Saturday, February 12, 2005

U.S. State Constitutions and religious requirements for holding office

As promised...the long, dark trek through the religious faith reqirements for holding office in the 50 states (in alphabetical order). All state constitutions are available from the link above, or by clicking on the state name below (for the case of state constitutions from the above page that lead to "broken links"). State names in bold are ones that require some sort of religious affirmation to serve in public office (I'll summarize them at the end).

State Bills of Rights can be found here.

1. Alabama

SECTION 3

Religious freedom.

That no religion shall be established by law; that no preference shall be given by law to any religious sect, society, denomination, or mode of worship; that no one shall be compelled by law to attend any place of worship; nor to pay any tithes, taxes, or other rate for building or repairing any place of worship, or for maintaining any minister or ministry; that no religious test shall be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under this state; and that the civil rights, privileges, and capacities of any citizen shall not be in any manner affected by his religious principles.


2. Alaska

§ 4. Freedom of Religion

No law shall be made respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.


No mention of religion in qualification for office.

3. Arizona

12. Liberty of conscience; appropriations for religious purposes prohibited; religious freedom

Section 12. The liberty of conscience secured by the provisions of this constitution shall not be so construed as to excuse acts of licentiousness, or justify practices inconsistent with the peace and safety of the state. No public money or property shall be appropriated for or applied to any religious worship, exercise, or instruction, or to the support of any religious establishment. No religious qualification shall be required for any public office or employment, nor shall any person be incompetent as a witness or juror in consequence of his opinion on matters of religion, nor be questioned touching his religious belief in any court of justice to affect the weight of his testimony.


4. Arkansas

Sec. 26. Religious tests.



No religious test shall ever be required of any person as a qualification to vote or hold office, nor shall any person be rendered incompetent to be a witness on account of his religious belief; but nothing herein shall be construed to dispense with oaths or affirmations.


5. California

SEC. 4. Free exercise and enjoyment of religion without
discrimination or preference are guaranteed. This liberty of
conscience does not excuse acts that are licentious or inconsistent
with the peace or safety of the State. The Legislature shall make no
law respecting an establishment of religion.


(As a side note...California's constitution is tough to read and follow. This was the only reference to religion that I could find. I think all the lawyers must live in California :)

6. Colorado

Section 4. Religious freedom. The free exercise and enjoyment of religious profession and worship, without discrimination, shall forever hereafter be guaranteed; and no person shall be denied any civil or political right, privilege or capacity, on account of his opinions concerning religion; but the liberty of conscience hereby secured shall not be construed to dispense with oaths or affirmations, excuse acts of licentiousness or justify practices inconsistent with the good order, peace or safety of the state. No person shall be required to attend or support any ministry or place of worship, religious sect or denomination against his consent. Nor shall any preference be given by law to any religious denomination or mode of worship.


No mention of religion in qualification for office.

7. Connecticut

SEC. 20. No person shall be denied the equal protection of the law nor be subjected to segregation or discrimination in the exercise or enjoyment of his civil or political rights because of religion, race, color, ancestry or national origin.


This section has been amended twice, but said amendments do not affect wording on religion (one added equal rights based on gender, one added equal rights based on physical disability).

The section on religion itself established full religious freedom, but makes not mention of religion with regards to holding office.

No mention of religion in qualification for office.

8. Delaware

§1. Freedom of religion.

Section 1. Although it is the duty of all men frequently to assemble together for the public worship of Almighty God; and piety and morality, on which the prosperity of communities depends, are hereby promoted; yet no man shall or ought to be compelled to attend any religious worship, to contribute to the erection or support of any place of worship, or to the maintenance of any ministry, against his own free will and consent; and no power shall or ought to be vested in or assumed by any magistrate that shall in any case interfere with, or in any manner control the rights of conscience, in the free exercise of religious worship, nor a preference given by law to any religious societies, denominations, or modes of worship.

§2. Religious test for office not required.

Section 2. No religious test shall be required as a qualification to any office, or public trust, under this State.


9. Florida

SECTION 3. Religious freedom.--There shall be no law respecting the establishment of religion or prohibiting or penalizing the free exercise thereof. Religious freedom shall not justify practices inconsistent with public morals, peace or safety. No revenue of the state or any political subdivision or agency thereof shall ever be taken from the public treasury directly or indirectly in aid of any church, sect, or religious denomination or in aid of any sectarian institution.


No mention of religion in qualification for office.

10. Georgia

Paragraph IV. Religious opinions; freedom of religion.

No inhabitant of this state shall be molested in person or property or be prohibited from holding any public office or trust on account of religious opinions; but the right of freedom of religion shall not be so construed as to excuse acts of licentiousness or justify practices inconsistent with the peace and safety of the state.


11. Hawaii

FREEDOM OF RELIGION, SPEECH, PRESS, ASSEMBLY AND PETITION

Section 4. No law shall be enacted respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, or abridging the freedom of speech or of the press or the right of the people peaceably to assemble and to petition the government for a redress of grievances. [Ren and am Const Con 1978 and election Nov 7, 1978]


No mention of religion in qualification for office.

12. Idaho

SECTION 4. GUARANTY OF RELIGIOUS LIBERTY. The exercise and enjoyment of religious faith and worship shall forever be guaranteed; and no person shall be denied any civil or political right, privilege, or capacity on account of his religious opinions; but the liberty of conscience hereby secured shall not be construed to dispense with oaths or affirmations, or excuse acts of licentiousness or justify polygamous or other pernicious practices, inconsistent with morality or the peace or safety of the state; nor to permit any person, organization, or association to directly or indirectly aid or abet, counsel or advise any person to commit the crime of bigamy or polygamy, or any other crime. No person shall be required to attend or support any ministry or place of worship, religious sect or denomination, or pay tithes against his consent; nor shall any preference be given by law to any religious denomination or mode of worship. Bigamy and polygamy are forever prohibited in the state, and the legislature shall provide by law for the punishment of such crimes.


No mention of religion in qualification for office.

(Looks like bigamy/polygamy were big issues, though).

13. Illinois

SECTION 3. RELIGIOUS FREEDOM
The free exercise and enjoyment of religious profession
and worship, without discrimination, shall forever be
guaranteed, and no person shall be denied any civil or
political right, privilege or capacity, on account of his
religious opinions; but the liberty of conscience hereby
secured shall not be construed to dispense with oaths or
affirmations, excuse acts of licentiousness, or justify
practices inconsistent with the peace or safety of the State.
No person shall be required to attend or support any ministry
or place of worship against his consent, nor shall any
preference be given by law to any religious denomination or
mode of worship.


No mention of religion in qualification for office.

14. Indiana

Section 3. Freedom of religious opinions
Section 3. No law shall, in any case whatever, control the free exercise and enjoyment of religious opinions, or interfere with the rights of conscience.

Section 4. Freedom of religion
Section 4. No preference shall be given, by law, to any creed, religious society, or mode of worship; and no person shall be compelled to attend, erect, or support, any place of worship, or to maintain any ministry, against his consent.

(History: As Amended November 6, 1984).
Section 5. No religious test for office
Section 5. No religious test shall be required, as a qualification for any office of trust or profit.


15. Iowa

Religious test--witnesses. SEC. 4. No religious test shall be required as a qualification for any office, or public trust, and no person shall be deprived of any of his rights, privileges, or capacities, or disqualified from the performance of any of his public or private duties, or rendered incompetent to give evidence in any court of law or equity, in consequence of his opinions on the subject of religion; and any party to any judicial proceeding shall have the right to use as a witness, or take the testimony of, any other person not disqualified on account of interest, who may be cognizant of any fact material to the case; and parties to suits may be witnesses, as provided by law.


16. Kansas

§ 7. Religious liberty. The right to worship God according to the dictates of conscience shall never be infringed; nor shall any person be compelled to attend or support any form of worship; nor shall any control of or interference with the rights of conscience be permitted, nor any preference be given by law to any religious establishment or mode of worship. No religious test or property qualification shall be required for any office of public trust, nor for any vote at any elections, nor shall any person be incompetent to testify on account of religious belief.


17. Kentucky

Section 5
Right of religious freedom.

No preference shall ever be given by law to any religious sect, society or denomination; nor to any particular creed, mode of worship or system of ecclesiastical polity; nor shall any person be compelled to attend any place of worship, to contribute to the erection or maintenance of any such place, or to the salary or support of any minister of religion; nor shall any man be compelled to send his child to any school to which he may be conscientiously opposed; and the civil rights, privileges or capacities of no person shall be taken away, or in anywise diminished or enlarged, on account of his belief or disbelief of any religious tenet, dogma or teaching. No human authority shall, in any case whatever, control or interfere with the rights of conscience.


No mention of religion in qualification for office.

18. Louisana

§8. Freedom of Religion

Section 8. No law shall be enacted respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.
---
§10. Right to Vote; Disqualification from Seeking or Holding an Elective Office

Section 10.(A) Right to Vote. Every citizen of the state, upon reaching eighteen years of age, shall have the right to register and vote, except that this right may be suspended while a person is interdicted and judicially declared mentally incompetent or is under an order of imprisonment for conviction of a felony.

(B) Disqualification. The following persons shall not be permitted to qualify as a candidate for elective public office or take public elective office or appointment of honor, trust, or profit in this state:

(1) A person who has been convicted within this state of a felony and who has exhausted all legal remedies, or who has been convicted under the laws of any other state or of the United States or of any foreign government or country of a crime which, if committed in this state, would be a felony and who has exhausted all legal remedies and has not afterwards been pardoned either by the governor of this state or by the officer of the state, nation, government or country having such authority to pardon in the place where the person was convicted and sentenced.

(2) A person actually under an order of imprisonment for conviction of a felony.

(C) Exception. Notwithstanding the provisions of Paragraph (B) of this Section, a person who desires to qualify as a candidate for or hold an elective office, who has been convicted of a felony and who has served his sentence, but has not been pardoned for such felony, shall be permitted to qualify as a candidate for or hold such office if the date of his qualifying for such office is more than fifteen years after the date of the completion of his original sentence.


No mention of religion in qualification for office.

19. Maine

Section 3. Religious freedom; sects equal; religious tests prohibited; religious teachers. All individuals have a natural and unalienable right to worship Almighty God according to the dictates of their own consciences, and no person shall be hurt, molested or restrained in that person's liberty or estate for worshipping God in the manner and season most agreeable to the dictates of that person's own conscience, nor for that person's religious professions or sentiments, provided that that person does not disturb the public peace, nor obstruct others in their religious worship; -- and all persons demeaning themselves peaceably, as good members of the State, shall be equally under the protection of the laws, and no subordination nor preference of any one sect or denomination to another shall ever be established by law, nor shall any religious test be required as a qualification for any office or trust, under this State; and all religious societies in this State, whether incorporate or unincorporate, shall at all times have the exclusive right of electing their public teachers, and contracting with them for their support and maintenance.


(Wordy! :)

No mention of religion in qualification for office.

20. Maryland

Art. 36. That as it is the duty of every man to worship God in such manner as he thinks most acceptable to Him, all persons are equally entitled to protection in their religious liberty; wherefore, no person ought by any law to be molested in his person or estate, on account of his religious persuasion, or profession, or for his religious practice, unless, under the color of religion, he shall disturb the good order, peace or safety of the State, or shall infringe the laws of morality, or injure others in their natural, civil or religious rights; nor ought any person to be compelled to frequent, or maintain, or contribute, unless on contract, to maintain, any place of worship, or any ministry; nor shall any person, otherwise competent, be deemed incompetent as a witness, or juror, on account of his religious belief; provided, he believes in the existence of God, and that under His dispensation such person will be held morally accountable for his acts, and be rewarded or punished therefor either in this world or in the world to come.

Nothing shall prohibit or require the making reference to belief in, reliance upon, or invoking the aid of God or a Supreme Being in any governmental or public document, proceeding, activity, ceremony, school, institution, or place.

Nothing in this article shall constitute an establishment of religion (amended by Chapter 558, Acts of 1970, ratified Nov. 3, 1970).

Art. 37. That no religious test ought ever to be required as a qualification for any office of profit or trust in this State, other than a declaration of belief in the existence of God; nor shall the Legislature prescribe any other oath of office than the oath prescribed by this Constitution.


First clear requirement for belief in God for public office (and to be a witness/juror). Interesting, if I witness a crime but do not believe in God, I suppose I can't testify (that's even better than the 5th Amendment!)

21. Massachusetts

Article I. [Any person chosen governor, lieutenant governor, councillor, senator or representative, and accepting the trust, shall before he proceed to execute the duties of his place or office, make and subscribe the following declaration, viz.--

"I, A. B., do declare, that I believe the Christian religion, and have a firm persuasion of its truth; and that I am seised and possessed, in my own right, of the property required by the constitution as one qualification for the office or place to which I am elected."
---
Amended to state:Article VI. Instead of the oath of allegiance prescribed by the constitution, the following oath shall be taken and subscribed by every person chosen or appointed to any office, civil or military under the government of this commonwealth, before he shall enter on the duties of his office, to wit:

"I, A. B., do solemnly swear, that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and will support the constitution thereof. So help me God."

Provided, That when any person shall be of the denomination called Quakers, and shall decline taking said oath, he shall make his affirmation in the foregoing form, omitting the word "swear" and inserting instead thereof the word "affirm;" and omitting the words "So help me God," and subjoining, instead thereof, the words "This I do under the pains and penalties of perjury."


There are numerous other references to religion, it's requirement in relation to holding office (the qualifications for Governor used to specify Christianity, and it's a bit unclear if the amendments changing the oaths really countermand that or not, though provision is given to Quakers in oaths, and for non-Quakers there is still "So help me God"). There are even words to the effect of the state funding Protestant institutions in certain cases.

Massachusetts is a church-state quagmire, and their constitution is nearly as complex to read and decipher as California's.

22. Michigan

§ 4 Freedom of worship and religious belief; appropriations.

Sec. 4.

Every person shall be at liberty to worship God according to the dictates of his own conscience. No person shall be compelled to attend, or, against his consent, to contribute to the erection or support of any place of religious worship, or to pay tithes, taxes or other rates for the support of any minister of the gospel or teacher of religion. No money shall be appropriated or drawn from the treasury for the benefit of any religious sect or society, theological or religious seminary; nor shall property belonging to the state be appropriated for any such purpose. The civil and political rights, privileges and capacities of no person shall be diminished or enlarged on account of his religious belief.


No mention of religion in qualification for office.

23. Minnesota

Sec. 16. FREEDOM OF CONSCIENCE; NO PREFERENCE TO BE GIVEN TO ANY RELIGIOUS ESTABLISHMENT OR MODE OF WORSHIP. The enumeration of rights in this constitution shall not deny or impair others retained by and inherent in the people. The right of every man to worship God according to the dictates of his own conscience shall never be infringed; nor shall any man be compelled to attend, erect or support any place of worship, or to maintain any religious or ecclesiastical ministry, against his consent; nor shall any control of or interference with the rights of conscience be permitted, or any preference be given by law to any religious establishment or mode of worship; but the liberty of conscience hereby secured shall not be so construed as to excuse acts of licentiousness or justify practices inconsistent with the peace or safety of the state, nor shall any money be drawn from the treasury for the benefit of any religious societies or religious or theological seminaries.

Sec. 17. RELIGIOUS TESTS AND PROPERTY QUALIFICATIONS PROHIBITED. No religious test or amount of property shall be required as a qualification for any office of public trust in the state. No religious test or amount of property shall be required as a qualification of any voter at any election in this state; nor shall any person be rendered incompetent to give evidence in any court of law or equity in consequence of his opinion upon the subject of religion.


No mention of religion in qualification for office.

24. Mississippi

SECTION 18.
No religious test as a qualification for office shall be required; and no preference shall be given by law to any religious sect or mode of worship; but the free enjoyment of all religious sentiments and the different modes of worship shall be held sacred. The rights hereby secured shall not be construed to justify acts of licentiousness injurious to morals or dangerous to the peace and safety of the state, or to exclude the Holy Bible from use in any public school of this state.


No mention of religion in qualification for office.

25. Missouri

Religious freedom--liberty of conscience and belief--limitations.

Section 5. That all men have a natural and indefeasible right to worship Almighty God according to the dictates of their own consciences; that no human authority can control or interfere with the rights of conscience; that no person shall, on account of his religious persuasion or belief, be rendered ineligible to any public office or trust or profit in this state, be disqualified from testifying or serving as a juror, or be molested in his person or estate; but this section shall not be construed to excuse acts of licentiousness, nor to justify practices inconsistent with the good order, peace or safety of the state, or with the rights of others.


No mention of religion in qualification for office.

26. Montana

Section 5. Freedom of religion. The state shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.


No mention of religion in qualification for office.

27. Nebraska

Religious freedom.
CI-4 All persons have a natural and indefeasible right
to worship Almighty God according to the dictates of their own
consciences. No person shall be compelled to attend, erect or
support any place of worship against his consent, and no
preference shall be given by law to any religious society, nor
shall any interference with the rights of conscience be
permitted. No religious test shall be required as a
qualification for office, nor shall any person be incompetent to
be a witness on account of his religious beliefs; but nothing
herein shall be construed to dispense with oaths and
affirmations
. Religion, morality, and knowledge, however, being
essential to good government, it shall be the duty of the
Legislature to pass suitable laws to protect every religious
denomination in the peaceable enjoyment of its own mode of public
worship, and to encourage schools and the means of instruction.


No mention of religion in qualification for office.

28. Nevada

Sec: 4. Liberty of conscience. The free exercise and enjoyment of religious profession and worship without discrimination or preference shall forever be allowed in this State, and no person shall be rendered incompetent to be a witness on account of his opinions on matters of his religious belief, but the liberty of consciene [conscience] hereby secured, shall not be so construed, as to excuse acts of licentiousness or justify practices inconsistent with the peace, or safety of this State.


No mention of religion in qualification for office.

29. New Hampshire

[Art.] 5. [Religious Freedom Recognized.] Every individual has a natural and unalienable right to worship God according to the dictates of his own conscience, and reason; and no subject shall be hurt, molested, or restrained, in his pers on, liberty, or estate, for worshipping God in the manner and season most agreeable to the dictates of his own conscience; or for his religious profession, sentiments, or persuasion; provided he doth not disturb the public peace or disturb others in their religious worship.


Note that qualifications for Senators, Representatives, and other state officials were required to be Protestants until 1877. There are similiar oaths to Massachusetts, with similar provisions for Quakers. However, no religious affiliation is apparent in qualifications for offices (post-1877).

30. New Jersey

4. There shall be no establishment of one religious sect in preference to another; no religious or racial test shall be required as a qualification for any office or public trust.


I found this tidbit:

No idiot or insane person shall enjoy the right of suffrage.


Given that one must be eligible to vote to hold public office, it looks like George W. Bush is not eligible to hold office in New Jersey :)

No mention of religion in qualification for office.

31. New Mexico (for some reason, NM doesn't publish it's constitution online on any of it's government sites...it required a bit of Googling to find it)

Sec. 11. Every man shall be free to worship God according to the dic-
tates of his own conscience, and no person shall ever be
molested or denied any civil or political right or privi-
lege on account of his religious opinion or mode of religi-
ous worship. No person shall be required to attend any place
of worship or support any religious sect or denomination;
nor shall any preference be given by law to any religious
denomination or mode of worship.


I could not find any reference to religion in qualifications for office. However, I'm not sure I found all of the NM consititution, either.

32. New York

S 3. The free exercise and enjoyment of religious profession and
worship, without discrimination or preference, shall forever be allowed
in this state to all humankind; and no person shall be rendered
incompetent to be a witness on account of his or her opinions on matters
of religious belief; but the liberty of conscience hereby secured shall
not be so construed as to excuse acts of licentiousness, or justify
practices inconsistent with the peace or safety of this state.


No mention of religion in qualification for office.

33. North Carolina

Sec. 8. Disqualifications for office.

The following persons shall be disqualified for office:

First, any person who shall deny the being of Almighty God
.

Second, with respect to any office that is filled by election by the people, any person who is not qualified to vote in an election for that office.

Third, any person who has been adjudged guilty of treason or any other felony against this State or the United States, or any person who has been adjudged guilty of a felony in another state that also would be a felony if it had been committed in this State, or any person who has been adjudged guilty of corruption or malpractice in any office, or any person who has been removed by impeachment from any office, and who has not been restored to the rights of citizenship in the manner prescribed by law.


The one that started my quest...and it's pretty clear where they stand.

34. North Dakota (the PDF version on the state's government page is offline right now)

Section 3. - The free exercise and enjoyment of religious profession and worship, without discrimination or preference shall be forever guaranteed in this state, and no person shall be rendered incompetent to be a witness or juror on account of his opinion on matters of religious belief; but the liberty of conscience hereby secured shall not be so construed as to excuse acts of licentiousness, or justify practices inconsistent with the peace or safety of this state.


I'll have to look up their office qualifications, as the full constitution isn't online.

35. Ohio

§ 1.07 Rights of conscience; education; the necessity of religion and knowledge (1851)

All men have a natural and indefeasible right to worship Almighty God according to the dictates of their own conscience. No person shall be compelled to attend, erect, or support any place of worship, or maintain any form of worship, against his consent; and no preference shall be given, by law, to any religious society; nor shall any interference with the rights of conscience be permitted. No religious test shall be required, as a qualification for office, nor shall any person be incompetent to be a witness on account of his religious belief; but nothing herein shall be construed to dispense with oaths and affirmations. Religion, morality, and knowledge, however, being essential to good government, it shall be the duty of the general assembly to pass suitable laws to protect every religious denomination in the peaceable enjoyment of its own mode of public worship, and to encourage schools and the means of instruction.


No mention of religion in qualification for office.

36. Oklahoma

"I, ........., do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will
support, obey, and defend the Constitution of the United States,
and the Constitution of the State of Oklahoma, and that I will
not, knowingly, receive, directly or indirectly, any money or
other valuable thing, for the performance or nonperformance of
any act or duty pertaining to my office, other than the
compensation allowed by law; I further swear (or affirm) that I
will faithfully discharge my duties as ......... to the best of
my ability."


That's their oath of office, and there is language in the constitution stating that failure to take the oath disqualifies you from service. There doesn't appear to be any specific "freedom of religion" article in the Oklahoma constitution, though various laws and statutes prohibit discrimination on the basis of religion.

37. Oregon

Section 3. Freedom of religious opinion. No law shall in any case whatever control the free exercise, and enjoyment of religeous [sic] opinions, or interfere with the rights of conscience.—



Section 4. No religious qualification for office. No religious test shall be required as a qualification for any office of trust or profit.—



Section 5. No money to be appropriated for religion. No money shall be drawn from the Treasury for the benefit of any religeous [sic], or theological institution, nor shall any money be appropriated for the payment of any religeous [sic] services in either house of the Legislative Assembly.—



Section 6. No religious test for witnesses or jurors. No person shall be rendered incompetent as a witness, or juror in consequence of his opinions on matters of religeon [sic]; nor be questioned in any Court of Justice touching his religeous [sic] belief to affect the weight of his testimony.


38. Pennsylvania

Religious Freedom
Section 3.
All men have a natural and indefeasible right to worship Almighty God according to the dictates of their own consciences; no man can of right be compelled to attend, erect or support any place of worship or to maintain any ministry against his consent; no human authority can, in any case whatever, control or interfere with the rights of conscience, and no preference shall ever be given by law to any religious establishments or modes of worship.
Religion
Section 4.
No person who acknowledges the being of a God and a future state of rewards and punishments shall, on account of his religious sentiments, be disqualified to hold any office or place of trust or profit under this Commonwealth.


Hmmm...so you are not disqualified so long as you believe in God and "a future state of rewards and punishments" (sounds a lot like Heaven and Hell to me).

Nothing is specifically mentioned in qualifications for office beyond this.

39. Rhode Island

Section 3. Freedom of religion. Whereas Almighty God hath created the mind free; and all attempts to influence it by temporal punishments or burdens, or by civil incapacitations, tend to beget habits of hypocrisy and meanness; and whereas a principal object of our venerable ancestors, in their migration to this country and their settlement of this state, was, as they expressed it, to hold forth a lively experiment that a flourishing civil state may stand and be best maintained with full liberty in religious concernments; we, therefore, declare that no person shall be compelled to frequent or to support any religious worship, place, or ministry whatever, except in fulfillment of such person's voluntary contract; nor enforced, restrained, molested, or burdened in body or goods; nor disqualified from holding any office; nor otherwise suffer on account of such person's religious belief; and that every person shall be free to worship God according to the dictates of such person's conscience, and to pro fess and by argument to maintain such person's opinion in matters of religion; and that the same shall in no wise diminish, enlarge, or affect the civil capacity of any person.
---
Section 3. Oath of general officers. All general officers shall take the following engagement before they act in their respective offices, to wit: You

being by the free vote of the electors of this state of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, elected unto the place of

do solemnly swear (or, affirm) to be true and faithful unto this state, and to support the Constitution of this state and of the United States; that you will faithfully and impartially discharge all the duties of your aforesaid office to the best of your abilities, according to law: So help you God. [Or: This affirmation you make and give upon the peril of the penalty of perjury.]


Do these folks not know about the paperwork reduction act? :) Wordy, wordy, wordy...


No mention of religion in qualification for office.

40. South Carolina

SECTION 2. Religious freedom; freedom of speech; right of assembly and petition.

The General Assembly shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, or abridging the freedom of speech or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble and to petition the government or any department thereof for a redress of grievances.


No mention of religion in qualification for office.

41. South Dakota

§ 3. Freedom of religion--Support of religion prohibited. The right to worship God according to the dictates of conscience shall never be infringed. No person shall be denied any civil or political right, privilege or position on account of his religious opinions; but the liberty of conscience hereby secured shall not be so construed as to excuse licentiousness, the invasion of the rights of others, or justify practices inconsistent with the peace or safety of the state.
No person shall be compelled to attend or support any ministry or place of worship against his consent nor shall any preference be given by law to any religious establishment or mode of worship. No money or property of the state shall be given or appropriated for the benefit of any sectarian or religious society or institution.



No mention of religion in qualification for office.

42. Tennessee


Section 3. That all men have a natural and indefeasible right to worship
Almighty God according to the dictates of their own conscience; that no man
can of right be compelled to attend, erect, or support any place of worship, or to
maintain any minister against his consent; that no human authority can, in
any case whatever, control or interfere with the rights of conscience; and that
no preference shall ever be given, by law, to any religious establishment or
mode of worship.
Section 4. That no political or religious test, other than an oath to support
the Constitution of the United States and of this state, shall ever be required as
a qualification to any office or public trust under this state
.
---
ARTICLE IX
Disqualifications.
Section 1. Whereas ministers of the Gospel are by their profession, dedicated
to God and the care of souls, and ought not to be diverted from the great
duties of their functions; therefore, no minister of the Gospel, or priest of any
denomination whatever, shall be eligible to a seat in either House of the Legislature.
Section 2. No person who denies the being of God, or a future state of rewards
and punishments, shall hold any office in the civil department of this
state.


So...no religious test, but ministers/priests are not allowed to serve as state officers, and you have to believe in God/"heaven" and "hell" to serve in office.

43. Texas

No religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office, or public trust, in this State; nor shall any one be excluded from holding office on account of his religious sentiments, provided he acknowledge the existence of a Supreme Being.


Texas goes the "intelligent design" route...don't require belief in "God", but a "Supreme Being" (splitting hairs).

44. Utah

Sec. 4. [Religious liberty.] The rights of conscience shall never be infringed. The State shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; no religious test shall be required as a qualification for any office of public trust or for any vote at any election; nor shall any person be incompetent as a witness or juror on account of religious belief or the absence thereof. There shall be no union of Church and State, nor shall any church dominate the State or interfere with its functions. No public money or property shall be appropriated for or applied to any religious worship, exercise or instruction, or for the support of any ecclesiastical establishment. No property qualification shall be required of any person to vote, or hold office, except as provided in this Constitution.



No mention of religion in qualification for office. It's interesting to note that a state that is so dominated by a church (the Mormons) has language prohibiting domination of the state by a church. :)

45. Vermont

Article 3. [Freedom in religion; right and duty of religious worship]

That all persons have a natural and unalienable right, to worship Almighty God, according to the dictates of their own consciences and understandings, as in their opinion shall be regulated by the word of God; and that no person ought to, or of right can be compelled to attend any religious worship, or erect or support any place of worship, or maintain any minister, contrary to the dictates of conscience, nor can any person be justly deprived or abridged of any civil right as a citizen, on account of religious sentiments, or peculia[r] mode of religious worship; and that no authority can, or ought to be vested in, or assumed by, any power whatever, that shall in any case interfere with, or in any manner control the rights of conscience, in the free exercise of religious worship. Nevertheless, every sect or denomination of christians ought to observe the sabbath or Lord's day, and keep up some sort of religious worship, which to them shall seem most agreeable to the revealed will of God.


No qualification requirements for religion/belief in God; oaths have language alternates for affirmations that do not include swearing to "God".

46. Virginia

Section 16. Free exercise of religion; no establishment of religion.
That religion or the duty which we owe to our Creator, and the manner of discharging it, can be directed only by
reason and conviction, not by force or violence; and, therefore, all men are equally entitled to the free exercise of
religion, according to the dictates of conscience; and that it is the mutual duty of all to practice Christian
forbearance, love, and charity towards each other. No man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious
worship, place, or ministry whatsoever, nor shall be enforced, restrained, molested, or burthened in his body or
goods, nor shall otherwise suffer on account of his religious opinions or belief; but all men shall be free to profess
and by argument to maintain their opinions in matters of religion, and the same shall in nowise diminish, enlarge, or
affect their civil capacities. And the General Assembly shall not prescribe any religious test whatever, or confer any
peculiar privileges or advantages on any sect or denomination, or pass any law requiring or authorizing any religious
society, or the people of any district within this Commonwealth, to levy on themselves or others, any tax for the
erection or repair of any house of public worship, or for the support of any church or ministry; but it shall be left free
to every person to select his religious instructor, and to make for his support such private contract as he shall please.



No mention of religion in qualification for office.

47. Washington

SECTION 11 RELIGIOUS FREEDOM.
Absolute freedom of conscience in all matters of religious sentiment, belief and worship, shall be guaranteed to every individual, and no one shall be molested or disturbed in person or property on account of religion; but the liberty of conscience hereby secured shall not be so construed as to excuse acts of licentiousness or justify practices inconsistent with the peace and safety of the state. No public money or property shall be appropriated for or applied to any religious worship, exercise or instruction, or the support of any religious establishment: PROVIDED, HOWEVER, That this article shall not be so construed as to forbid the employment by the state of a chaplain for such of the state custodial, correctional, and mental institutions, or by a county's or public hospital district's hospital, health care facility, or hospice, as in the discretion of the legislature may seem justified. No religious qualification shall be required for any public office or employment, nor shall any person be incompetent as a witness or juror, in consequence of his opinion on matters of religion, nor be questioned in any court of justice touching his religious belief to affect the weight of his testimony.


No mention of religion in qualification for office.

48. West Virginia

3-11. Political tests condemned.

Political tests, requiring persons, as a prerequisite to the enjoyment of their civil and political rights, to purge themselves by their own oaths, of past alleged offences, are repugnant to the principles of free government, and are cruel and oppressive. No religious or political test oath shall be required as a prerequisite or qualification to vote, serve as a juror, sue, plead, appeal, or pursue any profession or employment. Nor shall any person be deprived by law, of any right, or privilege, because of any act done prior to the passage of such law.
---
3-15. Religious freedom guaranteed.

No man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship, place or ministry whatsoever; nor shall any man be enforced, restrained, molested or burthened, in his body or goods, or otherwise suffer, on account of his religious opinions or belief, but all men shall be free to profess and by argument, to maintain their opinions in matters of religion; and the same shall, in nowise, affect, diminish or enlarge their civil capacities; and the Legislature shall not prescribe any religious test whatever, or confer any peculiar privileges or advantages on any sect or denomination, or pass any law requiring or authorizing any religious society, or the people of any district within this state, to levy on themselves, or others, any tax for the erection or repair of any house for public worship, or for the support of any church or ministry, but it shall be left free for every person to select his religious instructor, and to make for his support, such private contracts as he shall please.


No mention of religion in qualification for office.

West Virginia seems to have solved the issue of school prayer quite elegantly, too...basically, they set aside the time, you choose how you spend it. For all the West Virginia bashers out there, I'd say we could take their constitution as an example in religious freedom and liberty matters.

3-15a. Voluntary contemplation, meditation or prayer in schools.

Public schools shall provide a designated brief time at the beginning of each school day for any student desiring to exercise their right to personal and private contemplation, meditation or prayer. No student of a public school may be denied the right to personal and private contemplation, meditation or prayer nor shall any student be required or encouraged to engage in any given contemplation, meditation or prayer as a part of the school curriculum.


49. Wisconsin

Religious tests prohibited. Section 19. No religious tests shall ever be required as a qualification for any office of public trust under the state, and no person shall be rendered incompetent to give evidence in any court of law or equity in consequence of his opinions on the subject of religion.


No mention of religion in qualification for office.

50. (FINALLY!) Wyoming

97-1-018. Religious liberty.



The free exercise and enjoyment of religious profession and worship without discrimination or preference shall be forever guaranteed in this state, and no person shall be rendered incompetent to hold any office of trust or profit, or to serve as a witness or juror, because of his opinion on any matter of religious belief whatever; but the liberty of conscience hereby secured shall not be so construed as to excuse acts of licentiousness or justify practices inconsistent with the peace or safety of the state.


No mention of religion in qualification for office.

(Who let this many states in the union, anyway? :)

In summary, the following states require some profession of belief in God/a "Supreme Being" for serving in elective/appointed state offices:

Maryland
Massachusetts (confusing but appears to require belief in God unless you are a Quaker?)
North Carolina
Pennsylvania
Tennessee (also excludes clergy from serving, another form of religious discrimination)
Texas ("Supreme Being")

Next up...what states have anti-gay marriage amendments (hopefully this is easier to research :)

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