Friday, January 25, 2013

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

So I ran across this on the Friendly Atheist today.  Since it is in my home state I felt I should comment.

Bill HB2467 has been put forward in by Republicans in the Arizona legislature  which requires students to repeat 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.
From what  I can tell there is no exceptions allowed in this bill, ether you say this oath or you don't get a diploma.  This would require atheists, as well as anyone who has any other objections to this oath to ether lie or not be allowed to receive the diploma they have worked to get for basically their entire lives up to that point.

If we fight this in the courts it isn't likely to stand of course.  Religious groups such as the Quakers or Jehovah's witnesses have already successfully challagned similar loyalty pledges.  The problem is we shouldn't even need to be defending against nonsense like this. 

This is not only a violation constitutional rights it's a massive waste of time they could have spent on doing something that might actually improve education in this state.  Getting rid of the abstinence only laws would be a nice start.  My only question is how these jesters got elected in the first place.

In case you want to know the jesters in question this list of legislators that sponsored the bill.


  1. The other piece that's ridiculous about this is that a diploma is supposedly earned and has nothing to do with loyalty - you do the work, you get the proof that you did the work. A loyalty oath makes sense when applying for citizenship or even registering to vote, things like that, but in this context it's ridiculous.

  2. Yeah, and not every student in our country is actually a citizen. There are plenty of people legally here from other countries and some of them send their kids to school here while they are in the country.

  3. Thank you, thank you for posting this! The oath sounds very much like the National Guard oath I took. There is just NO REASON for kids to be required to "defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic." This is why we have a military. Not to mention the whole business of being required to take an oath to graduate.