god.where as an atheist doesn’t believe in any god so it would hold no bearing on their unexistent soul

  • coyotenose

    I love slapping down neocons who claim that the Nazis were liberals because they had the word “socialist” in their title. Such easy marks.

  • Ravi

    Repubs only support #2

  • Nancy Smith-Jones

    Who needs the Onion anymore??

  • tgrfan42069

    for a group who doesn’t believe in god.they sure do fear his name.

  • coyotenose

    I’m well aware. That doesn’t make the original it less of a totalitarian control effort. Sheesh…

  • Moosetoes

    That is the same oath I took upon entering the military. You are not required to state “So help me God.”

  • Ravi

    *authoritarian, not communist.

    Communism is an economic system. The US was against authoritarian communism. Now we’re an authoritarian mixed market system (thanks Reagan and Bush) and any attempt to push back against that is denounced as “progressive” or “socialist.” Which just goes to show you how little people know about politics.

  • Bob Loblaw

    Can we…can we just erase Arizona and label it as a leper colony? Nobody should be getting away with this shit. It’s unconstitutional and downright moronic.

  • Randall Krause

    So how do we account for legal tender: “In God We Trust”. If I am to pay someone for a debt with a false statement of conviction in a specific faith, then I should legally have the right to cut out that portion of the monetary note without it being deemed defacement.

  • Lee-Anna Morris

    We had an exchange student who graduated. I walked with him :-) He went to college as well.

  • Jessie

    Community service hours are neither federal nor state law! They depend solely on the district in which your school resides.

  • Machintelligence

    I figured I’d paraphrase this idiots scramblings for everyone to save them a precious minute of their life from reading your nonsense.

    You might want to go back and try again to prove you can read.

  • coyotenose

    Dumb, very dumb.

  • Chris

    If the atheists need to say “…so help me god” in order to graduate, then the theists need to take a course in evolutionary biology in order to graduate.

  • frozen01

    Don, I would like to apologize to you for the crude and unjustified comment preceding mine. I may not agree with your views on gun ownership, but you did not deserve that.

  • marilove

    As an Arizona native, this makes me sad. :/

  • Brian Westley

    No moron, atheists dislike being forced to pretend to believe in your imaginary friend.

  • Guy Lazenby

    Wow.. What scared these little boys into wanting to make students swear
    allegiance to the constitution in order to graduate? Ohhhh, right.
    Obama. I keep forgetting about that.

  • Paul Grant

    Even in the military, or in court, you are alowed to make an “affirmation” and are allowed to exclude “So help me God”. And the oath that this is modelled after, does not have the line included in it, it is added “extra-constitutionally”. As a Buddhist, I would have issues with this as well, as our faith does not have a Supreme Being.

  • Chrysicat

    You’d be right…except– to them, he counts as “enemies foreign and domestic” and therefore fair game to be resisted and defended against.

  • David P. Turnbole

    Batshit crazy folks are in charge of too many institutions that affect our youth. I took my oath when I entered the service and see no reason why a student shouldn’t give this oath but “so help me God” does not need to be in it any more than “under God” had to be in the pledge of allegiance, which I’m sure these students were required to quote.

  • Paul c. Boyle

    Why do you need to take an oath before you graduate from high school.

  • meme2282

    its not all religious people.I believe in god and i think this is horrible.Its unconstitutional and stupid.Not all that believe in god are bible thumping crazies.

  • coyotenose

    It’s funny to watch Catholic bigots complain about adhering to Constitutional law because it doesn’t serve their bigotry.

    No one is forcing Catholics to buy contraception. If you were a regular here, or even ACTUALLY “studious”, you’d have learned why that is not true.

    No one is seriously attempting to ban firearms. You’re either ignorant or a liar, and certainly not studious.

    Why this oath is unconstitutional is not only obvious, but explicitly set out in the article above that you’re pissing and moaning about but, oddly, don’t seem to have actually read. Again, you are anything but studious.

  • coyotenose

    Very nice examples there, thank you.

  • Guy Lazenby

    It’s not God that atheists fear. It’s the idiotic, bumbling believers they fear. Believers are some of the worst people who will not hesitate to cut you down and even take your life – simply for the mere reason that you do not share the same beliefs as they do.

  • Musemistress

    Did you even read what he said? Have you EVER read Heller?

  • coyotenose

    Because they have more money, duh. They’re IMPORTANT.

  • frozen01

    “If silly religious people feel empowered by having those words in there, so be it.”

    That’s kind of the point. I’m glad that you’re mature about it all, but I would prefer that history not repeat itself. Silly religious people who are empowered by these things will use them as justification for disallowing atheists to hold office and to bolster their “Christian nation” argument. While I’m not precisely to the pitchfork phase yet myself, it’s still not something I find unthreatening.

  • RichUnclePennybags

    It’s an oath to defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic. Are you don’t see the conflict imposed on foreign nationals?

  • Fuck this shit

    A letter I wrote to them:

    Mr. , I am writing you today to
    complain about your ridiculous legislation that would require high
    school students to aknowledge god in order to graduate. Put shortly,
    you are a theocrat, which is to say that you are a disgusting member
    of the American taliban that feels that you have the right to force
    your religious ideals on everyone else. I’m writing today to inform
    you just how wrong you are. What your legislation does, sir, is not
    just violate the first amendment’s prohibition of an establishment of
    religion, but also a betrayal of your own country. You are a traitor
    and a scoundril!

    As a non-religious person, I find your
    attempt to force other non-religious, or more aptly, non-Christian
    people to aknowledge your god, nothing short of obscene and an act of
    treason against the people of Arizona, the founding fathers, and the
    country at large. Don’t forget, sir, even non-believers are paying
    your salary. When you go to work you are going to work not to impose
    theocracy but to do what is best for the people of Arizona. I hardly
    think wasting OUR time on this when you could be working on bills to
    energize the failing Arizona economy or fix the failing Arizona
    schools is in your job description.

    As I said to some of the other
    cosponsors of this bill that I could find the contact info for: screw
    this bill, screw your traditional values, and most of all screw you
    for being such a theocratic traitor!

  • Kristin Swearingen

    What fresh hell is this??? What happened to the first amendment? Or is Arizona exempt?

  • Janine Nice

    Come now… This must obviously be fought against. However, I’d hate to think that an atheist person would deny herself this necessary diploma for want of saying a few meaningless words.

  • honeybee


  • frozen01

    If I may add a touch of irony: Amen.

    Also, I did always find it rather strange that the first thing we pledge our allegiance to is a piece of cloth.

  • Tim Collins

    These are times when I pray that Arizona gets shot.

  • Janine Nice

    Come now…This must obviously be fought against. However, I would hate to think that an atheist person would deny herself this necessary diploma for want of saying a few meaningless words

  • coyotenose

    That was a childish, dismissive, hateful response to a post and poster that hasn’t, from his easily-accessed list of previous posts, said anything to earn such treatment. You are the reason conservative theists have any ammunition at all when they complain about race-baiting and knee-jerk liberals. You are quite the fucking asshole.

  • Elvis Perera

    In other words, you don’t actually have a counterargument. Thanks for playing, now go play somewhere else, troll.

  • coyotenose

    I’m sorry that you’re too stupid and dishonest to grasp what is wrong with forcing someone to violate their ethics.

    Except when you think yours are being violated, then suddenly you’re mouthy and righteous.

    Oh, and a bigot would object to someone else voluntarily giving an oath to their god, y’know, the absolute reverse of this issue. Why are you so stupid and hate-filled?

  • Zachary Aaron Moore

    I am a Christian from TN. This is the first I’ve seen of this. I am 100% against this bill. It is anti-American. Thanks for the very enlightening article.

  • coyotenose

    You do not get to choose what causes should be important to other people. Dismissiveness of their beliefs and ethics is not an argument. It’s pretty immature, actually.

  • Candice Marie Sweet

    I honestly believe we are witnessing the DEATH of the Republican party….
    I have (almost) lost any respect I once had for Republicans as a whole…

  • Zachary Aaron Moore

    There shouldn’t even be an “oath” to take when one graduates from high school, period!

  • Jeremy Hilbilly Love

    If you don’t like the way things are being run you can 1 vote theses people out or 2 MOVE, as for the pledge of allegiance that should be mandatory for every school in the nation, if you are an immigrant with children in the school that’s just to damn bad this is the United States of America, if you do not like it here you can go back to wherever you came from. I get tired of all these groups just trying to cram their way of life down my throat, cant say Merry Christmas because it might offend someone, can’t call it a Christmas Program because we might offend someone, we maybe some people should stop being so offended and just worry about their own crap for a change. You know what i will say whatever the hell i want and if you don’t like well that’s just to damned bad for you suck it up cupcake the world is not here to cater to your ignorant belief that everyone should cater to your feelings.

  • coyotenose

    Your very mature self-importance is noted.

  • Titi Cabrleigh

    I’m going to go ahead an say it. This type of news, where you mix religion with politics, is only made to put certain type of people on the other side. You see, Obama and his buddies need Atheists on his side now more than ever, to promote his agenda even further. Those supposed reprublican from Arizona are just part of that plan, but want to look like they are the problem, so the dems look like the better option.
    Only a blind person wouldn’t know that almost everyone governing this country in some way, is up to something awful.
    I am Christian. Most of my friends are Atheist. There is something called “my your @#$%^ business.” People need to stop listening to this kind of media because this kind of “news” is what at the end separates the people from the people.

    I didn’t want to believe it but it is true: This is the most polarizing government ever.

  • DuanePaulson

    Uh oh. Yosarrian’s naked again. Life imitating art imitating life. Who’d have thought we’d be reliving this one?

  • michelle

    And they have the nerve to call Obama Hitler when they’re doing this.

  • Avery

    This is illegal. Separation of church and state my ass. The only Republicans that have benefitted America were those in the early days of our country, when the Dixie-Democrats were in the south. Now that the roles are reversed, and we are much more advanced now than we were 99 years ago. Republicans needs to get valid values that can apply to the land of the free today, or we should kick them out and have a green party ticket.

    Tl;dr Republicans shape the fuck up or get the fuck out.

  • W.D. Kmentt

    Proposed by the same fucktards that swore an oath to Grover Norquist, who is like a god to many of the right.

  • dd421

    NO ONE is forcing churches to marry gay couples. States have simply enacted laws to allow gay marriage as a legal and binding contract with the state. Churches are not the only places people can get married. Christian religious leaders are not the only recognized officiants for a wedding. Did you know that in Pennsylvania it is legal to officiate your own wedding?

    As others have addressed the birth control issue, the payments by the religious organizations go to the insurance company. The recipient of the insurance plan should then be FREE to use this insurance as they deem appropriate for their own life. Not have their health be controlled by the religious beliefs of others, regardless of their employment.

  • FarmerTom

    Idjits all. The Supes have ruled that the Pledge is ONLY optional period. And CANNOT be made a requirement. Federal law, Arizona doofuses…

  • coyotenose

    Not the stupidest, though we could all wish it was, but thank you.

    Unrelated, but when people put words like “patriot” in their online handles, it often means that they don’t think about issues about all and just recite Fox News talking points day in and day out. If you’re not attached to the name (I see you’ve been commenting for a bit, so it might be too late to matter), you might consider a change. It’ll stop people from making negative assumptions.

    Of course, some people will also pitch a fit over “freethinking”, but hey.

  • jhannon

    When fascism comes to America it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross.

  • Al Rotundo

    Lived in Phoenix 73-75; those people get entirely too much sun.

  • coyotenose

    Hmmm, Super Aleve! *shakes a bottle*

  • monyNH

    I would argue, too, that it is a political test. This bill fails on both counts.

  • Mel Martens

    You’ve completely missed the point that oaths are supposed to be truthful. People in that state can, and will most likely, use the fact that atheists lied when taking it purely to graduate and this could prevent them from getting employment in government agencies. It’s a slippery road and not one to be taken lightly AT ALL.

  • Anthony Lima

    Well it’s a state run school system, what would one expect would eventually happen?

  • commonsense

    LOL, when will idiots stop believing in a magical fairy and give a shit about more important things.

  • Renard Fiossa

    And people wonder why I hate being an American.

  • UofA Law Grad

    That picture is actually one of the lecture halls in the University of Arizona Law School, not one of the high schools. I even recognize a couple of my former classmates.

  • Pam Sims

    wow..wtg fellow republicans for making the REST of us look stupid doh

  • coyotenose

    Are you ignorant or lying? I really want to know, because one can theoretically be fixed.

  • an atheist

    a marriage is a legal document, not a religious institution. there are no marriage ceremonies in the bible. the men “take” their wives, meaning they have sex with them, forming a connection. that is marriage in the bible. furthermore, a church is but a building. also not religious. just a beautiful or traditional building. therefore, the argument that it hinders a religious practice for gays to marry inside a building when worship is not in service is ridiculous. as for the other argument, catholic companies should be held to the same standard as non-religious companies. if they don’t want to pay for birth control because they themselves don’t practice that as a religious duty, then they should not hire non-catholics because they DO practice that. however, that is called discrimination. and lastly, the bible says to love everyone, not just people that agree with you. loving someone includes ACCEPTING them as they are. not denying them rights because they differ from you. that is the most important commandment, making hatred of others, arguably, the worst sin.

  • MakingSenseofitall

    The problem is that one side always blames the other for doing something crazy, when in fact its both sides. People need to stop blaming both Republicans and Democrats when we really just need to get rid of both crazy sides.

  • coyotenose

    Thank you admitting that he’s miles ahead of you.

    Why are you too stupid to know the definition of “freethinking”? Please stop embarrassing yourself.

  • coyotenose

    And now you’re just trolling, because you can’t actually be THAT stupid.

  • Bob

    How can they take the oath of enlistment and use it as a requirment to graduate. First half is enlisted, after”true faith and allegiance ” is the officer oath. Screw you Republicans.

  • Tyrone Smith

    Loyalty oaths have no place in a free society no matter how they are worded. They are something despots force upon their subjects.

  • LifeinTraffic

    Here’s my other problem with this (and there are obviously many). A lot of kids who graduate are NOT 18 when they do so. I wasn’t. Due to pure random chance (and really cold winters in my home state), most of us were born during months that meant we graduated at 17. This isn’t unusual. So, they want minors to take an oath? Or, would they not get their diploma until they turned 18 and could legally take an oath (which might prevent them from getting a job, or into college)?

    So many levels of stupid.

  • whatever

    US is becoming a fascist police state, requiring citizens to swear loyalty to the state “against all enemies, foreign and domestic”.

  • Virtual Elvis

    “…so help me Flying Spaghetti Monster.” problem solved.

  • disqus_VjNBR7E4UT

    this was the most pathetic article i have read recently. If people are really get upset about this I guess they really have nothing else to do in their lives. But it is fun to hear everyone get up in arms about this because I love hearing shit come out of people’s mouths. Oh no they said God I know how to solve it sue them. Yeah that’s what America needs more crying and lawsuits. Did anyone else like the whole part that did not include God because taking an oath about your country and the respect you have for it is pretty cool. whatever

  • coyotenose

    A temporary employee can’t violate any part of the Constitution pertaining to their job, because the specific regulations governing their job descriptions aren’t IN the Constitution. Why are you so ignorant?

  • Lara

    Seriously, not even remotely constitutional. I refused to say the Pledge of Allegiance when I started 1st grade, because of the God thing & I found out what allegiance meant. Didn’t they want to secede? Would that really be a bad thing? Maybe bundle them with Kansas & make it a present to the world…..

  • chanceofrainne

    What. the. actual. fuck.

  • Bryan K

    This is ridiculous. It’s not about atheism. The presence of the phrase “so help me God” does nothing to affirm or deny one’s personal theistic beliefs. This is about the Supreme Court’s ruling in West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnett (1943) that compulsory oaths are unconstitutional. And that ruling predated the presence of the phrase “under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance by 11 years.

  • Cliff Wells

    Agreed, but I don’t think this is a purely Republican problem. The Democrats are just as fond of Newspeak as anyone.

    Orwell certainly was an outspoken Socialist, but this was one of his few failings. He believed that it is possible to have a government that can be powerful enough to take care of its citizens while simultaneously not infringing their freedoms. A noble, but ultimately contradictory point of view. I suspect that had he lived another half-century, he’d have changed his mind. Government is neither good nor evil. Rather it’s a tool to be used by whomever has the influence to affect its course. If you want 1984, you can get there via many different types of government, whether Socialist, Democratic or Dictatorship, but they’ll all have one thing in common: they’ll be large governments, and heavily involved in the daily lives of their citizens.

  • SeanW

    Sorry, I’m not buying this. “So help me God.” I refuse to believe that saying this one line is MANDATORY. I’m in the military, and in our reenlistment oaths, its always made VERY clear that so help me God is optional. The f****** military. You cant tell me its easier to get into the military than to get a diploma. Hell, you can change “Do solemnly swear” to “Affirm”. I think (some) Atheists are looking for trouble where there’s none to be found.

  • Bdole

    “I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic”

    Sounds serious. Maybe they should hand out AK-47s along with the diplomas.

  • coyotenose

    Do you not realize how dismissive you are being of our ethics? That you just said that you think we have no problem with lying for convenience? Jesus Christ.

  • coyotenose

    Given the behaviors that people excuse with religion, any majority religious group is going to rate high on that list.

  • Bryan K

    They’re not too far away in Arizona. You don’t even need an ID to buy a gun in this state. But God forbid you try to get a driver’s license and vote.

  • handsomejack47

    See, the crazy state politicians in Phoenix that are making all of us look bad. Tucson is not that crazy, I can guarantee you that.

  • coyotenose

    I hope you didn’t mean to imply that you think that people who object to this oath hate America.

  • Cliff Wells

    The real irony here is that by trying to pass this bill, the authors of said bill are violating their own oaths of office, starting with “uphold the Constitution”. Great examples they set.

  • Jeremy Hilbilly Love

    So this discussion will not allow opposing viewpoints that makes it more of a whine session than a discussion.

  • Michael Appleman

    What a gigantic waste of money.

  • Jeremy Hilbilly Love


  • Randall Krause

    I don’t know if I agree that this is unconstitutional. Our monetary notes declare a false statement of conviction in a specific faith: “In God We Trust”. But nobody questions the fact that our legal tender that we use on a day-to-day basis is legally sanctioned by the Federal government for payment of all debts yet imposes an explicit declaration of allegiance to the Christian God.

  • Richard P. Weiss

    If this actually becomes law, American Atheists and/or the ACLU will fight the ruling in court. It’s clearly unconstitutional.

  • SPotter

    We had exchange students who walked to be part of the ceremony but didn’t actually get diplomas. It wouldn’t have made sense–they all had to go back home and make up a year of school in their home countries anyway. (In other words, I totally agree with Kevin.)

  • coyotenose

    Using common idioms and metaphors is NOT the same thing as swearing a compulsory loyalty oath. That ought to be pretty goddamn obvious.

    This is a continuation of anti-Communism hysteria that has been going on since before WWII. They conflate Communism and atheism; that’s why “so help me God” was added to such oaths in the first place. It most certainly does target atheists. When government promotes a religion, it implicitly discourages all other religion and lack of religion.

    Are you not aware that your high school was not being forced to make you take oaths to receive your diploma?

  • Jade Mahoney

    GAH. My state needs to stop doing such shameful things. Like, NOW. Please don’t tell me your memory is THAT short, Arizona! Last I checked, this country was founded by folks who were trying to escape religious persecution– and that extends to atheists too! DUH!

    Alternatively: I didn’t realize “indoctrination” was a requirement to graduate…

  • icedgreentea

    I would add one word, before the word God — “imaginary.”

  • Donny

    the american constitution was not based on, or created around religion. religion should have no basis in political views. Ask yourself this anyways. everyone agrees that B.C. turned into A.D. around 2k years ago. The BIBLE says that the earth was created and every event since then written down during the switch. We have physical evidence that dinosaurs were on this earth 400 million years ago. The bible does not promote or promise any sort of religion, read the testaments. They are blasphemous in being. Religion is based on the individual believers thoughts, not some old book in which over 70 different copies were made.

  • wmdkitty

    Fuck off back to Stormfront, douchenozzle.

  • Chet1950

    Isn’t this a military pledge? On my last re-enlistment, I just opted out of “so help me god” with just “So help me, ME”. Wasn’t a problem for me or my commander.

  • coyotenose

    Apparently the oath of the Hitler Youth went as follows:

    “In the presence of this blood-banner, which represents our Führer, I
    swear to devote all my energies and my strength to the savior of our
    country, Adolf Hitler. I am ready and willing to give up my life for
    him, so help me God.”

    So it’s even worse than you think.

  • Jim Terwiliger

    Arizona is one of the best arguments for abortion I have ever seen

  • coyotenose

    Now now, no need to disagree. They can be fascist AND stupid!

  • coyotenose

    Way to miss the point completely.

  • Andrew Wilson

    “I take this obligation freely”. Not if they have to do it to pass their exams.

  • Cliff Wells

    I used to say the same thing. Unfortunately it’s not really true. Communism (aka Socialism) is an economic system, but its core philosophy requires an authoritarian government to function.

    I do believe that small anarcho-collectivist (read: voluntary) sub-societies could work, but that is rarely the form of Socialism being discussed.

    Socialism, like the ancient ideas from which it springs, confuses the distinction between government and society. As a result of this, every time we object to a thing being done by government, the socialists conclude that we object to its being done at all. We disapprove of state education. Then the socialists say that we are opposed to any education. We object to a state religion. Then the socialists say that we want no religion at all. We object to a state-enforced equality. Then they say that we are against equality. And so on, and so on. It is as if the socialists were to accuse us of not wanting persons to eat because we do not want the state to raise grain.

    - Frederic Bastiat

  • Jeremy Ffrench Birmingham

    Atheists shouldn’t be given the same facilities as believers because they have an unfair advantage, they are capable of critical thought. In fact anybody who shows signs of intelligence should be treated with grave suspicion, you never know what they might get up to.

  • Jerinne

    If this is a House bill, how could it have been proposed by Chester Crandell, who is, according to the State of Arizona, a state senator?

  • Gizzy N

    1. People question that fact every single day. You’re just not paying attention.
    2. Newsflash: Christianity does not have the market cornered on the word “god,” or even the name “God,” regardless of what you might believe.

  • Gizzy N

    Have you read the proposed bill? It includes ZERO wiggle room for the wording to be changed or altered. Why don’t you actually take a look at the text of the bill before claiming that the ‘problem’ is Atheists looking for trouble where there’s none to be found?

  • Steve

    Dems athiest better off deported

  • pagansister

    But there are several that make it more obvious. AZ and Texas for example.

  • Burrito Bazooka

    I’m a Christian, and I wouldn’t even take such an oath. Not because it has the word “God” in it. But simply because it’s an oath.

  • pagansister

    Good idea.

  • Cliff Wells

    The GOP are just as statist as the Democrats. There’s only one party actually interested in small government – the Libertarian Party, but they have little chance of success unless the GOP continues its humorous spiral of self-destruction (or we ditch our first-past-the-post voting system).

  • andre

    “they’ve thrown out the idea of constitution-checking legislation”.
    Except when it comes to guns.

  • Nemesis_Nexus


  • Nemesis_Nexus

    Seriously wtf is this, Nazi Germany? Communist Russia? I could have sworn that we had a clause in our CONSTITUTION that guaranteed CIVIL LIBERTIES including the right to WORSHIP FREELY, or not to if one is so inclined. Apparently I woke up on the wrong side of the Constitution this evening……or maybe I’m still dreaming but the dream has become a nightmare in more ways than one!

  • Cliff Wells

    When you say to the government “I want X banned”, or even “We want a law allowing Y”, the essence of what you are saying to them is, “The public cannot be trusted with these decisions, you make them”. Of course, you are also part of the public, which means you are suggesting that you cannot be trusted.

    So when you vote to ban gay marriage, and instead the government passes a law requiring that you perform gay marriages at your church, just remember, you specifically asked them to make the decision for you.

  • RobMcCune

    They probably will, and after that vigilante border patrol for a field trip.

  • Alex McLennan

    From my perspective as an atheist, it seems that the issue for me and some people I know (and I can speak for my atheist friends because I know them well enough) wouldn’t be saying the oath. If you have to say an oath, fine, you gotta do what you gotta do. What I would oppose is making people of other religions say that oath. That’s just classic religion pushing at is finest, and I wouldn’t think that is what politicians stand for, but then again, looking at the history of religion and the acts taken in their name, it isn’t surprising. Also the bill itself is an irrational, outrageous waste of time.

  • mmeeggaann

    This is ridiculous. I am an Atheist, a Republican, and an Arizona native. I just graduated from high school in Tempe, AZ last year. The Pledge of Allegiance is NOT required and most people do not think this way. Every state has a select few who come up with these ridiculous laws that they think are good for society, but there’s no way this will pass. It’s just a few radical Republicans. Arizona is not a bad place, we are not all crazy, there are just a few idiots here like there are everywhere else in the world. All you assholes in the comment section, stop hating on us. There’s nothing more wrong with AZ than there is with any other state.

  • Randall Krause

    1. I probably am not paying attention because it never makes news headlines like this story.
    2. Agreed, in which case this story is even moreso a non-issue.

  • Sheilah Davis

    This will impact more than atheists; there are goddess worshipers,
    there are people who are polytheistic, there are those that worship
    flying spaghetti monsters. Will the legislature allow graduates to
    insert the proper term for their deities in the pledge?
    Not every citizen is a fundamentalist Christian.

  • Christine

    Hey, Republican right over here that doesn’t agree at ALL with this bill….no one should be forced to say something just to graduate…nor should they have to lie to try and graduate.

    I’m a Christian and Republican with atheist, democrat, liberal and gay friends and I don’t plan on turning my back or looking down on them or forcing anything on them just because I’ve got a different belief than them.

    The thing that is annoying to me is the people who want to completely ban God from school…I didn’t appreciate being forbidden to talk about my faith for to another student. Read me words. I. Did. Not. Force. Them. To. Listen. To. Me. They ASKED me. No ‘bible thumping’ involved, I was just answering what they asked me. I just told them how I got involved with my church and after answering what they asked, a teacher noticed and kindly escorted me to the office to have a chat about how we should all keep our belief’s to ourselves. Alrighty…well, I see a LGBT conference going on right now in the other room, shouldn’t they be keeping their opinions and belief’s to themselves to? No, alright.

    Oh well, call me crazy…I don’t plan on checking back on this comment, so…you don’t really need to reply. Lol just putting my thoughts right on out there.

  • LilleMy Normann

    Well, all I have to say is FUCK the religious nuts! So all religious people; Christians, Catholics, Muslims etc (all who believe in a GOD), can graduate, but not non believers? Well all non believers are white (99%), in the US, so can we sue the state for being biased and rasist? Well, we will sue the state if they implement this!

  • Larry Waters

    “If there is any fixed star in our constitutional constellation, it is that no official, high or petty, can prescribe what shall be orthodox in politics, nationalism, religion, or other matters of opinion or force citizens to confess by word or act their faith therein.”

    Justice Robert Jackson-West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette, 319 U.S. 624 (1943)

  • John Stephen Dwyer

    It’s getting harder and harder to tell real news stories from “The Onion.”

  • Joe Shaffer

    That’s the same oath I took when I enlisted in the military essentially…

  • steph dumais

    This isn’t an issue, why should unsuperstitious people care about swearing an oath to God, Satan, Shiva or Santa Claus? “So Help Me God” means nothing to someone who doesn’t believe in the supernatural.

  • Earthling3

    Hi again, Kevin. Fancy meeting you here.

  • PrometheusDarko

    +1,000 Internets, spend them wisely. Honestly, this is getting out of hand, but then again, I feel like this is simply one of religions death spasms.

  • jo

    Fuck me.

  • Cliff Wells

    So true. Someone recently linked an Onion article with the headline “Obama Begins Inauguration Festivities With Ceremonial Drone Flyover” and I had to do a double-take.

  • Daniel

    I just say, “Zod.” No one knows, and I still feel like me.

  • elizabeth44

    Even the President doesn’t have to use “so help me God”:

    he shall take the following Oath or Affirmation:–”I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.” Thats it folks.

  • Cliff Wells

    You should try the Libertarian Party on for size.

  • BluebonnetTX

    From you post it appears you do as well.

  • Cliff Wells

    “When in Rome, do as the Vandals” was always my preferred take on this.

  • Dominic Vega

    It won’t pass, so I really wish our elected officials would quit wasting our time and money.

  • Kevin_Of_Bangor

    How did you get here?

  • Rob Everhart

    I feel the need to sue an entire state!

  • Bob

    How do you know someones an atheist? Believe me, they will fucking tell you about it.

  • Kari Scharfenberger

    Glad this atheist just got her BA in Spanish :D

  • Rob Bos

    On the other hand, would a government also deny an atheist a diploma for not saying a few meaningless words? If so, then I think it ought to be fought against.

  • David DeMedicis

    I did, but I just unintelligibly mumbled the “so help me god” part.

  • David DeMedicis

    I think they’re just mad about Mexicans.

  • Gizzy N

    Because it isn’t only the constitutional rights of the non-religious being stomped upon by this “oath.” Should a Buddhist have to recite it? How about a Muslim? A Hindu? A Pagan? A Wiccan? A Satanist? The bill, as proposed, allows for no deviation from the above quoted text.

    Which is totally separate from a multitude of issues surrounding compulsory oaths in general.

  • Kylie McInnes

    Other than, of course, that sets all kinds of crazy precedent. What if your Jehovah’s Witness boss wouldn’t let you get a blood transfusion (as it’s a violation of their beliefs)? Or, in the utmost nightmare scenario, you have a Christian Scientist boss that won’t let you see a doctor AT ALL?

    Saying “my faith doesn’t like these fairly new concepts that started becoming talking points in the 1970s” really doesn’t mean squat when it’s all stuff that’s optional participation. Seriously, if your Leader With The Awesome Hat declares that eating bacon is a sin, are you going to piss and moan that your tax money is going to farm subsidies that might wind up making some yummy smoked pork product?

    No one is forcing you to wear a rubber, your wife to take The Pill, or for Rabbi/Pastor/Father/Reverend/Mullah/Sacred Keeper of the Holy Stick That Once Fell On Tony Danza’s Car to marry Jeff and Dave. The only people that could possibly be “forced” to perform marriages for two guys or two girls are civil employees giving out marriage licences…because it’s their damn JOB. If I, as an inspector in a machine shop, said “I can’t inspect aluminum pieces, my religion only recognizes the Kingdom Of Steel,” I’d be looking for a new job.

  • Rob Bos

    If the phrase isn’t important, it shouldn’t be a problem to have it removed. No problem, then!

  • Jeff Vandenberg

    entire fucking oath is retarded. Why is there such a need to say the
    pledge of allegiance every day and then this oath? I pledge allegiance
    to myself. Fuck god and country. Shouldn’t the fact that you live daily
    in the country without making efforts to overthrow the good old white
    boy network, work hard daily, pay your taxes to support this failed
    experiment, and follow MOST of their ignorant laws be enough of an ass

  • jo

    percodan ‘mmmm’…

  • Raven

    I love that i find you everywhere.

  • Rob Bos

    In an ideal world, yes, but if you let something like this through, it’s used as ammunition by the religious to argue that religion is part of public life, and therefore should become more so. Would you honestly be okay saying “So help me, Allah” in a climate where Muslims are actively trying to gain control of the government?

  • Mel Martens

    It’s a shame you won’t come back to check. I would have been pretty upset at that teacher for reducing questions and answers to petty political correctness marketing. Also she pretty much would hate any form of debate, that’s when two parties discuss opposing ideas about a situation.

  • Steve Greene

    Not so incidentally, it is not only the anti-atheist aspect of this that makes it ideologically troubling and extremely offensive.

  • Christine

    I suppose that could be up for consideration.

    Quite honestly, I don’t like politics over all. If I had to choose I’d place myself as a conservative, however. Libertarian really doesn’t sound like that bad of a direction, though.

    I would love to wake up one day and say I’m neutral with both sides but I highly doubt that day will ever come around.

  • Jim

    This is the ultimate in irony. A blatantly unconstitutional oath where one promises to support and defend the Constitution!

  • Jake Tosa East

    This is the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard of in the world of politics. Which I’m sure someone will quote me, and say “X” was more ridiculous.

  • Ladifuckinda

    Yeah, but the Pledge of Allegiance has a Supreme Court case behind the idea that children are not able to say it (of course, this will probably be struck down on the grounds of that case).

    Anyway, I jumped immediately to the “non-US citizen” concern, because i went to a high school that had so many kids who weren’t US citizens (since a lot of them were French and German citizens whose parents were in the area for work-related reasons) that we never had a school recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance except on special occasions. I still think it’s weird that any schools do it at all; expecting (even if not requiring) kids to pledge loyalty to their government every morning seems so fascist to me.

  • Ladifuckinda

    That’s not true; that depends a lot on the country the student is from, and on the specific U.S. school’s curriculum. I went to a school that had the International Baccalaureate program and, because it was an international program designed for the children of diplomats (and because it’s similar to many European countries’ national baccalaureate programs), the credits transferred to universities abroad and so students from other countries were always able to graduate and continue their education at home.

  • Cani Lupine

    This violates the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America. Period.

  • Ladifuckinda

    So I take it if you lived in Rome you’d be comfortable taking an oath of loyalty to the Italian government?

  • Susan Craver

    As a high school teacher, I do not require any student to recite the Pledge when it is led by students on the announcement team each morning. All I require them to do is be respectful of those who wish to participate.

  • Xorlaryn

    Why would the Republicans want to force children to do what they seem completely unable to do? The GOP has been doing everything in their ill-gotten power to totally subvert the US Constitution to suit their own selfish needs.

  • Gerald Tony Taylor

    Wow its been 25+years since i heard that pledge, And yes i did have to say it BUT Damm i was joining the Air Force, The Kids are just graduating WTF

  • MsDuhMeanor

    These people are simply asinine. Whatever happened to the separation of church and state? The fanatics in the Republican party have lost what little minds they had. Every day its a new infringement on liberties. You cannot legislate religious freedom. I’m simply getting fed up with the whole damn lot of them.

  • Xorlaryn

    That’s because only one knows how. (One of their Liberal children had to have shown them how to use the internet.)

  • ledotter

    Unconstitutional in public or tax supported schools. PERIOD end of discussion.

  • Austin

    Just say “so help me cod” and nobody will know the difference. and then you can buy a pet fish and rely on it to help you fulfill your pledge. almost the same thing, I suppose.

  • Gilbert Thompson

    Republicans are so backward that they are almost climbing up thier own collective ass. Anyone who subscribes to their ideals is unfit to hold any position of authority and should not be permitted to do so. They only defend the parts of the constitution that suit them, frequently to the point of abuse ( e.g. The 2nd Amendment). The rest they disregard, particularly any to do with the rights of anyone who is not white, Christian and straight.

  • SlightlyMad

    *is religious*
    *thinks this oath business is nonsense that needs to be thrown out*
    You mind not tarring and feathering all of us?

  • Joe Montillo

    It is proof of how ignorant and irresponsible this nation has become when society allows Representatives Bob Thorpe, Sonny Borrelli, Carl Seel, T.J. Shope, Jeff Dial, David Livingston, Chester Crandell, and Steve Smith to even propose such an unconstitutional law. They should be thrown out of office.

  • SlightlyMad

    Andrew Cuomo in New York seems to be doing his damnedest to try. It’s why I voted for Hawkins – Cuomo is a right-wing hack in disguise.

  • Beamish Kinowerks

    Dear America,

    It’s kinda fun watching you die under the weight of your hubris and idiocy.


    the rest of the world

  • SlightlyMad

    Please be Poe.

  • SlightlyMad

    Preferably before it starts.

  • darkyellowsky

    This article is stupid as shit as is this proposed law. I like how it brings religion into the mix, it hints at, but misses the point in that we are forcing high school students to swear an oath for a piece of paper that is earned ( and should remain) based on academic accomplishment. I love how these articles put “Arizona” “Republican” and “Religion” in their title to ensure someone reads it.

  • Ann

    Quakers don’t take pledges nor oaths, and many fundies do not pledge allegiance to anything but god. Some of the most hard core religious Christians out there would have a problem with this.

  • Imahicktoo

    Translation “I can ridicule you and force you to dumb down your language because I set the standard low for American English.”

  • Beamish Kinowerks

    Libertarians are chickenshit Republicans. At least most Democrats have a FEW scruples.

  • disqus_kuqb0MNRfE

    Here’s a bill that promotes blind obedience to the government, and all the self-serving nationalism that entails, and the most unacceptable thing is that atheists would have to lie? As an atheist, I find that troubling.

  • Robert Belcher

    I see nothing wrong with forcing someone to accept your God and swear to remain forever American in order to receive an education. On an unrelated note I recently had a large portion of brain-mass removed because current politics was giving me crippling migraines.

  • Earthling3

    Link on Failbook via WFLA. I’m not Earthling there, though.

  • André Marcoux

    Call me crazy but aren’t republican sounding more and more like Talibans?

  • Marc Mielke

    You make fitting in sound so tempting.

  • Chris Stephens

    this bill will cause a lot more high school drop outs, causing the amount of below poverty level amaricans to rise, as well as violates out right to religious freedom

  • BJ Esmailbegui

    Can this state be anymore backwards ?

  • chicago dyke

    seems so fascist to me

    ya think?

    i love pledges. it keeps my wooden furniture surfaces shining. oh, wait…

  • Grahame Turner

    Regardless of to whom the oath is spoken, it is still an oath. The concept of an oath makes me uncomfortable for a variety of reasons–whether it’s to a document or to a patch of dirt. I have great respect for both the Country and the Constitution, but I also have concerns about both. I am uncomfortable swearing an oath to something I cannot support 100 percent, and even moreso when I don’t know where my life will be in 5, 10, or 15 years.

    So, the difference is, well, immaterial.

    The troublesome bit at the end, too, I could not swear an oath to a god I don’t believe in–speaking as an agnostic.

  • Jennifer E. Landers

    Screw that shit. Loyalty to a country has nothing to do with God and if I was told to prove my loyalty to the country by reciting a stupid oath like that…hahaha. I’d kick their teeth in and then walk away with my diploma. Dumb fucks. Hope they rot in their own shit.

  • Feminerd

    Every state has its illogical assholes who don’t understand the constitution. Not every state has them in its legislative body, where a lot of people had to vote for them. There’s something very wrong when legislators can propose clearly unconstitutional laws and people don’t even blink at it. They DID take an oath to uphold the constitution as part of being sworn in- does it matter at all to you that they’re breaking it?

    People wouldn’t be so down on Arizona if this wasn’t one of a series of piss-poor laws and decisions coming out of the state. Of course you’re not all illogical assholes or crazy people, but you do have a problem and there is quite a bit more wrong with Arizona than other states. Instead of marginalizing radical Republicans, you’ve elected them to public office.

  • chicago dyke

    and you need to know how few IB programs are offered in US public schools. which is like, next to none.

    i work in college admissions. believe me when i say: programs like the ones you got are rare.

  • Christine

    I might be checking back more often that I thought, actually! Yes, I was upset with the teacher…aside from so called political correctness, I’m also convinced that the teacher already thought less of me for not being the most adept student in his class. Wood shop isn’t my cup of tea.

    My science teacher was a Christian who I absolutely adored (and yes, I adored him before I even knew he was Christian…he was a remarkable teacher) who welcomed any debate from the students. He never thought less of the students that weren’t Christian – it was the students that couldn’t respect the other’s belief’s that he didn’t seem to think much of. Like I said, there were several atheist student’s that didn’t agree with the Christian students but they didn’t think less of them for it – I was friends with most of them, and they loved our science teacher just as much as I did. He was a very popular teacher in the school(: There were so called Christian students that would be absolute jerks to the atheist kids and coincidentally, it was those students that our teacher seemed less fond of. He didn’t just reserve his good side for the Christian kids alone, he liked everybody…so long as they could respect each other.

  • Kevin_Of_Bangor

    Well you found my favorite hang out :)

  • Travis Rhoden

    On the one hand, what the fuck? This is bullshit. On the other hand, swearing by something that you don’t believe in is hardly binding. I swear by the leprechaun on the 7th floor that I will post nudes of myself on the internet on Sunday. It means nothing, because THERE’S NO FUCKING LEPRECHAUN.

  • Viv Arney

    What a bunch of religious GARBAGE! Why is Arizona so full of CRAP?

  • Cal Brabandt

    1. Violation of the separation of church and state.
    2. Violation of First Amendment protections of free speech.

    It’s amazing they would even try to advance their ridiculous ideology into law! The courts will readily strike it down.

  • Nut Cracker

    So atheists think it is fine to shove their godless agenda down the throats of everyone, but you cry foul when the rest of us (in vast majority, by the way) tell you how it’s gonna be?!?! What a bunch of whiney-ass infants.

  • Big dick hurtzer

    Shame on you Arizona. This is rediculous.

  • Nut Cracker

    Kick their teeth in? Walk away with your diploma?!? I doubt it, you fat toad. Please come and try to kick my teeth in. I doubt you can swing your foot up over your rotund waist. You’re a puke.

  • godlessveteran

    They ARE the American Taliban.

  • Feminerd

    I’d be very wary of libertarianism, actually. It’s one of the hardest-hearted and uncompassionate political ideologies I’ve ever studied, and as a political scientist (minor in sociology), I’ve studied most of them to some degree. Libertarians believe that government should do nothing but have an army and mint currency. That’s it. No roads, no research, no universities, no Medicare, no Social Security, no Pell Grants, no infrastructure development, no environmental protection, no labor laws, no minimum wage, nothing. Private property rights reign supreme- if someone wanted to dump poisons in a creek that runs through hir property, ze is allowed to do so even if it affects those downstream. If someone wanted to *starve hir child*, ze is allowed to do so because children are considered private property.

    Most economic and political ideologies lead to bad outcomes if followed to their extremes (capitalism, socialism, Green, authoritarianism, communism, even democracy). Libertarianism leads to bad outcomes even in moderation.

  • Feminerd

    It’s a matter of ethics. I don’t believe in any gods, so swearing to them is repugnant to me. It’s a false oath if I were to take it. I take my oaths seriously, and to be forced to be forsworn is a big deal.

  • Thatgirlwhoplays

    America left Brittain and formed a constitution to get away from religious persecution. If they want to persecute people by punishing them and withholding their graduation rights than they may as well turn America back into a soverign dictatorship. Republicans need to stop trying to take people’s rights and liberties away from them.

  • godlessveteran

    It’s kind of an obligation when there are so many ass-hat Christers trying to take away our rights.

  • Democrat.

    Atheists Godless agenda…..hmmm. Let me point you to something written a long time ago by our countries founding fathers. To quote the first amendment of the United States Constitution “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or
    prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of
    speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to
    assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” This law is unconstitutional and even if the wannabe Utah state known as Arizona were to pass this ridiculous law, it would be swiftly struck down by the Supreme Court for being unconstitutional.

  • Christine

    I’ll definitely take that into consideration, thank you! Where do you classify yourself politically?

  • beb

    How do you know someone’s religious? Believe me, they will fucking tell you about it. Then they’ll oppress you if you don’t believe the same thing.

  • Feminerd

    Me? I’m definitely liberal. Put me down somewhere on the democratic socialism (European style basically) with a strong dash of Green Party mixed in. In the US I count as crazy-leftist. In Europe I’d be center-left.

  • CrimeTime

    What the actual fuck!?!?

  • kinetik

    Hey Florida, Arizona is gaining on your asshattedness fast.

  • King_of_Reddit

    Well, looks like this hit the front page of reddit.

  • Tom_P

    when you pray, you shall not be like the hypocrites. For they love to
    pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the streets, that
    they may be seen by men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their
    reward. 6 But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.”

    But it isn’t really about God now is it? It’s about being able to force someone else to do what you want.

  • HugeGovtDebtFailure

    There are always going to be a few extremists. At least the whole party is not extremist like the Dems! And the media will report only the Repub extremists… but they will get their payback soon enough… and in the history books……..

  • Christine

    Well at least you know where you stand and know your politics, better than the majority of people I have the pleasure of meeting!

  • wmdkitty

    She’s a Republican. You know as well as I do that they have no problem violating the Constitution (and their oath to uphold/protect it), especially in service to their Magic Sky Daddy.

  • HugeGovtDebtFailure

    I’m not one to tell others what to think about religion, but society and the US has gone DOWNHILL MASSIVELY since people aren’t as Christian behaving and thinking… and That is a FACT! Again, I don’t go to church, but I uphold the totally advance principles of behavior that the Christians teach, and the Jewish faith teaches. You can’t knock it because your way FAILED….. get a clue…..

  • WendyATai

    Well this is one way to make sure what the oath stands for Teachers have kids pledge to Obama so in Hillary’s words.. “what difference does it make?: Personally I am happy with it. It will inspire within themselves a sense of duty and worth,.

  • Meech Lynn

    But the ones calling themselves Christian seem to be the least Christ like. But that’s besides the point. People like you are too brainwashed to see this for what it is. The clandestine, esoteric ruling class is causing all this religious divisiveness to keep us dumbed down with ideology and dogma and not paying attention to the role THEIR playing in destroying the country. You’ve taken the bait way too easily. Why is it so easy to be so blind?

  • Meech Lynn

    What agenda? To be free to think what you want? Has it occur to you that this divisiveness is a ruse, to keep people preoccupied with non-issues? Why isn’t it obvious to you that ideology is being exploited by the ruling class to get folks like you all frothed up over nonsense and full of hate for no reason?

  • thwipp89

    sooo glad i moved from that ridiculous state. AZ blows goats, deluxe.

  • Caitlin Ball

    That’s a violation of their freedom of religion and is unconstitutional. Not only that but the original pledge was changed in the 1950′s- adding ‘under god’, up until then god was never part of the pledge. I don’t believe in religion because it has been the number one cause of war throughout history. If this had happened when I was in high school. I would have been one of the first people to protest it with picket signs and letters to congress every day. Trying to force others to follow your beliefs only proves that your motives are corrupt. No true religion would need laws to back it up.

  • mutatedwombat

    Free education, free health care in Australia. Plenty of room. Just sayin’.

  • Marquess

    FUCK YOU ARIZONA. To think I was going to go there for your nifty Anthropology programs and institutes.

  • wmdkitty

    “advanced principles of behavior”?

    No, you clearly mean “twisted backwoods concepts of ‘morality’ that allow you to rape and kill and torture, and it’s all good if I’m doing it for Jeebus”

  • Rich Wilson

    Secularism is doing quite well in Western Europe- in particular Scandinavian countries. You’ll find a similar correlation for states. More religious states have higher crime, higher divorce, higher teenage pregnancy, etc.

    Of course, those are just correlations, but since that’s what you started with- you might least want to get your correlations right.

  • ryder

    Bobby Jindal tell republicans to stop being the stupid party…….I think he’s a few years late on that…but what the hell at least he knows..

  • Rich Wilson

    Well, it’s not free. You do pay taxes for it. But I’ll bet your health care costs 1/2 of what it does the US (per capita) and by most measures is probably better.

    Sadly, the older one gets, the harder it is to immigrate to most countries worth moving to.

  • Gizzy N

    Why do you seem to be under the impression that only Christianity imparts decent morals and values?

    Is it strictly a Christian precept to be kind to your neighbor? Why is it that so many Christians seem to have such a difficult time doing this, than?

    Is it strictly a Christian precept to not murder, rape or steal for someone? Odd how often the real scumbags so often have a gaggle of fellow churchgoers ready to tell the news how shocked they are, because so-and-so seemed like such a NICE person.

    Is it strictly a Christian precept to care for the poor? Strange than that the supposed “values” party of the republicans will go out of their way to slash every last possible dollar from any program seen to be helping the needy.

    Each generation waxes poetical about how good things “used” to be… somehow, all the bad that came with these supposed “good times” are ignored. Let’s look at some of those historical Christian values, shall we?

    Of COURSE blacks and whites shouldn’t marry – the bible makes this clear! Of COURSE women shouldn’t vote – they are to be seen and not heard, subservient to their men and voicing no opinions of their own (note: Your name appears to be Wendy – under Christian precepts, you should not be voicing your opinion publicly, you should be leaving that to your husband). Of COURSE it’s ok to kidnap the children of savages so that they can be raised with biblical values. Of COURSE it’s ok to force belief at the end of a spear or sword – heretics must be slaughtered, convert or die.
    Of COURSE it’s ok to maintain a servant/serf/slave class – monarchical rulers are appointed by god above! Peasants are born to serve them.
    Of COURSE it’s ok for women to die in childbirth, or from disease, or plague – this is god’s will, after all… and science is the work of the devil.
    Of COURSE the earth is the center of the universe, and the sun orbits around the earth – say otherwise, and you’ll be executed.

    And on, and on, and on.

    Christianity has had nearly 2,000 years of dominance on this planet – strange, then, how even between Christian nations there is not peace. It seems the only thing proven to have failed is for religion – of any kind – to hold any measure of dominance in the world. Thankfully, we’re moving away from the age of superstition and into an age of science and reason. Religion had its chance… for thousands of years… it has failed. Time for it to move aside so a more reasoned, informed and educated option has a chance to get it right.

  • Reynaldo Dennis

    Why are they wasting time doing this? What is the point how does this improve the education in anyway especially when they know it will be shut down by the surpreeme court

  • Tired of Hate

    Read the Article! It says nothing about stopping atheists from graduating high school. It has NOTHING to do with religion (Though it is stupid and a criminal waste or time and money). It asks students to swear to uphold and defend the constitution. The oath ends with “So help me God.” Before you go all crazy that is the same way the Juror’s oath ends when you go to court. This is just another example of awful journalism trying to create sensation rather than accurately report news. Please people, try reading more than the headline before you erupt. Shame on you you are a hack with computer access

  • God

    I pledge allegiance to the nation, where hypocrisy is born with out boundary.
    And to the Republic that controls us, one nation under their rule we obey.

  • drlaxslax

    Clearly made to piss off atheists.

    …not that hard really.

  • Gizzy N

    You know that oath in court? The law allows it to be varied. Did you read the text of this law? No such variation is provided for. Big, BIG difference – totally aside from the issues arising from a compulsory oath to begin with.

  • Flying Goat

    I’m not so sure… At least most talking heads who claim to be “libertarian” that I see are basically just conservative Republicans who believe it’s states’ prerogative to do everything conservatives want to do on a national level, rather than the federal government’s. Tend to be a bit different on the foreign policy front, I suppose.

  • Flying Goat

    Uttering “so help me God” does not make one a fanatical fundie. Forcing others to say it, however, does.

  • coach bill

    Governor Jindal:

    You are needed in Arizona. The stupid is leaking out again.

  • texagg

    Oh right, I forgot how great everybody was in the “back then”. They were all such loving and respectful citizens. You know, with all the segregation, and racism, and unequal treatment of women, etc…

  • Fred

    Just end the oath with “Dammed Republican Motherfuckers”.

  • Sunray

    This afternoon our local news reported that a Prince William county Virginia delegate wants Virginia to print its own currency. I was thinking Prince William had the dumbest politicians…until I read this.l

  • I’m not from here

    Bipartisan politics are so tragic. It disgusts me that 95% of the comments on this article (and comments within the article itself) are merely bashing Republicans instead of responding to the actual issues here. Not everyone Conservative is a theist and not every atheist is Liberal.

  • anonymous

    we were doing so well before the communism scare…

  • Johnathan Moore

    I dont see what the big deal is if they only have to say it once, in a lot of cases, (if they are forced to say it) it will just be another lie anyway.
    How many of us actually read the contract for a new program or app, and at the bottom asks if you accept or agree: Did you read the part about it selling you soul if payments of little kids are not received ??
    Now, if it is a daily thing, like the pledge of allegiance, yeah, then I would have a problem with it.

  • LesterBallard

    Holy shit balls. Well, I won’t be reading all 538 comments, I’m afraid. But fuck Arizona and their loyalty oath.

  • wendywins

    So, these idiots fail to realize that it is easy to give an oath “so help me God” if one believes “God” is an imaginary being. Very very funny.

  • LesterBallard


  • allein

    “in ten years they’ll do something worse”

    You really think it’ll take ‘em that long?

  • Tyler Standifird

    I’m okay with simply being the bigger man and lying. The upside of being an atheist is I don’t have any imaginary boss to impress.

  • allein

    I didn’t even think of that… I was born on the cutoff date for starting school; I didn’t turn 18 until more than a month into my freshman year of college.

  • Isilzha

    Heil Hitl….er, wait, should I Godwin this thread?? (oh, I’m sure someone has already gone there, too easy!)

  • Isilzha

    The big deal is the state revoking a basic freedom from US citizens.

  • Isilzha

    Anything that requires “god” has to do with religion. You do realize that an atheist would be require to either falsely take such an oath or to forgo their rightfully earned diploma, right?

  • Isilzha

    Come to NM!

  • Gizzy N

    If you think that 95% of the comments on the article are bashing republicans, you’re not actually reading the comments.

  • Thin-ice

    Is Arizona trying to take over the title of “Most Bat-Shit Crazy State In The Union” from Texas??

  • Linda Turner

    How can you take an oath “freely” when you are being threatened with not graduatiing if you don’t take it. There must be some bad mental poison in the Arizona water supply.

  • Linda Turner

    “Under God” was added to the pledge during the McCarthy Era to prove that Congress were not made up of “athiestic communists.” It was pure intimidation. Republicans think they won’t get anything they want without intimidation and cheating. They don’t belong in a democracy, and are trying to destroy everything good about America.

  • nv

    freedom of speech is about saying what you believe, and also falls under not saying anything… kinda like the right to remain silent

  • Kent Theodore Carter

    What is wrong with people today! I believe in God, but this is taking it too far!

  • Randall Kramm

    Amusing that they would even consider putting forth an oath like this, of responsibility and obedience, when the current Republican Party consistently proves, time and again, that they chose to follow neither responsibility towards the citizens of the USA, nor obedience to what their constituents want.

  • Mary Sullivan

    I’m not nearly so shocked at the “god” part as I am at the inference that they want all high school students to pledge their willingness to go to war.

  • Carrie-on

    THEY ARE NOT REAL AMERICANS or CONSTITUTIONALLY SAVVY……..anyones religion or non religion is why America was BORN..freedom for the King and church~!! What hateful busy bodies. Get a LIFE~!! Have your opinion and stay out of illegalizing ANYONES thats different from yours. GOP a Group of Punks. Wheres the Government stay out of my life foundation you boast about and condemn Obama with? and Stay off my body too~!!

  • Stuart21

    Nothing to stop you adding “THIS OATH IS MADE UNDER DURESS”

  • Ralf

    Und das im Jahr 2013…

  • Flash Kellish

    “Bangor”? as in Maine?

  • dude

    Arizona. Mormons with mullets. No suprise.

  • KT

    Please call them Republicons

  • KT

    Their goal is to destroy public education. Go to wwwdotalecexposeddotorg

  • godlessveteran

    Doesn’t matter. Whether oath or deity is the stumbling block, screw ‘em both. The politicians can NOT force anyone to recite it, as it violates the Constitution on many levels.

  • godlessveteran

    I’d be telling them right there at the ceremony with hundreds of witnesses (and likely video as well) that I wasn’t going to say their illegal “few meaningless words”, and if they refused to give me the diploma I earned, I would sue their asses into oblivion for criminal extortion and multiple Constitutional violations. Hopefully seeking jail time for them.

  • P.F. Bruns

    Does Arizona HAVE to have a state legislature? At this point they could save millions of dollars by electing a single Person In Charge of Stupid Decisions to come up with terrible ideas like this every few months just for publicity’s sake.

  • Feminerd

    I spend a lot of time thinking about politics. How can I defend my views and policy prescriptions if I don’t know what they are and where they fit with other political ideologies? And how can I place myself on the political spectrum if I don’t know what the options are?

    I’m widely recognized as being a little weird, though :)

  • Hugh Intactive

    “Do not swear at all: … Simply let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one.” Matt: 5:34…7

  • godlessveteran

    I fear the fascists who would deny me my rights, and privileges and honors I have EARNED, simply because I refuse to display fealty to their fairy tales. tgrfan, your comment is vulgar and un-American.

  • godlessveteran

    But Connor, the christers who hate our country despise education. Why must we recite their fairytale oaths?

  • Raisa

    I am a college student in Arizona and in order to be a tutor or get my work study at the college I had to sign a loyalty oath like the one mentioned in the article. I don’t recall, however, whether I had to sear to G-d.

  • godlessveteran

    Better option is for them all, as one voice, to say “f*ck you” and refuse the illegal god-oath, cite chapter and verse of the Constitution which makes it illegal, and publically advise that extortion of a god-oath for a diploma will be met with criminal and civil charges.

  • GayAtheistLeftHanded

    So Now Republicans Are Trying to Repress Atheists & Keep Us Down. Since They Can No Longer Get Away with Doing That do Women, Minorities, Gay People & the Handicapped.

  • godlessveteran

    Bible? Nope, not necessary nor required.

  • ldsgirl

    Pardon me, but as a card-carrying Mormon, let me complain about this graduation oath. For one, what is the purpose? Who is going to enforce this, once the seniors are graduated? Secondly, are they planning to quiz them, give truth serum, what, to prove that these graduates-to-be are swearing to the truth or prevaricating? The more serious matter is, however, that many came to these shores to escape religious tyranny, to be able to choose what faith, if any, to follow. Wars were fought in their homelands, people died, to allow their souls to be saved according to their own feelings of what was divine–if so they believed at all. Perhaps, though well-meaning, these folks need an education in history. No one can ever learn enough of it, and we are making more all the time. And since they are religious, perhaps Christian, believers, there is a story about a man with a speck in his eye, trying to take a board out of another’s. Just thought I might mention that…

  • Baby_Raptor

    Where did you go to school? I graduated in Fucking Texas and they didn’t make me do that…

  • Robert Rankin

    Orwell a socailist? hmm

  • Baby_Raptor

    Calling someone stupid for an opinion and making a basic English fail: Priceless. It’s a 2 in 1!

  • godlessveteran

    Why are you so butthurt about forcing everyone to recite your vulgar god-oath? Pissed that you’ve lost your privilege to lynch people who don’t believe the way you do? Sod you and your “god”.

  • godlessveteran

    Adam, why does omitting it bother you? Because you’re unable to force people to recite it in lockstep like good christian taliban?

  • James Mohr

    I swear: I will be faithful and obedient to the leader of the German empire and people, Adolf Hitler, to observe the law, and to conscientiously fulfil my official duties, so help me God!

    Just sayin’….

  • Glasofruix


  • Hilah Parrot


  • Baby_Raptor

    Are you kidding?

    Please tell me you’re kidding. So a temporary government employee is only bound to the part of the Constitution pertaining to their job for the course of their deployment? The rest of it goes out the window and they can do whatever?

  • Baby_Raptor

    Kay. Make all your pledges to Allah from now on. You won’t burst into flames, right? And it doesn’t matter if you don’t really believe it, right? It’s just a word.

  • Hilah Parrot

    And, as they said, there are a lot of christian religions that don’t believe in oaths of this kind. Quakers, Mormons. I had a Mennonite friend who refused to say under god in the pledge of allegiances.

  • Baby_Raptor

    Well, at least we’re smart enough to know what it means. I doubt you are. If you did, you’d understand why it’s dangerous.

    Also, self-important? Coming from the side that does everything in it’s power force people to live by their views, that’s hilarious. The height of self-importance is thinking your way is the best for everyone.

  • Baby_Raptor

    Nobody is forcing Catholics to buy contraception. The insurance company eats the cost of providing it. They also have to do all the work of reaching out and making sure people know they can get it. All the Catholic business owner has to do is acknowledge that his employees should have access to it. You know, because their own religious beliefs should ruke their lives, not their boss’. That’s in the Constitution. You would know this if you cared at all about actual facts rather than your persecution fetish. But Conservatives and facts don’t work well together.

    And the Second Amendment? It says you can own a musket for the express purpose of maintaining a militia. That’s it.

    For all your talk of the Constitution, it really seems that you have no Fucking idea what it says.

  • Atheist Finch

    Graduate *from* high school.

  • Baby_Raptor

    Still more proof that you haven’t read the Constitution you claim to love so goddamn much.

  • opicka3773

    “So help me God…………. or another imaginary character.” on end will save the day for republicans and atheist too :)

  • Debra E Moffit VanDorp

    A freaking loyalty oath? Where do those idiots think we live? Some one has been watching Starship Troopers too many times.

  • Baby_Raptor

    What part of swearing to God isn’t religious? And the fact that it’s required makes it a test.

    You have to be a troll.

  • Baby_Raptor

    So…You have no morals. Cool.

    The rest of us do. And we give a damn about our rights being violated. So take your assholic attitude and Fuck off.

  • Ryan Alvidres-Ivie

    Two Words: Judicial Review

  • Baby_Raptor

    So an Atheist blog focusing on Atheists is now propaganda?

  • Baby_Raptor

    How are hate and freethinking contradictory? That paradox only exists in your tiny mind.

  • :/

    What the fuck arizona? I just lost alot of respect for you.

  • MBS

    The people who are drafting this bill can be considered domestic enemies of the Constitution.

  • ac

    Orwell? George Orwell? The one who wrote “1984″? The one who wrote “Animal Farm”? That Orwell? If only he had lived a bit longer…

  • Russell

    Australia here. What sort of country do you live in? A person graduates high school by hard work and dedication. When does swearing an oath even enter the picture at any level? I mean seriously, get a grip. So a student gets an A for every subject they study but theyI don’t receive that recognition unless they swear an other to “defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic”? WTF? Seriously? This is the stupidest nail in the coffin of the USA in its entire history. It’s got nothing to do with atheism. You swear an oath to kill people to graduate high school?

  • Isaac Wilson

    North Korea has deserts, a better tag line would be: Arizona, twinned with Pyongyang.

  • og

    i cant believe there are several people behind this. batshit crazy

  • Smiles

    A country in Asian? I don’t think you are helping your cause.

  • Smiles

    That’s great…..for you…..

  • J.D.W.

    It is shit like this that makes me loose faith in humanity. It is Ignorant politicians like this, that make people want to shoot others. Hell I’m getting the sudden urge to do so. So remember Congress: It isn’t the Gun’s fault… It Isn’t the Parent’s fault… It isn’t the Shooters fault… Hell it isn’t even violent Video Games fault. It is yours. When the next shooting happens, all blame falls to you.

    Just absolutely pathetic.

  • kitybrat

    Shoot this bill down quickly, and slap those idiots on the wrist, (hard, with a ruler), then require these so called representatives to take a course in government… constitutional law would be nice!

  • SoDone WithChristians

    Really? Really Arizona? THIS is what you care about? You fucking religious nutjobs! GET A LIFE! If I were a high school student in AZ right now, I would either stage a bunch of walk outs, middle fingers high as we leave. Or I would simply say “Fuck off” repeatedly as my pledge and then continue to waste time and resources by coming back instead of graduating. AZ, GET YOUR SHIT TOGETHER. You buncha crazy asshats.

  • WishfulxYuuko

    Honestly, the only use this bill would be were to use it as toilet paper. Growing up, I was taught not to lie and, as a Christian, God’s not a big fan of that either. So the Republicans of Arizona who are voting for this bill kind of forgot about that little tidbit. A person shouldn’t have to either suffer not graduating for something they don’t believe in, or having to lie just to move forward in life.

  • Daniel George Ignatius Woike

    As a libertarian Catholic anarchist I dislike this law. Not because of the God thing but because I have no loyalty to any state. I love America the society, I hate America the state.

  • Baby_Raptor

    They want less government when it comes to what rich people do and what christianists do. Everyone else is Fucked.

  • Baby_Raptor


  • Baby_Raptor

    You might not have any integrity, but the rest of us do. Also, we like our rights.

  • Baby_Raptor

    Yeah, because voting for Libertarians is going to do wonders. You know, if you like dying in the street.

  • Baby_Raptor

    Because unlike you christianists, we have integrity. We won’t just say whatever is convenient to accomplish our goals. Truth and facts matter to us.

  • Baby_Raptor

    Round two: Because unlike you christianists, we have integrity. We won’t just say whatever is convenient to accomplish our goals. Truth and facts matter to us.

  • Baby_Raptor

    Nobody is forcing Catholics to buy birth control. The insurance company bears the full cost of the medication under the compromise All the Catholic has to do is say that his employees want access to it. If you actually read the facts of the bill instead of looking for something to pretend to be persecuted under, you’d know this.

    And nobody is trying to force churches to marry gay couples, either. All they’re being told is that their religious book can’t stop gays from marrying.

    Really, come out from under your rock. The world is a lot less scary than Faux would have you believe it is.

  • Baby_Raptor

    The title isn’t misleading. Unless the Atheist high schooler consents to lie, the bill would deny them a diploma.

  • Baby_Raptor

    Standing under a picture doesn’t violate your beliefs, no matter what the people who own the picture actually believe. Nor does having to stand under said picture disrespect your beliefs. You willingly chose to go to that place.

    Seriously. I don’t mean to offend, but you’re being way too uptight. What other religions believe does not violate your rights in any way, nor does having to acknowledge that conflicting views exist.

    And yes. This does violate the Constitution, and the rights of anyone who doesn’t believe in a God. And no, it’s nowhere near comparable to you having to stand under a picture to vote.

  • Baby_Raptor

    Again: Because unlike you christianists, we have integrity. We won’t just say whatever is convenient to accomplish our goals. Truth and facts matter to us.

  • Baby_Raptor

    I spent four years in the Army, including a tour in Iraq. You can’t say I hate my country.

    I wouldn’t say this bullshit.

  • Baby_Raptor

    Spamming now: Unlike you christianists, we have integrity. We won’t just say whatever is convenient to accomplish our goals. Truth and facts matter to us.

  • Baby_Raptor

    Unlike you christianists, we have integrity. We won’t just say whatever is convenient to accomplish our goals. Truth and facts matter to us.

    (Glad I had this on copy/paste. I’m having to say it a Fuckton.)

  • Baby_Raptor

    Reread your last line to yourself. You seem to think you’re the sole exception to it.

  • Baby_Raptor

    Did you read the same article the rest of us did? And if you did, WTF does this have to do with Obama? You need to see someone about your obsession and conspiracy theory issues.

  • Baby_Raptor

    Just because saying “so help me god” means nothing to you, doesn’t mean it doesn’t to everyone else. You aren’t the entire world, buddy.

  • Baby_Raptor

    Read the bill and then come back and apologize for lying about us. Asswipe.

  • bernardaB

    Even for Federal office, a person can “affirm” rather than “swear” an oath of office. I one “affirms”, one does not have to say “So help me God”. For the POTUS, the oath is specified in the Constitution and does not include those four words. Justice Roberts and President Obama had no reason to say them, especially Justice Roberts. Obama could say whatever he wanted after the proper oath I suppose.

  • Baby_Raptor

    Um, your right to free speech can only be infringed by the government. Note how the Amendment says “The government shall make no law…” Privately owned websites cannot violate your right to free speech.

  • JetJagusaurus

    Land of the free…

  • Baby_Raptor

    Arizona, where women are legally pregnant 2 weeks out of every month and life starts before conception? Arizona, home of Maricopa county? Arizona, home of this mess?

    Yeah, sorry lady. There’s A LOT more wrong with your state than there are most states. And this is coming from someone else in the south.

  • Baby_Raptor

    Because unlike you christianists, we have integrity. We won’t just say whatever is convenient to accomplish our goals. Truth and facts matter to us.

  • Steve Gair

    It’s amazing that “government intrusion” only applies in Democrats’ sponsored bills.

  • Bruno Lanevik

    Wow I’m glad I live in Europe :) We still got Religious freedom here.

  • Wally Materne

    You see children that’s why I’m not a Republican anymore…

  • Baby_Raptor

    You came to an openly Atheist website and bitched about people talking about Atheism.

    You’re not exactly the brightest crayon in the box, are you?

  • Witchgawd

    Great, one more state I have to try and avoid lest the stupid rub off. Looks like Ill be sticking to large metropolitan areas along the 2 coasts to avoid the religious fervor/idiocy trying to take over this nation and make it the Xian version of Iran. Australia is looking like a better place to live every day.

  • Belinda Biddick

    They must love inviting lawsuits…lawsuits in which they will lose.

  • John Haugeland

    On the one hand, this is obnoxious.

    On the other hand, atheists already say “so help me god” in a bunch of places – like when swearing in at court.

    I mean, I don’t like this, but, to hold this up as some kind of novel compromise of their ethics is silly. And, to be clear, “so help me god” to someone who doesn’t believe in God just should not be that big a deal.

    Nobody would give a shit if this said “so help me Count Chocula.” Could we just stop giving a damn, please? It would be so much easier.

  • Will Spencer

    Meh. Let’s not make a mountain out of a molehill. I’m an Atheist, when I say “God” I am simply referring to myself.

  • DigitalBlacksmith

    So, people are going to be forcing the children to stand up to protect the constitution, while these same people are trying to smash it to pieces. Look, the Constitution is not like the bible. You cannot just look at it, pick what you like and toss out what you dont, and call it a day. They are laws. And freedom from religious persecution is one of those!

  • Mac

    thats alot like the military oath of enlistment too…

  • Ray Lynch

    I propose a bill that would not allow religious zealots to graduate nursery school!

  • Ray Lynch

    Where’s Carl Sagan and Neil deGrassi Tyson when you need ‘em? ;)

  • Dwayne Thompson

    Simmer down people. Soldiers recite this very oath every time the enlist or re-enlist AND ….AND they are allowed to, as their beliefs dictate, to hange swear to affirm and to omit “SO HELP ME GOD” sheesh

  • TobySaunders

    I was going to post my comment along with my FB ‘like, but a thing is in the way of the ‘post’ button, so I can’t… web techs, get on it!

  • Robin Pearce

    In order to stop wasting taxpayer money on frivolous bills, we need to introduce a fee system. Everytime you want to introduce a bill you put up some money, if it doesn’t pass you lose your money, if it passes you get your money back. Companies are pushing employees hard for production at reduced cost, I think it is time that taxpayers push senators for productive time by doing this.

  • Dan

    Um… if smart, educated people can get elected to high office only while pretending to be Christian, can’t all high school students lie and snicker under their breaths to get their degree? Am i missing something?

  • Alicia Tabbara

    More truths about Republican Fascism. Take away a diploma which HAS ALREADY BEEN EARNED??? Backwards thinking, controlling batshit crazy idiots, with power. Get rid of them, vote them out for crying out loud.

  • ellid

    and it hasn’t been mandatory to salute the flag since the 1940s.

  • ellid

    Arizona is not Rome.

  • ellid

    Ah, pomposity…the refuge of clueless Republicans.

  • Winston Smith 3rd

    It would be really great if the lawmakers were held to their oaths instead of coming up with new a=oaths to take!

  • PA_Year_of_the_Bible

    No employer or employee is being forced to “buy” contraception. It is the action of the EMPLOYEE to CHOOSE to accept contraception through their health insurance plan. And there are atheists who oppose abortion, especially when used as a substitute for failure to use effective contraception. And, sadly, there are many atheists who are gun nuts, including prominent atheist Penn Jillette.

  • skwerl

    Arizona is seeming more and more like a separate country every day. Also….*FROM! You graduate FROM high school!!!

  • The Old Wolf

    We are now officially out of internets to award this comment.

  • psykins

    Wait, you have to have a parent’s PERMISSION to not say “under God” in the pledge of allegiance? BULLSHIT.

  • Michael Wagner

    you don’t have to say so help me god in court

  • ivyfree

    In case it hasn’t been pointed out for a couple of hundred posts…. kids do not need their parents’ permission not to say the Pledge. That is a matter of individual conscience and religious freedom and has already gone through the Supreme Court. West Virginia Board of Education vs. Barnette.

  • RK

    The demographics of this state are slowly changing. As the the crazy far right Rs alienate moderate conservatives, libertarian leaning Republicans and even highly conservative people with actual principles, the population is slowly moving more liberal here. Arizona’s days as a red state are numbered, and what we’re witnessing here is the last-ditch death rattle of the dinosaurs as they lumber into their tar pits. It will get worse, and then suddenly, it will get much better.

  • empathy4us

    I am so glad that these folks put this legislation forward. It continues the inexorable march toward making the official brand name of the GOP to be the “stupid party”. How they intend to widen their tent is beyond me. It also shows that their problem is not about tone but, rather, their actual policies. Please keep this up folks and don’t remove those antennas on your head as i’m sure the martians are coming soon to take your guns.

  • Reinis Rinka

    HAHAHAH! Communist USA.

  • Perry Levin

    The part about freedom of religion should also include freedom FROM religion.

  • nakedanthropologist

    Well said, and aptly exampled. Thank you Greg :-)

  • Perry Levin

    I really hope that is true. I was stationed in Tucson in the late 60s and liked the beautiful scenery. Too bad Teapublicans are alienating people so they will not visit.

  • angelsinca

    “So help me God” didn’t seem to make Obama catch fire.

  • nakedanthropologist

    I don’t reside in AZ, but you have my thanks all the same.

  • nealqr

    First, let me say that the law requiring everyone take an oath of loyalty in order to graduate it pretty ridiculous. But arguing that saying “So help me God” is forcing atheists to lie is also board line absurd. These days the phrase is little more than an idiom meant to express the seriousness of the commitment. One therefore does not need to actually believe in God to say it, anymore than atheist need to be wary of saying “Goodbye” (which originally meant “God be with you”) or any number of other idiomatic phrases which, in their original meaning, invoked a belief in God.

  • BizzeeB

    I’m an atheist (or else why would I be on this site?), but couldn’t you just, um, NOT SAY it? Even though this legislation is bat-shit crazy, I assume they will be reciting it in groups, and I doubt they will have proctors making sure everyone says every word (though you never know…)

  • nakedanthropologist

    Sigh. I’d like to think that you’re just trolling, that you aren’t really this ignorant (or willfully stupid) but I can’t tell anymore. In any case, I suspect that you know you’re wrong, but want rile up the atheists/agnostics/humanists/liberal Christians/liberal jews/non-crazy people, ecetera on this blog. So, why don’t you do everyone (including yourself) a favor and go fuck yourself?

  • nakedanthropologist

    Why hello there kadian! How I love you so….

  • Clyde day

    you christians are so messed up in the head. you can actually say “I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation” while forcing someone to say it lol

  • Marty Susman

    Arizona is made up of bigots who left their home States to live in the sun.. They have over the years just grown in their bigotry & hatred until now they are the laughing stock of the Nation. These people, these republicans are simply out of their collective minds & all need to be sent off to have their heads examined to see if they are in fact insane.

  • chris

    When you post lies as attention grabbing.headlines, you do a great disservice to atheists, and atheism. While unconstitutional, it is simply a lie to claim it prevents atheists from graduating. When christians see this, they instantly believe that if you have to lie to over dramatize the issue, then how important can the actual truth be.

  • Dora

    This doesn’t do anything to atheists. For one, saying “so help me god” does not explicitly dictate which god you are referring to, or that you believe in that god. Moreover, god can mean anything to atheists, and I say that as an atheist who believes that god is the collective energy of the universe. The people who propose the bill may have it in their heads that it is intended to refer to the judeo-christian god, but in practice it refers to -anyhing- named god.

  • pakman

    Sickening. Lingering medieval mentality. What’s next? I can’t see this approved. Bad enough having a narrow minded old fart with a silly-freaking hat telling its follower who to love or rape !

  • Guest

    This oath violates a commandment of the Torah and Jewish children would have to violate their religious beliefs to say swear this oath.

  • derp

    so this is a game of political intrigue that is suppose to allow arizona more money to fix its fucked up roadways but it wont so that sucks and freedom of speech is in the constitution and the constitution has all these words and stuff that i’ve read about things that relate to this topic and i don’t think this is what it would do so like nah man nah

  • watcher64

    You have got to be kidding me … Did someone forget this line in a often walked upon document …

    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion. . . .

  • Allison

    Good thing that it cannot become law because it clearly violates the First Amendment. I’m still wondering WHY these Republicans keep getting elected into office when they clearly violate every federal law written. I would squarely blame the voters for things like this because they stupidly and continually elect and re-elect idiots who think the Constitution was written on an Etch-A-Sketch.

  • Ruth

    I’m a Mennonite and I could not take this oath. It’s utterly ridiculous to require kids to do so.

  • Bret R. Wright

    A similar oath as the one we take when entering the military . . . what is it with these republican freaks?

  • John of Indiana

    And people on the Left wonder why so many gun owners belong to the GOP… Look, A-hole, I’ll match MY Liberal bona fides against yours, or anyone else. You tirade was way the hell over the top. Why don’t you go back to DU where you came from.

  • Jode

    These idiots ought to be fined for wasting people’s time, then bitch-slapped, just in case they want to try something this stupid again. Go help some starving animals or something, fer chrissakes.

  • YellowDog Dem

    Being an Atheist is a religious belief. Just because Mormons, Baptists or Catholics don’t like them is no reason to discriminate besides it sounds horribly like a law written by an Ayatollah in Iran. Isn’t there something written somewhere that protects our beliefs? “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;” that goes for christian ayatollahs as well.

  • Michtou

    Um, you don’t know who the Vandals were?

  • Michtou

    If the Arizona lawmakers had taken that oath, they should know that the law is not constitutional and that in proposing it they are not defending, but are degrading, the Constitution of the United States.

  • Andrew Garrett

    That headline is kind of inflammatory. Why not “Arizona Republicans Propose Bill That Would Require Religious Oath To Graduate High School”?

  • UK Athiest

    You people are foooked in the head – thanks to the Mayflower for shipping you out of England!

  • LegoHawk

    You find ‘atheism’ inflammatory? lolwut?

  • LegoHawk

    Don’t the so-called Republicans (who shed many tears for their Constitution) understand this would be declared unconstitutional in a US court?

    Living in a bubble and that …

  • moo

    Don’t tell the Jehovah’s Witness and Christian Scientists……… they won’t pledge either……

  • Joe Cotterino

    Funny, when you require all kids get indoctrinated into your religion of evolution, there isn’t supposed to be a problem.. I am not a repubican btw, so you can keep your childish comments (like the author’s opening) to yourself.

  • jenny_whyme

    My problem is with the oath itself… why should someone have to swear an oath to get a well earned diploma?

  • ACME Sales Rep.

    What part of “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion” don’t these clowns understand?

  • Pan Dimensional

    Ah, the ad hominem; the argument of choice for failed humanities majors.

  • Willyam

    I’m not from the US and not fluent in your constitution, but doesn’t this conflict with it just a bit? I thought the founding fathers were quite clear about religious freedom. Or does that mean that you have to have one, but you can choose which one? If so, I choose Thor.

  • Debra Hall

    That is the oath used by the Military.

  • Julia Holcomb

    No, the saddest thing about this is not the waste of student time, nor is it the fact that it doesn’t improve education. It is an offense to the 1st Amendment. Challenge it.

  • Bryan

    The Constitution is very specific on NOT taking an oath for public office that involves religion.

  • Marc

    This headline is just a little misleading. I’m an atheist myself but the bill doesn’t say in any way that an atheist can’t graduate highschool. I would jump at the chance for this to be true so I can ridicule as per usual. I find this misleading.

  • Jean-Paul Bondy

    Evolution is the opposite of religion.

  • Jean-Paul Bondy

    Atheism is not a religious belief.

  • Chuck

    Bangor? Oooh, I do love me some Sea Dog!

  • boo

    all your internet belongs to us

  • Rich Wilson

    Jehovah’s Witnesses too.

  • Jean-Paul Bondy

    So you do believe in a god. Therefore, you are not an atheist. You are a theist.

  • Jean-Paul Bondy

    You have this backwards. If one can just lie then what is this bill worth? Sorry, we have separation of church and state, no fudging.

  • Scott Wood

    Just say it, if you do not believe in god how binding could this oath be, especially if you have declared your status as an Atheist prior to being “forced” to take the oath….NULL AND VOID!!!

  • Jean-Paul Bondy

    Um, we have separation of church and state. Tinkering with it is absurd.

  • Jean-Paul Bondy

    It does.

  • Jean-Paul Bondy

    That is not the point.

  • Sameer Khandelwal

    There used to be a concept of separating the Church from the State. It’s strange that we feel China is authoritarian and lacks freedom of expression and being, but it seems that in the land of the free, the price of freedom is much higher.

  • William Cash

    Is it just me, but isn’t that also the same oath we had to take when signing up for the Armed Forces?
    And these same, silly SOB’s are the ones who are making a stink about guns…?
    I wonder if I took the red pill somehow when I wasn’t really paying attention…

  • Jean-Paul Bondy

    That’s your solution. Mine is to remove “god” from the state.

  • Lily Lorber

    Disgraceful REPUBLICAN BUMS and Bible Thumpers who NEVER READ the Holy Bible ! Matthew 5:34 and James 5:12 ” But above all things, my brethren, swear not, neither by heaven, neither by the earth, neither by any other oath: but let your yea be yea; and your nay, nay; lest ye fall into condemnation.” _ _ _ I assume it goes without saying that these IGNORANT BUMS never read our U.S.Constitution neither ! !

  • mx

    Wow. Funny how right wing jackholes who claim to LURRRRVE the Constitution can’t even understand the simplest parts of it, like “…no religious test…,” or “…shall make no laws respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exersise thereof…”

  • CrashDrive

    This is about the time I’d just go and get my GED.

  • Josh Reynolds

    Absolutely absurd

  • Rik Nash-Shannon

    No student, atheist or otherwise should have to swear an oath to anything. Orwell is spinning in his grave at high speed!!!

  • Joseph Slabaugh

    Im from Ohio, and I am a Libertarian, and I am downvoting your comment, as not all geeks are socialists.

    That said, I do agree that this law is not something that I would support either.

  • Jean-Paul Bondy

    Forcing anyone in a public school to use the word god is unconstitutional, whether you can just lie to go around it or not.

  • Laurel Kay Montgomery

    Makes me ashamed to live in AZ… very very very ashamed and disgusted with this bill. What happened to the First Amendment. I’m really considering to leave the country when I graduate from college…

  • klirro

    Obviously the “So help me god” part is discriminatory, but let’s look at the rest of this pledge. “Defend against all enemies”, “bear true faith and allegiance”, “discharge these duties”. Graduating high school does not automatically mean that we want to join the nutty right-wing ultra-patriot cult. You can’t force kids to love their country by making them sign away their souls at a young age in exchange for a high school diploma. For crying out loud.

  • bayhuntr

    Is it your claim the oath wouldn’t be required allowing atheist to opt out or not say the last part? Of course there is also the same issue we had with school prayer and how evangelicals treated those who didn’t join in.

  • Phill

    Simply add: “Where, for the context of this declaration, I define ‘God’ as my own sub-concious.”

  • Jean-Paul Bondy

    Well, the “Republicans” in “Arizona” are trying to force their “Religion” into public schools.

  • Dick Rumer

    North Carolina (with a significant Quaker history) has long allowed individuals being “sworn in” for testimony (etc.) to make either a hand-on-the-Bible-so-help-me-God oath OR a “solemn affirmation” devoid of religious reference (believers can also swear on a Koran, etc.). The Arizona bill is manifestly inconsistent with the First Amendment.

  • Ivriniel

    Quakers don’t swear oaths in general, and there is a well established legal precedent allowing those who object to the swearing of oaths on the basis of Matthew 5:34-37 to make an affirmation rather than swear an oath.

    Unless the Quakers also object to making “Loyalty Affirmations” or the bill does not allow for affirmations, then I’m not sure that there is a problem in their case.

    Still a silly bill, though.

  • bayhuntr

    Evolution is what they call that “point” that thousands and thousands of scientific facts point to. Religion is the dogma your parents raised you to believe. Evangelicals, not just shameless liars, but just bad people.

  • Stephanie Dorman

    You guys are total asshats. This is the oath that people are required to take when they become citizens, hold public office, or join the military.

    “Note that the last phrase is not required to be said if the speaker has a personal or moral objection, as is true of all oaths administered by the United States government; Article Six of the United States Constitution requires that there be no religious test.”

    So….. mountain out of mole hill? Educate yourselves, please.

  • AW.

    People who come up with this kind of idea have their face smashed so close to the issue itself, they fail to see what they are missing. Take a step back. Get a wider prospective of this thing. A high school diploma is nothing more than a certificate of achievement. The same can be said of any certification gained through your private or professional life. So the next time you have to take the weeks long course or study for six months to pass a test and get “certified”, see if it makes any sense to you if before you can have what you EARNED, you must swear to “So help me, “.

  • Lebowski113

    Does nobody freakin’ understand that one of the things that makes this nation worth affirming an oath to it is that no one requires you to affirm an oath to it??

  • Robert

    WHAT HAPPENED TO AMERICA! That’s absolute bull shit. They have no right to tell these people that they have to take an “oath” to graduate. This place is no longer free and we’ve strayed so far away from our constitution it’s not even funny. They all might as well take a piss on it and dance around a fire while they burn it.

  • bayhuntr

    Under your definition, NOT collecting baseball cards would be a hobby. Brainiac.

  • elwyn

    but most normal people are socialists. it is true, some libertarians are sociopaths, but there are treatments available. Seek help.

  • chris

    says ‘I take this obligation freely’ quite like a state law that
    withholds your diploma unless you swear an oath.” -Ilya Gerner

    Last I checked there was a thing called the separation of Church and
    State… and another called freedom of speech…. and another called
    religious freedom and this last one was one of the primary reasons for
    the creation of the United States of America. Under the constitution
    this law is illegal.

  • DannyJane

    It’s unconstitutional. It violates Freedom of Religion, Freedom of Speech and Expression. I would call it the stupidest piece of legislation I’d ever heard of except that Republicanatics are producing stupid legislation at the staggering rate of three or four a week these days.

  • SouthernHumanist

    Is this what these guys are getting paid to do? I can just picture them all sitting around the breakfast table before the session gets underway one morning, each clasping the hand of his fellow Republican, eyes shut tight, in deep and meaningful prayer, when suddenly…Amen! An idea! We’ll make school kids pledge allegiance to Yahweh before they can graduate! What a simple yet brilliant conversion strategy! yeah – that’ll work…

  • Shannon Barber

    Absolutely insane. This is unconstitutional, but also just nuts.

  • Evan Ling

    It’s interesting that they want a pledge to “support and defend the Constitution of the United States” and not support and defend the United States or its people. I’d say the Constitution was written for the people, not the people made for the Constitution.

  • bayhuntr

    This has always been the propaganda pushed by evangelicals. I think it is more likely, you are a theist, regurgitating old propaganda.

  • TomN

    I believe they are also trying to think down the road at how they could ensnare “non-believers” by claiming that, if they simply read the four meaningless words at the end to get it over with and move on with life, the LATER proclaimed they atheism, they somehow made false statements or otherwise “lied” when they previously swore to defend the Constitution.

    And what is next? Would they claim that atheists cannot have told the truth in court if they don’t say “so help me god?” OR conversely, yet again claim that an atheist witness may have perjured him/herself by merely vocalizing the words to get on with the testimony? Hmmmm….

  • Jean-Paul Bondy

    Someone didn’t read the bill or the article.

  • allah

    bible thumping morons don’t know thier own cult… its all lies they feel empowered to force upon others. Damn christian scum.

  • bayhuntr

    This line of argument keeps being repeated, but without an explanation backing it up. Are you saying the oath, as written here, would not be required if the law passed?

  • Jean-Paul Bondy

    Some people in Australia get paid to go to university. It is awesome.

  • Lucia

    Also, there are a number of religious groups that do not swear oaths (most prominently the Religious Society of Friends, or Quakers) so this presents a problem for them as well.

  • Jean-Paul Bondy

    Oh noes!! Not the history books!!!

  • edwin

    are these students supposed to be graduating high school or joining the armed forces? this oath sounds awfully familiar for some reason.

  • David Sherr

    “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.” That’s from the Constitution the GOP claims to respect. And besides that, what about the children of foreign diplomats or workers? Do they have to swear allegiance to the US in order to graduate?

  • Eliza Armstrong

    Will the Native Americans have to recite this? I can’t wait for that, it will be the start of a new U.S. vs Native American War.

  • Antinomian

    Adam, you are the soup ladle in a drawer full of knives..

  • Jen Brasel

    Way to live that Christian attitude, Arizona!! That “do unto others…” stuff has never crossed your mind before has it? I’d like to know what they’re smoking so I can stay away from it!

  • karen

    This is clearly a violation of the separation of church and state. The supreme court cannot let this law stand! A free public education should be provided for all students regardless of their religious or political beliefs. Arizona has gone too far this time!

  • Jean-Paul Bondy

    A big problem with the US education system is when students realize they are smarter and more intelligent than their teachers. My maths teacher gave extra credit for going to football games. I dropped out, got my certificates and have had a fantastic career for two decades now.

  • Cenryk

    OH NO! So you’re telling me I’d have to LIE in order to graduate? Pfft, not like I didn’t do that to attain my Eagle Scout rank.

  • Rich

    I wish there was a little more ability to roll with the punches. Their used to be, until our political era. The flexibility to shrug one’s shoulders at such silliness, from their elders, is a long held tradition in the USA. So is the tradition of silence. If one doesn’t believe the last phrase, is one really being forced to say it?

    But I do fully agree that loyalty oaths such as this, offer the occasion for zealots among us, to run off the tracks, of our usual open minded Americanism. I’m beginning to see these extremists for the American Taliban, they are. This is the kind of oath the Taliban would enforce….and as such, is, at its base, utterly Un-American….all protestations to the contrary.

  • Jeff Waldorf

    Good news, Obamacare covers that.

  • Lisa
  • Eric Futterman

    Clearly today’s Tea Party Republicans have no loyalty to the United States, to our children, to our soldiers to our Constitution. They don’t even want to pay for the wars in which our soldiers fought.

  • bio_hazardess

    To be fair, when I enlisted in the military and said almost this exact same oath, we were told we didn’t have to say ‘So help me God.’ Oh, wait, sorry, we’re not talking about the military, are we? We’re talking about a public high school. This isn’t even about education, this is about a bunch of Republicans trying to prove a point by making everyone else live by their beliefs.

  • Niki Elkins

    :) Thank You, Sir.

  • Karen Zimmerman

    Google this “Discrimination against atheists” and you will see the states in the US that will not let an Atheist hold Public Office. AMEREEKA!

  • Jody Ellis

    These Sinful Phoney Christian Sh*ts! These Demons have Perverted the Holy Bible into nothing more than Wickedness, Hate, Bigotry, if it is Rotten to the core these Phonies Christian Hacks are knee deep in it. Hey, they even wrote a New Republican Bible, they just happened to leave all of Christ’s Teachings out of it (Too Liberal) for their taste. Family Values/ Religious Right REALLY?? Maybe to the Devil but that’s it!

  • Bill Edelman

    You know, there are a lot of secessionist idiots in the south…We may be able to accommodate them ALL! Buy Baja California from Mexico and send them all THERE! They can have their OWN COUNTRY, out in the dessert, away from normal people. Hell, they can shoot each other for FUN! Then, again, the Mexicans might not want these loons too close to the rest of them…HEY! That huge wall the anti-immigrant mob wants to build? Remember that? Build it AROUND ARIZONA! Dig it down to the bedrock; surround Arizona on all sides and underground, too. Ship the morons there!

  • Jean-Paul Bondy

    No way. I love BC! Vacation down there all the time. I think keeping them in AZ or Miss will do.

  • Eddie Higgins

    Proving once again You can’t fix Stupid !!!!!!!!

  • Kerry Wright

    Ok, does this mean they can break their oaths, if a big enough bribe is offered by a lobyest, like the politicians that are proposing it do??

  • p.Johanna

    Someone needs to tell these jerks, instead of actually gaining more “Christians” their actions are creating more non believers. I can’t stand these zealots assholes.

  • smgess

    Reminds me of the Stewart line about Reince’s consonants: RNC PR BS.
    And to think, not one person ran against the guy most responsible for the GOP losses in Nov. The party is dying. Finally.

  • Narf Zort

    why are republicans allowed to live

  • Ashikaga

    I would only swear: “So Help me Jupiter, Mars, Juno, Venus, and all the other gods, for the greater glory of Rome”

  • Ashikaga

    I would only swear: “So Help me Jupiter, Mars, Juno, Venus, and all the other gods, for the greater glory of Rome”

  • KMW

    “For those who stubbornly seek freedom around the world, there can be no more urgent task than to come to understand the mechanisms and practices of indoctrination. These are easy to perceive in the totalitarian societies, much less so in the propaganda system to which we are subjected and in which all too often we serve as unwilling or unwitting instruments.” -Chomsky

  • Rico

    I think it’s great that young people would take an oath to the Constitution but it doesn’t need to include “so help me God.”

  • Fred

    This state is sooo screwed up, that I won’t even buy products made in Arizona any more, I was going to bring my grandkids there for a vacation rock hunting, but I have changed those plans too. I will NOT spend my money in such a racist and backwards state as Arizona!!

  • Christopher friend

    What is wrong with these people are they this paranoid and scared? American flag and copy of U.S. constitution are they this scared they may forget what country they are in?

  • Adam Patrick

    Can I add “so help me Flying Spaghetti Monster”?

  • Rico

    You can’t spell “dumb” without a D.

  • dan

    i may not live in the US (but was born there) i say that is messed up but i doubt it will pass

  • obbop

    Yes!!! Take the oath!!!!

    Then join us in fighting the elite-class and corporate owned and operated federal government!!!

    Bureaucrats and lackey politicians are a far greater threat to We, the People than all foreign threats combined.

    Those tyrant lackey politician scum wanting to require to take that oath are likely all or in part class enemies!!!

    “There has been class warfare going on,” Buffett, 81, said in a Sept. 30 interview with Charlie Rose on PBS. It’s just that my class is winning. And my class isn’t just winning, I mean we’re killing them.”

    “While the poor and middle class fight for us in Afghanistan, and while most Americans struggle to make ends meet, we mega-rich continue to get our extraordinary tax breaks,” Buffett wrote in a Sunday New York Times Op-ed.

    “One reason companies are so profitable is that they’re paying employees less than they ever have as a share of GDP. And that, in turn, is one reason the economy is so weak: Those “wages” are other companies’ revenue.

    In short, our current system and philosophy is creating a country of a few million overlords and 300+ million serfs.” Blodget

  • p.Johanna

    This isn’t a valid statement. I understand if you lived in the 80′s and you are now confused. Delve deeper and learn about what evolution means before you make ignorant comments. It is shameful that those of you who represent followers of god always sound uneducated and turn others away from your god.

  • Kerry Wright

    It should be rembered that until about 1956 the line “One Nation under God” was not in the Pledge, and “In God we trust” was not on cuency. This was brought about by the same folks that brought you the great “communisim” scare. Folks like the Koch’s dad, with the John Birch Society, and Reagun ratting out all his Hollywood buddies to keep from being black balled himself.

  • Cecelia Baines

    hey hausfrau, leave thew Internets once in a while and try and grow and live a little, you bitter little fuck.

  • Cecelia Baines

    Who the hell are you to try and apologize for ME. Fuck you, fuck your guns and fuck your idiocy.

  • Michael Rowe

    What does graduating high school have to do with “defending the Constitution” anyway, let alone a belief in God?

  • James Guiry

    “Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity,
    religion and morality are indispensable supports. . . . And let us with
    caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without
    religion. Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education
    on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to
    expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious
    - George Washington, 1796

  • George Finnell

    there they go again…the party of “small” government…well, it’s unconstitutional at least. the government cannot compel speech.

  • threenorns

    except this oath isn’t from the united states government – it’s from the state of arizona.

  • Jon

    According to the article, they proposed adding a pledge which includes the phrase “so help me God” at the end of it. Then the article draws it’s own conclusion and says that since the phrase includes the word “God” that “this of course means that atheists could not graduate”. It’s typical liberal misinformation.
    While the proposed pledge is really stupid, it is not as though they are actually proposing a bill that says “athiests cannot graduate”. This headline is totally unethical.
    The pledge is dumb, so just say “Repubs ask for pledge which includes ‘so help me god’”. Why do reporters have to spread misinfo? If you have to blatantly lie and mislead people to take your side of an issue then you are probably on the wrong side.

  • threenorns

    yeah – get your kid to try that at the graduation ceremony and see what happens.

  • threenorns

    we looking in from the outside have been banging on your windows for years about that.

  • Jean-Paul Bondy

    If the pledge required you to say “so help me Allah” would you have a problem?

  • Christine

    I’m widely recognized from the right side as well :) I don’t mind people with different political and religious ideas, its when they have no idea what they are talking about (this is mainly political). I can actually respect people who know their facts and right where they stand. :)

  • threenorns

    so you want your child’s first action as a newly-graduated and self-sustaining member of society to be how to lie, perjure, and otherwise ignore inconvenient oaths?

    the bill is beyond ridiculous and it’s wasting taxpayer’s money to even consider it.

  • Jean-Paul Bondy

    Then you are not an atheist. You are definitely a theist.

  • freethinkingpatriot

    The emphasis is most definintely on “free thinking” – that is, I’m a loyal American but one who knows how to think for himself without relying on the likes of Fox, Limbaugh and that brand of loser. I understand your reservations about the name, but I like to think that my brand of patriotism is more akin to that of the founding fathers, rather than these idiots who like to tell us what it means to be an American these days.

  • Rasanjana Bhandari

    My name is Raz.

  • Ranma

    Religiousnut bags please stop trying to force you religion on others, thanks!

  • Randy

    so how does this square with the whole concept of “freedom of religion” in the eyes of these idiots?

  • Derpy Hooves

    This is the very same pledge I took while standing at MEPS, being sworn in as an Enlisted Soldier. Know what I did? Instead of saying “God” I said “Goddess” and no one there gave a rat’s ass. But why are they insisting the recitation in School in order to graduate? Sense? This makes none.

  • Noigiler Skcus

    Control freaks.
    If it goes down I’d use it as a good opportunity to spit while the others chime “God.”

  • Tia Star

    Haha. This will never pass. Although I don’t see a whole lot wrongwith it.

  • Noigiler Skcus

    Unfortunately that is how we too often change; we must wait for death to occur. Sad

  • Betsey Conant Clark

    pathetic attempt to force their beliefs on others

  • Brock Dubbels

    Jesus forbids oaths — learn your bible if you plan to make others live by it:

    Matthew 5:33-37
    But I say to you, do not swear at all: neither by heaven, for it is God’s throne; 35 nor by the earth, for it is His footstool; nor by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King.36 Nor shall you swear by your head, because you cannot make one hair white or black. 37 But let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No.’ For whatever is more than these is from the evil one.

  • Peter Casper Kruger

    People that propose things like this require a tongue-lashing and a brow-beating like they cannot imagine.

  • Diego Villalobos Ulate

    i would happily flip the bird at the same time

  • Dylan Wilkinson

    People should take this to the Supreme Courts. Amazing Republicans if they don’t even know that the First Amendment protects freedom of religion.

  • casprd

    There is no misinformation. If the bill passes, the students would be required to recite the oath in order to graduate. As they say, for atheists, you would be presented with the choice of lying or not complying. You are the only one spouting misinformation.

  • PJ

    Then i have to ask you, what purpose does this oath fulfill for graduates of high school? Why suddenly come up with this oath, after the 1950′s when all of the under God, in God we trust, etc came about?

  • casprd

    If it is foreign national here legally and attending school in arizona, they would also be compelled to swear to uphold the constitution or not graduate.

  • Rebecca Pitocco

    This is so idiotic. These people resemble that of a dictator, forcing people to one religion. How low.

  • Debbie Smith

    Do these legislators have nothing better to do?

  • TKelly

    Okay so we are discussing the religious aspect but has anyone even thought about the fact that not every child in our american schools are US citizens. And I am not talking illegal aliens. I am talking about the dependents of foreign nationals living and working inside our borders. I grew up in a military town that also had industrial plants that had foreign ownership. My own mother-in-law is a german citizen. My husband and his siblings are americans virtue of their father but that is not always the case. So we are to ask these citizens of other contries to swear to defend our country.

  • Betsey Conant Clark

    The only oath students should take is not to cheat on their exams or bully other students

  • kyle

    americans are fucking morons

  • Jean-Paul Bondy

    You don’t see a whole lot wrong with something that is clearly unconstitutional?

  • Andrew Erwin

    You realize this is the same oath everyone in the military or elected office (both of which are paid for by tax payer money) takes… right? And, to become a U.S. Citizen you have to take a similar oath which includes the phrase “so help me god”. Maybe you should stay out of the state’s right (10th amendment) and worry about these same issues on a FEDERAL bases!

  • NationUnderGod

    If you have a problem with AZ, and we have 49 other states.. Why not let them leave the U.S.? Problem solved.

  • Jean-Paul Bondy


  • Jon

    So according to this article’s logic I guess atheists can’t use currency either, since it has the word “God” on it? While I agree the pledge is stupid you don’t have to write an irresponsible headline like that. You’re drawing your own conclusions. It’s incredibly misleading and juvenile.

  • P

    So when was America reflecting Christian principles? When they came and killed Indians? When they were burning women alive during the witch hunts? When they had slaves, beat them, tortured them, raped them? When McCarthy used scare tactics and lied and brought God into his lies? When Bush, a Christian, lied and acted on his greed and now we have a war with not only US soldiers dead, disabled mentally/physically, but innocent children dead in the war zone area? When? Please, back up your stance, when was this nation the face of God?

  • Golfie98

    Why is there a need for any oath at all to get the diploma you worked for?

  • Jean-Paul Bondy

    I have seen the exact same posts from five different people with unlinked accounts.

  • Jean-Paul Bondy

    Because the American Taliban wants to slip religion in anywhere they can.

  • David

    Kevin of Bangor? Hi I’m David of Bangor. Are you Kevin Quimby?

  • Jean-Paul Bondy

    Kyle, who is above and below me. As well as p.johanna, and two more. All posting the same thing.

  • Golfie98

    I understand that, but why is there a need for ANY oath, religious or not, in order to get what you worked for. The whole idea is totalitarian and surely is against the students freedom of expression to force them to take an oath.

  • david

    What is wrong with you?

  • Jean-Paul Bondy

    Sorry. It’s unconstitutional and shouldn’t be tinkered with even in the slightest.

  • Jean-Paul Bondy

    Of course it is. I agree with you one zillion percent.

  • Edie Vanderhoff

    I believe in GOD, but if they don’t allow prayer in schools anymore why would they try to mandate something like this…Sounds very hypocritical to me…I for one wish they would put prayer back into schools..Then maybe, just maybe our young followers wouldn’t have so much violence in their lives..I is a sad place to be in when you eliminate GOD from your life…

  • Jean-Paul Bondy

    I didn’t go to high school to protect and defend the constitution. I went to get a shitty education.

  • Marlo Rocci

    Go to this guy’s facebook page and let him know how you feel.

    remember not to use harsh language, be civilized but firm.

  • Pat Osborne

    No one should graduate FROM high school without knowing what an intransitive verb is. Many of the quotes above do not know what an intransitive verb is; one simple intance is “to graduate.”

  • Clara Perisho

    Minor nitpick, “One nation,” was in there, but not, “under God.” Either way, it’s an asinine law. If I could easily take my job and condo with me, I’d so relocate to somewhere with less nuts (and maybe a slightly cooler summer, too).

  • Cliff Wells

    Since he died in 1950 he didn’t get to see the outcome of the Socialist experiments that had started during his lifetime. It was painfully obvious by the 1960′s which societies had the most “Orwellian” features (although McCarthy and Hoover did a fine job trying to catch up).

  • Kurow Akutenshi

    So basically they don’t want anyone to pass high school?

  • Adam

    Well, the Constitution this message says to ‘defend’ also states the following: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”

    Hypocrites. Hypocrites everywhere.

  • Forever 23 ヅ♥✿

    o rly?

  • Charles W.

    Why do people actually give a crap about this? You just went through 18 years of schooling…you can’t say four simple words within a 2 second instant to finish it up? It’s not like those who aren’t religiously inclined don’t already have to deal with many of forms of religion in the everyday, so who cares if you have to say “so help me God”? It’s not like you’re saying you believe in God, or anything close to that. Would people also get offended if they had to say “so help me tooth fairy”? Because according to them, God is just as real as the tooth fairy, so what’s the big deal?!?!

  • CT-Scouter

    exactly! And this is why this is a problem not just for Atheist and agnostics (as well as potentially anyone opposed to calling their deity “God.” There are some religious groups who won’t say the Pledge of Allegiance, because they won’t put a country above God. Are we now going to say their kids can’t graduate too? Hmm… education is compulsory, so they have to attend school, which also make this pledge involuntary. It’s just wrong on so many levels

  • Rachel

    I just feel like graduating high school and joining the military are two very different things, but they somehow still require the exact same oath?

  • Randomarrow

    Just another reason to avoid that Right Wing CRAZZZZY state!

  • Operation_Granny

    I’m old. I remember when they added “under God” to the pledge. Didn’t like it then and still don’t. If a real, actual god had anything to do with politics things would be mighty different.

  • Sillama

    The original salute predated the Nazis, so maybe they were copying us. ;-)

  • Cliff Wells

    You should actually learn what the Libertarian platform is before making wildly incorrect generalizations.

  • DrkRblNgl

    The founding Forefathers of this nation must be spinning in their graves. :-/

  • Tony of Bangor

    Bangor, ME?? In that case I’m Tony of Bangor! (West side)

  • Joni Mari

    There ain’t no crazy like religious crazy. This bill is almost certainly unconstitutional on the face of it. Not that that wouldn’t keep the crazies from passing it, of course. And as far as being able to opt out of the Pledge, it would take a very brave person with very brave and committed parents to go that route.

  • Mary Hollingsead

    That sounds like what I said to get into the Army

  • Cliff Wells

    That’s true. When both Bill Maher and Glenn Beck are claiming to be libertarian, you know neither of them really understand it (and they are just confusing people). Libertarianism is based on the Non-aggression Principle. Unless you embrace that, then you cannot call yourself a Libertarian.

  • Buddy Dubay

    The irony is that this is wil ultimately be found unconstitutional.

  • Dissapointedagain

    Here’s the biggest problem I see…this is an oath that is fitting for military or government positions. Asking this of a CHILD (yes, they are still children) JUST to be able to “honorably” graduation high school is absolutely ridiculous!!

  • ac

    Yes, except that he lived through the Stalinist purges of the 20′s and 30′s, and had already seen the Orwellian features. He was inspired to write his books by his experiences in fighting in the International Brigade in the Spanish Civil War. With the death of Stalin in 1953, the worst excesses of the “Socialist experiments” were over and were reduced to the point where Gorbachev effectively bought it to an end.

    This Orwell quote is from the wikipedia page on Orwell:
    “One could not have a better example of the moral and emotional
    shallowness of our time, than the fact that we are now all more or less
    proStalin. This disgusting murderer is temporarily on our side, and so
    the purges, etc., are suddenly forgotten.”

    It is dated 1941 and shows that he knew what was happening in the USSR.

  • edward

    Anarchists might have a small problem with this bill as well.

  • E Rosiska

    What ever happened to seperation of Church and State?????

  • David

    I’m not sure why a United States Uniformed Services Oath of Office would be necessary to receive a High School diploma .. beyond the under God aspect of this, just seems silly, graduating High School is not joining the military..

  • Debra Goudy

    This is why conservative independents voted for obama. Every time the self righteous rigid religious right has an idea they intend to force on our children. Never would I allow my child to be MANIPULATED FOR POLITICAL GAIN. ACLU where are you ?.

  • Curiousity Georgia

    Utterly unconstitutional. I think Republicans are committing political suicide. And I’m also fond of saying that no one’s life or property are safe when their state legislature is in session.

  • Carol

    I want to know what these Republicans mean “bear true faith.” Are they talking only of Christians? every day there is something in the news that makes me shudder when I think of the Republican Party and their narrow minded ness and intolerance to others.

  • Breana Buckley

    No one should have to swear ANYTHING, to pass through COMPULSORY education. That’s like saying you’re not allowed to leave the grocery store until you swear to always eat meat. Yeah, a lot of people wouldn’t care, but a significant number would, and that’s not fair to them.

  • Jay Scott

    I am an atheist and I still swore to god to defend the constitution. I guess everyone has for gotten that we used to say the pledge of allegiance every day as kids. This isn’t even a semi new worthy story.

  • Cliff Wells

    He still believed that a democratic socialism was the best form of government to his death (as far as I know – I’d love to hear otherwise).

  • Curiousity Georgia

    Great msg, RK. I’m still grinnin at the alliteration you used.

  • NavyDOC

    This is the same oath that any Officer in the US Military must take before receiving his or her commission as well. “To defend the Constitution” yet violate it by violating the separation of church and state.
    “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.” -Article VI, Paragraph III-

  • Jackson Euler

    What is it about Republicans that they have become such thoughtless ASSHOLES! I mean, I always knew that the majority of them were self-serving pricks but nowadays they seem to be the majority in the party!

  • Curiousity Georgia

    I’m not sure which state makes more of a fool of itself. Arizona or Miss’ippi.

  • Jason Valentine

    Fourth in the nation for Child abuse deaths…AZ…

  • emily

    Why are they even discussing this? Shouldn’t the discussion regarding school be something more along the lines of trying to give our children a better education? Oh wait, that’s right… big people up top want us average people to stay ignorant. If we are ignorant, then we don’t ask questions… we are just more likely to go with the flow of letting the big wigs f*ck us.

  • Ryan

    I am religious and I am 100% against this. I would not say it if this were in place.

  • Tanner Campbell

    Nevermind the Atheist stuff, why the fuck should a kid have to say ANY of this in order to graduate? The rest of the world just laughs at us, we’re like the WORST reality TV show ever.

  • Kelly Colwell

    This is why I am going to grad school in order to be a high school teacher. I figure if I want things to change, I had better take it upon myself to make that change. Thankfully I am privileged enough to be able to get a higher education and go into teaching, so I want to take advantage of this opportunity and at least improve ONE school.

    I’m also happy that a lot of the people I went to school with are also becoming teachers, and I believe the majority of them will do a good job. My only problem is that often times the schools are what hold us back. I was an assistant teacher for a semester in a middle school science class and the required curriculum was ridiculous. There was barely enough time for teachers to do labs or go in depth on any subjects, it was all about driving facts into kids’ heads so they could pass the standardized tests. It’s really a shame, and it forces teachers to focus on facts instead of understanding so they don’t get penalized. A lot of these programs like No Child Left Behind and Race to the Top are well-meaning but misguided. Then again, it is hard to objectively test understanding of a concept sometimes. I honestly can’t say I have a better solution.

  • KaliS

    What on earth!? Freedom of religion or lack thereof anyone? Oh this just ticks me off.

  • Louise Lang Page

    Oh My God!, pun intended. I don’t think presidents or congresspeople should say ‘So Help Me God” – When was this added to the oath?


    well i believe it should pass. Everyone needs to be thankful we live in such a nation and If they cant Say the Pledge of Allegiance or Swear to support the constitution then They are Un american. Don[t make a big deal because it says God. Yeah everyone has there own beliefs but its about standing in Unity just as our Four Fathers. and They all was a man of God. … God Says : TRUST IN ME…. and For the people that Don;t Should have to work for free because all our Money says : IN GOD WE TRUST. and IF you cant accept God then your not good enough for my money….

  • Mark Lysle

    All the economic and climatological problems we have, all the problems we have with guns, violence and things like aggressive drivers and people either talking or texting on their cell phones while driving….. and Arizona comes up with this? This is the reason why our nation is in such a sorry shape. Republicans spending more time worrying about atheists graduating from school or curtailing womens’ health choices.

    The Republicans are legislating crap like this because, deep down inside, they know it is them and their followers on the extreme Christian right, not liberals, the ACLU or atheists, who have caused the decline of Christianity in this nation.

    Evangelical Christianity is one of the contributing factors to the explosive growth of atheism and agnosticism in America. Perhaps they should address the cause of atheism instead of trying to deny atheists rights based on extreme right wing ideology.

  • Lackenbacher

    How about – Nothing should be COMPULSORY

  • Liz

    Surely you can find something better to shame Jan Brewer about than her appearance. Not cool.

  • Lynne Cordero

    This particular loyalty oath being enforced in order to complete an education that has become a constitutional right to all citizens, in and of itself violates the constitution.

  • Emrys Christi

    WTH Um NO . I wouldnt be taking that oath either. Im pagan and last I looked they werent joining the military or taking public office so yeah no.

  • Curiousity Georgia

    I always thought it would be really cool to putz around the neighborhood in an electric golf cart. Never been to AZ, but they have them on Catalina Island just off the coast of Southern California. Not very many actual cars there. Great tourist trap to visit. The boat ride from the coast to the island is nice too. Another thing about California. Republicans are forbidden to vote in Cali. And cute young Caligirls are forbidden to overdress on the beach. Ya never hear about crazy California legislators… they’re all having too much fun to be stupid.

  • Nicolas Beltran Saint-Michel

    bloody christ, have they not anythng better on the agenda than to violate people’s rights, most especilly with superstitious, primitive, barbaric, religious fairytale gods?!

  • Justin Gilbert

    the religious right never ceases to amaze me with their mind-boggling stupidity

  • Dani

    Great idea, Cindy. Hurt the working poor in Arizona with your boycotts. Do you really think the Republicans in AZ care about them? Thanks for assuming every single person in Arizona agrees with these idiots. How do you think we feel living here and being embarrassed on a daily basis by what the GOP does? It’s not just a simple question of just voting the idiots out or it would have been done long ago.

  • Gizzy N

    Our money didn’t say “in god we trust” until a bunch of politicians in the 50′s decided that slapping it on our money was a good way to handle the “red scare.” And no, all of our founding fathers were NOT ” men of god.”

    I realize that actually educating yourself goes against your particular brand of faith, but at least make an effort so you don’t look so silly, m’kay?

  • jjsedona

    The ultra right is splitting America.

  • KE

    has nothing to do with being a christian. It’s an oath to uphold the
    constitution (“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.”) When you are in court and you are sworn in, you also
    used to be required to end your statement with “So help me God.” (I
    promise to tell the truth, nothing but the truth, so help me God.) I
    think it’s just a formality and the title of this article is taken from
    thin air.

  • Nicole

    How dare you do this to people who are atheist because they don’t fit in and they choose to not believe anything. So it makes us bad? You guys are such cowards! How dare you keep a diploma away from a person because they are atheist. You Arizona Republicans are bitches and you are disgusting!

  • Bunyip.

    Why the doofus are school students of any race, colour or creed or education level reqired to swear an oath of any form for any reason?

  • Steven Berry

    If this passes, i want welfare programs. medical aid, and everything oppressed citizens get in the united states for atheists. – since they’re clearly not given the same chance as regular people in the same classrooms – so lets subsize free thinking atheists :P

  • Guest

    You tried.

  • Michael Wagner

    The second any oath becomes mandatory it loses all meaning. There’s a reason agreements made under duress are not enforceable. There is no point to this legislation other than to piss off people who don’t agree with it. This is how republicans think the government should spend its time and your money, as a petty and pointless pissing contest.

  • Breana Buckley

    With as stupid as a lot of Americans are these days, you REALLY want to take away the one hope we have to put some sense in people’s heads? I agree that “compulsory” is a bad word, but as far as education, I don’t think people are even smart enough to know they need it unless they’re made to go. If anything I say give people the ability to take their kids out earlier than sixteen, but still make ‘em go a while. Otherwise I would worry how ignorance would spread, especially below the Bible belt.

  • wmdkitty

    No, coyotenose has a point. I have yet to see a comment from you that isn’t chock full of hate and anger. Seriously, calm the fuck down!

  • Morgan

    The state required me to get an education, they can’t require me to do s*** to give me the piece of paper that says I did get that education.

  • Aaron D’Grey

    just the requirement alone is against the Constitution.

  • patrioticmyass

    Now why in the hell would they have to pledge this when the politicians themselves don’t abide by it?!

  • Jehanne

    all your internet are belong to us

  • Na’Anduin MacLeod

    like Foreign Exchange students who are only here for a year or two. Are they going to force them to swear this stupid oath, and possibly violate their own countries laws?

  • Teresa Kay Fulks-Dyer

    So many Jehovah’s Witnesses would not be able to graduate. This would be a violation of their religious rights

  • ShoshoniDuckwalker

    And what of Native Americans the original Arizonans, some of them still have natural belief which does not recognize the God of Christians but the Spirit of Greatness, Mother Earth, etc.?

  • Jehanne

    Y’all cry about Democrats abusing the Constitution.
    Then you cry about Republicans exchanging diplomas for an oath to uphold the Constitution.
    Is it the Constitution you’re worried about or the notion of swearing an oath to it? If the “so help me God” was removed, would it still be an issue? Or do you feel you are being picked on for being atheist?
    I don’t know what to think about people anymore, except you can’t please all of ‘em, so #%@ ‘em all instead.

  • wmdkitty

    Libertarianism = “I got mine, fuck you”

  • PMCM

    …and there are many different types of socialists, the classical sense (the one you are referring to) much more extreme than most liberals that you will meet. Oh, I forgot, FOX News teaches people to think that Liberal = Socialist = Communist = Dictator. Seeing as we have people like these idiots in charge of education in some states, no wonder it’s so easy for FOX News and maniacs like Rush Limbaugh to brainwash the masses.

  • Emily Dittrich

    What a coincidence you can’t spell retard without and R! ;D

  • favyear54

    Since when did receiving a high school diploma become equal to taking the oath of citizenship to the United States? Completion of a High school diploma has become convoluted over the past 25 years in many states. In Florida, you not only have to pass your classes, achieve a certain number of credits, but now you also have to perform a minimum of 40 hours of community service , or you don’t graduate. What is going to be next? You don’t get your diploma unless you guarantee that you are going to college?

  • dick richardson

    That is stupid. Any Rational athiest would just write it off empty words and move on. it’s not stopping anyone from graduating. if they refuse to say it they need to hop off of their high horse man the fuck up and realize it’s just a word and means nothing.
    b-but they want me to acknowlege something i don’t believe in…

  • LaurieMann

    Better to lie about your beliefs and get the diploma. It’s a stupid idea though, like almost anything else that comes out of Arizona these days.

  • Doon1

    “So help me
    tooth fairy”

  • unc.

    AZ. police state run by a bunch no scruples republicans starting with e the head witch bitch.

  • Tina Andres

    Even more offensive to me is the fact that these people who were elected to serve a purpose are wasting taxpayer money and time on such frivolous and useless bills. Was there a pressing need that is being filled by having a bunch of 17 and 18 year olds say an oath? Are Arizona’s problems going to be solved by this? Is there something else they could be doing with the time they are spending on this? Can we take the money wasted on the lawsuits that will inevitably result out of their salaries and/or pensions? This might be one way to get these nutjobs to stop this, any costs incurred legally for legislation passed that is clearly unconstitutional should come from the salaries of those who voted yes. How about that?

  • GW

    It’s ironic that we Atheists are the last bastion of defence against the government’s gutting of religion for its own ends. There was a time we’d have been in lock step with the major religions in this refusal to allow government to dictate where and how God should be invoked. It makes me think about the several symbols introduced for Atheism. I sometimes think we should use that of the Knights Templar.

  • Lola Bonne

    What a bunch of ignorant cunts. Have they ever heard of the First Amendment? This is so ridiculously unconstitutional that it makes my head spin.

  • Kurt Solheim

    Far out more stupid law suits to waste time and money cause the few in power are so self rightous and ignorant….!!!! Shove that Diploma up your A$$E$…..!!!!!

  • Michael Wagner

    If republicans have a problem with the separation of church and state, there are plenty of other countries out there. problem solved.

  • Denise Bensusan

    Just when I thought Arizona’s leaders couldn’t get any crazier along comes this insane bill. This is UNBELIEVABLE and violates ones own freedom of religion which includes ones right to NOT believe in YOUR God! To force our youth to recite any oath to be able to collect their diploma is unjust and violates these children’s (some are not even 18 years of age and are not even able to enter into a legal contract) constitutional and god given rights. Hitler would have loved this one….. Get a grip on your ego and remove this ridiculous and unconstitutional bill immediately! You have NO right to force anyone’s CHILD to give an oath in something that they and their families may disagree with!

    Denise Bensusan

  • Cliff Wells
  • Evan Clifford

    Pretty ironic… “Defending the Constitution, etc. etc.” with a statement that ends in “so help me God.”
    What’s one part of the first amendment? Freedom of religion. That also includes freedom FROM religion as well.

  • D.


  • Oosik


    I am no longer surprised, amazed or dumbstruck when I read about batshit crazy Christian Extremists trying to establish Sharia laws into our system of secular laws. But boy howdy this one takes the cake.

    For some time now I have been trying to spread the word that any “faithful” Christian would deducts their tithes and charitable contributions from their taxes is either – a) A tax cheat b) A hypocrite or c) both.

    But in no case are they ‘faithful’ Christians. Just as any religious corporation that doesn’t pay property taxes is also guilty of tax fraud for misrepresenting themselves as ‘faithful’ Christian churches.

    The proof of my claims is found in Mathew 6: 1-18 and IRS Pub. 526. The former prohibits the latter by virtue of the latter being a reward for doing their Savior’s work. -[side note: Many religious corporations require 10% tithing in order to maintain vip status within their caste system. But, depending on one's income and sources a person gets anywhere from 20%- 50% of their tithes returned to them by the rest of US taxpayers subsidizing and shouldering the burden for the taxes not paid. Therefore if 10% is required it does happen if the tither takes that tax deduction ]

    Me buddy Jesus laid it very simple, plain and clear. If you eat your cake here you don’t get no desert after you die. A faithful Christian sacrifices when living to receiving bonus reward points for eternity.

    So I ask you. Would a “real” and ‘faithful’ Christian risk eternity by getting a govt. kickback of the money they donated to their Savior’s task lists? I would bring up public prayer, giving testimony of all the good works one has done. Especially when the personal sacrifices required get stressed upon in order to receive everyone’s adulation and admiration for being such a good and ‘faithful’ Christian.

    I’ve never posted here before. But, I would appreciate any feedback, opinions, both positive and negative please. Because the way I’m seeing it.

    – Mathew 6 or IRS Pub 526 Identifies True Christians from Fakes. —

    Could be used as a very respectable and soft spoken challenge to Christians and their religious corporations. Would a Christian force strangers subsidize Jesus under the color of law?? Just because tax exemption is available doesn’t mean that the exempted are prohibited from paying their fair share to support the government which will put its best and brightest into Harm’s Way in order to protect their 1st amendment protections?


  • Sam

    I believe this would also mean that Quakers could not graduate, as they do not swear oaths… bad idea all ’round.

  • Cliff Wells

    Precisely. Much of the reason our democracy has survived to date is because we’ve made at least some attempt to respect the opposition’s point-of-view, even if we don’t agree with it. Arguing passionately is one thing, resorting to name-calling is counter-productive (it usually hurts the cause one is supposedly supporting).

  • Cliff Wells

    Who the hell are you to “paraphrase” someone else’s words in order to “save everyone” from them? Self-important much?

  • UNC

    I’m right there with you Granny

  • Ian Dean

    DO these lawmakers actually expect this to pass not NOT plummet to the ground in a fireball of FAIL? The constitution very clearly states “Separation of Church and State.”

    Atheism is an issue of the “church” and public schools are a part of the “state”.


  • Tony Mokrzycki

    will you take an oath, just saying… LOL

  • Jeri Tonti

    this is generating hatred against all christians…that is all it is about

  • tonyash

    What about those of us who live in AZ who find this abhorrent?

  • Cliff Wells

    Most of the people I know whom I would actually consider to be Christians perceive the Religious Right as modern day Pharisees. I think it’s an apt comparison.

  • JosephRMarritt

    The Imperial March theme also has to play in the background

  • Ian Dean

    You are either a troll or incredibly f u c k !ng dense

  • Ian Dean

    No really… DENSE. Money has nothing to do with god or vice versa, and faith has nothing to do with graduating and vice versa, and the freedom of speech means exactly that. I pledge ALLEGIANCE, not mindless Obedience.

  • Indy Wulfe

    You mean other then the states that actually have articles on the books banning atheists (and for some it could be taken a step further to apply to ANY non-christian) from holding public office?

    Arkansas, Article 19, Section 1: Atheists disqualified from holding office or testifying as witness. “No person who denies the being of a God shall hold any office in the civil departments of this State, nor be competent to testify as a witness in any Court.”

    Maryland, Article 37: “That no religious test ought ever to be required as a qualification for any office of profit or trust in this State, other than a declaration of belief in the existence of God; nor shall the Legislature prescribe any other oath of office than the oath prescribed by this Constitution.”

    Mississippi, Article 14, Section 265: “No person who denies the existence of a Supreme Being shall hold any office in this state.”

    South Carolina, Article 17, Section 4: “No person who denies the existence of a Supreme Being shall hold any office under this Constitution.”

    Tennessee, Article 9, Section 2: “No person who denies the being of God, or a future state of rewards and punishments, shall hold any office in the civil department of this state.”

    Texas, Article 1, Section 4: “No religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office, or public trust, in this State; nor shall any one be excluded from holding office on account of his religious sentiments, provided he acknowledge the existence of a Supreme Being.”

    I may have missed some, but the point is those laws are actually in place already in some places….so what makes anyone think they couldn’t be passed in others? After all, states pass laws all the time that the residents never really know about. All it takes is one little line in a larger piece of legislation that manages to slip past people. Happens all the time. After all, think of the Patriot Act. Of all the senators/representatives that voted for it, most have said flat out they didn’t bother reading it in its entirety…they had an aide give them the “gist of it”. It’s a perfect example of something getting passed and even people who voted for it going “ says WHAT?” after the fact.

  • Ian Dean

    You generate enough hate on your own… don’t need any help from the media.

  • Risabbe

    Seriously? What about freedom of religion? Oh sorry! Keep forgetting that the Christian Right and Right Wing Conservatives don’t believe in it.

  • Peter B Grunewald

    The Morons who come up with requirements that force Ideology like this need to have thier Meds increased and/or put in solitary confinement where they will pose less harm to the Citizens that actually want to maintain Individual Freedom of beleif….as our Constitution is designed.

  • Indy Wulfe

    It’s properly used…it just usually has “out of” before it. I’m assuming that’s why you thought it was wrong. :)

  • Elizabeth MB Downs

    Our economy is in trouble and our soldiers are fighting wars and this is how our representatves spend their time and our money.

  • Cliff Wells

    Good catch.

  • Louisse

    “If you were a regular here” ? How condescending of you.

  • Cliff Wells

    Not only that, but this separation was specifically enacted in order to protect the rights of the religious. It was designed to enable religious freedom. Every time a Christian asks the government to support their religion, they are endangering the very thing they purport to protect.

  • Louise

    Thank you.

  • Virginia Trujillo

    “the last-ditch death rattle of the dinosaurs as they lumber into their tar pits” LMAO!
    I live in AZ. I think the only reason we still have Republicans in office right now is because of all the out of state money that has been being funneled in from other states. There is no way Arpaio should have won last time. The elections are being bought by people that don’t even reside here.

  • Mason Kelsey

    I assume this bill is unconstitutional. Even when taking an oath in a court of law in any state you do not have to swear to God or on a Bible. This is little more than pandering to their ignorant voters and being dishonest.

  • wmdkitty

    Bullshit. Libertarianism is all about fucking over everyone else. If you think otherwise, you’ve been drinking the kool-aid.

    (Hint: I suggest you try listening to actual Libertarians — not to their words, but to the meaning behind their words. It really is all about “fuck you, I got mine.”)

  • Kevin_Of_Bangor

    Yes, as Maine.

  • Kevin_Of_Bangor

    I can walk there.

  • Kevin_Of_Bangor

    I’m a Kevin but not a Quimby.

  • Kevin_Of_Bangor

    Yuppers, in Maine and I’m closer to downtown.

  • Chuck

    When I worked at BAC, I lived in Penobscot Square in Brewer, and then on Palm Street in Bangor. I walked to the Dog from each location many, many times. Man, did they have a good but expensive lobster roll….

  • Matt Taylor


  • Anon

    Texas atheist here who graduated from High School without a problem. KILL WHOEVER PROPOSES THIS OUTRAGEOUS INFRIGMENT OF FREEDOM.

  • larry davi

    maybe the highschools could teach a course on the Constitution; and perhaps require it to be taken by the very people who write the bills for new laws. the loyalty oaths were tried during the ‘red scare’, in the ’50′s, they were BS then, they’re BS now.

  • chris

    Im not saying the actions of the republicans are acceptable, im saying that the title of this article is blatantly and intentionally a lie

  • Kjb

    If you can pledge to defend the Country, then get the “blank” out. If you think this is too much to ask in exchange for a free education from the greatest country on earth then you should go with them. And, the grocery store analysis is just stupid.

  • Cliff Wells

    Sorry, but I drank the Leftist kool-aid for the first 40+ years of my life (I voted for Obama in ’08… hell, I have a hammer-and-sickle tattoo on my shoulder from when I was a teen). Only recently have I come to clearly understand that government interference in the lives of citizens never ends well, regardless of the intentions. We might wish to grant the government the power to do good for its citizens, but to the extent we grant that power, we also grant the power to do harm in equal amounts.
    We hope the government will protect us from abuse by corporations, but instead the corporations use the government to obtain favors. The government, like all entities, is self-serving first. Therefore it is bound to cater to those who can help it (and its representatives) maintain power. That’s not the poor.

    Ask yourself this: what was the point of raising taxes on the wealthy rather than reducing taxes on the poor? Clearly reducing taxes on the poor would have enabled an actual amount of upward mobility for them, whereas taxing the wealthy only increases the government’s coffers. Perhaps doing both might make sense, but reducing taxes on the poor was never even tabled. Why? Because it does not empower the government in any way, shape, or form. It’s completely counter to the government’s primary goal of self-preservation.

    True freedom implies voluntary action. The mere ability to vote for one’s preferred dictator does not mean one doesn’t live in a tyranny.

  • SouthCity13

    The worst part about reactionary asshats pandering to other reactionary asshats is that all those reactionary asshats drag the rest of us down with them…..

  • publius

    Start by reading the Constitution, it is a document that outlines the rules the US Government must play by.

    What could someone who is not in political office or part of government administration do to violate the Constitution? Are they afraid that Arizona students are going to unilaterally start taxing trade between the states?

    One thing that is does say is, “no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.”

  • Mel Griffin

    Have We had enough Republicanism/Conservatism shoved down our throats yet? We went to war because of them. Then We went to another war, because of lies they told. We went into recession because of two wars, and tax breaks for the rich WHILE We were at war! The recovery is slow because of them. Are they going to be allowed to Gerrymander in a Republican President? Whom do they represent, if not the rich? What do they stand for, besides anti-abortion? How long will they be allowed to sabotage the President, and the economy? Why isn’t anyone calling treasonous, those Republicans who signed the Grover Norquist pledge? Clearly, it supersedes their oath of office to uphold the Constitution, which violates the oath.
    And those Republicans who seditiously conspired to bring down the President by non-cooperation and obstructionism, whether it damaged America, or not. And it did damage America, a lot! These politicians are vile. The GOP is traitorous and vile.

  • ac

    I don’t think he and you have the same conception of ‘democratic socialism’, there are many countries where socialist parties (socialist in name at least), and communist ones for that matter, take part in democratic govt. but that is a whole new discussion.

  • John Bollen

    What is it with all this pledging of allegiance and singing the national anthem all the time anyway? I am so tired of this nonsense and I dont do it anymore. I dont have to prove my “allegiance” or patriotism” to anybody. But then if you dont feel like getting up and taking your hat off for some song (that has nothing to do with “patriotism”), you get glared at and hounded about it. Symbolism is just out of control.

  • Oosik

    It has never been mandatory at any time that I’m aware of. Other than when wearing a military/Law enforcement uniform that is. Placing one’s hand over their heart is a personal choice as a display of respect for , not the flag it is a piece of cloth, principles of the country the flag represents.

  • Cliff Wells

    Sorry, but if you understood the actual principles this country is founded upon, you’d have to eat your words. Perhaps actually understanding the Constitution should be a prerequisite to swearing an oath to defend it?

  • Cliff Wells

    Pointing out someone’s contradictory thinking should be an effective way to enlighten them, but it so rarely is. While I’m reluctant to claim this is due to lack of intelligence, I really cannot think of any other explanation. Given the tone of Jeremy’s rant, I suspect he’s a lost cause.

  • R. Hokin

    These guys are geniuses at putting form ahead of function and pandering to an ever-lower common denominator in our society, for which their kind is largely responsible. Patriotism comes from the head and the heart, not from some meaningless recitation or an American flag lapel pin.

  • archadianrs

    I’m so fucking glad I’m not an americunt. Crazy fucking bills/laws like this don’t have a hope in hell of being accepted in Scotland.

  • Cliff Wells

    The last four words don’t really bother me that much (although I respect that it offends many). What bothers me is the compulsory nature of the bill as a whole. Even were the last four words removed, compelling students to take an oath of any sort is an introduction to tyranny.

  • Meagan White

    If teachers are the ones going to make sure they say it then they would not only making the students lie the teachers would lie as well. I am not going to make anyone say that so help me! hahahahahaha

  • Cliff Wells

    That’s no longer a requirement. Many of these things are merely traditional acts and are slowly being weeded out. Personally I would not be offended by being asked to swear on a Bible, but I would find it rather laughable.

  • Fitzer

    Simply another attempt at continued “brainwashing”. Is there any other vow, pledge, or affirmation that has to be recited daily ? And for what purpose ? Just another idiotic ‘tradition’ that makes those in authority feel better about their own simple beliefs.

  • Kevin_Of_Bangor

    Are you no longer in Maine?

  • Breana Buckley

    No one should swear 100% loyalty to ANY governing party, greatest or not. Wherever there is power there is corruption. I like America too, but I’m not willing to swear loyalty to a group of people who can and may ask for “defense” for all the wrong reasons and make me defend the group of people in the wrong. Am I saying America ever is wrong? No. But I’m saying we COULD be, and I’m not going to put myself in a position to violate my own morals over some stupid oath I made in High school to a God I’m not sure I believe in.

  • Cliff Wells

    There is nothing quite so patriotic as asserting the fundamental rights our founders fought and died for. I believe they would have been offended to the core by the blind loyalty to a regime that people love to espouse. So by denouncing such acts of senseless fealty, I suggest that you are demonstrating true patriotism.

    “The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.” — Thomas Jefferson

    That quote would make no sense whatsoever if patriotism meant loyalty to a regime.

  • CJL

    Well seeing as no one should have to pledge to God especially if they don’t believe in “him” they shouldn’t have to. Take this for example back when segregation was around blacks couldn’t attend white schools because they had different skin. So if this gets passed someone can’t graduate because they have a different belief then someone else? yup sound logic.

  • Ana Lake (Karen G)

    Hmmm. For some reason, requiring students to swear a loyalty oath to the country in order to receive an education strikes me as something far more in keeping with the old USSR or Mao’s China than the United States of America. (“Home of the Free”, in case that rings any bells.)

    Then again, Kjb, you didn’t specify ~which~ country (sorry, “Country”) you were referring to with your remark, so I suppose it’s possible that sort of totalitarianism seems perfectly natural to you.

    Now if I could only figure out how has managed to connect a portal to Moscow circa 1972…

  • Lori Colyer-Sorabji

    What if your a Wiccan or a Hindu then is it like the driving test where you have to choose the answer the DMV would choose? I mean which is the more correct God or Goddess? As a C&E Catholic I find these idiots to be an embarrassment to Christianity and I’m sure God does too.

  • Dana Gutierrez

    Well, they are sure that it isn’t because it wasn’t written on the same piece of paper!

  • Cliff Wells

    People have a very backwards understanding of the intent of the Constitution. They believe that it is a list of rights granted to citizens, when that is quite the opposite of its intent. Rather it is a list of limited rights granted to the government. This inversion creates a lot of confusion and debate over that which was considered irrefutable by the authors of that document.

    My own enlightenment on this came from reading the opposition to the Bill of Rights put forward by Alexander Hamilton (in the Federalist Papers, no less):

    Bills of rights are in their origin, stipulations between kings and their subjects, abridgments of prerogative in favor of privilege,reservations of rights not surrendered to the prince. Such was “Magna Charta”, obtained by the Barons, swords in hand, from King John.

    I go further, and affirm that bills of rights, in the sense and in the extent in which they are contended for, are not only unnecessary in the proposed constitution, but would even be dangerous. They would contain various exceptions to powers which are not granted; and on this very account, would afford a colorable pretext to claim more than were granted. For why declare that things shall not be done which there is no power to do?

    (emphasis added).

  • Kate Mc

    Arizona, I don’t know who is crazier, you or Tx

  • Dana Gutierrez

    Will you kindly post a link to the law on conception? I’d be interested to read it. Thanks!

  • PGerke

    I am a native, and I’ve been calling it “CRAZY A-Z” for years. So embarrassed by my state. But remember, most of the crazies moved here from somewhere else. I do my share…support liberal candidates, vote every year, boo loudly at Sheriff Joke Arpaio at every parade (even when I see him on the street downtown with his entourage of 8-10 body guards, paid for by my tax dollars). Just as the rest of our Sun City population is getting older and dying off, so will Sheriff Joke. Just a matter of time. Look at my new Congresswoman, Kyrsten Sinema. She is the future of our state…female, liberal, not religiously affiliated, admitted bisexual. There is hope!

  • Tom Logan Novak

    Ok, so now you’re crying over not a whole lot. “So help me God,” is still said in the courts when you take the stand. Chill. the fuck. out. Nobody’s rights are being trampled upon. It’s people who are so uptight and serious they can’t utter 4 words untruthfully that ruin this country as much as the evangelists going Jesus crazy. “So help me God,” I view more as a metaphor for promising to do the right thing in fear of going against a moral code we in society have agreed upon. Just pretend “God” means universal laws or some shit. And calm down. Seriously, dude. I cam here thinking it would be something lengthy or requiring a Christian confession. Stop wasting the court’s time on stuff like this – I hope this doesn’t go to court.

  • M.

    I love the quote about wanting the students to respect the constitution. A bill like this is in direct violation of their constitutional rights.

  • Tom Logan Novak

    No, it’s not like that at all lol

  • StandUpForYourRights

    That is so wrong in so many ways… Being an Atheist should not even be a problem in school. So are they saying that if a student who has a 4.0 gpa and a perfect attendance can’t graduate just because they don’t share the same idea’s? Being an Atheist does NOT make you a bad person. The Bad people here are the ones who are trying to stop young adults to furthering their education. If someone does not want to say “Under God” or “So help me God” should not have to. Its called our FREEDOM OF SPEECH!!!

  • Dana Gutierrez

    You would be surprised. Recently, a delegation of “business leaders” met with Republican leadership in Texas to beg for additional funding for education. We have a business friendly climate (read no pollution controls and a slush fund to bring them here) but the graduating population isn’t competent to work their jobs….AND THEY ARE LOSING MONEY!!!! ahahahahaha! low taxes and ignorance are AoK with them until it affects the bottom line.

  • Scout

    You rendered your entire comment moot by your lack of grammatical understanding and spell check. That being said, I can feel a patriotic passion in my bosom so strong that it boasts one thousand winds, but I don’t have to vocalize it to any one, and I damn well do not need to swear it aloud as a required oath, in front of my peers, educators, and family. In addition to the fact that, having gone through the Arizona public school system, the education system is littered with hindrances, and many students fall by the way side. I will not appreciate that sort of compulsory education, then be waterboarded into swearing by it. Try not to be such a philistine when you comment.

  • glorrie

    Nothing says “Tea Party Idiocy” like an oath committing yourself to support and defend the Constitution that in and of itself VIOLATES constitutional protections against the establishment of religion.

  • Anna Jamie

    Why do they want religion to run things? Regilion got its turn being in charge.. its called THE DARK AGES. “freedom of religion” my ass. Basically they interpret that as just freedom to be Christian and persecution of everyone else in society. Wasn’t our country founded by people trying to escape religious oppression? And now those very same people are jusing their religion to oppress others? What a load of crap. Someone please educate these people!!

    Its funny because statistically athiest are better educated, so maybe they are trying to combat that by just withholding knowledge. You can not go to college without a high school diploma, so in order for an athiest to get a high education they would have to lie about having faith.

  • Maggie Hames

    This is the most un-American thing I’ve ever heard. How dare the Arizona legislature even consider holding high school students hostage until they take a loyalty pledge, with or without the invocation of God. For what purpose is this pledge? Why is the loyalty of people–mostly still legally CHILDREN–being questioned? What next–a 2013 version of the House Un-American Activities Commission for middle-schoolers?

  • Cliff Wells

    I think we do have the same conception, but we diverge at the point of predicting where those societies must end up.

    Plus, Orwell was still attempting to paint the world in the one-dimensional Left (socialism) vs Right (dictatorship) terms, which I consider a grossly insufficient socio-political model (and both lead to tyranny in any case).

  • Lisa Stetler Insana

    I have no problem with the God part. I have a huge problem with requiring HS students to recite this in order to graduate. Sounds more like an oath to the military. It has NOTHING to do with high school graduation.

  • Mage Wyntyr

    Stop trying to separate one politician from another. Republican or Democrat, they’re ALL THE SAME! All you had to say is that politicians were proposing this absurd bill. It truly doesn’t matter which side of the line they’re standing on.

  • LilaAz29

    This makes no sense for many reasons. I had to take this oath last year when I joined AmeriCorps, but they told us the last part was optional (we didn’t have to say it, as I did not). I am always amazed how the Right continually and mindlessly forms themselves into this culmination of all that history has taught us is wrong and does not work in order fight against some non-existent threat that consists of those same things. It is truly mind-boggling.

  • Cliff Wells

    If the only two options are sleeping on a cold park bench or sleeping in a warm prison cell, I’ll take the former.


    Completely agree.

  • Danny Mittleman

    This oath is almost identical to the oath state employees are required to sign. Here was what I was handed years ago as a University of Arizona employee:

  • Grant Ellsworth

    I’d avoid controversy. I’d lie.

  • Frustrated with stupidity

    If the Arizona legislature has nothing better to do, perhaps they should save the taxpayers’ money and quit annoying people by adjourning and going home.

  • 2

    This would also preclude the graduation of members of certain Christian groups whose doctrine does not permit swearing oaths (based on Matthew 5:33-37 and James 5:12).

  • Michael Powers

    I’ve lived in Arizona most of my adult life. All over the state. Phoenix, Prescott, and some small towns like St, Johns, Williams, Dewey, Mayer. They all have their own, sometimes odd, characteristics. For example St. Johns had a heavy population of Mormons and native Americans (everyone seemed to have one of two last names – Patterson or Chavez). But it wasn’t until I got to Tucson that I experienced an actual sense of community. As a military brat, I never experienced that growing up. I can see now why so many place so much importance on it. While we have fewer in the way of right wing nutjobs, they do exist.

  • Jimmy Ballenger

    Isn’t that the oath of enlistment for military service? I’m sure I’ve said this oath a few times in my life. Completely voluntarily of course. The fact that they are trying to make it a requirement for high school graduation, God or no God, means that there is no way the students could be taking the oath “freely” as it would then be “imposed” upon them by the state. Thus nullifying the oath all together.

  • Trisha Cole

    Even with a college degree is no guarntee you are going to be living above the poverty level. Some people with 2 or 4 year college degrees can find a job in their field or any field.

  • Brittany Leigh Griffith

    Separation of Church & State? Isn’t that why we no longer say the Pledge of Allegiance at the beginning of the school day anymore? This is utterly ridiculous.

  • alfredo_tomato

    This is another way for Arizona to waste taxpayer’s money. How much will they spend defending an unconstitutional law in the courts? Our right wing has wasted a lot of our money here in Ky over posting the 10 Commandments. They lose every time but they keep trying.

    If Bob Thorpe actually believed in our constitution he wouldn’t be coercing people into reciting a loyalty oath or to acknowledge any deity.

    BTW, the “Under God” phrase was added during the McCarthy Era. The Knights of Columbus pushed that wedge issue. If you opposed it you were branded “anti God.” Anti God was code for Communist. What the Knights didn’t know was that the author of the Pledge was a Socialist. Google Francis Bellamy.

  • jumbybird

    WTF are these people thinking? FECK you and your imaginary god!

  • Erich

    Isn’t that oath merely the Oath of Allegiance? Albeit without the option to replace the final lines with ‘and solemnly affirm’. If so, there’s at least a debate to be had there about the duties asked of both naturalized and natural-born citizens.

  • wolfendenpackleader

    too bad these congress critters did not really take the oath to the Constitution and instead to Grover and the elite and the rich corporations. what a bunch of hypocrites. garnish their pay to recoup the money wasted paying these asshats and also recoup the money wasted to try to implement this worthless piece of crap legislation. They are the problem, they have fixed nothing since the Tea Party invaded the political world.

  • Oosik

    My high school gym teacher had us learning to march in close order drill. He said it would help us in boot camp. And a bunch of us would be getting draft notices shortly after graduation. This was back in ’68. I refused, got hacks and life was made miserable. SOB even told my parents thus doubling my woe.

    If any teacher tried that with my kids there would be some serious discussions. No man, woman, in any capacity, who has the authority to require learning to march in military formation, nor demand they swear a loyalty oath or swear anything to ‘god’ .

    There is a reason that the age of majority ie full citizenship, is 18 years of age. Lawmakers and educators and parents who would support any law like this one proposed in AZ. are violating the very principles and protections of that document they apparently don’t grok.

    This stuff ain’t patriotism it is Nationalism. I do not wish to see a wave of Nationalism grip my nation. Answer me this: What is the difference between a law like this and Hitler’s youth? Especially with the inclusion of a Christian god.

  • Mickey Houlahan

    Well, the recitation of magic words IS a big part of theists’ arsenal of stupidity.

  • Zoe

    We have the same problem in Michigan. Ann Arbor is not like the rest of the state, but… still subject to the same insane Michigan laws, unfortunately. Sigh.

  • Zoe

    By which I guess you mean that was you? And you voted it down because you think the Republicans in Arizona are stable, moderate folk?

  • Dave Thomas

    It’s called Fascism.

  • Michael Powers

    You probably think that statement makes you a patriot. In truth, it is just about the most un-American thing a person can say. At the age of 17, I took a very similar oath when I joined the military. The difference, and it’s a very big one, is that I did so of my own free will, and the knowledge of what that oath meant. An oath made under any duress – even if you agree with it’s sentiment – is worthless. Also this: If you truly believed that this is the greatest nation on earth, I doubt that you would find it necessary to state it so often, or loudly, or with such obvious desperation. You would simply know.

  • Thegreatbobo

    I don’t like the oath thing but I’ll swear to a God I don’t believe in all day. What’s the big deal.

  • Zoe

    But why do you have to pledge to “God” that you will defend the Constitution? I don’t believe in God — what would it mean if I swore an oath to him?

  • Oosik

    “So help me God,” is still said in the courts when you take the stand.”

    And no one is required to say “So help me God” in order to testify. Nor does saying it validate the veracity of anything that person says.

    You might check out Strategic Level Spiritual Warfare and the New Apostolic Reformation Movement. “So help me God” is something to be concerned about. It is the justification of denying women their right to full ownership of their bodies. To deny Gays full citizenship rights and protections. To deny how adults recreate as they choose. To establish Sin laws – aka Sharia, into our secular legal system.

    It is also a major factor behind those troubles you’re referring to with your – “Our nation is in a lot more trouble than Arizonians being required to say “So help me God.”

  • Zoe

    Yeah. Sigh. I totally get this. I live in Michigan, where “we” decided to become a Right to Work state and “we” decided to do everything we can to drive abortion clinics underground. Yay us.

  • Zoe

    Try again in English please?

  • StanTheManGoingToWork

    Gott mit ins. Arizona uber allies! Sieg heil!

  • North County Dog Training

    I believe in the Lord and it is my free choice to do so. Though I believe there should be a moment of silence in classrooms so kids can say their prayers through whatever religion they practice (those that don’t practice religion are free to think about other things during the moment), but I do not believe kids should be forced to swear an oath such as this in order to graduate high school. First of all, these are children, do you think they have any idea of the gravity of the words they would be required to recite? If they have to recite this in order to graduate, then they are hardly doing it freely. Personally, I think it is absurd.

  • Stephen Smith

    Interesting. Considering some of the things republicans want taught maybe not having a diploma from them wouldn’t be such a bad thing.

  • Stephen Smith

    Joseph McCarthy lives on.

  • K8 B.

    As an American, a religious person & a believer in freedom, I find this REPULSIVE!

  • Kim Talbott-Flores

    a diploma is earned. No one should have to do anything else. I am not an atheist, and would not do it.

  • David

    Very foolish Republicans! Thank god we are a Republic! As a Republic; “Minorities – whether as a result of ethnic background, religious belief, geographic location, income level, or simply as the losers in elections or political debate – enjoy guaranteed basic human rights that no government, and no majority, elected or not, should remove.”

  • zarggg

    So am I the only one here who actually recognizes this oath and think that it’s absolutely disgusting that they want to require ALL high school students to recite it before they are graduated, regardless of the “God language”?

  • mitzjob

    I say raze Arizona to the ground and pour salt over the ashes…

  • Dana Gutierrez

    If this definition is accurate, and I have some doubt that it is entirely so, then this is not a Fascist nation; but probably closer to Authoritarian Tripartate Corporatism

  • Anon

    THe Hitler Youth program is being revived I see…

  • allein

    This is the most upvoted comment I have ever seen. :)

  • alfredo_tomato

    If entering the military or public service, yes that is acceptable, but to force private citizens to swear a loyalty oath is unacceptable. Adding the “so help me God” makes it even more unAmerican.

    If a person wants to say it on their own, fine. But I don’t want a government official requiring it.

    If a religion needs the coercive force of law to survive, there is something seriously wrong with the belief system.

  • Dave Peet

    So the smartest kids, the ones who are smart enough to realize that the bible is just a story book and isn’t real aren’t allowed to graduate?
    The right wings is determined to make this country a theocracy and are no better then some of the Muslim countries where religion is mandatory.
    I swear our government is trying to turn its people into dumb sheep.
    Not only does this violate the constitution, but it violates peoples freedom, and after reading the oath, it written so that the person saying it is coerced by the threat of the establishment of not being able to graduate.
    Our forefathers were not Christians, and you can read hundreds of quotes of them saying they weren’t, and they set this Nation up to protect people from a Theocracy, the very thing that thisd nation is becoming

    I am in a deficit of negative adjectives that I can spew about this.
    I am completely outraged by this and I will be doing activism to prevent it from happening there, and anywhere else in this country!!!

  • DontLookDown

    What is wrong with the education system in America when MOST of the population seem to be ignorant of your own constitution in the first place. It was created to ensure that you had a SECULAR society that separated faith from ALL forms of government ………… The fact that there is ANY mention of a fictional deity in your pledge of allegiance (introduced in 1957) and on your currency(1950′s again) is a travesty and makes me sad to think that the godbotherers in the bible belt seem to be winning the war on common sense in the USA …….. what a tragedy.

  • Wayne H. Franklin

    They won’t let you practice animal or human sacrifice in school either! Damn oppressive if you ask me. When I swear to something, I have to offer a blood sacrifice. But when I swear in court, they won’t let me rip the head off a chicken! Imagine that!!

  • Michael Powers

    We need no mythical being to tell us what is good, and what is not good. Nor do we need the threat of eternal damnation in order to do what is right. The fact that it is right, is enough. Have you actually ever read the bible? I have. Front to back. It’s why I became an atheist.

  • Guest

    Yummy sleeveless chick in blue blouse.

  • David Angle

    As a religion follower, I LOVE EVERYONE! Except them gays and athiests! I will do everything in my power to prevent them from ever being happy or successful! Because as a child of God…THAT is true love :) LOVE love love love. Not hate. My want for…HURTINGTHESEPEOPLE…is just God’s love in me pouring itself through. All he ever does is love…so I MUST NEVER LET GAYS FIND HAPPINESS IN MARRIAGE OR ATHEISTS GRADUATE HIGH SCHOOL!

    -What I hear from supporters of this.

  • wmdkitty

    See? No benefits or aid for the elderly, disabled, or poor, because it’s better to starve on the cold streets than enable the government to help those who need it.

    Prime fucking example, right there, of “I got mine, fuck you.”

  • Terence T

    Who’s the sleeveless girl in blue blouse? She’s yummy!

  • David Angle

    We call people like you *raises glasses*


    Review definition below for better understanding:

    Coward (n): A person who lacks the courage to do or endure dangerous or unpleasant things.

  • Ian McLeod

    This is no different then swearing an Oath on the bible in court. It’s a complete joke.

  • sam

    Funny thing…….back in the day when students said the Pledge an were taught respect for our Nation kids done better in school an we didnt have the problems we have today…..wake up u stupid liberals what your doing isnt working

  • Paul D von Nahme

    This is ridiculous. This is the same oath we take in the military and we are not required to swear to god, but simply affirm. WTF???

  • decreator

    I am so freaking sick of Arizona, Texas and all these ignorant uneducated non-reality based states and their hypocritical bullshit! Plain stupidity!

  • Kalan La Fleur

    Fuck these religious cunts, I will NEVER swear an oath to their imaginary god or anyone’s imaginary god.

  • Liz Hopkin

    This rather reminds me of the whole Hitler Youth program. Anyone in Arizona read their history?

  • A.L. Hern

    You mean that Pledge of Allegiance that was written by Francis Bellamy…a Socialist?

    In any case, the Arizona bill is blatantly unconstitutional, and will be shredded by an court into which the inevitable lawsuit will be taken.

  • allein

    I had to put my hand on the bible when I had to go to court a couple years ago. I hadn’t even thought about it beforehand, but when it happened I was thinking, “we still do this?” (There was no “so help me God,” though; we just responded “I do” to the judge asking “Do you swear to tell the truth…?”) I suppose I could have refused but I was nervous enough about being there and I wouldn’t have had the nerve to say something.

  • Barbara R Saunders

    I object before I even get to the religious angle. Why does a person have to take an “oath of office,” religious or secular, to get a high-school diploma?

  • Thomas from Sweden

    Republicans or talibans? No diference in the regard of leting religious fundamentalismen blid them.

  • allein

    Was your virginity pledge a legal requirement for getting your diploma?

  • Lisa Majersky

    To my knowledge, “so help me God” is not formally part of the required Oath of Office for the Presidency. Most people say it because they are afraid of public criticism if they don’t. Especially somebody like Obama, whose religion, patriotism, and every other aspect of his character is constantly lied about.. It may not be formally in oaths for lesser offices either. Trying to make these kids take a loyalty oath to get their high school diplomas will never be upheld in an appeals court. Religious freedom is such a fundamental part of the Constitution, you wonder how these right-wing nut-cases fail to realize how unpatriotic they are when they try to pass a law like this. People are getting really sick of them.

  • allein

    That phrase has only been on our paper money since 1957, and on coins since the 1860s, so it most certainly was not part of the founding of the US. And I’m not making a religious statement by using the only currency available to me in the country I live in. While I don’t believe the phrase should be there, it would not be my first priority were I to suddenly have the power to fix all the things wrong in this country. Maybe you can’t rip it out, but feel free to go ahead and break out the sharpie markers and cross it off. People do it all the time.

    As for polling places, they need to be reasonably easy for people to get to and there just aren’t enough government buildings around to be able to accommodate everyone. Churches, perhaps for better or worse, are generally plentiful in any given area, tend to have some sort of large fellowship room available, and also conveniently tend to be relatively empty of a Tuesday; I think those are sufficiently secular reasons for using them as polling places. I’ve voted in a church, the YMCA, and a firehouse; in none of those places were any employees of the building involved with dealing with voters in any way. Seeing a cross on the wall doesn’t make me worship it while casting my vote.

    Being required to say actual words I don’t believe in exchange for a diploma from a public school is decidedly not in the same category. Words mean things.

  • Geo Campbell

    What gets me about all this is what makes them think that the word GOD refers only to a Christian diety. Krishna is a god of the hindu, Ra was the sun God. Not that this will ever pass, God help us :P but if it does the hell with AZ seceeding from the US let’s kick them out.

  • Tim R Hiddemen

    I think the Supreme Court has already ruled on a very similar case, look up West Virginia vs Barnette . . .

  • Tabbitha

    What about kids who aren’t citizens? I have had many students who were legal residents but not citizens. Why should they have to swear a loyalty oath to the US?

  • Michael Powers

    Evolution is not a religion. It is a provable, quantifiable, observable fact. To equate it with religion, which has none of these characteristics is, in essence, to lie through your teeth. (I assume deception on your part, out of charity on my part, because I can’t believe anyone is actually that stupid).

  • Chuck

    Yes, that is the sad truth. I grew up in Oakland, but then went to college in Houston. Then I moved to Brewer, but had to leave for work in 2003. Now I am back here in Houston. Good food, but politics and religion not to my liking.

  • BetelgeuseA

    I am Linda of Betelgeuse .. just visiting .. Hello fellow star travellers :D

  • Elizabeth Dufur

    Remember when the seperation of Church and State actually meant something? To protect people so that their religious freedoms couldn’t be threatened for believers as well as non-believers. These people are giving Christianity a bad name and as a Christian I’m sick of it. I’m tired of having to apologize for my religion due to the actions of these ‘Fo’ Christians who seems to want to make sure they jam their beliefs down everyone’s throats while they conveinently ignore all of Jesus’s teachings. They should be thrown out of office for this bullshit.

  • allein

    I would also point out that, at least from what you described above, the teacher or principal would have had no legal leg to stand on in trying to prevent you talking about religion with another student. Students discussing religion among themselves, or even having an extracurricular club for like-minded peers, is not against the law. Unless you were disrupting class with your conversation, it’s none of the teacher’s business what you discuss with your friends.

  • carolee1028

    We’re talking high school graduation not government scientist! This has nothing to do w/a belief in God-separation of chuch & state. I thought it was bad enough that before I could be a state employee I had to swear to a similiar oath only it involved not being part of or believing in the Communist party (not that I do but I thought this type of garbage went out in the ’50′s). The students worked hard to graduate & should not have to be faced w/saying any type of oath.

  • Cozman57

    These are the same people who call President Obama a fascist? Loyalty oath? And the GOP can’t figure out why they can’t win elections.

  • Jim Shorts

    While this is a ridiculous law, this is an even more ridiculous, mis-leading article. The title itself is especially misleading.

  • Elizabeth Dufur

    Exactly when I was in high school we had a foreign exchange student here and she graduated would she have to swear an oath to a country that isn’t her own? If we sent an American student to another country and found out they were expected to swear an oath to that country people would be outraged at that.

  • mofots

    blah blah blah

  • Michael Powers

    You’ve answered your own question. You’ve just spent 4 years in high school. Now comes time to get the diploma you’ve spent that time earning, and you’re faced with two choices: To be denied that diploma, or to lie to get it. The wrongness of the former is self evident, so I’ll address the latter.

    Do you really believe that it is at all acceptable that the last lesson taught to a high school kid, is that it’s alright to lie, or to give up your principles to get something you want?

    In other words, yes, it’s a big fucking deal.

  • Godlesspanther

    Some years back I was selling vintage documents on eBay. I had a package of material from a plumbers’ union from 1948. One of the documents was a loyalty oath that was required for all union members to sign. I sold it to a man who was a member of that very union. He said he would frame the loyalty oath and hang it in the union hall as an example of something that they would never consider doing again.

    This is an example of McCarthy-era bullshit. I thought that we learned our lesson all those years ago.

  • katansi

    “graduating high school is not the same thing as voluntarily accepting the responsibility of a public office or admission to the legal bar.”

    Any statement with the word “god” in it shouldn’t be in THOSE oaths either.

  • Joe Louis Wildman

    How can you pledge to uphold the constitution and violate the “establishment of religion” prohibition in the same oath?

  • Michael Powers

    …ibi libertas (love the name)

  • alleinm

    All I had to say when being sworn in at court was “I do.”

  • allein

    These are high school students, not soldiers. And soldiers actually are saying it because they choose to.

  • Dieter Zerressen

    Romney didn’t defend the country – he chose to spend his Vietnam time in France but I bet you still voted for him. Cheney got 5 deferments because he “had more important things to do” and Rush Limbaugh had a zit on his butt and got a medical deferment. Are you demanding these clowns leave the US?


    So does that mean they are pre-enlisted in the military? Because that is scarily similar to the oath I took.

  • Nathan Gouge

    This is possibly one of the dumbest things I have ever heard. This country was founded upon the view of religious freedom. That’s the whole reason that people decided to leave early British rule. With that comes the freedom to do as you wish when it comes to religion or the lack thereof. As a Christian, I do not impose my religious statutes upon anyone, as I wouldn’t expect anyone else to do that to me. Atheism isn’t a way of trying to destroy Christianity, but rather saying that it’s not right, which is what a lot of radical Christians will do. It is the people’s choice to decide whether or not they are religious, and that in no way is against the constitution, but this is.

  • Jason’s Brain

    I thought it was a violation of the Constitution to pass a law which enforces a religious belief…

  • Blayze Kohime

    Christians claim that everyone is persecuting them, yet they go out of their way to persecute Atheists. Seems as legit as always.

  • darkgothic

    what bullshit…. typical “so-called christians”…. i wonder if the “christians” should recite the koran or the wiccan rede… then we will see if they start their whining saying that theyre being forced into other peoples beliefs… all we “non-christians” have to say is well, how do you like it for other people to force their religion on you just like if you force your religion on other people??? then you will hear nothing, but silence because a lot of them are hypocrites….

  • mr jerkface

    These assholes need to be executed

  • John Zaffino

    What needs to be amended is not the bill; what needs to be amended is the legislature that is proposing this crap. It violates the first amendment of the US constitution. You can’t force religion on people as a condition of being certified a High School graduate. They should be trying to find ways to strengthen the education system. Damned idiots.

  • Fred

    As Hawkeye Pierce said on MASH once, “If I was communist the FIRST thing I would do is recite an oath. Then I would be free to subvert the nation all I wanted.” To bad these religious bigots don’t see that.

  • allein

    All of your examples are people taking an oath of their own free will. People aren’t drafted anymore, if they are joining the military it’s because they chose to. If they are an elected official it’s because they sought out that office and ran for it. Most high school students are already citizens, and of the ones who aren’t, why on earth would they be pledging to uphold our constitution? The really ironic part of this oath is that it includes language of freely choosing to make an oath, when they are in fact being compelled to do so under threat of not getting their diploma that they spent 12 years working for.

  • Dave N

    Who gives a poop a poop if you don’t believe in god. It’s a flipping school oath, not a contract. Overblown to the max.

  • Philomath

    I’m much more offended by the idea that they want to legislate allegiance in order to have not wasted the first 18 years of life.

  • Matt Stuart

    Who gives a poop a poop if you don’t believe in Obama. It’s a flipping school oath, not a contract. Overblown to the max.

    Who gives a poop a poop if you don’t believe in Guns. It’s a flipping school oath, not a contract. Overblown to the max.

    Who gives a poop a poop if you don’t believe in Evolution. It’s a flipping school oath, not a contract. Overblown to the max.

    Who gives a poop a poop if you don’t believe in Cheese. It’s a flipping school oath, not a contract. Overblown to the max.
    etc… SOME people like to be brainwashed or indictrinated as long as it fits their social, religious or political spectrum

  • Omar Lozano

    of all the things that probably need the attention of said representative i wonder what was overlooked or put aside to even get this “bill” to this point

  • Mathius

    It’s a hoax. For starters, it is not the correct federal oath of office as the option: “I solemnly swear or affirm” and the “So help me God” is optional. Second, a state cannot force anyone to swear a federal oath. National Guard and Governors take an alternate oath.

  • Nicholassss

    Whats to stop them from saying “oh, you’re a jew, you cant graduate” or “oh you’re black? you cant even come to school”

  • Denise Jackson

    This makes me so glad to be a FORMER Arizonan. These people are batshit, barking, howling at the moon and foaming at the mouth crazy.

  • Anthony M Perez

    I tried to buy a clue for AZ on eBay, and wouldn’t you know it, THERE ISN’T ANY. You Arizonians are really delusional.

  • josh c

    are you SERIOUS?! ya know….i lived in and out of az for yrs, i don’t like it, i don’t miss it. i need my lawn, my rain and such….this just ADDS to the hatred. (has nothing to do with the non gov’t people) i’m a full blown atheist and this is just another excuse for more tbn’s and more tcn (the christian network) and more joel osteens…gimme a f’in break and protect us AMERICANS from the REAL issues….a’holes!! ugh…

  • Amanda

    how exactly do they want the 18 year olds to defend the country? join the miliary?

  • Amanda

    the constitution, i meant

  • Andreas Lang

    Even Christians should refrain from making an oath. Read Matthew 5,33 – 37. “…But I say to you, make no oath at all… But let your statement be, ‘Yes, yes’ or ‘No, no’; anything beyond these is of evil”. The whole stunt reminds me of Catch 22′s “Glorious Loyalty Oath Crusade”.

  • Michael Powers

    No, what’s funny is how people become nostalgic for things that never actually happened, Unless, of course, you were white, christian, and well-off. For most everyone else, things weren’t all that great. Statistically, kids do better today. I know how you guys hate math and all, but that’s what the numbers say. Your bubble is dissolving. Get used to it.

  • Liberty Bell

    Wonder what would happen if there were a bill that required people religious people to deny God in order to graduate?

  • Kristy Cole

    Wait, they “had a tight deadline” so… what? They just threw together whatever crap they could think of? It is hard for me to get behind any legislation that the CREATORS of said legislation don’t even have the time and/or smarts to think through in the first place. Not that I would support anything like this anyway, but sheesh, talk about lazy. And what problem does this look to solve? I cannot believe they make things like this a priority in AZ. Head.exploding.3.2.1…

  • Samantha Spawn

    Ummm. They are graduating highschool. Not signing up for the military!!!!

  • David

    There is no harm in swearing to a god which doesn’t exist, and there is no obligation incurred by swearing to a god which doesn’t exist.

  • Patricia Williams King

    It’s a gray area to me, since it doesn’t say which God….but I believe this is an atempt to seperate teens from their H.S. diplomas. And non-Christians are going to feel uncomfortable with it.

  • Gofigya

    How much money would the State of Arizona throw away defending this bill in Court. There’s absolutely no chance it would be upheld.

  • Ralph Dtex

    We just need to vote Az out of the union.

  • atheisticallyyours

    If they have to SWEAR THE PUBLIC OFFICE OATH OF OFFICE, then let them (especially the atheist students!) REPLACE THE CURRENT LEGISLATORS upon their execution of said oath! And then demand that the “god” thing manifest itself for the “help” part, or forever be impeached for dereliction of EXISTENCE! ;)

  • El Beamer

    i’ll be at the capitol building in 12 days…have to witness 1, 2 or 3 az tribal leaders pay some sort of homage to brewer…it’s absolutely vile.

  • Richard Benedict Biehle

    I believe the oath to uphold the constitution should be a requiirement for all United States citizens who wish to enjoy the benefits of citizenship. However, even though I am Christian I do not think citizens should be coerced into asking God for help fulfilling the oath if they choose not to invoke such help. That should be a matter of conscience for the person involved. The constitution does not afford citizens freedom from religion, however it does provide freedom of religion.

  • Mwatuanghi

    These wackos keep this up, and they’ll hand over the 2016 election on a silver platter.

  • Julie Meibaum

    Wait- they have to take this freely and yet they need to say it in order to graduate? “….. allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation;”

  • Padric O’Fish

    The GOP is out of ideas so they keep recycling symbolic crap like this.
    The irony, they’re writing an unconstitutional piece of legislation- why supposedly advocating upholding said constitution.

  • Richard Benedict Biehle

    You do not have to swear the oath but to graduate you would. If you do not believe in the constitution and will not uphold it then you should not be allowed to partake in the benefits of a constitutionally formed republic. But as I said above the requirement to ask God to help you fulfill said oath should remain a matter of conscience

  • Shadow

    An “Onion” story or is April Fool’s Day pulling a Christmas in July thing this year. Even for Repubs(Not Tea Partiers), this would be beyond idiotic, so it has to be a joke and non-passable.

  • Caleb Fagundes

    From where you took it from? Could you give the references from a reliable source?

  • rich

    what a bunch of friggin idiots wasting our tax dollars on bullshit like this. they ought to be thrown out of office immediately.

  • Michael Powers

    You really, really don’t get it, do you? The REQUIREMENT to swear an oath to the constitution betrays the very constitution you claim to venerate so much. Have you ever read the damn thing? Did you comprehend what you were reading? An oath taken under any sort of duress – even if you agree with its sentiments – is worth nothing. Do you really find the concept so difficult? I guess it’s a lot easier just to wave your flag, thump your bible, and squawk about what a great patriot you are.

  • nashisih

    It’s = Its

  • Sonja Gatlin

    Arizona is quickly becoming one of the crazy states. This is totally unconstitutional but that has never stopped Arizona nor the republican ( I refuse to capitalize their name) party.

  • Juichi Larrabee

    That guy who wrote the bill must be really on crack… -.-

  • Juichi Larrabee
  • jumbybird

    I, Jumbybird, 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; And since the First Ammendment guarantees my right to free speech, feck you and your fecking imaginary god.

    PS… “I take this obligation freely”… NO, if you’re forced to take the oath against your non-belief, then you don’t take it freely.

  • Peter Pantelis

    My wife and I visited Sedona…. we liked it so much we revisited. It’s a beautiful place with great energy. It saddens me that such empty headed garbage seems to come out of that state. The state is getting a bad reputation , which can’t be good for tourism, business, or real estate values.

  • Sebastian

    Are you kidding me? This is easily avoidable by simply crossing your fingers behind your back. No need to get upset.

  • Bren Vieweg

    Just not the President or anyone in COngress, their exempt, they get to keep their golden medical while the rest of the US gets reationed or soon to be.

  • Ari

    Please tell me someone has the American Civil Liberties Union on speed dial for this…

  • Stuart

    I am a Christian and a Conservative and I think this is stupid. That is the Oath taken by soldiers who have chosen to lay their lives on the line. I took that oath. I did it by choice. I understand they think we need more patriotic Americans that believe in the Constitution and our Founding Principles but that should be done with education not indoctrination.

  • Mike Fruik


  • bobthechef

    What a juvenile comment. Could you be any less infantile? Substance or silence. You make atheists look bad.

  • Mike Fruik

    You are fucking retarded. No it is not acceptable in any way shape or form, public or not. Separation of church and state ring a bell? It should not be required or requested in any form excluding tax exempt organizations whose orientation is religion. Did you hit your head a lot as a child? Did your mother drop you on your head? Where the fuck do you think you live? It should not even be considered in the first place to have to ask “God” for advice if they should take the oath. If anything, the oath should replace “so help me god” with “in what this country and our constitution stands for”

  • bobthechef

    Supporting social programs is not the same as being socialist. True socialism is a drastic restructuring of society. Many may be socialist-minded because they were taught to think as such during the Cold War (the US government wasn’t the “defender of freedom” people like to think it was), but it’s besides the point. Most people were racists in the 19th century, so what’s your point?

    Also, as far as I’m aware, both psychopathy and sociopathy are thought of as psychiatrically untreatable afflictions.

  • Mike Fruik

    I agree. It’s not republicans, though. It’s the brainwashed many who follow what is most popular. Get your head out of your ass and see the truth.

  • bobthechef

    FOX News may be bullshit, but frankly, socialism and communism were interchangeable terms during the Cold War (although those socialist or really quasi-socialist countries outside of the Soviet axis managed to avoid the association with communism), and Marx does name communism as socialism’s successor in his historical materialism. And in the terms were used interchangeably in the 19th century. And in many cases, socialism did mean dictatorship, whether it was the dictatorship of a single man or that of a party or whatever form it may take. I dislike the smarminess of Republicans as much as the next guy, but neoliberals are a bunch of childish loons. The pot calling the kettle black, really.

  • Mike Fruik

    Because originally we used to nazi salute the flag. The hand over the heart changed in 1944.

  • Mike Fruik

    Umm no smiles. You are retarded. Do you have any idea how dumbed down our education is compared to countries abroad? Last time I checked, we scored approximately 44th compared to other countries. Greatest country in the world my ass.

  • Mike Fruik

    “College as well”. Well, since the topic is graduating college in the first place, not high school, seems like you need to do a little catching up on your reading comprehension.

  • Mike Fruik

    Your right. Arizona is part of america, the land of the free. Not do as the current majority tells you to do.

  • Mike Fruik

    You are incorrect in that regard. You seem to look at the world in only political perspectives. There is right and wrong. Telling folk mostly what they cannot do is and should be considered wrong. Which includes democracy. Democracy grants the majority(sheeple) the ability to do just that.

  • Mike Fruik

    Yup. Not true.

  • Mike Fruik


  • Mike Fruik

    What exactly does atheism have to do with party affiliation? Jackass.

  • bobthechef

    So, am I to gather than the problem the author has with this oath is the “God bit”, or the oath itself? Because while the headline suggests the former, the article suggests the later. I see a lot of huffing and puffing, and no level-headed or coherent position. Perhaps being surrounded by high schoolers all day renders one infantile.

    My position is: dumb oath.

  • Tamarindwalk

    They’re nuts!
    They have no business imposing an oath that is tantamount to one taken on entering the military. And they have no business imposing themselves and their silly beliefs on our youth.
    Advice to young people: if they impose this stupid oath, take it with your fingers crossed and commit to yourselves that you’re saying it under duress and under protest.

  • Dead Deity

    keep religion and indoctrination out of schools

  • Taleisin

    Onward christians soldiers, dying for the rich.

  • Sophia Keenesburg

    Well it is clear to me that the USA is a very ‘lunatic’ country .. and that is putting it nicely. You know they are going BACK IN TIME … more and more towards the Middle Ages.
    In future = everybody not christian will be prosecuted … you will see this will not take another two decades ….. )-

    This is bad and the majority of Americans has still kept his/her eyes closed to this.
    Step by step the country is going backwards in time … ‘christian nation that will not tolarate other religions even see ‘Athiest’ as a Religion!

    Not All American people think in that way .. but too many and others follow or are afraid enough not to say anything … and draw the attention to them.

    Where have we seen this before?
    Sort of seen this before in Human interaction… in masses …

  • stonemushroom

    Do you have human rights in America, because I can’t find a worse example of blatant human rights abuse if this goes ahead. I’m so glad I live in the secular UK

  • AT

    This is not love this is dominance and control. This is a marriage where
    the gentle “women” citizens must submit to their patriarchal overlords.
    This is how republicans think, they demand loyalty because they fail at
    inspiration. We are the blue collar salt of the earth proud American
    citizens and will give our lives 100 times over for this country, but
    demand us pledge allegiance by force? I say kiss my ass or else..
    Us Americans can be lazy drunk rebellious and unkempt. We have our
    freedom to do so. So when we are challenged as a people and come
    together as a people we fight with a ferocity unimaginable to those who
    only do so “because they are told to”. Thank you for all you of
    different faiths and non faiths, thank you for the gays and straights
    thank you for the racists and the pacifist and being a diverse culture
    full of conflict that anywhere else could only exist under a
    controlling dictatorship. This is only the petty BS well seemed to fall
    to, but when in danger true danger we have put aside such foolishness
    and come together with such spirit we have shook the world to its core.
    And yes our government is totally corrupt etc etc, but this is a novel
    attempt at rule of the peoples and the experiment is far from over and
    far from failure. SO no, make no phoney pledge to kiss the godfathers
    ring! But give us truth real truth and we will be there unflinchingly.

  • TelAmeriCorps

    Notwithstanding the God part, there should be no relationship between “swearing to uphold the constitution” and graduating high school. Since graduating isn’t a choice, but rather a recognition of acts performed, there should be no obligation on the students to do ANYTHING.

  • Jeff Bishop

    How about this oath: “I hereby swear or affirm that I will not own a slave or bootleg alcohol across state lines. Nothing else I do as a private citizen could violate the U.S. Constitution even if I wanted to.”

  • Jeff Bishop

    The same thing it means to pledge loyalty to a document that binds only government, when you’re not part of that government yourself.

  • Dale Marshall

    These people have too much free time on their hands. Can’t anyone find them some actual work to do, or is life in Arizona so peachy keen that they can sit around dreaming up crap like this?

  • Jeff Bishop

    Here’s the difference all Americans should be loyal to the country. Only government is subject to the Constitution.

  • Jeff Bishop

    It wouldn’t be funny at all if you bothered to actually read the Constitution rather than worshiping it from afar. Government is supposed to be bound by it. Private citizens are not.

  • Jeff Bishop

    Cecilia, he didn’t say anything remotely racist or bigoted and you know it. Go to hell. Go directly to hell. Do not pass go, do not collect $200.

  • Jeff Bishop

    That is exactly correct. Try reading the Constitution for a change, and you’ll find that apart from owning slaves or bootlegging alcohol across state lines, private parties couldn’t violate the Constitution if they wanted to.

  • Keith Sinkhorn

    No Christian should accept this either. See Matthew 5:33-35.

  • Marty Yanes

    I just saw another article that said some Repbublicans in Arizona introduced a bill that would do something outrageous if passed. The article included a link to the bill itself, which, if anyone bothered to read, did nothing of the sort. You didn’t include a link to the bill. Why?

  • Abzynthe

    way to go, amur-i-caaa.. bunch of fucking dumbasses would rather have unemployed idiots rather than sane working folk because of four words? you people are fucking retarded

  • wendy f, teacher of 8th grade

    “Even though I want to encourage all of our students to understand and respect our Constitution and constitutional form of government, I do not want to create a requirement that students or parents may feel uncomfortable with.”

    making kids say an oath does not make them “understand and respect” the constitution, or anything else.

  • Evan

    Err… Not only that So help me God, but isn’t adding ‘I take this obligation freely’ in a required oath to graduate high school kind of contradictory?

  • David

    I am so very tired of politicians, mainly republicans legislating morality! For decades I was a proud republican but in the last 2 presidential elections I voted independent. This is due to the fact that the politicians representing the republican party are anymore the most immoral, sexist, narrow minded, money hungry, arrogant individuals that I have ever heard from! NO ONE HAS THE RIGHT TO LEGISLATE MORALITY!

  • Lee Zehrer

    The Democratic Party is the low I.Q. electorate while the
    Republican Party puts them in office.

  • Paul Reed

    Here’s an idea: Instead of forcing kids to make pledges and oaths about something they barely even understand, why not teach them what the Constitution is and why it matters?

    I’m pretty sure american workplaces aren’t required to enforce daily pledges, so why is it deemed so necessary for schools?

  • Dean Lanton

    I think you meant “they’re exempt”

  • Richard Benedict Biehle

    why resort to silly accusations and derogatory remarks? Yes I have read “the damn thing”. Should you oppose the constitution of the United States of America then you oppose the republic that is founded upon it and thereby you disassociate yourself from its principles which puts you in league with a non citizen.

    Now I actually believe that non citizens should be treated humanely as an expression of our belief in freedom, even though the courts have ruled that non citizens do not have the right to the 4th ammendment protections or any others for that matter.

    Any person who becomes a citizen must take the oath referred to above in order to become a citizen through the naturalization process. Again, you are free to reject the oath but in so doing you also reject its benefits

  • martingugino

    so help me, the big bang.

  • Richard Benedict Biehle

    you speak like an incorrigible teenager. persons without a well grounded argument tend to curse and yell and try to villify the person they argue with. Use reason to make your argument. There is no separation of church and state in the manner you speak. There is the 1st ammendment which says that Congress shall not make any law governing the establishment of any religion nor the free exercise thereof. If you would have read my comment rather than running to an argument you would have also read that I do not think that persons taking the oath should have to invoke God for help. In other words I say the “so help me God” doesnt need to be included even though I personally would not object to adding it for myself.

  • Richard Benedict Biehle

    Okay, then using that as a principle it should not be that taxpayers have to pay for your education. That is compulsory.

  • Richard Benedict Biehle

    Okay, then using that as a principle it should not be that taxpayers have to pay for your education. That is compulsory.

  • ChristianEconCom

    People REALLY need to stop electing children into public office.

  • GardenerDave

    Isn’t this the same oath that at least USED to be taken in a naturalization ceremony?

  • Richard Benedict Biehle

    As for substituting the so help me God clause with “in what this country and our constitution stands for” I agree with you.

  • Richard Benedict Biehle

    By that oath you would not be swearing allegiance to any party ( I do not either even though I do pledge allegiance to our flag and republic). The oath is to the constitution which is our founding document which provides protection to you as a citizen from the government.

  • KateSeraSera

    Yet another example of the craziness of Arizona. There are people here, honestly, who are sane and we are working in earnest to change the culture but it’s been getting crazier with politicians to match since the late 1950′s.

  • GrammarPolice

    Dear headline writer: One does not “graduate high school.” One graduates FROM high school. Thank you.

  • KateSeraSera

    That is really true Virginia. I don’t know anyone that voted for Joe, knowing how incredibly insane he is. It’s the outside money that is fueling the Jan Brewer, Arapaio, and Jeff Flake who is truly an idiot. I think all these people landed from outer space, they are that alien.

  • Richard Benedict Biehle

    the wording of the oath as above does not “pledge to God” that you will defend the constitution it is rather an invocation for God’s help in keeping the oath, an entirely different matter. However, it would be futile for an atheist to invoke a god for help if they do not believe such help would be forthcoming and so that wording should be a voluntary and not compulsory.

  • Richard Benedict Biehle

    but as a citizen you are a part of that government. we all are as defined by that constitution and it is your duty as a citizen to abide by the constitution and to preserve it. If you do not abide by that constitution there is a good chance you will violate the rights of another citizen and be found guilty of a crime or misdemeanor.

  • Richard Benedict Biehle

    the wording of the oath as above does not “pledge to God” that you will
    defend the constitution it is rather an invocation for God’s help in
    keeping the oath, an entirely different matter. However, it would be
    futile for an atheist to invoke a god for help if they do not believe
    such help would be forthcoming and so that wording should be voluntary
    and not compulsory.

  • Edward Murphy

    Republicans are still trying to create an idiocracy.

  • Alex

    This is a GREAT way to drain Arizona’s budget, defending an indefensible statute (should it pass). What about legal resident foreign nationals? They would likely be breaking the laws of their nation of citizenship if they recite this.

  • Dean Dyer

    Two things: 1. These morons ought to try reading the bible upon which they base their faith: Matthew 5:34
    “But I say unto you, swear not at all; neither by heaven for it is God’s throne; nor by the earth for it is his footstool.”

    James 5:12

    “But above all things, brethren, swear not, neither by heaven, neither by the earth, neither by any other oath: but let your yea be yea; and your nay, nay; lest ye fall into condemnation.”
    2. Yeah, swear an oath to uphold the Constitution, because we know that works so well with politicians.

  • vpprof

    I think someone must’ve been reading “Catch 22″ too much O_O

  • God fearing American Citizen

    Just FYI, that oath is not just taken by Congress or the Bar, but also by ANYONE that wants to become a United States Citizen.I don’t agree with any law makers wasting their time or tax money on something that is so unimportant when we have more serious issues. I do feel all of the people that call Christians the names I’ve heard on your web site is nothing better than hate propaganda.
    And to the person in Ann Arbor complaining about our states politics, remember the unions and the Democrates for the most part have ruled this state.

  • God fearing US Citizen

    calling some one a retard is hatefu.

  • God fearing US Citizen

    NAY, remember Michigan has been run by the Unions and Democrats for the most part.

  • God Fearing US Citizen

    Michigan for the most part has always been run by the Unions and the Democrats who have made most of the laws. I’ve lived here all my life, I know. And And Arbor thinking their any differrent than the rest of the state are just those rose colored glasses you’re wearing.

  • Richard Benedict Biehle

    instead of spouting off nonsense you should instead form an intelligent rebuttal that is in accord with the constitution and stand up for your right to a free expression of your religion or lack of. That is your right and duty as a citizen, ie; uhphold, preserve and protect the constitution.

    However, the use of “separation of church and state” is an opinion not a constitutional argument. The proper language is that the constitution denies the congress any right to make laws establishing or preventing the free exercise of a religion.

    Although atheism is not by strict definition a religion, it has been determined that you are also free to practice the belief as a religion should you choose to do so . That is the grounds for which to object to the invocation for Gods help in keeping the civil oath to the constitution.

  • Steve Dibert

    With everyday that passes the GOP is starting to look more and more like the Nazi Party. Between making fictitious claims against liberals and socialists, their push to rig elections in the mid-west and now loyalty oaths, it sure mirrors Germany of the early 1930s.

  • Kathy Laraway Decker

    I am Kathy of Machias…so weird, ’cause I got here when this was shared by a friend from Georgia who got it from his friend, also not in Maine. I was in Bangor last night.

  • Ang’slore

    What a huge waste of time even considering this law is. Lets say student did take this oath and gets his diploma. Later down the road he takes a political stance that the State of Arizona deems to be unconstitutional. What then. Will they be in some way prosecuted for violating the oath they were forced to take when they graduated high school? Is the state of Arizona proposing to control all its citizens political beliefs and stances? If not then what is the purpose or point of this law. Dictatorship is coming to mind.

  • PhiloKGB

    You’ve obviously read Marx, so you must know that the historical implementations of socialism/communism did not exactly go according to his model.

  • RickRay

    More proof that America is religiously brainwashed. DUH….

  • Dan

    The Judiciary Act of 1789

    September 24, 1789.

    1 Stat. 73. SEC. 7. And be it [further] enacted, That the Supreme Court, and the district courts shall have power to appoint clerks for their respective courts, and that the clerk for each district court shall be clerk also of the circuit court in such district, and each of the said clerks shall, before he enters upon the execution of his office, take the following oath or affirmation, to wit: “I, A. B., being appointed clerk of , do solemnly swear, or affirm, that I will truly and faithfully enter and record all the orders, decrees, judgments and proceedings of the said court, and that I will faithfully and impartially discharge and perform all the duties of my said office, according to the best of my abilities and understanding. So help me God.” Which words, so help me God, shall be omitted in all cases where an affirmation is admitted instead of an oath. And the said clerks shall also severally give bond, with sufficient sureties, (to be approved of by the Supreme and district courts respectively) to the United States, in the sum of two thousand dollars, faithfully to discharge the duties of his office, and seasonably to record the decrees, judgments and determinations of the court of which he is clerk.

  • wildcard21

    a diploma is the proof that you have completed the required classes and social goals set by the education is not something you can withhold for a act unrelated to that education.if this law were made legal,you may as well require the student to perform felatio/cunnilingus or do whatever else the powers that be dictate.

  • Mshepard83

    ……pardon me if I’m wrong, but doesn’t this in and of itself violate the constitution? Bravo, guys…bravo!

  • rrb710

    Well, as Martin Yan, the chef used to say: “in America you can walk your dog but you can’t walk your duck!” !

  • Oosik

    Thank you Mike. I hadn’t known about the Bellamy salute. That it was used for 50yrs and two months I wonder why I don’t recall learning about it. At least by high school.

    That is what makes discussions and debates via the internet so appealing. Even in disagreements one can learn many new things. Caveat being reasonable mindful participants.

    So thank you for teaching me something new. /

  • Don Gwinn

    You are very odd.

  • Don Gwinn

    That’s appreciated, but unnecessary. No one but Cecelia Baines said anything out of line. I’m sure I’m not the only one here who’s had this experience, where if you don’t fit into either “The Left” or “The Right,” some people in both will see you as the enemy. I get similar sentiments from acquaintances on the right.

  • Don Gwinn

    TL/DR: It’s misguided to assume that people who care about religious freedom don’t care about other parts of the Constitution or human rights. I can agree that the right to keep and bear arms is important–and work harder than you to defend it–and still defend the right to privacy and the separation of church and state. Others can disagree with me about the RKBA because they genuinely see the issue differently, not because they’re evil strawmen who are against everything good and right.
    And loyalty oaths are pointless at best, sinister at worst.

  • darkgothic

    yes, the constitution does afford citizens freedom from religion …

  • darkgothic

    thank you…

  • Michael Powers

    I have to assume that you are simply being obtuse. I do this out of charity. because the alternative is, that you really can’t comprehend this simple concept.

    Once again, forcing someone to take an oath to get something they’ve spent four years earning, even if they agree with every word of it, violates the intent, and the spirit of the constitution you claim to venerate. Aside from the fact that it is the very definition of what is un-American, you have, in effect stolen from them.

    I took a very similar oath when I joined the Air Force at the age of 17. The difference is that I did so of my own free will, and full knowledge of what the oath meant. Since what was contained in the oath was, in large part, my reason for joining the military, there was no conflict.

    If you can’t understand these things, then you obviously lack the qualifications to decide who is, and isn’t worthy of being an American. It may sound derogatory to you, but you have my contempt only because you’ve earned it.

  • Elizabeth Cloudwalker

    Leave it to the Republicans to force feed religion down people’s throats.

  • scouterjim

    So, what stops an atheist saying it? They don;’t believe in God, so they fear no punishment if they say it.

  • Sarah Elizabeth Potter

    and people say there is a war on christainity.

  • King Robert

    WTF and John McCain isn’t involved in this?

  • isa kocher: isafakir

    how do these great patriots manage to get dressed in the morning. i’ve met bolders with more intelligence and wit.

  • isa kocher: isafakir

    if there is any surer way to teach teenage students to hate the USA constitution, i can’t think of any.

  • Ken Matson

    They should all be removed forcefully from their post’s.

  • Larry Hicok

    How unAmerican and theocratic can they get. Loyalty oaths and a government based on Yahweh would disgust Jefferson and Madison, as would our dear Religious Right Republicans.

  • Gregory Wonderwheel

    If they were honest and they really wanted to know that students learned the Constitution they would make a Constitutional proficency test for graduation. Oh, yeah, the legislator’s would then have to take it and would probably fail. How about if they just have the students recite the Preamble of the Constitution to graduate. That makes much more sense than either an oath or pledge to the flag.

  • Stentor7

    Didn’t they have loyalty oaths in the Soviet Union? Amazing how all authoritarians think alike.

  • Adrian Luca

    Not long ago I read about public high schools in Arizona trying to woo tuition-paying students from China. I’m not sure how happy those kids will be about being forced swear loyalty to a foreign country in order to get the diploma they paid for.

  • HDK

    I don’t know how many Az house bill 2467′s there are, but the one on the Az government site has nothing to do with an oath. It is a proposal to change parts of thier liquor laws, not anything to do with schools.

  • Meri Justus

    WoW that is totally insane, that is putting religion right on top of things, NO child should be made to say an oath just to graduate high school.these are the reasons that they need to be stopped.

  • Luke DeLalio

    Not enough time to update the language??? It’s a paragraph for f**k’s sake! He must be a moron. Well, that is obvious, isn’t it.

  • Chad

    I’m surprised that I didn’t see this in the first few pages of comments:

    Basically, this is the same oath that the military uses. I know that when one joins the military, one can omit that bit.

    The real issue is why we’re coercing adults into swearing an oath of allegiance in the first place. Isn’t that kind of… USSR of us?

  • Edd Doerr

    What do these AZ goobers have against polytheists? What’s wrong with saying
    “so help me Thor, Jupiter, Loki, Isis, Osiris,Brahma, Siva, Kali, etc etc”? –Edd Doerr (

  • The Other Weirdo

    In so far as it officially recognized no supernatural gods, that’s true. It had simply replaced the insanity of supernatural religion with the equal insanity of a natural one. Hell, we even had Lenin’s corpse preserved and put on display like a macabre, soulless cross.

  • The Other Weirdo

    Communism is far more than an economic system.It’s a belief system, a non-supernatural religion, as pernicious and soul-crushing as any version of Christianity ever was.

  • The Other Weirdo

    So, is Arkansas a good place to commit crimes in front of atheists?

  • Thegoodman

    It’s fucking amazing these assholes have the time to come up with this crap. What does this stupid oath have to do with anything? What is to be gained by such a worthless event? How does this help anyone?

  • Latenite

    Every citizen from the President down has rights afforded them by the Constitution. Shouldn’t those same citizens (including high school graduates) have a responsibility to defend it? If so, it doesn’t seem so ludicrous to have them take the same oath that our public officials (including the atheists) have taken for decades. Talk about making a mountain out of a molehill!

  • VXrider

    And your point, other than to call people names?

  • Rich Wilson

    And when some actually does defend the constitution, e.g. by enforcing the Establishment clause, they get all pissy about it .

  • fiona64

    I wonder how many of the GOTeabirchers who want to insist on administering the military oath to their high school grads remember the 1st Amendment to the US Constitution? In fact, not even the military oath requires “so help me God.”

  • Ben Tousey

    “Keep in mind that in both cases, the bills do not help children get a better education.”

    Let’s be clear… this isn’t about education. This is about control and revenge. Republicans… Christians… I think they’re pretty much the same thing… hate atheists, and they’re looking for ways to lash out against anyone who doesn’t share their worldview. In fact, education is the problem. Educated people tend to move away from this kind of neurosis. Educated people tend to think for themselves, and challenge the status quo. Education destroys Christianity, and they know that.

  • Michael Powers

    It is very important. A compulsory oath robs a person of the ability to say, “This is what I chose to do for my country.” Instead, it leaves them with, “This is what I was forced to do for my country.” It’s a rotten thing to do, and deprives them of the ability to FREELY express their patriotism. Is is really so hard to separate the symbol for the very real thing it’s meant to represent?

  • Christian

    This legislation may require students to recite a 4 worded sequence that has christian relevancy in order to graduate but don’t worry atheists…. the students had to adopt atheistic theory in order to pass their science classes, so they wouldn’t be at graduation reciting “so help me God” unless you already had the chance to indoctrinate them. I think you are safe.

    Side note: How about leaving things in context in the next news story

  • grevyturty

    Keep electing religious crAZies, this is what you get.

  • grevyturty

    Because they’ve never been implemented as such, my historically illiterate friend.

  • Orb Ov Sound

    I don’t see how any state assembly can claim the authority that would give a public school employee both the authority and the obligation to administer a FEDERAL oath.
    Requiring a student to take such an oath to a diploma showing completion of a curriculum that was imposed on them by the laws of the land creates a situation where the oath cannot be taken “freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion.”
    Also, the language of the bill does not exempt for foreign exchange students or children whose families are in the United States on work visas. This “law” is DOA if challenged in a Federal court.

  • Madfoot713

    That’s incorrect. He did have a challenger from Maine, but he didn’t get enough support from party leaders to be put on the ballot.

  • amycas

    You can’t sue unless you can demonstrate damages. Courts can’t issue opinions or rulings on something that *may* happen in the future.

  • amycas

    “In so far as it officially recognized no supernatural gods…”

    That’s true of every form of government though, except a theocracy.

  • amycas

    “We disapprove of state education. Then the socialists say that we are opposed to any education.”

    Somebody (in the U.S.) who would rather have a private education system, as opposed to the public one, would have to show how all the poor people will be able to get an education. That’s why I’m for public education systems. So, if somebody objects to public education systems, we don’t say “you’re against education,” we say “how is everybody going to get education then?”

    “We object to a state religion. Then the socialists say that we want no religion at all.”

    A state religion is not socialism–that’s a theocracy. I don’t see how “state religion” has anything to do with socialism. Also, as far as I can tell, in the U.S. it’s not the left-wing socialists who want to enforce a religion–that sentiment is coming from the religious right.

    “We object to a state-enforced equality. Then they say that we are against equality. ”

    This statement doesn’t make much sense. Equality before the law can only be obtained if the state enforces it–private industry cannot guarantee that a black man will be treated the same in court as a white man. Nobody is asking for equal outcomes–just equal treatment and at least a semblance that opportunity is available to everyone. Socialism does seek to address some concerns over equality–such as government aid for the poor.

    “It is as if the socialists were to accuse us of not wanting persons to eat because we do not want the state to raise grain.”

    When people rail against programs that provide health care benefits and food to poor children, it does seem as though some people don’t want others to eat. When there are those who lament for the days when financial, health and food assistance was only available through private sources, they ignore the history and why there was a push for aid available through the government. Private charities had fewer resources and were prone to practice discrimination based on race and religion when doling out charity.

    It seem Frederic Bastiat’s quote is one big straw-man argument.

  • amycas

    Soon we’ll have to swear a loyalty oath in order to gain access to the mess hall…and then again to get some mashed potatoes…

  • amycas

    Of course she didn’t. Didn’t you hear? Reading Heller’s work makes one and “erudite hillbilly.”

  • amycas

    Coyotenose said that because the issue of the contraception mandate has been discussed and dissected a lot here at FA–both in the blog posts and in the comments. Regulars would know that. I don’t think Coyotenose was implying that one must be a regular of FA in order to qualify as being studious or knowing about the contraception mandate.

  • amycas

    Healthcare is already rationed in the private system.

  • amycas

    No. I won’t get the *fuck* out. Telling somebody that they should have to leave their country of origin–which means leaving their family, their culture, their entire community behind–because they disagree with you is disgusting.

    I oppose nationalism. I see no reason why children and teenagers should be forced to swear oaths and allegiances to a country when they have no idea, yet, what they want for their own life. Respect for what the constitution means and stands for and strives to protect is not the same thing as blindly “loving” your nation.

    By the way, public education is not free. It’s paid for by taxes, usually property taxes, and everybody pays property taxes (yes, even those who rent, because the cost of taxes is past on to the renters). No, this is not the greatest country on earth. There is no such thing as that.

    *I find it odd that you’re willing to voice such a vulgar idea, but you’re not willing to use the vulgar language to go along with it.

  • amycas

    For somebody who claims to love the constitution and the form of government it outlines, you do not seem to actually know much about it.

    The separation of church and state is not only derived from the first amendment, but it has been interpreted and applied by the legislature and the court systems. The USSC established the concept of judicial review during Jefferson’s presidency.

    Judicial review gives the Supreme Court the ability to interpret legislative and executive actions and declare them constitutional or unconstitutional. In keeping with this idea, the USSC has on many many occasions come across first amendment/religious rights cases, and “separation of church and state” is exactly how they interpret the first amendment.

    The addition of the 14th amendment means that every branch of government in the U.S. is subject to the entire constitution (including the Bill of Rights). A public school, for example, must not violate the rights of students. A public transit system must not violate the rights of its patrons, and so on.

    Our laws are also based on the common law system, which is based on the doctrines of stare decisis and following court precedents. In effect, when the court makes a ruling, that ruling becomes law. So, when the USSC makes a ruling about the first amendment, in concert with the 14th amendment, which expands the definition of the establishment clause, then that expansion is now law.

    Your insistence on only looking at the exact words of the constitution and not looking at what the founders intended for it or at what court rulings has defined it as, is short-sighted and a tad dishonest.

  • jimaj

    A somewhat deceptive title, but I guess that’s what journalism requires. Who is going to read your article unless you tell a little line to gain people’s interests?

    It’s still despicable that these Republicans are trying to do this, however.

  • jimaj

    *lie. not line

  • amycas

    My guess is the founding fathers weren’t very patriotic, seeing as how they led a revolution against their government in order to make a new one /end sad excuse for a history joke

  • amycas

    Graduating from high school is not the same thing as becoming a citizen. Graduation is only meant to show that you completed the requisite course work for that degree/diploma. There’s no reason for students to have to swear loyalty to any government to show that they completed all of their course work.

  • amycas

    I don’t pledge allegiance to anything–flag, constitution, country.

  • amycas

    The state is governed by a constitution that limits the states powers in order to preserve the rights of the people. As has been stated, if this law is enacted, then it will be challenged in court, be found unconstitutional and it will no longer be enforced.

  • Thayer Goss

    I’m not even ok with a revised version, because this is a creep method of getting religion and nationalism as a requirement for citizenship. Just 5-10 years ago the religious right used to have to obfuscate their religious intentions behind incredibly transparent secular reasons, but now it has been normalized for them to straight up say that they want their religion to determine our laws, and while this may be a lot more honest, the public is becoming more and more desensitized to it and less willing to fight the nonsense as a whole. This is creating more pressure on those of us that are trying to keep the separation of religion and government strong. It used to be considered crazy for a politician to openly propose legislating their religion into law, but now it seems to be more crazy to think that they shouldn’t be able to do so. At least in my neck of the woods, and I blame this on the ever creeping normalization of these small tidbits of legislation. They propose the craziest and then offer to amend it so that people think that they aren’t being crazy, since they are being “reasonable,” but even after the amendment the bill is still crazy, just not as crazy.

  • Tim Drury

    Wouldn’t foreign exchange students have an issue with swearing to uphold the US Constitution?

  • Mark O’Brien

    The Teabalicans need to get their asses kicked by the Supreme Court. OTOH, it is obvious that they have not read nor understand the constitution of the United States of America.

  • John Stephen Dwyer

    I also thought that “The Onion” story about drones at the inauguration was plausible.

  • Adam Thede

    Hitler wasn’t a Communist.

  • Wa Aayne

    ah, your just saying so help me to a mythical creature anyways, who gives a sh.t? might as well say “so help me hobbit” theyre both make believe!

  • Mandy Evans

    “… 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 …” In other words, swear to oppose the Republican agenda

  • Mandy Evans

    I was a Reagan Republican, and he wouldn’t recognize the twisted Neo-fascist train wreck his party has become, let alone approve

  • Adam Thede

    This isn’t really an opinion, it’s a historical fact. I’m not sure what your objection is.

  • eric stone

    What’s the difference between the Religious Right making you swear allegiance to a God and Hitler making you swear allegiance to the Nazi party.

  • of_dragonflies

    ‘understand and respect the constitution’? I’m not even American and I’m pretty damn sure that under the original constitution there is no mention of a, or any, god.
    Booooo. Crazy people.

  • Micius Porcius

    Children before you graduate high school today do any of you know what “under duress” means? No, none of you? Good then say this pledge before you can graduate.

  • Michael Powers

    If they’re unfamiliar with the term, ten it’s probable that they’re not quite ready to graduate yet.

  • Josey

    This deliberately and maliciously goes against our First Amendment Rights of the US Constitution. It isolates people of all races and religious freedoms. Good luck holding such an ill-thought out bill up as law for any length of time. It’s a poor use of our Supreme Court’s time to have to order such a bill/law’s removal.

  • Ryan Conrey

    descrimintion based on religion its against the law i would sum arizona if i lived there and they told me to do that

  • Ryan Conrey


  • Laci Rich

    People should be afraid of something like this “Oath” for more reasons than just the God part. Just the simple fact that they want you to swear and Oath to defend the Constitution of the U.S. and swear allegiance to that effect before you can graduate is MONUMENTALLY scary and insane. Reminds one a bit of the history of things like……the Hitler youth, and things like this make people outside the U.S. just a little itchy around us. It’s really, really wackadoo. The God part isn’t the only part. Just saying.

  • Gary Williams

    And then you got yer adherents of libertarian socialism who assert that a society based on freedom and equality can be achieved through abolishing authoritarian institutions that control certain means of production and subordinate the majority to an owning class or political and economic elite. Libertarian socialism also constitutes a tendency of thought that promotes the identification, criticism, and practical dismantling of illegitimate authority in all aspects of life.
    Accordingly, libertarian socialists believe that “the exercise of power in any institutionalized form—whether economic, political, religious, or sexual—brutalizes both the wielder of power and the one over whom it is exercised”. Libertarian socialists generally place their hopes in decentralized means of direct democracy such as libertarian municipalism, citizens’ assemblies, trade unions, and workers’ councils.

  • Jansen Waddell

    You, sir, shall be quoted for millennia to come.

  • Edward Sedgwick

    I’m from England and in my entire life of 42 years I have only had to swear an oath 4 times. I thought America was the land of the free.

  • Angry Panda

    What is wrong with these people!?!? Stop trying to force others on your beliefs . Do these men get off on controlling other people? Is it a power trip? It’s insane!

  • cutty

    As a liberal, i was shocked that a Tea Party Republican had a brain. i thought all Tea Baggers were thoughtless, but i’m starting to love Thorpe. Of course there still are many, many liberals morons out there and they are showing themselves now with their full-throated, mindless bashing of this bill.

    Still, i love satirical analogy.

  • TM

    A lot of athiests tend to criticize religions for making a big deal over very small issues because they might not fit into their agendas, And yet here is a mass of comments enraged over…a 4 word phrase? Look, if you are so agnostic that you can’t even reference or say the word “god”, maybe you should relax a bit. “So help me God” is a simple phrase used commonly in every day conversation by theists and athiests alike, not some sinister plot to control your minds. Chill out, guys.

  • Michael Powers

    I’m not shocked at all to see how comfortable many on the right are on the slippery slope. It’s what happens when you can’t see beyond your own immediate self interest.

  • Zoraida G. Dunn

    This ppl r nuts, trying for other to follow their beliefs? That is just ridiculous.

  • Lee

    If these bill gets approved, I’m moving to Mars.

  • tom

    And then they wonder why people are moving away from the republican party in droves, you almost have to believe they make this stuff up for attention

  • Frosty72

    Putting “in god we trust” on our currency was absolutely a 1st Amendment violation – but that doesn’t affect laws regarding defacement of currency. Two different things.

  • Janine Nice

    If you are so interested in facts why don’t you get them right before you cast aspersions on people’s characters such as calling them “christianists” when they are not. So stop giving Atheism a bad name by rushing to judgement and calling polite people fucktons when they are on your side…

  • Janine Nice

    agreed. it needs to be fought against.

  • 0ojoyo0

    I’m more offended as an American, that people would be forced to say an oath (very similar to the one I said when I joined the military), than as an atheist. The “so help me god” is just icing on the cake.

  • Jim Simandle

    you would be required to take the oath but state that you take it freely? I know this is mentioned in the story but I felt it was worth repeating.

  • Tom Terry

    10 seconds after this became reality…it would tried, fail and be ridiculed…as it and anyone that thinks this way should be ridiculed…

  • Ælfgifu

    This irritates me, because YOU CANNOT FORCE FAITH. Stop it. Now.

  • Tim Presnell

    hmmmm someone else made thw youth of his country swear allegiance too.. his name was HITLER

  • Alan Ball

    Blocking not only Atheists but also religious who are against swearing on the name of God, aka most of them. I don’t know why this is a THING. I mean it pretty much makes everyone uncomfortable for no real benefit.

  • Wang King

    It’s against human rights. (maybe they don’t have that in the US anymore) Besides, how do you define an atheist. I could believe in a green banana God – then I would no longer be an atheist.

  • Cliff Wells

    I think you’re reading too much between the lines. I fully agree with you on this. In fact, in our FPTP voting system, it’s actually a minority who end up in power and oppress the other minorities.

  • Indy Wulfe

    the way the law is written, yep

  • Matt Begley

    Why should high school students, or anyone else for that matter, be required to swear an oath impossed upon them by those who are violating their own oath to this nation by the impossition of this absurd law?

  • Matt Begley

    Is the Machias you speak of in Maine? I only ask because I lived in Machias, Washington.

  • Aaron

    I wrote the following letter to the writer and cosponsors of this bill:

    Dear Senator Landrum-Taylor,

    I am not often compelled to contact my elected officials, so you may be sure that the issue I am addressing is one that causes me great distress.

    It has come to my attention that several distinguished members of the Arizona legislature have proposed HB 2467, which would require all graduating high-school students to pledge an oath to defend the constitution, “so help [them] God.” I imagine that I am not the first to raise a concern over this matter, and assuredly, I will not be the last. I registered as an Independent voter, resolute in the notion that neither Democrat nor Republican views could encompass infallible reason all the time. The adoption of a political position at either extreme would demand that I accept philosophies that are in direct conflict with a trained conscience. And so it
    is with the bill referenced above.

    Though I am conservative in many aspects of my political views, I find the requirements of this bill unconscionable, and in my humble estimation, in violation of our State Constitution. Article 2, Section 12 of the Arizona Constitution reads as follows:

    “The liberty of conscience secured by the provisions of this constitution shall not be so construed as to excuse acts of licentiousness, or justify practices inconsistent
    with the peace and safety of the state. No public money or property shall be appropriated for or applied to any religious worship, exercise, or instruction, or to the support of any religious establishment. No religious qualification shall be required for any public office or employment, nor shall any person be incompetent as a witness or juror in consequence of his opinion on matters of religion, nor be questioned touching his religious belief in any court of justice to affect the weight of his testimony.”

    The second sentence of this section prohibits the oath in its present form. Any student whose education is being granted by a publicly funded school district will potentially have their diploma held hostage at the cost of invoking God in an oath. Madam, this is no less a funding of religion than handing a check over to a church for placing a State flag on the altar.

    I would like to further point out that Article 2, Section 7:

    “The mode of administering an oath, or affirmation, shall be such as shall be most consistent with and binding upon the conscience of the person to whom such oath, or affirmation, may be administered.”

    If it is therefore a violation of conscience to take the oath, then it may not be administered in any form, and to demand that it be taken for the purposes of graduation is coercion in its simplest form. The United States Supreme Court has previously ruled, in West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette, that public school students are not required to say the Pledge of Allegiance, concluding that
    “compulsory unification of opinion” violates the First Amendment. A compulsory oath to defend a Constitution, which is too seldom upheld in these times, in exchange for a diploma is no less despicable or internally conflicting.

    Senator, the American people are too frequently disappointed by our elected officials, and I am sorely disappointed that such a misguided effort, which fails on so many levels, could garner the support of eight literate co-sponsors. It is my fervent hope that you will uphold our State Constitution, even if you do not share my viewpoint.

    Best regards,

    Aaron M******


    Senator Rich Crandall
    Senator Chester Crandall
    Representative Bill Thorpe
    Representative Sonny Borrelli
    Representative Victoria Steele
    Representative T.J. Shope
    Representative Steve Smith
    Representative Jeff Dial
    Representative David Livingston

  • Michael Powers

    You, sir, are my new hero. It is unfortunate that something so eloquently written will likely be casually dismissed by people who have only a vague notion of what it means.

  • bird

    my parents wouldn’t have given me permission to omit “under god”. they think i am lost and that i will somehow find my way back to god. only if i become braindead

  • Cheryl Ann Tomlin

    That is totally UNCONSTITUTIONAL! As well as Homo Stultus!! GOPs always forget separation of church & state!!!

  • Barry St. Denis

    The lunatics have taken over the assylum!!

  • Aaron

    I actually received two replies from the Rep. Thorpe. I’ll post these in the order received:


    Since the day that this bill was introduced, I was planning on amending it to make the oath optional. Here is my draft amendment that our legislative attorneys are currently working with:


    I, _________, do solemnly swear (OR AFFIRM) 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.


    Bob Thorpe, LD-6

    Serving the Fine People of the Great and Sovereign State of Arizona
    IncludingCoconino, Gila, Navajo and Yavapai Counties

  • Aaron

    Dear Sir,

    Thank you for the timely response. In a budget conscious time for all levels of government, may I point out that if it is necessary to introduce a bill that will “ENCOURAGE OUR HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATES TO UNDERSTAND AND APPRECIATE OUR U.S. CONSTITUTION”, perhaps you should be investing in our schools instead of wasting legislative funds on a superfluous bill. My tax dollars are hellaciously misspent already, and the cumulative efforts of yourself, your fellow Representatives, Senators, and legislative attorneys smack of fiscal irresponsibility.

    Best Regards,

    Aaron M******

  • Aaron

    Hi Aaron:

    I am in the process of talking to the ROTC to possibly implement this program, with little or no cost to taxpayers. When you consider that we have an out of control federal government that disregards the Constitution as they spend us off a fiscal cliff ($16+ trillion debt), wouldn’t it be somewhat reassuring if we could influence some future leaders with an understanding of and respect for our Constitution?

    Warmest regards,

    Bob Thorpe, LD-6

    Serving the Fine People of the Great and Sovereign State of Arizona Including Coconino, Gila, Navajo and Yavapai Counties

  • Aaron

    Dear Sir,

    In the course of this conversation this bill has progressively degraded from mandatory for all high-school students (as it is currently drafted), to optional so as to “ENCOURAGE OUR HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATES TO UNDERSTAND AND APPRECIATE OUR U.S. CONSTITUTION”, and is now possibly to be implemented only in the ROTC. My very superficial research into the Reserve Officer Training Corps very plainly identifies that cadets will have already committed to military service after high school, so I have come to the logical conclusion that they will take the standard US Armed Forces Oath of Enlistment, to which the oath written into HB 2467 is “VERY SIMILAR”.

    I will not be ‘somewhat reassured’ that future leaders understand the Constitution any better by having taken two substantially identical oaths. Neither am I reassured by legislators that draft incomplete and constitutionally ignorant bills and then plan to implement them in a way that makes an already hallowed oath entirely redundant.

    Please take the time to reflect on this issue. I am having incredible difficulty seeing this as anything other than a wasted effort that will not enhance society in any measurable way. All of the things you hope to accomplish with this bill are things that our education system should already be doing, and which our military has already done. If there is in fact a problem with social awareness of the US Constitution, this bill does not have the teeth to affect such change.

    The cost to taxpayers will not be measured in dollars and cents. It will measured in an electorate that continues to lose faith in leaders who, unable to affect real and substantial change, make themselves look useful by appearing to be busy, but continue to offer nothing of any value. We are already dealing with this at a Federal level. Please do not cheapen the Arizona legislature in the same way.

    Best Regards,
    Aaron M******

  • Aaron

    Representative Thorpe has ceased to reply.

  • DemocraticDissenter

    HAHAHAHAHAHA. This article was written by a 3 year old. Oh boohoo! My child might have to say, “So help me God.” That is so reprehensible, especially in a country where the word “God” is printed on the money. Now all you useless Democrats and Green-Party whine-buckets can complain about what I wrote after I leave so you can make yourselves feel better(Even though your venting to a machine! Pathetic!). HAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

  • Puzzled

    Not to mention the Republicans seem to think most defenses of the Constitution should be imprisonable offenses…

  • Michael Powers

    So, you would have me engage in a primitive ritual by swearing an oath to a mythical sky god because you think it’s cool to be stupid? No thanks.

  • Andrew Garrett

    It’s not about refusing people graduation for being atheist. It’s about requiring a religious oath. I mean, it’s not great, but I’d happily just say the oath and be done with it. It’s not like (as implied) they want to have teachers investigating suspected atheists and denying them the right to graduate.

  • Michael Powers

    If you would be happy just to say the oath, does that mean you would also keep it? I would not recite any compulsory oath out of principle. Nor would I recite an oath I did not intend to keep out of honor. They aren’t just words, and if the last lesson we teach a student before graduating is that it’s OK to lie to get what you want, then we have failed them.

  • vic

    Re: the fact that atheists wouldn’t be able to graduate or would be forced to lie in order to be graduated… Well, this would be nothing new at all, would it? It does not occur to religious people that forcing people to believe or accept an idea isn’t even possible except perhaps through brainwashing. They don’t mind if people lie, I suppose, except when they aren’t supposed to. Or is lying conditional? What does god say about this?

  • vic

    That’s quite optimistic, but it would be nice to see.

  • Dogly

    Kids shouldn’t be required to make a loyalty pledge at all. Not to the country, the constitution, nor to gods. They are too young to sign contracts. Pledging allegiance to the flag, with or without, “under God” should not be required, either. Our government is a tool to serve citizens, and to help us organize our efforts for the good of citizens. We should not even think about serving government. In the U.S. of A, we the people ARE the government, remember.

  • anon

    What about non-citizen students? Why should they swear to defend our Constitution?

  • Poose

    Just re-arrange the last word-”So help me Dog”…

    Who wouldn’t want a bit of help from Lassie?

  • Guest

    I’d war with them over this…

  • Jesse Cox

    “that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion”

    Sounds like a big fat lie to me :)

  • Chris Johnson

    EXCELLENT! Please continue to spoon feed the 2016 Presidential race to the Democrats. Thank you!

  • Echo Moon

    what a pity that these politicians are using their time, energy, citizens money on this stuff.
    i am 58 and i would not recite those words. i wouldn’t have said them to graduate either.

    i quit saying the pledge in jr high/middle school because of the wording, justice for all and in god we trust…..
    if your rich enough you can buy any kind of justice you want. and i quit believing in the so called christian god back then too. well i believe in god i just don’t believe in the christian concept of him/her.

  • Matt D

    Communism is no more Atheist than a Theocracy is Christian.

  • Matt D

    Hitler was a Christian.

  • Matt D

    I think his objection is that you can’t call Atheists “Communists” anymore than we can call Christians “Theocracists”. I can understand why you would be confused by this, since your looking to excuse rather than confront.

  • Darklon

    Any oath is only as good as the person swearing it. Idiotic, wasteful hypocrites! Or, should I just call them politicians? Same thing. I weep for the future.

  • chriscolumbianyc

    A new low for the tea-scum-bagging anti-American plutocratic theocratic fascist REPUGNICANT party. Atheist and PROUD! Truth trumps faith.

  • chriscolumbianyc

    You are confusing and re-defining terms based on a western lens. Marx vision of utopia was communistic, meaning land ownership was negated by the few and placed in the hands of the many. It was not, nor never intended, to be a “replacement for socialism.” Moreover, the terms socialism and communism may have been interchanged, but if they were it was misguided. The terms have separate meanings and are replete with nuances. Lastly, anyone who confuses socialism with dictatorship is a childish loon. I’ll take neo-liberals over those who deride them any day.

  • chriscolumbianyc

    socialism and communism, of which Marx was neither, is not the same thing.

  • chriscolumbianyc

    Now that capitalism is imploding, I’m willing to try socialism.

  • Nualaan

    “Under God”in the pledge and “In God We Trust” on paper currency only appeared during my childhood… hardly what we could call a “tradition”. They were both added out of irrational fear during the “Red Scare” of the 1950′s. “E Pluribus Unum” and “One nation indivisible” are traditions…

    I have no issue with religion in a church building or a private home so long as no one is harmed by the practice. I am not advocating for a “complete purging of everything religious” just keep it away from government and secular society.