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Thursday, June 14, 2012

I Didn’t Know That

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.

http://www.texastribune.org/texas-lobbying/lobby-and-lobbyists/texas-atheists-lobby-texas-legislature/

22 comments:

Edith Ann said...

Leaving it in the Constitution (which has been amended over 350 times, so it's not like it would be a lot of work...) saves them the appearance of looking like they just pulled their objection out of their asses when needed.

See, this is the kind of stuff they wish we did not know. It's all fun and games until someone finds out the truth.

Mike said...

How did it get in their in the first place because the US Constitution always takes precedence...At least that is what I was taught...I would like to see the votes for taking it out of the Constitution..:-)..It would be a Conservative Republican's nightmare...lol

Michael Gomez said...

More than likely it was left in so the ruling could be overturned at a later date. This is just another example of what I was talking about earlier. The GOP constantly ignores Separation of Church and State unless they need some to redirect people's attention from an actual issue.

Mike said...

Has everyone received the email Toni was talking about? I haven't.
Transparency changes? 

Sugar Magnolia said...

I don't see a problem with the clause, because it is fulfilled with every governor that takes office. The "supreme being"- the governor themselves? Have we ever had a guvnah that thought that wasn't describing themselves? Of course they believe in a "supreme being" - they think they see one in the mirror each day!

Just a little humor for levity there.

Yeah, I got the email Mike. I'm still a little bleary eye and obviously don't think I have had enough coffee but it mentions Facebook (something I won't participate in) and giving the VicAd your full info - name, address, social security #, name of firstborn, etc. Okay maybe not the last two, but you get my drift. I'm going to email Jessica Puente to clarify whether we must submit this info to continue to blog and post, etc. or if this is for new users to submit before they can get an account with VicAd. It was a little unclear.... here is what I received:

Dear Bloggers,



Thank you for your participation on our site.



We’ve been working hard to better the functionality of VictoriaAdvocate.com. Our first step was redesigning the site, and now we are adding Facebook commenting. So why Facebook commenting?



1) It’s familiar and easy to use.



Facebook has more than 800 million users. Most people you know already have one. If you don’t or don’t want to get one, we still offer regular accounts by email. However, you must be verified in order to comment.



2) Transparency



Real names and identities can greatly reduce the number of trolls or anonymous posts that violate the user policy.



3) Automatic sign-in



If you’re already signed into Facebook and you go to VictoriaAdvocate.com, you will be signed up for commenting. You don't have to do anything else. This change is still being worked on so stay tuned for more on that.



So what does this mean for blogging? Our blog posting software is not integrated with Facebook, but we still want to promote the value of transparency throughout the site. We will feature only bloggers who are willing to verify their identities with us. We hope this will help foster the conversation among the community and bring new bloggers to the site. Send an email to jpuente@vicad.com with your username, name, phone number and email address for verification.



Let me know whether you would like to share your identity with all of our users or only with us. For featuring on our home page, we will give preference to bloggers who share their identities with all of our users. To change your user name to your real name, please send me an email; we can handle this process for you.



Thank you for your cooperation and contributions to VictoriaAdvocate.com



Sincerely,



The Victoria Advocate

So....anybody read anything else I'm not getting? What is yall's take on it?

Sugar Magnolia said...

So, I just sent an email to Jessica Puente saying this:

Jessica - just trying to follow up here. Thanks for letting us know about the changes. I am not now nor will I ever be on Facebook. So, my question is, even for old-time bloggers like myself, do I have to send you my personal info now, or is this just for the new ones trying to establish an account? What happens if I don't send my info to y'all. You already have my email. I have been blogging and commenting on the VicAd since at least 2006 or 2007, so I think a change after 5 or 6 years is unfair to us older bloggers, if I am understanding your email right. Could you please clarify whether this info will be mandatory for us to continue blogging at all, or whether such info will simply give a blogger "preferred status"? Just trying to understand. And to make sure we don't have to participate in Facebook in order to continue to blog. Thanks for the help! SugarMagnolia


So, we will see exactly what the agenda is here, and hopefully get some clarification.

Sugar Magnolia said...

I don't know what happened to my comment prior to the one at 6:41 pm, so I won't repeat myself, other than to pass on what Jessica Puente sent me (and I guess the other bloggers). I think it needs a little clarification, not sure about the info thing, and Facebook, and all that. What do y'all think about this?


Dear Bloggers,



Thank you for your participation on our site.



We’ve been working hard to better the functionality of VictoriaAdvocate.com. Our first step was redesigning the site, and now we are adding Facebook commenting. So why Facebook commenting?



1) It’s familiar and easy to use.



Facebook has more than 800 million users. Most people you know already have one. If you don’t or don’t want to get one, we still offer regular accounts by email. However, you must be verified in order to comment.



2) Transparency



Real names and identities can greatly reduce the number of trolls or anonymous posts that violate the user policy.



3) Automatic sign-in



If you’re already signed into Facebook and you go to VictoriaAdvocate.com, you will be signed up for commenting. You don't have to do anything else. This change is still being worked on so stay tuned for more on that.



So what does this mean for blogging? Our blog posting software is not integrated with Facebook, but we still want to promote the value of transparency throughout the site. We will feature only bloggers who are willing to verify their identities with us. We hope this will help foster the conversation among the community and bring new bloggers to the site. Send an email to jpuente@vicad.com with your username, name, phone number and email address for verification.



Let me know whether you would like to share your identity with all of our users or only with us. For featuring on our home page, we will give preference to bloggers who share their identities with all of our users. To change your user name to your real name, please send me an email; we can handle this process for you.



Thank you for your cooperation and contributions to VictoriaAdvocate.com



Sincerely,



The Victoria Advocate

Mike said...

Sugar
Thanks for all thatinfo,my sentiments exactly.

Need to send the lead investigator ,EA,to get to the bottom of this.

I still haven't received my email. 

Edith Ann said...

Well, I was a whole of lot help, wasn't I? They still talk to Sugar--I'd hang with her for info. Wonder why you haven't seen a letter?

Mike said...

I really appreciate the efforts of a couple of kind posters who emailed me the new ViCad info last night because as of yet, I have not received my email.

I am having a problem deciphering the intent of these new rules.

"We will feature only bloggers who are willing to verify their identities with us. We hope this will help foster the conversation among the community and bring new bloggers to the site.

Let me know whether you would like to share your identity with all of our users or only with us. For featuring on our home page, we will give preference to bloggers who share their identities with all of our users.


How are they using the word feature? IT seems to me you can be featured in one if you share your identity with them and you can be on the HOME PAGE if you share your identity with all users.

dale said...

You may not want to do it Mike. You may be branded a Libertarian or worse. :)

dale

And thanks for the content update of the Texas Constitution. Interesting.

Mike said...

Dale
That's the problem I don't know what to do....Do I wait for everything to take place or pick up my football and go home?

Is there something worse than a Libertarian?...:-)

On another note;I have to admit that I didn't see that coming.

Anonymous said...

Anything worse:

Being a moderate and/or believing in nothing.

dale

Mike said...

lol..I used to call them fence straddlers but I have evolved because of today's polarization.

A moderate who knows their stuff can take from both positions and come up with a plan we can live with...They are hard to find,I don't know anyone like that.

dale said...

Nice reflection. But I have gained something from Mike. And that is the huge differences in political and moral thought which exists in this country. Perhaps it has always been there, but certainly it has become worse since the Ds lost their majority 20 years ago. The blame belongs in both camps, but mostly with the voters, who put up with being "used". It is up to you and I to solve this dangerous problem. BTW, it would be the Advocate's loss to loose "Mike". Have a good weekend.

Mike said...

Why thank you Dale.

You have a good weekend

Edith Ann said...

Will their new rule affect that assinine Uncle History stuff? Probably not.

If any of you opt out and pass on the Advocate kind invitation to reveal yourselves, I would suggest that you ask for an archive of your blogs. I know they have given that much to other bloggers.

Sugar Magnolia said...

Mike - I agree with Dale. It is to the VicAd's detriment that they will lose long-time posters such as yourself, and as I said in another blurb, I predict this is the beginning, (OK, OK, middle) of the end for them. I certainly will not be posting any longer if they require to know who I am; what could it possibly interest them to know who I am, anyway? Or anyone? The HouChron has never required this information, and guess where I will be going for better online forums. Yep. It's time. It's sad that we needed a shove such as this to realize the inevitable but here it is. I guarantee you all that my last blog on the VicAd will be a beaut. Stay tuned and keep your eyes peeled, cause this chick don't play that.

Mike said...

EA
I thought about that.

 can you tell what they mean by feature blogger on front goes to those who allow others to see their identity?Not the obvious but what do they consider the home page or am I misinterpreting the memo....I don't know a thing about the FB format...I went to their sports FB but didn't get an answer unless they use a special tag.

Mike said...

Thank you,Sugar Magnolia

I've had my departure  blog in draft mode for 3 years...:-)  All I need is an update.

When I know for sure that I won't be back,I'm going to make sure some posters get some carefully worded goodbyes.

Edith Ann said...

Mike, I just noticed that Toni's blog is labeled the 'feature blog'. It is over on the right hand side in one of the boxes.

Don't bother with Facebook. Just go back to Cobler's comment that has the link to the Advosports. Click on that, and look at how that looks when you click on a story. When I did, it shows a prefilled (with my facebook name and picture) window to make a comment in. It does not give me the option to comment with my Advocate name. It does give me the option to 'log out' (of Facebook, I suppose) and that may take me to a place where I can put in EdithAnn. I don't know. They are very vague on the info.

There are so many other places to discuss stuff, I won't miss the idiots on the Advocate. Not a bit.

Mike said...

Thanks EA

That makes sense and wouldn't bother me a bit not to be a featured blogger...That's like our boss used to have the title but most of us made more money (overtime) without the headaches....:-) I've never been much on prestige...So,I'm thinking if I don't allow my identity to others,I won't lose a thing...More tomorrow because I think it's making sence.