This site is not maintained. Click here for the new website of Richard Dawkins.

Does this candidate have a prayer?

“South Carolina is too small for a republic and too large for an insane asylum,” observed Congressman James L. Petigru, shortly after South Carolina seceded from the Union in 1860 and declared itself a republic. I’ve lived in South Carolina since 1976, and stories about our politicians no longer surprise me. The comedy group Capitol Steps takes its name from the escapade involving our former congressman John Jenrette, who had sex with his wife on the steps of the U.S. Capitol in the late 1970s. More recently, our former governor Mark Sanford was intimate with his “soul mate” in Argentina, which he mistook for the Appalachian Trail. Perhaps South Carolina is not too large for an insane asylum.

Some might argue that I’m also a candidate for this asylum. After all, why would a liberal, Yankee, Jewish atheist like me run for governor of South Carolina? Well, it wasn’t through blind ambition or unrealistic expectations, and certainly the devil didn’t make me do it. In 1990 a colleague at the College of Charleston, where I was a math professor, pointed out that the South Carolina Constitution prohibited atheists from becoming governor.

Since the U.S. Constitution bars religious tests for public office, I asked a local ACLU lawyer how this obviously unconstitutional provision could be removed. He said that to mount a legal challenge, an open atheist would have to become a candidate. And he added with a smile, “The very best candidate would be you-in a race for governor of South Carolina.”

Read more


Herb Silverman is the author of Candidate Without A Prayer

TAGGED: POLITICS


RELATED CONTENT

Rep. Todd Akin is wrong about rape and...

Sarah Kliff - The Washington Post Comments

Rep. Todd Akin is wrong about rape and pregnancy, but he’s not alone

Analysis: Why it’s irrational to risk...

Peter Singer - The Scotsman Comments

Analysis: Why it’s irrational to risk women’s lives for the sake of the unborn

Pussy Riot's closing statement

Cory Doctorow - BoingBoing Comments

Pussy Riot member Yekaterina Samutsevich has given a tremendous closing statement, which is a masterful summary of Russian oligarchy

How Obama's healthcare reform boosted...

Katherine Stewart - The Guardian Comments

How Obama's healthcare reform boosted abstinence-only sex education

How would Jesus vote?

Paula Kirby - The Washington Post Comments

How would Jesus vote?

Religion’s fair game if it motivates...

Lawrence Martin - The Globe and Mail Comments

The evangelical movement is not a typical religion when it comes to politics

MORE

MORE BY HERB SILVERMAN

Candidate Without A Prayer: An...

Herb Silverman - Pitchstone Publishing 5 Comments

Candidate Without A Prayer: An Autobiography of a Jewish Atheist in the Bible Belt
By Herb Silverman

Martin Luther King and the Republican...

Herb Silverman - The Huffington Post 3 Comments


Martin Luther King and
the Republican Race For Righteousness

How Would Jesus Vote? Christian...

Herb Silverman - The Huffington Post 3 Comments


How Would Jesus Vote? Christian Politics in the State Of Lost Causes

Candidate Without A Prayer: An...

Herb Silverman - Pitchstone Publishing 14 Comments

Candidate Without A Prayer: An Autobiography of a Jewish Atheist in the Bible Belt by Herb Silverman with a forward by Richard Dawkins

Finding reason in the season

Herb Silverman - The Washington Post 16 Comments

War on Thanksgiving?

Herb Silverman - The Washington Post 21 Comments

Silverman is Founder and President of the Secular Coalition for America, and Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Mathematics at the College of Charleston.

MORE

Comments

Comment RSS Feed

Please sign in or register to comment