Countries That Require a Religion for Public Officeholders.

I had always thought the majority of countries in the world required office holders to be of some particular religion.  It turns out only 15%.

The majority of these are Muslim countries, seventeen of them.  There are two that require Christianity, Andorra and Lebanon.  England requires its Royalty to defend the faith, the Queen/King being head of the Church.  Interestingly, the country where the U. S. is embroiled in religious wars, Iraq, has no religious requirement for office holders.

To some politicians, religion is so much as part of their idealism the concepts of faith and religion are one and the same.  They do not understand the separation of church and state.  Rick Perry of Texas seems like one of these.

According to a commenter, the Republic of Texas Constitution says in Section 4, Religious Tests…No religious test shall ever be required of office holders  provided he acknowledges the existence of a Supreme Being.

I would wonder how there can be no religious test required when there, obviously, is a religious requirement.  That is especially curious when the term, Supreme Being, begins with capital letters meaning it has a name.

At this time, everyone would agree a candidate for President must be a declared Christian to be elected.  It seems to me Christianity is worn on the sleeve more by leaders when our country is in a war than when at peace.

I think we will have a woman President soon.  An atheist President is just too much for voters to swallow.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/07/22/religious-heads-of-state_n_5609588.html?utm_hp_ref=religion

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About Jon Lindgren

I am a former President of the Red River Freethinkers in Fargo, ND, a retired NDSU economics professor and was Mayor of Fargo for 16 years. There is more about me at Wikipedia.com.
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33 Responses to Countries That Require a Religion for Public Officeholders.

  1. Chris sanchez says:

    I agree Jon with your assessment of how an American presidential candidate needs to have a christian background, but not be over the top. As with most religious people in a position of political power, not all, a bias occurs when it comes to deciding what is best for their constitutes.

    Texas has an interesting constitutional requirement that could be challenged as being discriminatory in nature. I don’t believe in a supreme being, therefore I am excluded from public office eligibility. Reminds me of another popular saying, “Seperate but equal”.

    I only want the best candidate for president. Having a candidate with atheist views and unbiased decision making, man or woman, would be optimal for me. It’s time we return to the golden age of common sense and equality.

    • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

      Chris 2:14 Great post. It’s interesting that at least some historians views the period of our founding fathers as the most secular time in this country’s history. Maybe that will all return.

    • Henry says:

      CS:“Having a candidate with atheist views and unbiased decision making….”

      Having atheist views and unbiased decision making are mutually exclusive endeavors.

      • Adam Heckathorn says:

        Henry I am surprised at this post. What are “Atheist views” if not that We should accept fact rather than fantasy when making decisions, reason over wishes. Think of all the wars, prejudice and violence over religious differences. You may respect Your own religious views but You certainly have demonstrated You don’t respect all others e.g. Fr James views. An honest Atheist can be reasoned with Many religious People are prevented from conceding on religious beliefs They are absolute and any reasoning has to start with the assumption that Their religious beliefs are correct and everybody else is wrong or worse yet going to hell. This kind of thinking is what brings Us what We see in Iraq and Syria today.

        • Henry says:

          Adam:“What are “Atheist views” if not that We should accept fact rather than fantasy when making decisions, reason over wishes.”

          You are equating “atheist views” to “fact”. Ok, have fun with that one.

          Adam:“You may respect Your own religious views but You certainly have demonstrated You don’t respect all others e.g. Fr James views.”

          This statement is evidence atheists do not operate with “facts” all the time. The “fact” is that I have not disrespected Fr. Jame’s views. I have publicly remained indifferent to his views.

          • Wolfy32 says:

            You’d make a great politician and leader Henry, at least by today’s standards.

            You should run for an office!

          • Henry says:

            Wolf, you will need to explain your previous. Seems like you trying to say something, but are beating around the bush. I would hate to assume.

          • Adam Heckathorn says:

            Disrespect was a poor choice of words maybe disagree strongly would be better. Atheists may not share all opinions on all subjects but most of Us believe reason is worth more than accepting beliefs We have inherited. I have reasons for My beliefs based on the tangible. And reasons not to believe looking from multiple facets.

          • Henry says:

            Adam:“I have reasons for My beliefs based on the tangible.”

            Your tangible proof to disprove what cannot be seen is what? You stated, “God can’t possibly exist”. We should analyze your line of “reasoning”.

            http://redriverfreethinkers.areavoices.com/2014/06/24/there-is-less-sin-today/#comment-363260

          • Adam Heckathorn says:

            Henry I would like to analyze Why I have come to the conclusions I have and look forward to Your thoughts and the thoughts of others on My conclusions. I have to work for the next few days so I’ll start thinking and taking some notes so maybe when I get the chance to give this the time it deserves I can stay on this subject (I know I tend to drift). Perhaps We can get others to chime in on particular reasons why They believe or are skeptical. I actually appreciate honest criticism of things I believe, especially when something is brought to My attention that I have not heard or considered.

          • Wolfy32 says:

            I disagree with Adam’s statement that God can’t possibly exist. I don’t think there’s evidence to support nor deny the statement.

            However, I defer to my favorite quote.
            “There are two possibilities, either we are alone in the universe, or we are not, both possibilities are equally terrifying.”

            If there is a God, then why all the innocent human suffering, such as sex trafficking, priest, teacher, principle, and familial abuses?

            Why tornados, hurricanes, flooding, starvation, disease? Why did my house burn down along with 4 other families who’s homes were attached to mine (townhomes).

            Why do some adults succeed and live healthy lives and why do some children die young of disease?

            Why does the bible approve of raping and pillaging and then christians be judgemental of those that do those things?

            There are many reasons to think that if there is a God it is either incapable of preventing / or doing anything for humanity, or it chooses not to which then makes it malevolent and fairly uncaring.

            It may be more polite to the being to not believe it’s real than to think it can’t do anything or won’t do anything.

            Each day that innocent children, and innocent people, including christians suffer and die at the hands of governments, wars, injustices, and abuse, seems to be self evident that we are left to fend for ourselves, whether or not we’re alone in the universe.

          • Henry says:

            Re: 1:33 Concerning why the tribulation?

            Answer: the fall.

            It appears that your premise may be that God is to blame. For one that needs evidence, this is quite a leap.

          • Henry says:

            Re: 1:11

            We walk by faith, not by sight.

          • entech says:

            12:15 Having atheist views and unbiased decision making are mutually exclusive endeavours
            Probably true enough, anyone’s point of view is influenced is influenced by underlying belief.

            8:22 I would hate to assume.
            Interesting comment.

            10:26 Answer: the fall.

            Going through the thread it would seem to me that everything about you is based on the assumption that God exists. While I do not agree I cannot and would not attempt to prove you wrong
            This God of yours and all the associated writing may be true; my level of doubt is very high but surely your level of certainty requires that We should analyze your line of “reasoning”.

          • Henry says:

            entech:“Going through the thread it would seem to me that everything about you is based on the assumption that God exists.”

            No assumption. Assumption is generated by the individual. Faith is created by the Holy Spirit.

    • Adam Heckathorn says:

      In School a picture was painted of The founding Fathers that was based more on Political propaganda. Many in The Public evidently see Them through a religious lens. Historians paint yet another picture. My favorite Historian Barbara Tuchman was praised for Her attitude of not excepting what was said by others but looking for records to prove accuracy. One example was the number of soldiers in a particular military campaign in The Middle ages. Others had quoted chroniclers from the period but She was able to find pay records. A good historian does a lot of digging, Not very glamorous work but certainly more valuable. An honest historical appraisal of The Founding Fathers reveals a great respect for The Principle of The Separation of Church and State.

  2. Michael Ross says:

    “At this time, everyone would agree a candidate for President must be a declared Christian to be elected. It seems to me Christianity is worn on the sleeve more by leaders when our country is in a war than when at peace.” (our country is always at war)

    Bush Sr. – Skull and Bones cultist (pseudo Christian)
    Clinton – Rhodes scholar – globalist elite but toted a Bible to church
    Bush Jr – Skull and Bones cultist (pseudo Christian)
    Obama – Says he is Christian, many say he is a Muslim, I say he is a politician and worships only power

    To any of these clowns I would prefer an honest atheist such as Jesse Ventura who believes in in the Constitution and the rule of law.

  3. erik thorne says:

    7 states in the US still have it on the books. http://www.religioustolerance.org/texas.htm

  4. Ray says:

    In America, it is the President’s job to preserve and defend the rights that have been given to our citizens.

    Our Declaration of Independence states that these rights are given to us by our Creator.

    I would find it difficult to vote for someone who does not agree with me (or with the Declaration of Independence) that there is a Creator who is the ultimate source for our rights.

    • Avatar of realist realist says:

      I don’t understand that. Are you saying that a person who is not superstitious can not make sound judgments about important issues? I think putting people into powerful positions when they are inclined to accept “god’s will” on matters that can and should be decided by humans is risky. I believe most of our politicians ultimately set aside their personal religious convictions when they take action instead of waiting for a judgment from a god and that’s what they get paid to do. What they do on their own time is their business.

    • Adam Heckathorn says:

      Ray One of the arguments against Kennedy was that His religious belief would require Him to kowtow to The Pope. He made it clear that He didn’t see it that way. Would You have had Him or perhaps some future president’s decisions subservient to some religious Leader?

    • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

      Ray 11:55 I would find it difficult to vote for someone who does not agree with me (or with the Declaratin of Independence) that there is a Creator who is the ultimate source of our rights.

      We have to remember the Bible is only one source of information about who the “Creator” is, the Abrahamic god. Other religions claim it is other gods or beings. Factually, we do not know because there is no evidence of any god.

      Thus, it would be factually correct if the Declaration of Independence had included this disclaimer after the word “Creator” which said, which could have been Satan. If a political candidate said he/she believed in a Creator and believed the Creator was Satan would you then vote him/her?

      • Adam Heckathorn says:

        This reminds Me of My Mother in Law Who when reacting to some windfall in life would say “This must be from Jehovah but what if it’s really some sort of test from Satan!” She would go back and forth working Herself into a tizzy any time some random thing went right in Her Life.

        • Wanna B Sure says:

          I’ve repeatedly seen something similar to this without God even being mentioned. Probably more pronounced among Scandinavian, (Norwegian?) peoples. Let’s call it Norwegian fatalism. I wonder if it isn’t a cultural carry-over from the dark side of living in the far North coupled with Norse/ Celtic mythology. If the crops are good, it will hail. If the milk is sweet, it will sour. If the young girl is pretty, she will not age well. If you had a good year, it will all go away next year. etc. I’ve seldom heard it credited to God. It just is what it is. On the other hand, there is usually a; “It will get better in time” on the end. I’m sure I’m not alone in this observation.

          • Wolfy32 says:

            Nope, definately not. Interesting that you note it as a cultural thing. My mom is the same way with Germans From Russia heritage. Her grandparents fled Germany to Russia and came to North Dakota.

            I don’t know if it’s religion or cultural, but, definately a the next shoe is going to drop and when it does there’s always the “Oh it’ll be better. don’t worry.” very patronizing in some ways. As if she knows if something will magically fix itself or not.

            I wonder if that’s where the persecution complex comes from too… It’s not a huge leap to take from things are going to go wrong to that happened to so and so because of their lack of faith in God. Again, God being the explanation / reason for everything happening.
            Aka God’s judgement or God’s favor.

          • Wanna B Sure says:

            Wolfy; Never saw your last paragraph in action, (persecution mentality, lack of faith being the cause, guilt, etc.) However, I’m aware it exists in some circles, (shall we say “the southern side of the Bible belt)

          • Wolfy32 says:

            My parents both met in Arkansas (raised in ND and lived in Arkansas for a year or two.)

            Maybe it was just my own analytical brain at work, but, at a young age, I equated sin with bad things are going to happen to me.

            The best thing I find amuzing is my parents make comments about someone dieing in a car accident etc, “oh I’m sure alcohol was involved, it wouldn’t have happened if they hadn’t been drinking.” as they because they were drinking people deserved to die.

            Or churchmembers it would be oh he gambles, that’s why they divorced, etc. There was always a judgement, a finality, a reason for something bad happening to anyone.

            then if something bad happened to our family it was “I don’t understand why this would happen to us.” Implying that they should have God’s favor and be exempt from bad things.

            There are definitive patterns of cycle from, I’m going through this because the world is against Christianity to I deserve this because I screwed up something.

            It’s definately confusing, a lot of judgement, and very dysfunctional thinking patterns. Very hard to break away from those thinking patterns. I learned early on that the reason bad things happened to me was because I always made mistakes. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.. I’m sure it was a combination of my analytical mind trying to draw parallels based on what I had been taught in church to what I thought and felt. So, a speeding ticket was because I had done something against God, not because I was speeding…..

      • Ray says:

        Your statement was that an “atheist President is just too much for voters to swallow.”

        For those who are wondering why this may be the case, I have submitted that an atheist President would be in conflict with the Declaration of Independence.

        Of course a Satanist would be too much for voters to swallow as well. So would a Catholic who deferred to the Pope on all matters.

  5. Avatar of realist realist says:

    I don’t think there is much honesty about Jesse Ventura. He’s all about ego. He can be honest, but that doesn’t make him honest.

  6. Adam Heckathorn says:

    I’ve really enjoyed This discussion this morning. Thanks Jon. Why is it when I have to work We have Our most interesting discussions?! Oh well I have to go I look forward to more of Every Ones opinions when I get home.

  7. Wolfy32 says:

    If we accept that religion is a cultural / societal and/or community phenomina then it makes sense for government leaders to identify with various groups. During one of the last campaigns, I had heard that some politicians realized there was a huge gap between political leaders and the average working citizen and the political parties called for these people running for office to have lunches and dinners at mediocer average restaurants that the average citizen eats at such as Applebees (probably a big contributor to whatever party was pushing this.. lol.)

    I thought it amuzing seeing a president sitting in a booth at applebees… Lol. I know some have frequented various average restaurants, but, just is not something average citizens would expect. The whole idea was to try to identify with the lifestyle of the citizen.

    I’ve heard of large corporations requiring executive staff to perform the lowest paid job (and receive the pay of that worker for the worker) for anywhere from 1 week to a month each year. All to help them identify with what’s happening in their companies.

    So, going back to the main point, the religious expression of any leader, be it president or congressman is most likely a way of identifying with the country’s citizens. “Hey he’s just like me he goes to church! How awesome is that!”
    “Hey he’s just like me the president of the US occasionally goes to Applebees! Wow, I should go there more often, because it’s good enough for the President.”

    I remember when 20 years ago or so, companies would have “grass roots” meetings. It was in the days I worked at a walmart store (ugg… I just admitted that!!) One such meeting the store general manager called everyone to the break room, and asked everyone to vent at him. Complain about whatever they wanted to no repercussions. All grievances needed to be voiced was the only requirement. I’ve seen other companies do this since. My conclusion was quite simply, once people vented their issues, it didn’t matter much if something was done or not, the stress was relieved and they went back to work hoping for change, but nothing would change. However, they felt better about things. I’ve noticed a lot of leaders do this. could be the worst morale on the planet, the leadership would announce the termination of the annual bonus program, and that there would be no merit raises, then state that in lieu of the bonus program everyone would get a “bonus increase in pay.” The raise was equivalent to half of what the annual bonus program would be and since there were no regular raises that year, it came to about the same as a normal annual increase. And somehow they spun it that everyone was mostly convinced they were getting something out of it. The truth was most were duped, or they knew they were being duped, but wanted to believe something good was happening and so convinced themselves. Not sure which.

    Leadership no matter if it’s government or private, focuses on ways to change the focus of the public. By identifying with religious symbols of everyday people, they convince people they are religious and convince them to get their vote. It’s a just a matter of who does the best convincing. All the while, instead of looking at the person’s capabilities, and how they handle things, masses are duped into thinking, oh he says God a lot in his speech, he must be Christian like me. . . . .

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