I didn't know Texas has a "Supreme Being "clause in its constitution. I'm not applauding or objecting to the clause because until today I didn't know it was in there.
This is how Article 1 Section 4 of the Texas Constitution reads: " No religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust, in this state; nor should anyone be excluded from holding office on account of his religious sentiments, provided he acknowledge the existence of a Supreme Being.
I remember Madalyn O'Hair's many fights with the state legislators but I wrote her off as being a nutcase. Little did I know that she took her fight to Federal Court and won. She said that the Texas Constitution would bar atheists from running for office. She won the cases as a voter because she wasn't running for public office at the time. The outcome is strange because she made a deal with then Atty. General Jim Mattox. The agreement read: the parties here by agree that the last phrase, “provided he acknowledge the existence of a Supreme Being." is void in no further effect in that it is in violation of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment of the United States Constitution. “Here is the strange part, Atty. General Jim Mattox agreed not to force it on the part of the state but it's never been removed from the Texas Constitution, even though everyone agrees that it's unconstitutional.
I usually hold professionals to a higher standard, so it disappoints me that legislators, of which most are lawyers, would allow the clause to stand knowing full well that it's unconstitutional. Then again I've heard stories from secretaries of local attorneys telling me that I have set the standards too high for lawyers and they could easily prove their point but they wanted to keep their job.
Anyway the article is in today's Texas Tribune.