Bryan Fischer continues his cavalcade of stupid by declaring that individual states are entirely free to impose religious tests for office — like, say, forbidding a Mormon from holding office or requiring that all officials be Christians.
The Religious Test clause in the Constitution (Article VI, Clause 3) reads as follows:
The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States…
It’s critical to note that states are not restricted in any way by the Religious Test clause, only the federal government. Every public official at both the state and federal level is required to take an oath to support the Constitution, but only the federal government is prohibited from requiring an additional religious oath. States are constitutionally permitted to require any religious test they want. And at the time of the Founding, many did, requiring legislators to swear on oath affirmations of faith and religious conviction of one kind or another.
Wrong. Absolutely wrong. It’s true that as originally written, this clause did not apply to the states. But that hasn’t been true for about 150 years, ever since the passage of the 14th amendment. The Supreme Court upheld this unanimously in Torcaso v Watkins a whopping 50 years ago. Apparently news travels slowly on Planet Wingnuttia.