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.

  • http://boldquestions.wordpress.com/ 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?

    • http://www.facebook.com/brian.westley 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.

      • 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.

        • http://www.flickr.com/photos/chidy/ chicago dyke

          seems so fascist to me

          ya think?

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

      • ellid

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

        • 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.

          • http://www.facebook.com/mike.fruik Mike Fruik

            Because originally we used to nazi salute the flag. The hand over the heart changed in 1944.

            • 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. /

      • http://www.facebook.com/kerry.wright3 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.

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Clara-Perisho/100001875864315 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).

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Curiousity-Georgia/100003258942380 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.

        • 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.

          • UNC

            I’m right there with you Granny

      • http://www.facebook.com/naanduin.macleod 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?

    • 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.

      • andre

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

    • 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.

      • 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.

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1663362389 Lee-Anna Morris

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

          • 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.)

          • http://www.facebook.com/mike.fruik 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.

            • JamesInCA

              No, the topic is graduating from high school.

        • Smiles

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

      • 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.

      • 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.

        • http://www.flickr.com/photos/chidy/ 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.

          • Aquaria

            What do you mean few?

            There are at least 100 of them in Texas alone. Even smaller towns like McAllen and Tyler have the IB DP program.

            Sheesh. At least know what you’re talking about.

            • seamouse

              Well, you’ve just made a really ignorant comment. From taking a few seconds to Google it:

              Only 3,632 schools IN THE WORLD teach one of the programs offered by the IB. 2,400 of those are what we’d consider high schools (the others are for primary and middle-year programs). 800 high schools in the U.S. offer the diploma program. Guess what? There are 100,000 public schools in America.

              I don’t want to be rude, but when you call someone out and end your comment with “at least know what you’re talking about,” while saying something so completely uninformed, you should actually be ashamed. If someone else doesn’t come along to correct you, you’re spreading misinformation and keeping other people ignorant.

        • Smiles

          That’s great…..for you…..

          • http://www.facebook.com/mike.fruik 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.

    • Andrew Thorp

      When in Rome do as Romans do.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=592385166 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.

        • http://profiles.google.com/marc.k.mielke Marc Mielke

          You make fitting in sound so tempting.

        • NickDB

          In Rome they tortured lots of people, Christians weren’t specifically targeted. Those Christians that were were also usually tortured for rebellion against Rome, not because they were Christian. Article right here about it last week.

      • honeybee

        idiot

      • Cliff Wells

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

      • Ladifuckinda

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

        • Michtou

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

      • ellid

        Arizona is not Rome.

        • http://www.facebook.com/mike.fruik Mike Fruik

          Your right. Arizona is part of america, the land of the free. Not do as the current majority tells you to do.

    • http://www.facebook.com/silk.eotd 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.

    • http://louiszwu.blogspot.com/ Michael Powers

      …ibi libertas (love the name)

  • 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.

    • http://www.facebook.com/dixie.melzer 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.

      • baal

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

      • http://www.facebook.com/danie.francis Danie Francis

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

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Greg-Eatroff/1013946885 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.

          • 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.

            • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=654785006 Roy Jones

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

              • 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. :-(

            • 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.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=20703981 David DeMedicis

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

    • 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

      • 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.

        • Susan

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

        • Jessie

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

        • Baby_Raptor

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

        • MaryKaye

          This is required in the Seattle Public School District (60 hours’ requirement for graduation).

          I am not convinced it is “irrelevant to their studies” though the point is certainly arguable. In any case it’s much more neutral than the Arizona law as there are only very loose constraints on what type of work you can do.

      • 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.

    • http://www.facebook.com/patrick.chandler.56 Pat Chandler

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

  • Randomfactor

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

    • http://www.facebook.com/brian.westley Brian Westley

      Close; Arizona has bottomless stupidity.

      • http://twitter.com/BluebonnetTX BluebonnetTX

        From you post it appears you do as well.

        • Baby_Raptor

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

    • 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.

  • The Other Weirdo

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

    • coyotenose

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

      • ortcutt

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

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bellamy_salute

        • Jim Jones

          Time to bring it back!

          • Jimmy Buffet

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

            • Fred Bosick

              How about, “Arbeiter, Fascist, Stormtrooper”?

            • K

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

              • 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.

                • 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.

            • dashed

              More Fuhrer

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Sharon-Gibson/1369242215 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.

            • http://www.facebook.com/people/Greg-Eatroff/1013946885 Greg Eatroff

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

        • 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.

          • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

            True, but he kinda ruined it for everyone.

            • DAK23

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

          • JibbaJabba

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

        • coyotenose

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

        • Sillama

          The original salute predated the Nazis, so maybe they were copying us. ;-)

      • 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.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Kate-Sannicks-Lerner/567558382 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…

        • coyotenose

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

    • http://www.facebook.com/Stanton5 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.

    • Adam

      Communism is athiest.

      • http://www.facebook.com/david.parsons.353 David Parsons

        is it really? you sir are an idiot

        • http://www.facebook.com/athede Adam Thede

          This isn’t really an opinion, it’s a historical fact. I’m not sure what your objection is.

          • 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.

      • James

        Hitler was a Christian. Hey this is fun!

        • http://www.facebook.com/athede Adam Thede

          Hitler wasn’t a Communist.

          • Matt D

            Hitler was a Christian.

      • coyotenose

        Dumb, very dumb.

      • Antinomian

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

      • 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.

        • amycas

          “In so far as it officially recognized no supernatural gods…”

          That’s true of every form of government though, except a theocracy.

      • Matt D

        Communism is no more Atheist than a Theocracy is Christian.

      • dashed

        A system of government doesn’t have a religion unless it’s a theocracy.

      • Ann Onymous

        Communism is secular.
        Assertions don’t foster argument.

    • Andrew Thorp

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

      • 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 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fascism

    • batmansdad

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

    • 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.

      • 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

        • 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.

      • 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.

  • 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.

    • 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.

      • Tina

        The strange part is having to do it THREE TIMES!

      • 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?

        • 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?

          • http://www.facebook.com/jeffbishop 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.

  • 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…..in 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.

    • http://gloomcookie613.tumblr.com GloomCookie613

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

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000030624986 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:

      • 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.

        • 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.

    • Liz

      Surely you can find something better to shame Jan Brewer about than her appearance. Not cool.

    • Dana Gutierrez

      Will you kindly post a link to the law on conception? I’d be interested to read it. Thanks!

  • Michael

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

    • 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.

      • 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

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

          • 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.

          • 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.

      • 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.

  • 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.

    • Dana Gutierrez

      Well, they are sure that it isn’t because it wasn’t written on the same piece of paper!

  • 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?

    • 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.

  • 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!

  • http://www.mymusingcorner.wordpress.com/ 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.

    • 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.

      • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ 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.

        • 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.

      • http://www.facebook.com/theron.corse Theron Corse

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

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1300735256 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.

        • 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.

          • http://www.facebook.com/indy.wulfe 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 “Umm..it says WHAT?” after the fact.

            • The Other Weirdo

              So, is Arkansas a good place to commit crimes in front of atheists?

              • http://www.facebook.com/indy.wulfe Indy Wulfe

                the way the law is written, yep

        • 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.

      • http://www.mymusingcorner.wordpress.com/ 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.

        • 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.

      • 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?

      • http://profiles.google.com/robertbos Rob Bos

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

      • Flying Goat

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

      • 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.

  • http://www.facebook.com/sean.kemmis 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.

    • 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.

      • Studious_Citizen

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

        • aergern

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

        • James

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

        • 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.

        • http://www.facebook.com/elvis.perera Elvis Perera

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

        • Imahicktoo

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

        • 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.

        • ellid

          Ah, pomposity…the refuge of clueless Republicans.

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=592385166 Pan Dimensional

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

      • 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.

        • 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…

          • 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).

            • 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.

              • 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).

                • 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.

                • 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).

                • http://www.facebook.com/mike.fruik 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.

                • 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.

      • http://www.facebook.com/robert.rankin.501 Robert Rankin

        Orwell a socailist? hmm

        • http://www.facebook.com/mike.fruik Mike Fruik

          Yup. Not true.

    • Studious_Citizen

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

      • Zooba

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

        • 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.

          • coyotenose

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

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Greg-Eatroff/1013946885 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?

      • 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?

        • http://www.facebook.com/mike.fruik Mike Fruik

          *and

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Grahame-Turner/1804093 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.

      • http://www.facebook.com/jeffbishop Jeff Bishop

        Here’s the difference all Americans should be loyal to the country. Only government is subject to the Constitution.

    • http://www.facebook.com/don.gwinn Don Gwinn

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

      • 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…

    • http://www.facebook.com/isaacwilson1 Isaac Wilson

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

  • http://www.facebook.com/jim.carpick 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.

  • http://friendlyatheist.com 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.

    • 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.

  • pagansister

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

    • Stev84

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

      • pagansister

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

  • 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.

    • Fed_Up18

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

      • 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.

    • 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?

      • 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.

      • http://www.facebook.com/theron.corse 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?

        • coyotenose

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

      • http://www.facebook.com/don.gwinn 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

        • 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.

          • 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.

          • 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.

            • Cecelia Baines

              Who the hell are you to try and apologize for ME. Fuck you, fuck your guns and fuck your idiocy.

              • Cliff Wells

                Who the hell are you to “paraphrase” someone else’s words in order to “save everyone” from them? Self-important much?

            • http://www.facebook.com/don.gwinn 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.

          • Musemistress

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

            • amycas

              Of course she didn’t. Didn’t you hear? Reading Heller’s work makes one and “erudite hillbilly.”

          • 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.

            • Cecelia Baines

              hey hausfrau, leave thew Internets once in a while and try and grow and live a little, you bitter little fuck.

              • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ 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!

                • 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).

          • 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.

          • http://www.facebook.com/jeffbishop 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.

          • http://www.facebook.com/don.gwinn Don Gwinn

            You are very odd.

        • http://www.facebook.com/don.gwinn 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.

      • 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.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Greg-Eatroff/1013946885 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.

        • coyotenose

          Very nice examples there, thank you.

        • nakedanthropologist

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

      • 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.

        • Louisse

          “If you were a regular here” ? How condescending of you.

          • 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.

      • 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.

      • 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.

      • 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.

      • http://www.facebook.com/jeffbishop 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.

  • 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.

  • http://www.facebook.com/chrisalgoo Chris Algoo

    The party of Small Government, folks!

    • 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).

      • http://twitter.com/BeamishKinowerk Beamish Kinowerks

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

        • Cliff Wells

          You should actually learn what the Libertarian platform is before making wildly incorrect generalizations.

          • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

            Libertarianism = “I got mine, fuck you”

            • Cliff Wells
              • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ 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.”)

                • 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.

      • 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.

        • 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.

  • 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?

    • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ 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.

      • Jamal Igle

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

        • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ 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.

  • Glasofruix

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

    • http://www.facebook.com/danie.francis Danie Francis

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

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1300735256 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!

        • coyotenose

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Curiosity

          Your very mature self-importance is noted.

        • http://www.facebook.com/indy.wulfe 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. :)

      • Glasofruix

        Belgium

  • http://macnugget.org/ David McNett (Nugget)

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

    • http://twitter.com/banasidhe Banasidhe

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

      • Raven

        I love that i find you everywhere.

    • Ronlawhouston

      Yes, please, please can I steal this?

    • http://www.facebook.com/danie.francis Danie Francis

      Can I use that too!

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/ Kevin_Of_Bangor

      • Earthling3

        Hi again, Kevin. Fancy meeting you here.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/ Kevin_Of_Bangor

          How did you get here?

          • Earthling3

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

            • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/ Kevin_Of_Bangor

              Well you found my favorite hang out :)

              • David

                Kevin of Bangor? Hi I’m David of Bangor. Are you Kevin Quimby?

                • Tony of Bangor

                  Bangor, ME?? In that case I’m Tony of Bangor! (West side)

                • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/ Kevin_Of_Bangor

                  Yuppers, in Maine and I’m closer to downtown.

                • http://www.facebook.com/kathy.l.decker.5 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.

                • http://www.facebook.com/Funky.Uncle.Matt Matt Begley

                  Is the Machias you speak of in Maine? I only ask because I lived in Machias, Washington.

                • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/ Kevin_Of_Bangor

                  I’m a Kevin but not a Quimby.

        • BetelgeuseA

          I am Linda of Betelgeuse .. just visiting .. Hello fellow star travellers :D

      • http://www.facebook.com/bernie.kellish Flash Kellish

        “Bangor”? as in Maine?

        • Chuck

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

          • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/ Kevin_Of_Bangor

            I can walk there.

            • 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….

              • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/ Kevin_Of_Bangor

                Are you no longer in Maine?

                • 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.

                • Semipermeable

                  Oakland ME? Nice to see a fellow Mesalonskee person. I love the Mainer talk.

                • Chuck

                  Fellow Messalonskee person?? Ooh, good stuff!!! I graduated in ’87. You?

                • Semipermeable

                  Yep! ’07, I’m a youngin’.

                • Chuck

                  Nope, I’m just an old man, I guess. Time to go change my Depends.

                • Semipermeable

                  I don’t know if you knew her, but Ms, Rinfret passed away recently. She worked at the school for 30 years.
                  http://obituaries.bangordailynews.com/obituaries/bdnmaine/obituary.aspx?n=mary-jane-rinfret-mj&pid=165763964&#.Ud1Rqwcj7-U.facebook

                • Chuck

                  Oh, I certainly did know her. That’s too bad. I think she was one of the bricks they used as a cornerstone when they built the school. Many of my friends had her for English. I had Ms. Glennon (jr) and Mrs. Shorette (fr and sr), both of whom I suspect left long before you got there. Thanks for the news and the link to the obit.

                • Semipermeable

                  Yes, she was very well respected.
                  I was lucky enough to have her as an english teacher. She had high expectations for all of her students and pushed many who needed it. I believe Ms. Glennon may still be around, but I don’t think the others are.
                  You’re welcome.

                • Chuck

                  She and Judy Curran were two of our chaperones on our trip to England in April ’85. Ah, memories. I had great teachers from Primary, and Tapley, right up through Messalonskee. In my opinion, SAD 47 has (or least had) done a fantastic job of hiring talented English teachers who bring out the best writer each student has within him/herself. When I read the poorly written blather from other people, I am so glad that I grew up in Oakland.

                • Sarah Phillips

                  A lot of Mainers on this thread. I am from Maine, living in Indiana, seeking to move back. Nice to see so many Mainers interested in this issue.

          • Jaxgal

            Raspberry :)~

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/ Kevin_Of_Bangor

          Yes, as Maine.

        • Jaxgal

          I’m an ex-Maine-iac …. Topsham and Phippsburg. Spent almost every summer of my life in the Sebago/Long Lake region. Miss it… haven’t been there in 20 yrs. :(

          • William Roberts

            I am in New Hampshire. Born and grew up in Harrison, Me. Long Lake on one side and Crystal on the other. Great State but so is New Hampshire.

      • 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.

        • 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.

        • Aaron Poche

          Yeah. Because a one-party state… what could go wrong?

          • makkabee

            Riiiiight. Because when the Federalists died it spelled the end of our republican institutions and the emergence of a fascist dictatorship.

            When one party dies, another emerges to take its place (Republicans replacing Whigs) or the surviving party splits because it no longer has a credible opposition to hold it together (Jeffersonian Republicans splitting into Democrats and Whigs after Federalists collapsed).

            It may take a few election cycles, but so long as our current electoral laws remain in place the process is pretty close to inevitable.

            • tuscanred

              God, lets hope so and the sooner the better.

              • http://www.facebook.com/ojitetsuooni Grant Petitjean-Pourciau

                really?

              • Kurt Flint

                Amen ;) (can I get a hallelujah with that God? and the holy ghost sized fries?)

    • http://www.facebook.com/corey.hawkins.988 Corey Hawkins

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

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Greg-Eatroff/1013946885 Greg Eatroff

      Mr. McNett, You win the internet.

      You win ALL the internets.

      • boo

        all your internet belongs to us

        • Jehanne

          all your internet are belong to us

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Aaron-Steinbrecher/100002159424773 Aaron Steinbrecher

            The entirety of the internet belongs to the Grammar Nazis.

            • Clayton

              You should have capitalized Internet.

    • Dave Lanson

      GREAT!

    • Thief

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

    • Scott Sheperd

      Best line ever!!!

    • http://www.facebook.com/TieDyeGuy1 Rich Beatty

      Brilliant! Thanks David!!!

    • Santana

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

      • Zoe

        Try again in English please?

    • http://twitter.com/EllenBethWachs EllenBeth Wachs

      One republican from Arizona down voted your comment, hah!

      • Xorlaryn

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

        • http://www.facebook.com/mrdeleted 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.

          • elwyn

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

            • http://twitter.com/jeffspolitics Jeff Waldorf

              Good news, Obamacare covers that.

              • http://www.facebook.com/bren.vieweg 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.

                • http://www.facebook.com/dean.lanton Dean Lanton

                  I think you meant “they’re exempt”

                • amycas

                  Healthcare is already rationed in the private system.

              • Paul Gauthier

                Obamacare is about as far from a socialst solution to public health care as possible. Just sayin’.

            • 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.

            • http://www.facebook.com/mycos 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.

            • chriscolumbianyc

              Now that capitalism is imploding, I’m willing to try socialism.

          • 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.

            • 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.

              • http://twitter.com/JasonOfTerra 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.

                • grevyturty

                  Because they’ve never been implemented as such, my historically illiterate friend.

                • chriscolumbianyc

                  socialism and communism, of which Marx was neither, is not the same thing.

                • Paul Gauthier

                  Pardon me???

                  Karl Marx was most certainly a communist. The co-author of the Communist Manifesto spent his entire life writing about communism, advocating and agitagting for communism, allying himself with communist parties, unions and clubs, identifying himself as and with communism.

                  Karl Marx was also fully aware of the fact that communism was a form of socialism. He gave his specific form of socialism a name: “scientific socialism”.

                  It’s unbelievable sometimes the shit Americans say.

                • SandyC

                  Yup. To say Marx wasn’t a communist is ridiculous. He did also revere socialist principals, HOWEVER he DEPLORED dictatorships, and any other leadership where few suppress the masses.

                  Don’t stoop to their level. We don’t need to lie/exaggerate to prove our points.

                • Paul Gauthier

                  How was I lying or exaggerating?

              • 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.

                • Paul Gauthier

                  You are a complete ignoramus.

                  Communism is a form of socialism. There are many iterations and types of socialism, including: communism, anarchism and democratic socialism. In fact, Marx himself made it very clear that communism is a form of socialism by referring to his theories as “scientific socialism”.

                  And anyone who’s ever actually read and — this is important — //understood// Marx would not confuse the communism he advocated with the Eastern Bloc regimes who called themselves communist. Only a childish loon would be so confused as to conflate the two.

                  But, y’know… the shit Americans say… it never ceases to amaze me.

                  (Yes, I know that not all Americans are this ignorant. But this guy’s special brand of wilful stupidity seems very particularly and uniquely American. And it never ceases to amaze me.)

              • Paul Gauthier

                In what sense are you using the term “neoliberal”? Your usage here is confusing and I am pretty sure mistaken.

                You’re aware, aren’t you, that this term refers to an ideology of unrestricted global capitalism and is aligned with the political RIGHT not the left? In old school terminology, neoliberalism is classical liberalism — that’s why it’s called neoliberalism, in reference to it being a revival of classical liberal ideas.

                Also, as a point of information you’re correct that communism and socialism were of often interchangeable terms in the 19th century. However, Marx changed that and made the term communism almost universally associated with his own specfic theories of “scientific socialism” and historical materialism.

                Another point of information… there were very few forms of socialism that were not against heirarchical use and abuse of power, social, political and economic. Belief in egalitarianism was the norm among socialists.

                Even the phrase which Marx used, the “dictatorship of the proletariat,” has to be understood in the context he used it. That context was one of classical knowledge and scholarship and it evoked the Roman meaning of the word — which was the title of a temporary “dictator” (in the modern sense) with a fixed term of office who was appointed to steward the Roman Republic through a period of emergency. The modern and negative meaning of the word is just that: modern. Consider this context when asking what Marx’s “dictatorship of the proletariat” is all about. It’s important.

          • http://yetanotheratheist.com/ TerranRich

            Who said anything about socialism? You, good sir, have no idea what socialism IS.

        • bobthechef

          What a juvenile comment. Could you be any less infantile? Substance or silence. You make atheists look bad.

          • http://www.facebook.com/mike.fruik Mike Fruik

            What exactly does atheism have to do with party affiliation? Jackass.

      • 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?

      • Nacie

        Why do we have lunatics like this in the states… is this why are country is going down the drain…..??????

    • http://twitter.com/brundlefly Shannon Hubbell

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

      • coyotenose

        Ew.

    • http://twitter.com/joshuadkuhn Joshwa Kwanzaa

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

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_JSGOSX53MLVGXCS23PXW2KVHII 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.”

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002634062375 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.

          • Lackenbacher

            How about – Nothing should be COMPULSORY

            • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002634062375 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.

              • ArmandTamzarian

                If you’re looking to public schooling to put sense in people’s heads, you’re barking up the wrong tree

            • http://www.facebook.com/rickbiehle 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.

            • http://www.facebook.com/rickbiehle 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.

              • ArmandTamzarian

                agree

          • 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.

            • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002634062375 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.

              • http://www.facebook.com/rickbiehle 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.

            • 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.

              • http://www.facebook.com/rickbiehle 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.

              • http://www.facebook.com/rickbiehle 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.

                • Paul Gauthier

                  “However, the use of “separation of church and state” is an opinion not a constitutional argument.”

                  Pardon me? Have you even READ that constitution which you claim to love and uphold so fiercely.

                  “no law respecting an establishment of religion”

                  I’m Canadian and I know your constitution better than you.

            • http://twitter.com/the_coffeebuzz 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 Patheos.com has managed to connect a portal to Moscow circa 1972…

            • 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.

            • http://louiszwu.blogspot.com/ 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.

            • 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?

              • http://www.facebook.com/jeffbishop 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.

                • http://www.facebook.com/rickbiehle 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.

              • http://www.facebook.com/rickbiehle 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.

            • 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.

            • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1472340282 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?

              • http://www.facebook.com/mike.fruik Mike Fruik

                Yes.

            • 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.

            • Paul Gauthier

              @ kjb – You pay taxes for a universal public education system. That’s the agreed upon exchange.

              However, in the US you’re not actually paying taxes for that purpose, are you? No, you’re paying them to subsidise multi-billionaires and their corporations. Or to spy on millions of law biding citizens. Or to make remote control drones to murder children in far off lands.

              I really think you need to re-examine some of your false assumptions, including the one that asserts that your country is the greatest one of earth.

            • Semipermeable

              We are far from the greatest country on Earth. We lag behind in math, science, literacy, happiness and education. We have a huge population of people that won’t even accept basic scientific theories such as evolution. We are one of the few first world countries that doesn’t have a socialized health care system.Our politics have become polarized to the point of sheer inefficiency.

              I mean, look at this article! Of all the problems and issues even small towns face, road repair, school bullying, kids that come to school hungry and without stable homes, people that taxpayers pay and elect are spending their time bullshitting around with a bs oath that, once the kids have their diplomas will mean NOTHING. And they even screwed up the oath and alienated hunks of the citizenry. I see wasted time and money. What a freaking joke. That this even occurred to more then one person as a good use of time is just absurd.

              This is humiliating, and you can still read an article like this, no matter your religion and come here thinking that USA is number one? You, are part of the reason why they get away with this crap, because people like you won’t even let us say there is a problem in the first place.

          • http://www.facebook.com/Mandala.Juturna Tom Logan Novak

            No, it’s not like that at all lol

          • http://www.facebook.com/rickbiehle 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

            • http://louiszwu.blogspot.com/ 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.

              • http://www.facebook.com/rickbiehle 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

                • http://louiszwu.blogspot.com/ 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.

            • http://www.facebook.com/mike.fruik 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”

              • http://www.facebook.com/rickbiehle 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.

                • 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.

                • Paul Gauthier

                  You speak like an incorrigible infant. Logic, reason and the correct and critical interpretation of the legal and constitutional principles at stake are clearly beyond you.

                  You’re too obtuse — or disingenuous, or both — to admit that the “no law respecting an establishment of religion” part of the First Amendment is EXACTLY about the separation of church and state. That was its purpose and its meaning from its inception. And that intent has been upheld, repeatedly, by countless court decisions over the last two centuries.

                  In any event, a constitution is a legal document, nothing more, nothing less. It’s not a religious scripture — which is the only way to describe your own attitude towards it, i.e. that of a religious zealot towards his holy book.

                  All that is expected of a normal citizen is that they obey the laws of the land. No one is expected to swear allegiance to a legal code unless they’re a police officer or elected official, etc. etc.

                • Paul Gauthier

                  You think I am wrong? Let me cite the Supreme Court decision of Everson v Board of Education, 1947:

                  ‘The “establishment of religion” clause of the First Amendment means at least this: Neither a state nor the Federal Government can set up a church. Neither can pass laws which aid one religion, aid all religions, or prefer one religion to another … in the words of Jefferson, the [First Amendment] clause against establishment of religion by law was intended to erect ‘a wall of separation between church and State’ … That wall must be kept high and impregnable. We could not approve the slightest breach.”‘

                  That’s what it means. That is the LAW.

              • http://www.facebook.com/rickbiehle 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.

      • david

        What is wrong with you?

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Curiousity-Georgia/100003258942380 Curiousity Georgia

        I’m not sure which state makes more of a fool of itself. Arizona or Miss’ippi.

        • Helix Luco

          hey, don’t say that so publicly, our politicians might see it and take it as a dare.

    • 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.

      • 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.

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Perry-Levin/100000269348012 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.

        • Noigiler Skcus

          Unfortunately that is how we too often change; we must wait for death to occur. Sad

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Curiousity-Georgia/100003258942380 Curiousity Georgia

          Great msg, RK. I’m still grinnin at the alliteration you used.

        • http://www.facebook.com/virginia.trujillo.7 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.

          • 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.

            • ANCampbell

              What is wrong with the way Arapaio is running the jail? You think he’s too harsh on the prisoners? They don’t deserve anything better than what he’s dishing out to them!

              • George

                Even putting aside the fact that many of the people staying in Tent City are people awaiting trial (meaning they haven’t been found guilty of anything yet), yes of course they deserve better than that. NOBODY deserves to be treated that way. And it’s not like there’s some ethical dilemma where it’s an effective deterrent and one could argue that the ends justify the means – Arpaio’s human rights violations haven’t done anything to lower crime rates in Maricopa County. Recidivism rates are up, though, which makes sense – continually reinforce the idea that people in jail are subhuman, and eventually it’ll stick. Have they given up using the title “correctional facility” yet? Because they’re clearly not interested in correcting anything, just making money (or headlines, in Arpaio’s case).

        • Max.sh

          Completely agree.

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mandy-Evans/100000975752930 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

          • David

            Ronald Regan is the one who opened the door to these crazy religious right wing people. I saw that when he ran and voted against him. Ronnie opened the door to Fallwell and the rest of the nuts in order to win the election. I wouldn’t be too proud to say you voted for Reagan.

            • Ignatz

              And his opponent – Jimmy Carter – was a devout Christian, and Reagan really wasn’t. How that for irony?

          • kcgeek

            Unfortunately, it is directly due to the rise of the “Reagan Republicans” that we find ourselves STILL discussing birth control, “legitimate rape”, and a host of other issues that we thought resolved years ago (and those we understand to have no place in policy debates). SInce 1980, the right has worked non-stop to dismantle all of the things that allowed or directly led to America becoming the ubiquitous world power and gave rise to the concept of American exceptionalism. Meanwhile, they continue to proclaim themselves the true patriots and defenders of the nation they are undermining and attacking ANYONE who dares to point out how less than exceptional we have become in so many areas. We’ve replaced the real and the substantial with the imaginary and faked, and I think Reagan would whole heartedly approve! His vision of America was never rooted in reality anyway, but was a twisted 50′s style idealized presentation. This is the legacy you Reagan Republicans have left us. Thanks….not.

            • Mandy Evans

              I worked for the Reagan campaign and spent a year immersed in his speeches and ideas on a daily basis, and I still maintain that he wouldn’t have recognized what his party has become, let alone approved; any more than Jesus would go along with a lot of the rhetoric being spouted in His name these days.

              The real Reagan was much different from the Right Wing mythology you hear now; to find the origins of that, you need to look a little further behind the scenes to campaign strategist Roger Ailes, currently CEO of Fox News

              • Anthony Edwards

                That’s the thing though, Jesus – if he ever existed – was a dark-skinned, foreign, liberal Jew.

          • Nacie

            i will have to agree with David… Reagan was one of the worst presidents we have ever had beside Bush…. He had more conspiracies than Hitler…. He was terrible…. (I studied the 1980′s… He was one that i did the most research)….

        • vic

          That’s quite optimistic, but it would be nice to see.

        • jelun

          Not to mention how right centrist the Dems are drifting, darn. I mentioned it.

        • Clayton

          I’m surprised with all the illegals that Arizona is even a Red State at all.

      • http://www.facebook.com/anthony.mokrzycki Tony Mokrzycki

        will you take an oath, just saying… LOL

      • http://louiszwu.blogspot.com/ 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.

      • 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.

        • 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.

          • ANCampbell

            Why, may I ask, do you fear this God you speak of in your user name?

      • nkiflemar

        I don’t know, there are some lunatics all over the state. Jon Kyle was noting to write home about!

    • LesterBallard

      Perfect.

    • The Old Wolf

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

    • http://www.facebook.com/NikiDee49 Niki Elkins

      :) Thank You, Sir.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_JSGOSX53MLVGXCS23PXW2KVHII Rico

      You can’t spell “dumb” without a D.

      • http://twitter.com/jheri Forever 23 ヅ♥✿

        o rly?

      • Guest

        You tried.

      • Emily Dittrich

        What a coincidence you can’t spell retard without and R! ;D

        • God fearing US Citizen

          calling some one a retard is hatefu.

    • http://www.facebook.com/MoldyCheese Rasanjana Bhandari

      My name is Raz.

    • NationUnderGod

      If you have a problem with AZ, and we have 49 other states.. Why not let them leave the U.S.? Problem solved.

      • http://www.facebook.com/MWagner77 Michael Wagner

        If republicans have a problem with the separation of church and state, there are plenty of other countries out there. problem solved.

        • http://www.facebook.com/mike.fruik 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.

      • tonyash

        What about those of us who live in AZ who find this abhorrent?

        • 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.

          • God fearing US Citizen

            NAY, remember Michigan has been run by the Unions and Democrats for the most part.

      • Matt D

        We do not resolve our differences by shoving them out the door.
        “If you have a problem with 1 out of 3 kids why not let that one leave your home?”
        Problem solved, right? :P

    • allein

      This is the most upvoted comment I have ever seen. :)

    • VXrider

      And your point, other than to call people names?

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=773692362 Jansen Waddell

      You, sir, shall be quoted for millennia to come.

    • Wren Around

      And now I can “C Y”. Boom.

    • Monique Klabis

      Christian here…and I couldn’t agree with you more, David!

    • fmfalcao

      Nice!

  • 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.

    • 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.

      • 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.

    • 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.

      • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ 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.

        • Louise

          Thank you.

      • http://www.facebook.com/theron.corse Theron Corse

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

      • Baby_Raptor

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

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Bebe-Bradley/885175113 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!

  • http://www.facebook.com/rusty.yates.7 Rusty Yates

    The spirit of Joe McCarthy rises.

  • shirl

    Interestingly, the bible tells you not to swear an oath: http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=James+5%3A12&version=NIV

    • 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

    • Cliff Wells

      Good catch.

  • 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.

    • 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.

      • 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.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002973113708 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.

    • Studious_Citizen

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

      • 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.

        • monyNH

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

      • coyotenose

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

      • 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.

      • 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?

  • http://www.facebook.com/farmelantj 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. ;)

    • 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.

      • allein

        “in ten years they’ll do something worse”

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

    • 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.

  • http://www.facebook.com/Eurotrash98 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?

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Chris-Townsend/605904794 Chris Townsend

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

    • http://twitter.com/joshuadkuhn 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!

  • 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.

    • bbbbb

      You’re an idiot.

      • Studious_Citizen

        Superb debate tactic there. You obliterated him.

    • 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…

    • Baby_Raptor

      So an Atheist blog focusing on Atheists is now propaganda?

  • http://www.agnostic-library.com/ma/ 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.

    • 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.

    • 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.

  • kaydenpat

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

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=595288559 Ivy Miller Sciandra

    Don’t these people have anything better to do?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Qu-Quine/1176671728 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”.

    • pagansister

      Good idea.

  • http://www.facebook.com/allison.stuckey Allison Stuckey Baxter

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

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/KDAXO7TN26RW73TTDV5RIT2NOA Patrick

    Thanks for all your hard work, dick tards.

  • Medicine Man

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

    • Studious_Citizen

      “Hate”…”freethinking”…

      Yeah, you’re thinking alright.

      • 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.

      • Baby_Raptor

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

    • SlightlyMad

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

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1370027711 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

    • jarod

      because there are more christians, both groups are equally bad

    • coyotenose

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

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=574401415 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.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1411076396 Jeff Vandenberg

    The
    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?

  • 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.

    • 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.

      • 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.

        • 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

  • matfox

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

  • 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.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=507059244 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.

    • 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.

      • 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.

  • http://www.facebook.com/danie.francis 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.

  • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

    *headdesk*
    *headdesk*
    *headdesk*

    • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

      *aspirin*
      *tylenol*
      *ibuprofin*

      • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

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

        • coyotenose

          Hmmm, Super Aleve! *shakes a bottle*

          • jo

            percodan ‘mmmm’…

        • nakedanthropologist

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

  • http://twitter.com/christophla Christophla

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

  • http://badrecovery.blogspot.com/ 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.

  • John Morrison

    Arizona. America’s desert wasteland.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Deanna-Jackson/617808744 Deanna Jackson

    WTF is wrong with these people?

  • 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.

  • v_volker

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

    • Baby_Raptor

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

  • Thyler

    Disgusting.

  • http://louiszwu.blogspot.com/ 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.

    • http://www.facebook.com/rebecca.smith.568089 Rebecca Smith

      But good for you for fighting the good fight!

    • nakedanthropologist

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

  • the Otter

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

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_U3DBWS3O7OO2MTP6554O66525Q Fearghoul

      Not true at all, fuckface.

      • 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.

    • Michael

      Citations?

    • Baby_Raptor

      False.

  • http://www.facebook.com/bailey.bednar Bailey Bednar

    What the fuck is wrong with these people?

  • http://profiles.google.com/andrewbenton Andrew Benton

    Dear people who want this: GO FUCK YOURSELF.

  • http://www.facebook.com/richstage 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.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_U3DBWS3O7OO2MTP6554O66525Q 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.

    • Aquaria

      Texas will climb out of this, sooner than you think. Whites are no longer a true majority in the state anymore. Hispanics have closed in to less than 10 percentage points of whites, and projections have them outnumbering whites by 2023, and to become a majority sometime in the 2030s. That is, if they continue their current birthrate.

      The Republicans had made some inroads with Hispanics in the 90s and early 2000s. Then came their stupid anti-immigrant screeching. Now the Republicans are doomed with Texas Latinos for the next fifty years. Or at least with those who aren’t Cuban (and even they are getting a little pissed at the GOP).

      As the Hispanic population grow AND ages into adulthood, so does the Dem base in Texas.

  • 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!

  • http://twitter.com/nza1 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

    • 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.

    • 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.

    • Baby_Raptor

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

  • 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.

  • 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.

    • Baby_Raptor

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

      • 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.

        • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ 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.”

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ruth-A-Lopez/1325083598 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.

  • http://www.facebook.com/Boarczar Boarczar Zila

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

    • SlightlyMad

      Please be Poe.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-Irvine/563925979 Michael Irvine

    The USAmerican move towards a totalitarian theocracy continues.

  • Drew

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

  • http://www.facebook.com/ferrarimedic Kim Ferrari

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

  • http://www.facebook.com/dogrescue365 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.

  • 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.

  • 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”

  • http://twitter.com/DrumSgtBeaker 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • http://www.facebook.com/linnea.johansson.3958914 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.

    • 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”.

      • 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

        • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ 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.

    • 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.

  • 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.

  • http://www.facebook.com/ladyliz69 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.

    • 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.

  • 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?

    • PB

      Are you serious?

    • Michael

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

    • http://www.pixel-geek.org/ 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.

    • godlessveteran

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

  • ShawnInTerrorAtArizona

    This
    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! http://www.history.army.mil/html/faq/oaths.html. 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.

  • http://twitter.com/LovelyFam5 Cules

    This is not constitutional.

  • http://www.facebook.com/diane.stanley2 Diane Banning Stanley

    Hmmm, too much arizona sun fries the brain…

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000596685280 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!!

  • 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.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Penelope-McKibben/100001617528508 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.

  • http://www.facebook.com/rewinn Randall E. Winn

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

  • 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

    • 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”.

    • 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.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003166824994 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.

  • Andrew Thorp

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

    • coyotenose

      Way to miss the point completely.

    • SlightlyMad

      Preferably before it starts.

  • 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!!

  • tgrfan42069

    god bless you all

    • Aquaria

      Don’t threaten me with your genocidal scumbag in the sky, christard.

      • wrestlefan01

        god bless

  • 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?

  • 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.

  • http://twitter.com/Tazz602 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*

  • http://www.facebook.com/safari1957 Kelly Bustard

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

  • F Religion

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

    • 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.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jose-Rivera/655822041 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.

  • http://twitter.com/datsneefa 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.

  • http://twitter.com/OccupyForever Pete B

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

  • http://www.facebook.com/doug.mackey.988 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.

    • Brandon Rinebold

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

  • http://www.facebook.com/gordon.hilgers 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

    Nothing
    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.

    • http://twitter.com/MicheleBach666 Dr. J

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

      • coyotenose

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

  • 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.

  • andrew

    wtf

  • http://www.facebook.com/dougiecole Douglas Cole

    Unconstitutional, unconstitutional, Unconstitutional.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Paul-Scott/1322599804 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.

    • amycas

      I don’t pledge allegiance to anything–flag, constitution, country.

  • 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.

    • http://twitter.com/MicheleBach666 Dr. J

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

  • 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.”

  • Verandaguy

    How is this even legal?

    • http://www.facebook.com/HarperGreerMangini Harper Greer Mangini

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

  • 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.

  • http://twitter.com/castaway5555 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.

  • JAYPEE

    This is a joke, right?

    • http://www.facebook.com/HarperGreerMangini 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!

  • http://www.facebook.com/88guns Billymac Mcyoung

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

    • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

    • godlessveteran

      Bible? Nope, not necessary nor required.

    • 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.

      • 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.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=826842590 Alicia Joan Little

    This. Is. AWFUL!!!!

  • 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 :(

  • 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.

  • Confuscan

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

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000770946388 Brandon Thurlow

    Morons..
    Morons everywhere..

  • 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.

  • http://www.facebook.com/frogisis 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

    SEPARATION.
    OF.
    CHURCH.
    AND.
    STATE.

    WHY IS THAT SO DIFFICULT TO UNDERSTAND!?!?

    • 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.

      • 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.

      • 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.

      • http://www.facebook.com/kylie.mcinnes.1 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.

      • 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.

    • 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.

  • 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…

    • http://www.persephonespath.com/ PersephoneK

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

    • 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?

    • allein

      Was your virginity pledge a legal requirement for getting your diploma?

  • http://twitter.com/joshuadkuhn Joshwa Kwanzaa

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

    Some of the people, on the other hand…

  • http://www.persephonespath.com/ 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 . . .

  • http://twitter.com/SnowDog2003 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.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=781644923 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?

  • http://twitter.com/AnarchyArachnid Anarchy Arachnid

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

    • Baby_Raptor

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

  • http://www.facebook.com/ron.pittser 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.

  • http://www.facebook.com/kevinnmary.whitney 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.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/AKXKRCU7E4N6TXTBB3X6WFPN64 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.

  • http://www.alterpride.org/ 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?

    • Frosty72

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

      • http://www.alterpride.org/ 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.

        • 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.

        • 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.

    • 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.

    • 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.

  • 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!

    • 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.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mike-De-Fleuriot/611844223 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.

    • 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.

      • 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.

      • 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.

    • 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.

  • Phoebs

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

    • Ravi

      Repubs only support #2

  • 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.

    • coyotenose

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

    • godlessveteran

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

    • 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.

  • 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.

  • http://www.facebook.com/theventman Anthony Ventarola

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

    • Ravi

      no.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1432508360 April Norman

    This is upsetting. Our kids deserve better.

  • baggie

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

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=784603909 Nancy Smith-Jones

    Who needs the Onion anymore??

  • tgrfan42069

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

    • Brian Westley

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

    • http://www.facebook.com/mel.martens 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.

    • 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.

    • 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.

    • Aquaria

      Only christscum are so utterly, appallingly stupid as to think we’re afraid of their genocidal scumbag delusion in the sky.

      It’s YOU, your hatreds,your tendency to genocide and your authoritarianism we despise, christscum, because you have no respect for other human beings.

      NONE.

      Try to keep up.

  • Moosetoes

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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • marilove

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

  • 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.

  • http://www.facebook.com/david.turnbole 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.

  • 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!

    • Sato

      RIGHT ON!

  • http://www.facebook.com/kristin.swearingen Kristin Swearingen

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

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Janine-Nice/749025356 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.

  • Tim Collins

    These are times when I pray that Arizona gets shot.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Janine-Nice/749025356 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

    • http://profiles.google.com/robertbos 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.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Janine-Nice/749025356 Janine Nice

        agreed. it needs to be fought against.

    • 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.

    • 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.)

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Janine-Nice/749025356 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…

  • http://www.facebook.com/zachary.a.moore1 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.

    • http://www.facebook.com/zachary.a.moore1 Zachary Aaron Moore

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

  • http://www.facebook.com/sistersexyxie 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…

  • http://www.facebook.com/jeremy.love3 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.

    • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

      Fuck off back to Stormfront, douchenozzle.

    • Baby_Raptor

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

    • 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?

  • 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.

    • 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.

  • 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.

  • FarmerTom

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

  • jhannon

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

  • Anthony Lima

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

    • 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.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Al-Rotundo/100000113062809 Al Rotundo

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

  • 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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Tyrone-Smith/100001236279309 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.

  • whatever

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

  • http://twitter.com/mutchup 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

  • 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.

    • 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.

    • 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.

  • 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.

    • 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?

    • Baby_Raptor

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

  • 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.

    • 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.

    • RobMcCune

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

  • 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.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jeremy.love3 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.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jeremy.love3 Jeremy Hilbilly Love

    FUCK YOU MODERATORS FOR INFRINGING ON MY RIGHT TO FREE SPEECH. JUST BECAUSE I DONT FALL LOCK STEP INTO YOUR PUB BASHING MEANS MY VOICE CANT BE HEARD?

    • 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.

  • http://www.alterpride.org/ 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.

    • 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.

      • http://www.alterpride.org/ 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.

  • http://www.facebook.com/richardpweiss Richard P. Weiss

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

  • http://twitter.com/singlequeergrrl 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.

    • Aquaria

      If your book is full of made up stories and laughably stupid and inaccurate science about the creation of the world, and that there’s a genocidal scumbag in the sky who a) is the source of all morality and b) gives a shit what a nitwit like you does in your life, then you have a religion, shit-for-brains.

      And there’s not very much fact in your genocidal filth manual.

      Not that you’re smart enough to know something that’s painfully obvious to people with functioning brains.

  • 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.

  • http://twitter.com/datsneefa Jim Terwiliger

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

  • http://twitter.com/Stooshie Andrew Wilson

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

  • http://www.facebook.com/jeremyffrench.birmingham 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?

    http://www.azleg.gov/MemberRoster.asp?Body=H

  • Steve

    Dems athiest better off deported

  • 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.

  • Nemesis_Nexus

    SIEG HIEL!

    • 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!

  • 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.

    • Aquaria

      Nope, a loyalty oath is the sign of an authoritarian–if not totalitarian–government that cares fuck all about the rights of citizens or a constitution.

      Try to keep up.

  • 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.

    • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ 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.

      • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ 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.

    • 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.

  • 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.

    • Cliff Wells

      You should try the Libertarian Party on for size.

      • 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.

        • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ 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.

          • Christine

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

            • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ 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.

              • 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!

                • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ 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 :)

                • 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. :)

    • http://www.facebook.com/mel.martens 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.

      • 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.

        • 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.

  • http://www.facebook.com/lillemy.normann 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)

  • http://johnstephendwyer.com/ John Stephen Dwyer

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

    • 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.

    • 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.

      • http://johnstephendwyer.com/ John Stephen Dwyer

        I also thought that “The Onion” story about drones at the inauguration was plausible.

  • http://www.facebook.com/joe.s.a.shaffer Joe Shaffer

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

    • Aquaria

      You were about to become a government employee. These kids are expected to vomit this garbage after they had completed a compulsory study AND regardless if they were going to represent the government or work for it in any capacity.

      Furthermore, loyalty oaths are totalitarian. Always.

      Try to keep up.

  • http://twitter.com/raisinlove 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.

    • 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.

    • http://profiles.google.com/robertbos 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?

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Hilah-Parrot/1191360777 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

      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.

  • jo

    Fuck me.

  • 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.

  • http://www.facebook.com/Alwaysintheroom Dominic Vega

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

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1265235309 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.

    • godlessveteran

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

    • 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.

    • 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?

    • Aquaria

      How do you know someone is a religitard. Because they not only tell you about their genocidal delusions, they try to force that crap on you and then try to kill you if you don’t believe like they do.

  • http://www.facebook.com/workoart Kari Scharfenberger

    Glad this atheist just got her BA in Spanish :D

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=20703981 David DeMedicis

    I think they’re just mad about Mexicans.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1411076396 Jeff Vandenberg

    The
    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?

  • Steve Greene

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

  • 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.

  • http://www.facebook.com/CaniLupine Cani Lupine

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

  • http://www.facebook.com/susancraver 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.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000554644187 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • http://twitter.com/BeamishKinowerk Beamish Kinowerks

    Dear America,

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

    Sincerely,

    the rest of the world

  • 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.

    • Jean-Paul Bondy

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

  • http://kibblesbits.wordpress.com/ 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.

  • 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.

    • Aquaria

      Plenty of people object to EVERYTHING about it. Read the fucking comments, cupcake.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Robert-Belcher/100000221747065 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.

  • http://www.facebook.com/albinodrew André Marcoux

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

    • godlessveteran

      They ARE the American Taliban.

  • http://www.facebook.com/chris.stephens.37201 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

  • http://www.facebook.com/begui990 BJ Esmailbegui

    Can this state be anymore backwards ?

  • http://www.facebook.com/jennifer.e.landers 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.

    • 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.

  • http://www.facebook.com/travis.rhoden.96 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.

    • Jean-Paul Bondy

      Sorry. It’s unconstitutional and shouldn’t be tinkered with even in the slightest.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1210065193 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.

    • 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.

    • Tom_P

      “And
      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.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1595934752 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?

  • Big dick hurtzer

    Shame on you Arizona. This is rediculous.

  • 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.

  • 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.
    THERE GOES THE NEIGHBORHOOD, DDOS INCOMING

  • 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……..

    • Jean-Paul Bondy

      Oh noes!! Not the history books!!!

  • 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…..

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1595934752 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?

    • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ 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”

    • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ 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.

    • 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.

    • 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…

    • 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?

    • http://louiszwu.blogspot.com/ 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.

  • http://twitter.com/WendyATai 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,.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Hilah-Parrot/1191360777 Hilah Parrot

      What?

  • thwipp89

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

  • http://www.facebook.com/caitlin.ball.758 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.

  • http://twitter.com/mutatedwombat mutatedwombat

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

    • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ 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.

      • Jean-Paul Bondy

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

  • Marquess

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

    • Isilzha

      Come to NM!

  • 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..

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=598234253 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

    • 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.

    • 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?

    • 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.

    • 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?

  • 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.

  • coach bill

    Governor Jindal:

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

  • 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.

    • Gizzy N

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

  • anonymous

    we were doing so well before the communism scare…

  • http://www.facebook.com/johnathan.moore.52 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.

    • Isilzha

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

  • 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.

  • http://www.facebook.com/tyler.standifird 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.

  • Isilzha

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

  • Thin-ice

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

  • http://www.facebook.com/linda.turner.399 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.

  • http://www.facebook.com/linda.turner.399 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

  • http://www.facebook.com/Kent.T.Carter Kent Theodore Carter

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

  • http://www.facebook.com/randall.kramm 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.

  • http://www.facebook.com/maryinbantry 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…

  • dude

    Arizona. Mormons with mullets. No suprise.

  • KT

    Please call them Republicons

  • KT

    Their goal is to destroy public education. Go to wwwdotalecexposeddotorg

  • http://dbcooper.livejournal.com 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.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Hugh-Intactive/100002216540067 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

  • 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.

    • Aquaria

      You had to do that if you were a student at a government-backed university. You are an EMPLOYEE of the state when you’re a work study, and therefore represent the government. That’s an association you enter into freely for a job that you don’t absolutely have to take (you could work at the mall, after all). It’s like becoming a postal worker or joining the military. And you say it UP FRONT, before you take the job, not AFTER you’ve successfully completed a state-required course of study.

      Loyalty oaths are totalitarian by their very nature, anyway. I hated making the stupid oaths when I was in the military and worked for the USPS. I did them to get the jobs, though, and I definitely left off the crap about the genocidal scumbag in the sky.

  • http://twitter.com/GayAtheistLH 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.

  • 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…

  • http://www.facebook.com/jimmo42 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’….

  • http://twitter.com/DarwinSelection Atheist Finch

    Graduate *from* high school.

  • opicka3773

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

    • Aquaria

      Loyalty oaths for citizens who don’t work for the government and are being extorted to get a necessary item for their future lives is totalitarian, stupid.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Debra-E-Moffit-VanDorp/1556120698 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.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1666964961 Ryan Alvidres-Ivie

    Two Words: Judicial Review

  • :/

    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.

  • 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?

  • og

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

  • 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.

  • http://www.facebook.com/daniel.woike 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.

  • 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.

  • http://twitter.com/JetJagusaurus JetJagusaurus

    Land of the free…

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=831580316 Steve Gair

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

  • http://twitter.com/Utilitar Bruno Lanevik

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

  • http://www.facebook.com/wally.materne Wally Materne

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

  • 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.

  • http://www.facebook.com/belinda.biddick Belinda Biddick

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

  • http://www.facebook.com/JohnHaugeland 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.

    • http://www.facebook.com/MWagner77 Michael Wagner

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

    • alleinm

      All I had to say when being sworn in at court was “I do.”

    • Aquaria

      No you don’t have to say so help me genocial scum in the sky.

      NOT FUCKING EVER.

      I’ve been to court. I didn’t have to say that bullshit.

      I was in the military. I didn’t have to say that scumbaggery.

      I was a USPS employee. I didn’t have to say that religitard garbage.
      Maybe a dishonest and unethical scumbag like you doesn’t care about making oaths to things that he doesn’t believe in, but the rest of us have something called INTEGRITY and HONESTY.

      You might try to brush the fuck up on it sometime.

  • http://www.facebook.com/wspencer 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.

    • Jean-Paul Bondy

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

  • 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…

  • http://www.facebook.com/raylynchjr Ray Lynch

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

    • http://www.facebook.com/raylynchjr Ray Lynch

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

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=557317738 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

    • http://twitter.com/jenny_whyme jenny_whyme

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

    • allein

      These are high school students, not soldiers. And soldiers actually are saying it because they choose to.

    • Aquaria

      1) Typical moron, you didn’t read the fucking article where it said there was no allowance to leave off the genocidal scumbag address.

      2) You make an oath to the government if you’re ABOUT to work for it, because, you know, you’re a fucking representative of it after you’re hired, whether military or civilian. These kids are being required to say this totalitarian garbage whether or not they’re becoming government employees and AFTER they’ve successfully completed a compulsory education, moron. They’ve already done the required work. You give them the diploma and wish them well, not hold their diplomas hostage for the sake of a totalitarian fantasy, stupid.

      Try to fucking keep up.

  • 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!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1804416017 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?

    • Jean-Paul Bondy

      That is not the point.

  • http://www.facebook.com/alicia.tabbara 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.

  • 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!

  • skwerl

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

  • psykins

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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • http://www.facebook.com/reinis.rinka Reinis Rinka

    HAHAHAH! Communist USA.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Perry-Levin/100000269348012 Perry Levin

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

    • Jean-Paul Bondy

      It does.

  • angelsinca

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

    • Aquaria

      Because he’s a christscum, stupid. It never bothers christfilth to sieg heil to their genocidal scumbag in the sky.

      But the reason it bothers us is that 1) loyalty oaths for non-government employees is totalitarian. 2) Forcing people to vomit this garbage to get a diploma is coercion. 3) It’s a violation of several first amendment rights, and case law. It won’t even need five minutes on a judge’s desk to overturn the law.

      Those of us who care about the Constitution don’t like it when christofascists shit on the Constitution.

      Try to fucking keep up.

  • 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.

    • Jean-Paul Bondy

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

    • Aquaria

      Some of us have something called integrity. The world would be a better place if people like you would acquire some.

  • 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…)

  • http://twitter.com/Czilla138 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.

    • 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.

      • 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

    • 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?

  • 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.

    • Jean-Paul Bondy

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

    • bayhuntr

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

    • Jean-Paul Bondy

      Then you are not an atheist. You are definitely a theist.

  • 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.

    • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

      Jehovah’s Witnesses too.

  • 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

  • http://twitter.com/watcher64 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.

  • http://www.facebook.com/bron.wright1 Bret R. Wright

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

  • 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.

    • Jean-Paul Bondy

      Atheism is not a religious belief.

    • bayhuntr

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

  • 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.

  • http://www.facebook.com/werdnum Andrew Garrett

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

    • LegoHawk

      You find ‘atheism’ inflammatory? lolwut?

      • http://www.facebook.com/werdnum 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.

        • http://louiszwu.blogspot.com/ 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.

  • UK Athiest

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

  • 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……

  • http://www.facebook.com/CowboySix 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.

    • Jean-Paul Bondy

      Evolution is the opposite of religion.

    • 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.

    • 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.

    • http://louiszwu.blogspot.com/ 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).

  • http://twitter.com/ACMESalesRep ACME Sales Rep.

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

  • 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.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Debra-Hall/100002145410307 Debra Hall

    That is the oath used by the Military.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=722960755 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.

    • 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.

  • 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!!!

    • 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.

  • http://twitter.com/subtletea 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.

    • threenorns

      we looking in from the outside have been banging on your windows for years about that.

  • http://www.facebook.com/wcashauthor 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…

  • http://www.facebook.com/lily.lorber 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 ! !

  • http://twitter.com/ScrawnyKayaker 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

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Rik-Nash-Shannon/100001732022091 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!!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/laurelkaymontgomery 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.

  • Phill

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

    • threenorns

      yeah – get your kid to try that at the graduation ceremony and see what happens.

  • 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.

  • http://www.howmanyfrogs.com/ 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.

    • Jean-Paul Bondy

      Someone didn’t read the bill or the article.

    • threenorns

      except this oath isn’t from the united states government – it’s from the state of arizona.

  • 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.

  • chris

    “Nothing
    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.

  • http://twitter.com/SouthHumanist 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…

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000929161447 Shannon Barber

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

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=689047044 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.

  • 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….

  • allah

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

  • 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.

  • 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?

  • http://www.facebook.com/eliza.armstrong.142 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.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jen.brasel 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!

  • http://twitter.com/Cenryk13 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.

  • Lisa
  • http://www.facebook.com/eric.futterman.1 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.

  • http://twitter.com/KsImaginarium 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!

  • http://www.facebook.com/jody.ellis3 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!

  • http://www.facebook.com/bill.edelman 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.

  • http://www.facebook.com/eddie.higgins.90 Eddie Higgins

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

  • http://www.facebook.com/kerry.wright3 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.

  • 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

  • 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?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Adam-Patrick/100000027906887 Adam Patrick

    Can I add “so help me Flying Spaghetti Monster”?

  • dan

    i may not live in the US (but was born there) i say that is messed up but i doubt it will pass

  • http://obbop.wordpress.com/ 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

  • http://www.facebook.com/michael.rowe.75470 Michael Rowe

    What does graduating high school have to do with “defending the Constitution” anyway, let alone a belief in God?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=626521253 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
    principle.”
    - George Washington, 1796

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=745910261 George Finnell

    there they go again…the party of “small” government…well, it’s unconstitutional at least. the government cannot compel speech.

  • 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.

    • Jean-Paul Bondy

      If the pledge required you to say “so help me Allah” would you have a problem?

    • 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.

  • 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?

  • http://www.facebook.com/DiscordOfSound 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.

    • Jean-Paul Bondy

      You don’t see a whole lot wrong with something that is clearly unconstitutional?

  • http://www.facebook.com/betseycclark Betsey Conant Clark

    pathetic attempt to force their beliefs on others

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=550942587 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.

  • http://www.facebook.com/peter.c.kruger Peter Casper Kruger

    People that propose things like this require a tongue-lashing and a brow-beating like they cannot imagine.

  • http://www.facebook.com/martemaniac Diego Villalobos Ulate

    i would happily flip the bird at the same time

  • http://www.facebook.com/dylan.wilkinson.75 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

    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.

  • http://www.facebook.com/rebecca.pitocco 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.

  • http://www.facebook.com/betseycclark 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

      Ummmm…no.

  • http://www.facebook.com/andrew.erwin.501 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!

    • 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.

  • 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.

  • Golfie98

    Why is there a need for any oath at all to get the diploma you worked for?

    • Jean-Paul Bondy

      Because the American Taliban wants to slip religion in anywhere they can.

      • 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.

        • Jean-Paul Bondy

          Of course it is. I agree with you one zillion percent.

          • Jean-Paul Bondy

            I didn’t go to high school to protect and defend the constitution. I went to get a shitty education.

  • Jean-Paul Bondy

    I have seen the exact same posts from five different people with unlinked accounts.

    • Jean-Paul Bondy

      Kyle, who is above and below me. As well as p.johanna, and two more. All posting the same thing.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1444749081 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…

  • http://www.facebook.com/roccim Marlo Rocci

    Go to this guy’s facebook page and let him know how you feel.

    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Bob-Thorpe-for-Arizona-State-House-LD-6/261695853936587

    remember not to use harsh language, be civilized but firm.

  • http://www.facebook.com/pat.osborne.948 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.”

  • http://twitter.com/LordKurow 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.

  • 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?!?!

    • http://louiszwu.blogspot.com/ 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.

  • 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!

  • DrkRblNgl

    The founding Forefathers of this nation must be spinning in their graves. :-/

  • 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.

  • http://www.facebook.com/mary.hollingsead Mary Hollingsead

    That sounds like what I said to get into the Army

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Buddy-Dubay/100000634536360 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!!

  • 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..

  • http://www.facebook.com/debra.goudy 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 ?.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Curiousity-Georgia/100003258942380 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.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jay-Scott/100001508742686 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.

  • 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-

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1425614914 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!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jason-Valentine/100000243432179 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.

  • http://twitter.com/tannerocampbell 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.

  • 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?

  • THE MESSENGER OF GOD

    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….

    • 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?

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ian-Dean/825950061 Ian Dean

      You are either a troll or incredibly f u c k !ng dense

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ian-Dean/825950061 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.

  • http://www.facebook.com/mlysle1 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.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1054178197 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.

  • http://www.facebook.com/irishangelnc 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.

  • http://www.facebook.com/nicolas.saintmichel 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?!

  • http://www.facebook.com/justin.gilbert.338 Justin Gilbert

    the religious right never ceases to amaze me with their mind-boggling stupidity

  • jjsedona

    The ultra right is splitting America.

  • KE

    This
    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

  • http://www.facebook.com/MWagner77 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.

  • 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.

  • http://www.facebook.com/aaron.bryson1 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?!

  • http://www.facebook.com/Terri.Fulks.Dyer 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.

  • 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…

  • http://www.dpsinfo.com 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.

  • 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.

  • http://www.facebook.com/tmandres 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?

  • 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.

  • http://www.facebook.com/kurt.solheim.5 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$…..!!!!!

  • 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

    denisebensusan@speakoutarizona.com

  • http://www.facebook.com/evan.clifford.90 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.

    ABSOLUTELY INSANE!!!!!!

  • Oosik

    str8frm

    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?

    Thoughts???

  • Sam

    I believe this would also mean that Quakers could not graduate, as they do not swear oaths…..so bad idea all ’round.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ian-Dean/825950061 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”.

    HERP A DERP

  • http://www.facebook.com/jeri.tonti Jeri Tonti

    this is generating hatred against all christians…that is all it is about

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ian-Dean/825950061 Ian Dean

      You generate enough hate on your own… don’t need any help from the media.

  • JosephRMarritt

    The Imperial March theme also has to play in the background

  • Risabbe

    Seriously? What about freedom of religion? Oh sorry! Keep forgetting that the Christian Right and Right Wing Conservatives don’t believe in it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/peter.b.grunewald 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.

  • 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.

  • http://www.facebook.com/mason.kelsey 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.

  • http://www.facebook.com/England24 Matt Taylor

    HEIL!

  • 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.

  • 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.”

    • 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).

  • 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.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/John-Bollen/100000179919917 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.

    • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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

  • 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.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=737468036 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.

  • http://twitter.com/redlioness8 Kate Mc

    Arizona, I don’t know who is crazier, you or Tx

  • 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!

  • http://www.facebook.com/Mandala.Juturna 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.

    • 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.”

  • 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.

  • 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!!!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_WAVZUNDOQ23OIUHMHOQ5PQW7WM 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.

  • http://www.facebook.com/maggie.hames1 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?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Lisa-Stetler-Insana/1028131993 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.

  • 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: http://www.hr.arizona.edu/03_hire/forms/loyaltyoath.pdf

  • Grant Ellsworth

    I’d avoid controversy. I’d lie.

    • http://www.facebook.com/david.angle3 David Angle

      We call people like you *raises glasses*

      Cowards.

      Review definition below for better understanding:

      Coward (n): A person who lacks the courage to do or endure dangerous or unpleasant things.

  • 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).

  • http://www.facebook.com/chris.ballenger70 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.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Trisha-Cole/532419748 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.

  • http://www.facebook.com/brittany.l.griffith 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.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=682444984 Mickey Houlahan

    Well, the recitation of magic words IS a big part of theists’ arsenal of stupidity.

  • http://www.facebook.com/Daviar Dave Thomas

    It’s called Fascism.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Stephen-Smith/639829249 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.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Stephen-Smith/639829249 Stephen Smith

    Joseph McCarthy lives on.

  • K8 B.

    As an American, a religious person & a believer in freedom, I find this REPULSIVE!

  • http://www.facebook.com/kim.talbottflores 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…

  • Anon

    THe Hitler Youth program is being revived I see…

  • http://www.facebook.com/dave.peet2 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.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=590086854 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!!

  • Guest

    Yummy sleeveless chick in blue blouse.

  • http://www.facebook.com/david.angle3 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.

  • Terence T

    Who’s the sleeveless girl in blue blouse? She’s yummy!

  • http://www.facebook.com/IanMcleod000 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

    • http://louiszwu.blogspot.com/ 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.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1107694454 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!

  • http://www.facebook.com/kalan.lafleur Kalan La Fleur

    Fuck these religious cunts, I will NEVER swear an oath to their imaginary god or anyone’s imaginary god.

  • http://twitter.com/HopkinLiz Liz Hopkin

    This rather reminds me of the whole Hitler Youth program. Anyone in Arizona read their history?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1076888764 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.

  • http://twitter.com/bsaunders 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.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=571741489 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.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100004417718635 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.

  • http://www.facebook.com/tim.hiddemen 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?

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Elizabeth-Dufur/656055316 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.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Elizabeth-Dufur/656055316 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.

  • 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.

  • mofots

    blah blah blah

  • 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.

  • http://twitter.com/katansi 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?

  • LIVE AND LET LIVE

    So does that mean they are pre-enlisted in the military? Because that is scarily similar to the oath I took.

  • http://www.facebook.com/itsmenate 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.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_X4A7L25XOZZUCO4CTGOZ7ILHX4 darkgothic

      thank you…

  • Jason’s Brain

    I thought it was a violation of the Constitution to pass a law which enforces a religious belief…

  • http://www.facebook.com/blayzekohime Blayze Kohime

    Christians claim that everyone is persecuting them, yet they go out of their way to persecute Atheists. Seems as legit as always.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_X4A7L25XOZZUCO4CTGOZ7ILHX4 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

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1506131236 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.

  • 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.

    • http://www.facebook.com/matt.stuart.9085 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

  • 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.

  • http://www.facebook.com/omar.lozano.5 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”

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Denise-Jackson/100000609945371 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

  • http://www.facebook.com/andreas.lang.7121 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”.

  • 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…

  • http://www.facebook.com/samantha.spawn 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! ;)

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/El-Beamer/100001063282335 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.

  • http://www.facebook.com/rickbiehle 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.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_X4A7L25XOZZUCO4CTGOZ7ILHX4 darkgothic

      yes, the constitution does afford citizens freedom from religion …

  • Mwatuanghi

    These wackos keep this up, and they’ll hand over the 2016 election on a silver platter.

  • http://www.facebook.com/julie.meibaum 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;”

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Padric-OFish/100001855682804 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.

  • 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.

  • http://www.facebook.com/calebfagundes 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.

  • nashisih

    It’s = Its

  • http://www.facebook.com/sonja.gatlin 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.

  • http://www.facebook.com/juichi.larrabee Juichi Larrabee

    That guy who wrote the bill must be really on crack… -.-

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_WC2VPZRJETRO5KOU4VOZCJXEDY 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.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Sophia-Keenesburg/100002121002273 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.

  • http://twitter.com/TelAmeriCorps 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.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jeffbishop 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.”

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Dale-Marshall/813240388 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?

    • jrumor

      there are people dying because they don’t have money or insurance for healthcare.

  • http://www.facebook.com/keith.sinkhorn Keith Sinkhorn

    No Christian should accept this either. See Matthew 5:33-35.

  • http://www.facebook.com/marty.yanes 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.

    • jrumor

      taking such an oath teaches them it is okay to lie.

  • 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?

    • jrumor

      extortion…

  • 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!

    • jrumor

      an oath to a god has nothing to do with morality.

  • Lee Zehrer

    The Democratic Party is the low I.Q. electorate while the
    Republican Party puts them in office.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Paul-Reed/692599362 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?

  • martingugino

    so help me, the big bang.

  • 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?

  • 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.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Edward-Murphy/1087106895 Edward Murphy

    Republicans are still trying to create an idiocracy.

    • jrumor

      they have in some states

  • 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.

  • http://www.facebook.com/dean.dyer 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.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Steve-Dibert/100000856504338 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.

    • jrumor

      shame they don’t put so much effort into fighting poverty and hunger, like bob dole did.

  • 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.

  • RickRay

    More proof that America is religiously brainwashed. DUH….

    • jrumor

      parts of america

  • 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 process.it 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!” !

  • http://www.facebook.com/elizabeth.zanavich Elizabeth Cloudwalker

    Leave it to the Republicans to force feed religion down people’s throats.

    • jrumor

      religion is like a penis
      it is okay to have one
      it is okay to be proud of it
      just don’t whip it out in public and swing it around
      and never ever try to stick it down my kids throat.

  • scouterjim

    So, what stops an atheist saying it? They don;’t believe in God, so they fear no punishment if they say it.

    • jrumor

      it makes people believe that they do… would the christians like to say a prayer to Odin?… they don’t believe, so they fear no punishment…

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Sarah-Elizabeth-Potter/100002260391957 Sarah Elizabeth Potter

    and people say there is a war on christainity.

  • King Robert

    WTF and John McCain isn’t involved in this?

  • http://twitter.com/isafakir isa kocher: isafakir

    how do these great patriots manage to get dressed in the morning. i’ve met bolders with more intelligence and wit.

  • http://twitter.com/isafakir isa kocher: isafakir

    if there is any surer way to teach teenage students to hate the USA constitution, i can’t think of any.

  • http://www.facebook.com/ken.matson.66 Ken Matson

    They should all be removed forcefully from their post’s.

  • http://www.facebook.com/larry.hicok 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.

  • http://wonderwheels.blogspot.com/ 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.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1036724692 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.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1686710427 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.

  • http://www.facebook.com/luke.delalio 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.

  • http://itinerant.medusacascade.net/ Chad

    I’m surprised that I didn’t see this in the first few pages of comments:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Uniformed_Services_Oath_of_Office

    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 (arlinc.org)

  • 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!

    • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

      And when some actually does defend the constitution, e.g. by enforcing the Establishment clause, they get all pissy about it .https://soundcloud.com/david-silverman-1/hate-call-january-26

    • http://louiszwu.blogspot.com/ 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?

  • 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.”

  • http://www.facebook.com/ben.tousey 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.

    • jrumor

      at least they are not torturing and burning them at the stake anymore, so a little progress has been made

  • 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.

    • jrumor

      like bachmann or santorum

  • http://twitter.com/OrbOvSound 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.

  • 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

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Thayer-Goss/100000918901362 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.

  • http://www.facebook.com/tdrury Tim Drury

    Wouldn’t foreign exchange students have an issue with swearing to uphold the US Constitution?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=629012187 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.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=555590005 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!

    • jrumor

      pick a god, any god… see “Deities and Demigods” from Dungeons and Dragons, for example

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mandy-Evans/100000975752930 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

  • 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.

    • http://louiszwu.blogspot.com/ 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.

  • http://www.facebook.com/Shaggy796967 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

  • http://www.facebook.com/Shaggy796967 Ryan Conrey

    sue*

  • 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.

  • http://www.facebook.com/ed.sedgwick1 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.

    http://www.uscis.gov/portal/site/uscis/menuitem.5af9bb95919f35e66f614176543f6d1a/?vgnextoid=facd6db8d7e37210VgnVCM100000082ca60aRCRD&vgnextchannel=dd7ffe9dd4aa3210VgnVCM100000b92ca60aRCRD

    • http://louiszwu.blogspot.com/ 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.

  • 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.

    • jrumor

      when they say god, or want you to say god, just think of Zues, or whatever myth you like.

  • http://www.facebook.com/DeadRose80 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.

    • kelemi

      What next?

  • 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

  • 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.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jim.simandle 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.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Tom-Terry/1223681150 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…

  • http://twitter.com/ThePrissAnn Ælfgifu

    This irritates me, because YOU CANNOT FORCE FAITH. Stop it. Now.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=505969932 Tim Presnell

    hmmmm someone else made thw youth of his country swear allegiance too.. his name was HITLER

    • kelemi

      And he got the idea from Stalin.

  • 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.

    • kelemi

      Buddhists come to mind.

  • 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.

  • http://www.facebook.com/Funky.Uncle.Matt 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?

  • 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******

    c.c.

    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

    • http://louiszwu.blogspot.com/ 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.

      • Aaron

        I actually received two replies from the Rep. Thorpe. I’ll post these in the order received:

        Hi
        Aaron:

        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:

        IN ORDER TO ENCOURAGE OUR HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATES TO UNDERSTAND AND APPRECIATE OUR U.S. CONSTITUTION, WHICH IS THE SUPREME LAW OF OUR LAND AND AT THE VERY CORE OF WHAT MAKES AMERICA EXCEPTIONAL, EACH GRADUATE WILL BE GIVEN THE OPTIONAL OPPORTUNITY TO TAKE THE FOLLOWING OATH (OR AFFIRMATION) TO SUPPORT AND DEFEND THE U.S. CONSTITUTION. THIS LANGUAGE IS VERY SIMILAR TO THE OATH (OR AFFIRMATION) THAT IS REQUIRED TO BE TAKEN BY ALL ELECTED U.S. GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS FROM THE PRESIDENT ON DOWN, BY LAW ENFORCEMENT AND FIRST RESPONDERS, BY GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES, BY JUDGES AND ATTORNEYS, BY MEMBERS OF OUR MILITARY, AND BY ALL IMMIGRANTS WISHING TO BECOME CITIZENS OF THE UNITED STATES:

        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.

        Warmest
        regards,

        Representative
        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,

            Representative
            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.

    • kelemi

      Hope it does some good.

  • 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

  • http://www.facebook.com/cheryl.a.tomlin Cheryl Ann Tomlin

    That is totally UNCONSTITUTIONAL! As well as Homo Stultus!! GOPs always forget separation of church & state!!!

    • kelemi

      No, to them the church isn’t in city hall is separation.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=706781030 Barry St. Denis

    The lunatics have taken over the assylum!!

  • 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.

    • http://louiszwu.blogspot.com/ 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.

    • kelemi

      God wasn’t always printed on the money. Ike started it in the 20th century, although it wouldn’t surprise me if it were done earlier.

  • Puzzled

    Not to mention the Republicans seem to think most defenses of the Constitution should be imprisonable offenses…

    • kelemi

      You mean the Get the government off our back Republicans?

  • 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?

  • 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?

    • kelemi

      What about those that don’t believe in the Islamo-Judeo-Christian god, but have a religion, such as Buddhism?

  • Poose

    Just re-arrange the last word-”So help me Dog”…

    Who wouldn’t want a bit of help from Lassie?

    • kelemi

      Suppose the atheist is dyslexic?

  • Guest

    I’d war with them over this…

  • http://www.facebook.com/ki4jgt 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!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Echo-Moon/100000456842312 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.

  • 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.

    • kelemi

      This Christian supports your right. I am as much in favor of separation of religion and government as you. My religion doesn’t condemn homo-sexuality and I don’t want the government to tell me that I have to condemn it.

      I know several atheists who I am proud to call my friends.

  • Jean Rice

    Stupid idea, but it wouldn’t stop me. Since it is apparently a group oath, I would just leave off the last few words. Who would notice? I already leave out a few words from the Pledge, and no one has ever noticed, or at least has never said anything about it.

  • S. McCandlish

    Making the oath optional would not be “fine”, because as with “not quite mandatory” recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance in public schools, any student who declined to participate would be subject to institutionally sanctioned reprisals, and not just from other students. I suffered that personally from third grade until high school graduation because I dropped the “God” part from the Pledge (not sure when it was removed, but that was long after my time). To not recite it (or this proposed oath) at all, would be interpreted as deviance to be repressed brutally in a place like conservative Arizona.

    • kelemi

      Under God is still in the pledge. Ike put it in in 1957. Bad move.

      • S. McCandlish

        I thought it had been removed again. I must have been having a good dream for once.

  • Neil Schmidt

    Way to go you idiot Republicans. It’s just another day at the office for the God , Guns and Gays crowd. I’m surprised these mouth breathing primitives didn’t attempt to weasel an abstinence pledge in there too.

    • kelemi

      Do the kids also have to believe the earth is only 6000 years old?

  • AtheistsAreUs

    all the kids have to do is decline to recite the god stuff. I’ve done that every time I recite an oath for government work. I also cross out the god stuff, and initial it, THEN sign the paperwork. I did this when I worked Census in 2010 and again for my current job with USPS. They really can’t do anything about it.

    • kelemi

      I did too. Still, why put it in in the first place.

  • kelemi

    It’s not Blessed are the kooks for they shall inherit the earth but the Meek.

  • jrumor

    whenever they want you to say god (or when they say ‘god’), just think of a god besides the christian one… Thor, Odin, Zues, Apollo, Shiva, etc….literally thousands to chose from. like the current ones, they are all creations of man, so who cares which one you pick.

  • Mike Wagner

    If the dummy didn’t want people to be uncomfortable with the bill, then why in the hell write it to begin with? The whole thing is nothing but political grandstanding. More flag waving bullshit.

  • dieselbug

    “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.” Obviously he needs to go back to school himself so he can “understand and respect” the First amendment.

  • Anon

    Jesus Christ lol….and gotta love this part they threw in “that I take this obligation freely” Yeah, right haha, except for the fact that you’re trying to MAKE/FORCE these people to do this or they can’t graduate. Assholes.

  • Donovan Bock

    Government is the most vile cult on earth. “Thou shalt have no other masters before your lord, thy government.”

    • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

      I am trying to make your words make sense. It’s not working.

      Does any (liberal democratic) government claim it is perfect? That it must be obeyed without question? That it can never be wrong? That it is in charge of your all thoughts and deeds and will punish illegally you for wrongdoing? I hardly think so.

      I don’t worship governments. They’re just absolutely necessary to have a functional society is all. We need them, and we need to keep them in check, and that balance is a very difficult one to find. Remember, government is made up of people, so it will have all the flaws people have. That’s why we have rules on what both governments and people can do and what their responsibilities are, though they aren’t the same rules or responsibilities..

      • Donovan Bock

        Your insistence that government is necessary is in itself an article of faith.

        • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

          It is, in fact, an article of empirical evidence. Every time there is no government, the ungoverned area is a bad place to live (see; Somalia). Places with governments vary as to how good of places they are to live, depending on the characteristics of that government, the level of education among the populace, and many other things. However, given that governments can be good or bad but no-government is an utter catastrophe, it’s merely logical to conclude that government is necessary to have a functional society.

          If your goal isn’t a functional society, well, you have fucked up priorities is all I have to say.

          • Donovan Bock
            • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

              Sorry, you’re still wrong.

              Oh. Wait. I’m not “sorry” at all — just annoyed and disgusted by “anarchists”.

              • Donovan Bock

                Statheists are not atheists.

            • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

              Oh, so you want the workers to own the means of production, each producing according to hir abilities and taking according to hir needs, in a self-regulated society that requires no government.

              We call that Marxism. It fails, hard, because people aren’t nearly as nice and unselfish as Marx thought they were.

              • Donovan Bock

                Nowhere did I say anything even remotely marxist. I am an agorist.

                • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

                  Agorist? Agrarian anarchist?

                • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

                  Is that even a thing?

                • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

                  No idea. I haven’t the foggiest what the term means, so I asked! I can make fun of it if it’s something as silly as I think it is, or I can learn something. Or both. Win-win!

                • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

                  I had to look it up.

                  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agorism#Criticisms

                  Yawn. These idealist political systems are such fun. In novels.

                • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

                  They barely work in novels.

                • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

                  “There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged . One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.”

                  ― John Rogers

              • fem_progress

                No. That is anarchism.

                • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

                  That’s what Marxism is. It’s a form of anarchy. Marx’s thought on human governmental development was we go through a period of socialism (state-controlled economy) that gradually disappears because the proletariat gains control over the means of production and their own labor. The socialist period would be necessary to get all the means of production (factories, etc) away from the capitalists and bourgeoisie, but then the state would fade away because it wouldn’t be necessary anymore.

                  Like I said, it doesn’t work in real life because Marx thought people were far more altruistic than they actually are.

                • fem_progress

                  I basically agree with you.

                  He also thought most people were honest.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=776968828 Roger Rabbitleg

    I guess the first step in defending the constitution would be refusing to say the oath

  • lee

    WTH education is not about obeying a religion. You can learn both. You don’t need religion to be educated. Now there going to prevent people from having an education? WTF is happening to this disgusting world? Forcing someone to believe something is absurd and against the dam constitution and anyones human rights! People who are enforcing this… I know you think your awesome and that God loves you but you are actually Gods pieces of shit and I am not an atheist. My God loves all his children equally as he created them equally AND if you think your above it then know your degrading your personal worth. So stop thinking your above it and allowed to force this on people. Remember what you really are. POS!

    • zippittyay

      The atheists are always free to open and operate their own schools.

  • atunionbob

    Didn’t Hitler also require just such an oath? Yes he did as I recall my history lessons…Seems Arizona failed to take history of WWII and are doomed to repeat it. This is soooooooo wrong to require such an oath.

    • zippittyay

      A similar oath is required for becoming a citizen of the usa. And the vast majority of other countries in this world too. Get over yourselves.

  • Ruby Williamson

    Are you fucking kidding me they shit on the constitution, these are suppose to be the people who stand up for all

  • MarkB

    For a reference about where THIS kind of bullshit is taking America, see the following link:

    http://rense.com/general37/fascism.htm

  • Jo Hargis

    Guess Arizona felt they hadn’t wasted enough taxpayer money this year yet. Why, Arizonans, do you put up with this pathetic crap? Are you truly that stupid? And I’m referring not to the liberals and progressives, but to the morons that vote these fools in.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1210065193 Viv Arney

    What is it about those douche bags in AZ? Have their brains been melted by the heat or are they all just naturally dumbasses?

  • Progresso

    How about the simple fact that the REAL oath of office (as if high school students reciting the official oath of office wasn’t already a big enough joke) PLAINLY INCLUDES the language to “swear OR affirm” for those who do not “swear” oaths due to personal or religious reasons.

    Absolutely absurd. It’s like Arizona is in open competition with the deep south for worst place to live on earth.

  • steph

    I wonder how they would feel when our Muslim friends changed God to Allah.

  • walnut28

    Easy. Just do what everyone else does in this world to survive….agree to believe in whatever you have to agree to. The first execution in the New World was a Quaker woman hanged by the Puritans.

  • R Joseph Owles

    I don’t see the oath as a stand against atheism. But making them take the same oath I had to take while volunteering in the military in order to graduate is extreme. How can they say they take the responsibility of the oath “freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion” if they are being forced to take it in order to graduate from high school?

  • HH

    I will park my happy religious butt in front of the school door and ensure those ignorant politicians don’t get in there to force any student to recite anything in order to get their diploma. Diplomas are earned on academic merit. This law is unconstitutional. Period.

  • orthicon

    just proves what I’ve always thought..living in Arizona bakes peoples’ brains to the point they’re no longer useful..especially politicians’ brains..

  • langranny

    The Republican party is so determined to destroy itself that it will say or do (or try to enact) anything to do so. Fortunately they are succeeding.

  • Jennifer Partlow

    Amendment I

    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.

    CONGRESS: STATE OR FEDERAL CANNOT FORCE ANYONE TO JOIN A RELIGION!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Rah-rah-Sisboombah/589358808 Rah-rah Sisboombah

    Huh.. NOBODY knows that this “oath” is the same as the one take upon enlisting in the military.

    • http://www.MarkTaff.com Mark A. Taff

      It isn’t the same as the military oath, but it is very similar.

  • Herk

    No free society requires a loyalty pledge.

  • Morowyn

    It’s not just Atheists and Agnostics, but what about those of other religions? I mean, Christianity may be the largest religion in the nation, but this is still wrong. People come to America to escape religious persecution only to face shit like this. C’mon!!

  • buts mcgee

    imagine instead of ‘atheist’ it was black students

  • Guest

    So help me Goddess

  • fem_progress

    I am a Wiccan/UU and for me freedom of conscience is sacred. This is bananas.

  • Jim Tarvin

    WHAT THE %^$#@$%?????

  • elizapar

    blah blah blah blah……whatever

  • Edward Michael Stoddard

    This all would get thrown out if challenged in federal court.

  • Andy Anderson

    Smacks more of Germany in the 1930s than the USA should be in the 21st century!!!

  • TheLump

    McCarthyism back on the rise, eh?

  • David Lane

    non oath should require mention of god

  • Dawnmarie Breedlove

    Is it me, or does this ‘oath’ look suspiciously like the Oath of Enlistment?! At lest in that you can omit the words ‘Under God’ if so desired without retribution.

    whatever happened to that whole ‘separation of church and state’ thing?!

  • Edmond Roney

    Today in America Oath do not mean anything: Look at CONGRESS.

  • Smart Guy

    God came into government during the Civil War and 1950s when we all thought the bomb was gonna drop.

  • William Haines

    Considering that is the oath when joining the MILITARY, is AZ trying to make all its young people solders, sailors, marines and airmen???? LAME!

  • John Dillinger

    feels like fascism

  • Margaret Lancaster

    AZ is plain horrible! In Nogales, AZ, there is taco drive through joint where one can pick up…. baca nora, needles, blow, crack…. and so on. WTG Sheriff Joe.
    JackWipe..!
    And then there is Jodie Arias….

  • SweetTart

    Sounds very hypocritical that the recitation includes ” I take this obligation freely ” yet if they don’t say it, they can’t graduate – what is more, I don’t think it is ok to make children say this if the adults supposedly running this country are not doing the same!

  • silentsister

    Conveniently forgotten, then used against us by our government when they talk about the people establishing our very constitution. Our democratic rights are being threatened, and have been for some time. So much easier to have flame wars on a computer, than check facts, and go through the proper channels to make it better. NEVER FORGET THIS IS HOW IT IS IN THE US: “Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between
    Man & his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or
    his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions
    only, & not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that
    act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature
    should ‘make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or
    prohibiting the free exercise thereof,’ thus building a wall of
    separation between Church and State.” Jefferson reflected his frequent
    speaking theme that the government is not to interfere with religion.

  • Michael Croft

    Does this bill mean that graduating from High School will confer citizenship on 18 year olds? That’s a sweet path-to-citizenship…

    • James Degenhardt

      That’s a good question.

  • MACK

    The freedom of religion act in our constitution is thrown out the window….. Does Arizona have free crack for the GOP? sounds like it….

  • Schmeedels

    ….faithfully discharge these duties; So help me _________. a) God b) Allah c)Joseph Smith d) Science — Problem solved

  • Cindy Mike Brazee Smith

    I would be suing the state and the government it is illegal they have forgot or rights and need to have them taught to each one again by the courts

  • Larry Dillon

    Immigration Reform

    Tea Party Suggestion:
    Build A Wall
    Build A Wall
    Build A Wall
    Build A Wall

    I want to “Build A Wall” also.
    A wall a bazillion miles high.
    A wall a bazillion miles wide.
    And a bazillion miles thick.

    I want this wall to completely surround the Evangelical/FundaMENTAList and the Hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church.
    Regardless of what the religiously deluded claims,Allah is not the most pressing theocratic horror we have to deal with, that falls to a different deity…same bloodline though.
    I’m not concerned or worried about Sharia Law in America but I am concerned about Mosaic Law, Leviticus Law, Biblical Law, Jesus Law and Paulian Law being forced upon our SECULAR NATION that is based on Constitutional Law and Civil Law.

    So yes,lets build a wall. A wall so high they can’t go over it. A wall so wide they can’t go around it and so thick they can’t tunnel through it and I refuse to build a door.

    Lets secure our secular boarders and build that damn wall. Money is NO OBJECT. Its imperative to the safety and security of the American people

  • NicoSZ

    “Arizona Republicans Propose Bill that Would Not Allow Anyone To Graduate High School Without Swearing an Oath” would be a more appropriate and less misleading title to this article. Embellishing the whole atheist vs. religion aspect of it comes off as a bit sensationalist and distracts from the core (and more serious) issue at stake here. I’m an atheist an not saying it isn’t a valid point, but the title is presumptuous and shouldn’t be worded to sound like atheists were mentioned specifically in the bill.

  • Jonathon Robert Cowley
  • Sato Tatsuhirro

    My sister lives in Arizona — and HATES it! That place should succeed fom USA union at once. Seriously. It is no better than Nazi State as if run by none other than Adolf Hitler! Not only should it be forced to succeed, but strongly sanctioned as hostile and unfriendly country. I feel sorry for my sister I wish she can simply afford to do so, as I would strongly encourage her to leave that dump! (I feel sorry for Hopi, Navajo, and other first born natives. Due to human right abuse en masse, to their homeland, they really ought to band together and take their land back collectively — there just might be chance for peace and sanity to be restored to that area once more)! I am Nichiren Shu Buddhist and I would be affronted if I were in AZ in their ‘educational’ (indoctrinational) system. So shameful in Amerika — or anywhere! Wow!

    • Dmitri Shostakovicz

      I think you mean “secede.” To succeed is to complete a goal or to accomplish something.

    • dagobarbz

      Actually, we have been hoping the entire South, plus Arizona and Texas would secede. Then we would tear down the fence on the Mexican border and reestablish it to fence off the crazy states.

  • James Degenhardt

    Mandatory nationalism? I know Hitler comparisons are cliche, but I think in this case, it’s justified.

    Let’s be honest here, for a moment. These are Republicans. Which mean, they REALLY want graduates to swear:

    I, _______, do solemnly swear that I will roll over on command, that I will never question the wisdom of my leaders, or their God; that I
    take this obligation under duress, on penalty of failing to graduate, while acknowledging that I have only as much free will as my government and church want me to have; and that I will well and faithfully discharge these duties I have been assigned; So help me God.

  • Sato

    As about half hour ago, I left message. Sorry if my English is not perfect. But I sense anti-Japanese sentiment here as I am trying English as best I can! Please do not delete because of struggling English student!

    I consider myself to be Nichiren Shu Buddhist! Yes Buddhism is religion but NOT necessarily in Western sense. If whoever is moderationg this site would realise that Buddhism is not like Abrahamic School (Judiasm, Christianity, Islam, or Bahá’í Faith) it is more of cultural way of life and philosophy. Eastern religion is more like cultural way of life and assortment of philosophy rather than purely dogmatic like West.

    Buddhism (at least my sect Nichiren Shu) is based upon Universal law of Causality, (Law of Cause and Effect) and not some superstitious Western blind belief in some undefinable remote obscure old fart God with metre long grey beard pasing judgement as hobby and spiteful sport of condemation at personal whim pasttime! I am also Rosicrucian. Rosicrucianism (at least Rosicrucian Order, AMORC, is strongly emphasised that we are NOT religion)! I am Nichiren SHU Buddhist (NOT Sokagakkai or SGI, or Nichiren SHOshu)! Nichiren Shu is oldest and largest of 37 different Nichiren Schools in Japan. I am NOT ‘enemy’ of Western atheist. I understand their position! I am also NO fan of Western religion!

    So WHY was my previous comment deleted or censored?

    I ALSO as humanitarianist, Rosicrucian and Buddhist (again, I am NOT Christian or represent Abrahamic School in any manner) feel that this situation in Arizona is unjust, stupid, contrary to principles of Separation of Church and State in America! It is absurd, fascist, and frankly Hitlerian as Nazi would like this sort of thing. Buddhist would never (except perhaps Sokagakkai which is rare exception) meddle in politik and seek to deny basic human rights for other people. We would never campaign to submit such oath as Arizona has done! We NEVER claim that we are only true religion on planet! That is only Soka Gakkai and Shoshu two RARE exceptions! (I am with neither of those two sects).

    This is so upsetting to me that I have sister and her family living in Arizona. All I can do is to kindly encourage them to leave that one state asap.

    Insofar as Arizona needs to do are of two options:

    1. Voluntarily secceed from Union. Thus Arizona (or whatever subsequent name they may since adopt for themself) would be heavily sanctioned, and considered rogue, unfriendly and hostile State to United States.

    2. That what treaties between First Born (or native population) such as Apache,Hopi, Navajo, and what other minor tribe may be there must be henceforth permamently revoked as they have been so violated they are now totally worthless. Further, present State of Arizona must nonviolently surrender territory of Arizona back to First Born as to collectively as to replace habeas corpus constitution law as based upon Magna Carta, and to establish civil society for basic human rights for ALL people there. This is only way now as it appears that decent sense of sanity, peace and prosperity would ever come to that place, which is rich in natural and cultural heritage of thousand of year.

    It is so clear that present governing body at present has grossly violated all treaty between First Born and subsequent resident. This far right Nazi and Fascist theocratic, mentality has taken over and if Arizona is allowed to fester in its present state, it shall indeed become grave threat to civilised society and peace of surounding states and region.

    This is my heartfelt solution to this on going problem. I have sister who lives in lower desert and I am always receiving more horror stories through her of Arizona becoming more nazified almost upon daily basis. She would love to move out with her family but simply cannot afford to do so now.

    This region called at present ‘Arizona’ is grave threat to humanity and States in general. It is 180 opposition to basic tenets and articles of Constitution of United States. So as Buddhist I ALSO agree with those opposed to this detrimental law that either has passed or about to pass. As atheists who are disgruntled with Western religion (i.e. Abrahamic School) PLEASE do not include me with that genere simply because Buddhism in general has been defined as ‘religion’).

    Buddhsim maybe defined as ‘religion’ but that does NOT mean that I ascribe to WESTERN ABRAHAMIC superstitious and intolerant nonsense! One most important principle of Buddhism in most schools is that of TOLERANCE! So PLEASE refrain from censoring — or worse — deleting my comment here!

    One last thing: Does this new law also mean that all FIRST BORN residents (Apache, Hopi. Navajo, etc.) who have been on this land for thousand of year have to swear this Christian or Abrahamic daily oath in school as well? If so… S H A M E !

    Doumo arigato gouzaimasu!

  • Weisgirl

    “I solemnly swear to uphold the Constitution by violating the Constitutional rights of people who don’t believe in God.” I feel like the first reminder a legislator needs to have taped to his computer monitor is “How does this benefit the economic development of our country?” Unless there is a serious and well-documented discrepancy in human rights afoot, money is all the government need be regulating, and they don’t even do that.

  • zippittyay

    Swearing to uphold the constitution is “Nazi-Like” to you useful idiots? Does the term “God” come with a definition? I think not. Therefore it is whatever the hell you want it to be.

    • James Degenhardt

      Being FORCED to swear an oath in order to receive a diploma you’ve already EARNED is very much Nazi-Like. Being forced to swear that you are making the oath freely, while under threat of having something withheld? Yes, it is very much Nazi-like. Anytime nationalism is FORCED, with a penalty imposed for refusing, is a direct violation of everything this country was founded on.

      And God? Sorry, but a person who does not believe in God should not be required to invoke a God.

      • zippittyay

        OK, then how about you start your own school and run it the atheist way? I’m not a big believer in God, but it is undeniable fact that this country was founded on the principle of Divine Providence. Acute Atheism of the kind featured on this website deserves it’s own place in the DSM-V.

        • James Degenhardt

          Here’s a better idea: How about we not focus on the God part, because as you pointed out, it can mean whatever God you want.

          How about we focus on the MANDATORY nationalism, which is one of the major warning signs of Fascism ??

          • zippittyay

            I agree in principle. However, I don’t believe a little nationalism is a bad thing in itself. You should show some loyalty to your family, your village, and your state to a certain degree. Of course, it easily crosses the line into manipulation and exploitation. In reality, the vast majority of americans agree on the vast majority of important principles. Our politicians and lobbyists emphasize and exaggerate certain wedge issues to divide us.

    • dagobarbz

      I want it to be gone.

      • whausler

        oh well, if you’re offended, go watch TV

        • dagobarbz

          Nice non sequitur. What does TV have to do with the topic?

  • Ron

    “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.”

    take the obligation freely, or you are not allowed to finish highschool lol

  • mscala

    Atheist here. For an atheist, to say the words, “So help me God..,” on the tail end of an oath would not be a lie, since the phrase is neither true nor false, but something like an exclamation point. Nor is an oath true or false — an oath is a promise, which can be sincere or insincere, but not true or false. Does adding an exclamation mark to an oath make it insincere? No. Nor does adding the words, “So help me God” at the end of it. At worst, they are just non-sense syllables. That said, it is a silly piece of legislation.

    • chetdude

      That was eventually withdrawn and NOT passed…

  • Christopher Hall

    I used to say that Pledge of Allegiance in school, and at first as an atheist then as a pagan, I simply did not say that words “under God.” Would loved to see how they would have forced me to say that.

    And the whole concept of separation of church and state is now complete crap in this country; it no longer exists. The only religious freedom allowed is their Christian religion.

    • dagobarbz

      Don’t tell anyone this, okay? It’s just, me and my classmates never said the Pledge as written. Our versions were funnier.

  • Former Republican

    The Christian Taliban is on the move . . . .

    • whausler

      no, the taliban would saw your head off for not saying it, poor comparison

  • SanfordA

    As an atheist and occasional sub in high school, I skipped over the words “under God.” However, now I say these words. As I previously explained, God is a meaningless concept. It is certainly not a scientific concept, as a theoretical physicist I can explain in detail. What this means is we believe in certain moral principles that have been verified over the millennia. This is the true meaning.

  • ray

    Oh come on. While I think making students take an oath to graduate is idiotic and even reprehensible for the not-so-subtle subtext that is behind this bill, it’s hardly preventing atheists to graduate high school. You don’t have to believe in God or lie to say “So help me God,” it’s just an expression. Don’t be sensationalist, because the fact that they are wasting their time with this bill combined with their intentions are bad enough.

  • natcase

    The Quaker objection to oaths (particularly oaths to tell the truth) is that it presumes one will only be honest when under oath. Basically, you can only trust me when I swear, and I was lying before I raised my hand. It’s part of the Quaker testimony on integrity. Quakers who follow this practice of not oath-taking may “affirm” instead. Nixon and I think Hoover did this with the presidential oath of office.

  • Kelsey D Bagwell

    There is a fundamental fact that many fail to realize. It is against a politicians best interest, especially a republican, to have a well educated populace, but it is also in their best interest to make appearances seem that they are very concerned about education..ahem…indoctrination. Thus you find all of these whack-a-doodle ideas and cock-a-many plans for students and the education system to “improve” education. Once we all realize that their idea of improvement is only ever going to be destruction of education, then we can get on a path of actually educating.

  • http://www.facebook.com/apwessel Angella Patches Wessel

    this is a joke right, written by the onion?

  • troy

    So help me C’thulhu

  • Sammy Lea

    Bat shit crazy people…this should have a facebook dislike button!

  • Suzanne Helm

    nothing says America like taking away the freedom we thought we had guaranteed you

  • Roger Barton

    I’m absolutely sure everyone reading this goes to vote in every election, but I have to say the reason people like the current cR-AZy (thank you, David, I love that!) people are in office when so many of their constituents detest them and their policies, is that not enough of their opposition turned out to vote. When a country like the USA considers only 50% of all registered voters to be a “good” turnout, there’s a problem. In fact, I don’t think our voter turnout in many districts ever approaches 50%… according to nonprofitvote.org, “Despite Hurricane Sandy and a slew of proposed or enacted state-level changes in voting procedures, an estimated 58.7% of eligible voters cast ballots on November 6th (2012). While below 2008′s benchmark high, turnout was still above most presidential elections of the last 40 years.” For comparison, in 2008 “…62% eligible voters cast a ballot, close to the levels of the Kennedy and Johnson elections in 1960 (64%) and 1964 (63%) which at that time were highest since 1908.” I suspect we could do better if we tried a little bit.

  • Patrick Carr

    This is actually good. It strips away the christian lie thawt they are being “persecuted”. It shows this for what it is: Bullying.