"So help me God" loyalty oath would be required for HS graduation by Arizona Republican bill

A group of Republican lawmakers [...] are sponsoring House Bill 2467 in the Legislature. If passed, it would make the loyalty oath a prerequisite for graduation from any public high school in Arizona starting with the 2013-14 school year.

Students would be required to say:

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 or evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge these duties; so help me God.

(Mike Sunnucks, Phoenix Business Journal, Jan. 18)

(The bill text is available online.)

Hemant Mehta of Friendly Atheist notes:

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.”

Tags: Arizona, Republican Party, diploma, graduation, high school, loyalty oath, oath, religious test, separation of church and state, so help me God

Views: 174

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Commenters at Friendly Atheist note that in addition to such a coerced oath being unconstitutional (SCOTUS struck down required recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance), and interfering with the religious freedom of people such as Quakers, some students may be citizens of other countries that forbid them from taking such an oath.

And there was the required witty cheap shot: "You can't spell 'CRAZY' without 'R-AZ'."

More from the Friendly Atheist article:

Smith and Shope [two of the bill's principal sponsors] 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.

As our society continues to become more secular, unfortunately we will be seeing more of these extremely ridiculous and last-ditch efforts by theists to promote and legislate 'morality' and to retain their religious entitlements.  As they are fighting this losing battle, they will become more extreme. 

stuff like this really pisses me off. there is NO FREE CHOICE HERE.

I will encourage high school students to say fuck off to this. get your diploma someplace els. come to cali and I will give you my address so you can get a diploma without being COERCED INTO A LOYALTY OATH.

I have spare room. come to cali and help us. leave arizona to destroy itself with arrogant ignorance.

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