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Public Office Speech Disqualification Clause

An automatic disqualification clause is the idea.
  [vote for,

Thomas Jefferson stated that there shall be a wall of separation between church and state, and the Supreme Court has repeatedly affirmed that this statement is applicable to the Constitution which he drafted. Despite this, every politician running for the Office of the President of the United States on the Republican ticket during the last few election campaigns has cited the teachings and interpretations of the Christian Bible as their *only* reason for opposing issues such as abortion and gay marriage.

They are thus blatantly announcing an intent to violate the principles of the US Constitution when they make such statements, yet the President (in fact, all public officials) is supposed to uphold and support the principles of the Constitution.

So my idea is to add a clause to the Constitution that disqualifies from public office any candidate who announces an intent to disobey the Constitution. As soon as the candidate says in any publicly-available speech or written document that he intends to do something which is blatantly unconstitutional (such as letting a religious decree guide his hand in policy making), he is immediately brought before the Supreme Court to decide if he did, in fact, declare an intent to do something which violates the Constitution.

If the Supreme Court finds the candidate guilty of intent to abuse the powers of his office, he is disqualified from holding any public office (mayor, governor, senator, congressman, President, etc.) for X number of years, X to be determined by the Court.

21 Quest, Jul 17 2012

Machdonough's song http://www.poetrylo...cdonoughs_song.html
[Voice, Jul 18 2012]

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       God made enough humans not give a rat's ass about homosexuality. But an institution that codifies capital M Marriages suffers from applying that moniker to a union that doesn't produce offspring (who then grow up within and justifying the institution, rinse and repeat).

       Abortion, on the other hand, He/She might have some concerns about.

       No, that's my chisel... get your own.
FlyingToaster, Jul 17 2012

       Speaking of chisels, the act of prohibiting someone from practicing their belief would surely be against the Constitution.

       Not to mention, let's imagine the hypothetical situation where a candidate for President says he wants to abolish the perfectly Constitutional (at the time) practice of slavery?

       The road to hell is paved with wanting magical fixes to complicated problems.
theircompetitor, Jul 18 2012

       //the act of prohibiting someone from practicing their belief would surely be against the Constitution//

       Surely this isn't prohibiting someone from practicing their belief, it's just requiring them not to bring it into their day job.

       However, the solution is surely just not to vote for someone if you disagree with their beliefs; you can only do that if they state their beliefs.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jul 18 2012

       Another great thing about the constitution is that it allows a person to say whatever they want.
bungston, Jul 18 2012

       Wow, this road sure is bumpy. And what's that smell?
normzone, Jul 18 2012

       The president doing what his religion tells him to does not directly violate the separation between church and state.
Voice, Jul 18 2012

       While I like the spirit of this Idea, it has a fundamental flaw. That's because the Constution has a process built into it for Amending it. And an Amendment is allowed to be anything at all. It could even be something like this: "All prior portions of the Constitution and Amendments are hereby nullified. The New Law of The Land shall be ..." --and anything would be allowable, provided that this new Amendment was passed in accordance with the rules of the CURRENT Constitution.
Vernon, Jul 18 2012

       I'm reminded of a poem that drastically altered my view of politics when I first read it. linky
Voice, Jul 18 2012

       //it allows a person to say whatever they want.//

       Yes it does, which is why I'm not suggesting a jail/prison term or monetary fine (ie, punishment) for stating such intentions. Regarding Amendments, well that's different. If your intention is to actually change the wording the wording of the Constitution via the Amendment process, then the aspiring President should say that. But currently, letting one's religion shape his policy making agenda *is* a violation of Church and State, because he is allowing the Church (some would call them a political body) to influence the law.

       Let's look at something like murder, for instance. An aspiring politician doesn't need to say he thinks murder is wrong because it's against the 10 commandments. Murderers need to be locked up and/or put down because they physically endanger everyone else in the community. Thus, religion doesn't *necessarily* have a role in that. Same with things like theft. And while there might be other reasons for opposing gay marriage (//suffers from applying that moniker to a union that doesn't produce offspring//"), there are none which apply *exclusively* to gay marriage. Say you don't like it because you think marriage should produce children. Are you suggesting we make a law which makes it a crime to produce children *out* of wedlock? Are you suggesting we make a law which bans infertile/barren people (like post-menopausal women, or guys with prostate cancer) from getting married? Fair's fair. There are a lot of heterosexual couples who can't produce offspring. If gays can't marry on that basis, then neither can they. Right?
21 Quest, Jul 18 2012

       ^ on a basic level yes, but some of those are for family (ie: state continuity) repair *

       I'm just saying that as long as Marriage has a traditional meaning that includes children, then the State, in that respect, isn't receiving any return on its investment. Isn't sterility one of the grounds for annulment ?

       yer a bugger 21 ;), forcing me to think over stuff that wasn't simply a knee-jerk response in the first place. The State still has an interest in hetero childless couples that are shacking up being married though it's a different paradigm based on alleviating moral unrest.

       (note that the state also has no interest in whether people are happy or not, the actual personal relationship is non-sequitur)

       The upshot is that the State has nothing to gain by gay couples being married.

       Crap, that sounds cold... keep poking.
FlyingToaster, Jul 18 2012

       I think we're quite free to vote for people based on either their beliefs or the absence thereof. And the candidates can be quite free to practice their religion, so long as they do not establish their religion. The violation of the constitution is the State forcing an officially sanctioned belief on you. A politician that believes the Earth is flat has every right to both run and to be elected, so long as she does not force you to practice it.
theircompetitor, Jul 18 2012

       Except that many Republicans have stated repeatedly that they intend to ban gay marriage and abortion, based exclusively on religious principles. That means they intend to force every gay couple who wants to get married and every woman who wants to get an abortion to abide by Christian religious decrees. That is the very definition of forcing others to practice your religion.

       Again, if they intend to accomplish this goal by modifying the Constitution (ie, via the Amendment process), then they should say so. But so far, they haven't said a single word about changing the Constitution. They intend to enforce religious doctrine, which the Supreme Court has determined many times is unconstitutional.

       If a President were to try something like once in office, they would be subject to impeachment, which wastes time and distracts voters from other issues. The idea behind my proposed clause is to get that impeachment process out of the way before the person is even voted into office, or to put it another way, a preemptive impeachment based not on what the defendant has done but what he has declared intent to do.
21 Quest, Jul 18 2012

       Im guessing they looked at the number of people in the country who are, or like to pretend to be, Christians (of the stripe that have never had to deal with the subjects matter: there are churches that stem from the Xian tradition which allow gay marriage), in which case it's democracy.
FlyingToaster, Jul 18 2012

       But in our society, in our legal system, even the power of the majority is restricted by the Constitution. Thus, we are protected from the 'Tyranny of the Majority'.
21 Quest, Jul 18 2012

       k, I'm not familiar with "our" Constitution (I'm not even familiar with our Constitution): what's the protection mechanism ?
FlyingToaster, Jul 18 2012

       I think that a political party whose fundamental reason for existence was the complete abolition of religious teaching; worship; books; materials and observance would probably be a good thing.

       It would certainly create enough distraction for governments to get on with all of the other things they are meant to do, instead of squabbling about the rights of zygotes and brain-dead accident victims.
UnaBubba, Jul 18 2012

       [21] -- I think you are a bit confused on the issue of Separation. If a candidate were even to propose that, say, Zen Bud-ism is the official religion of the United States -- that does not constitutionally disqualify him from office. Passing that law does not disqualify him from office either. Nor would arguing in front of the Supreme Court to maintain the law be disqualifying. The ONLY thing that would be disqualifying is failing to obey the Supreme Court AFTER it ruled the law unconstitutional. Your right to your beliefs and opinions is protected. The line that protects the minority against the tyranny is in fact the Court, which may choose to strike down such a law, as well as, of course, a future election.

       If you were to discriminate against candidates that argue against any form of marriage, or birth control, on religious ground, you would in fact be violating the Separation doctrine, because you would be arguing that such beliefs are somehow disqualifying -- whereas the belief of someone who arrived at the same point of view on non- religious grounds would somehow be considered more valuable.
theircompetitor, Jul 18 2012

       //whereas the belief of someone who arrived at the same point of view on non- religious grounds would somehow be considered more valuable.//

       I'm good with that. It implies they actually thought about the issue, rather than followed the edict of some parasitic "holy man".
UnaBubba, Jul 18 2012

       sure, UB. But under the guise of a more perfect union, this proposal would violate the very same right it purports to defend.
theircompetitor, Jul 18 2012

       Same as it ever was, [tc]. This argument will outlast humanity, if there is ever such a thing found in religious discourse.
UnaBubba, Jul 18 2012

       My proposed clause only disqaulifies from office those who declare an intent to force their religion on the masses. That's not a violation of any right granted by the Constitution. You have the right to practice your religion, but you do NOT have the right to attempt to force your religion on anybody else. To even attempt to do so would be an abuse of power and a violation of the separation between church and state. Regarding your concern about discriminating against those with religious beliefs in favor of those with the same ideas that they arrived at through other means, I draw your attention to the fact that there is a recognized separation of church and state, but not a separation of logic and state. A logical argument is, literally 'in fact', more valid than a theological argument. Thus, my argument (presented in my first annotation) explaining why gay marriage should be allowed is more valid, in Constitutional terms, than one which basically boils down to 'because the Bible says so'.
21 Quest, Jul 18 2012

       Au contraire, a theological argument, deriving as it does from God's will, trumps a human understanding of logic... if you happen to subscribe to that particular god of course.

       //"... because the Bible says so"// I see your objection and agree [+].

       So if he had a better speech-writer the phrase should be "...because the Bible tells me so". I'm not sure modern politicians are willing to take that much personal responsibility for their actions.
FlyingToaster, Jul 18 2012

       I kinda thought someone might get a kick out of that one...
21 Quest, Jul 18 2012

       Don't get no kicks AFTER the abortion, [21].
UnaBubba, Jul 18 2012

       I had this exact idea a week ago, glad to see you posted it much better then I could have done.

       I do believe you are rather naive though to actually think people running for office are really religious men. They just use religious fools by the millions to get to power.

       You don't really believe roman consuls thought their actions were judged by gods on some mountain do you?
zeno, Jul 20 2012

       There were probably some that did... and some that, though they didn't, made all their words and actions in accordance with the local religion... in which case, to the populace, what's the difference ?

       And, as long as I have the floor, what's with "In God We Trust" ? Quite apt for modern unbacked fiat-currency, but that's been on US money long before that.
FlyingToaster, Jul 20 2012

       really 21Q, what country do you live in? The USA that I live in barely pays lip service to the fundamental principles in the constitution. When was the last time you asserted your right to have privacy in your person and papers? Body searches happen constantly. Your personal affects, protected from search in the constitution can be rifled by an officer of the peace without explanation.
WcW, Jul 20 2012


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