A Philippines judge who said he consulted imaginary mystic dwarves has failed to convince the Supreme Court to allow him to keep his job. Florentino Floro was appealing against a three-year inquiry which led to his removal due to incompetence and bias.
He told investigators three mystic dwarves - Armand, Luis and Angel - had helped him to carry out healing sessions during breaks in his chambers.
The court said psychic phenomena had no place in the judiciary.
"They should not have dismissed me for what I believed," Mr Floro told reporters after filing his appeal in May. In a letter to the court he said: "From obscurity, my name and the three mystic dwarves became immortal."
Article IX, Sec. 2, of the Tennessee constitution: "No Atheist shall hold a civil office: 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."
Article XIX, Sec. 1, of the Arkansas constitution: "No person who denies the being of a God shall hold any office in the civil departments of this State, nor be competent to testify as a witness in any court."
Article 37 of the Maryland constitution: "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".
Article I, Sec. 4, of the Pennsylvania constitution: "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 under this Commonwealth."
This dual requirement of belief in a deity and in a retributive afterlife could block adherents of numerous lifestances, even some Christians. A liberal Protestant who believes in God but not in a literal afterlife, a Buddhist who believes in karma but not in a deity, or an Orthodox Jew who believes in God and an afterlife but not in reward or punishment after death - all could be barred from public office as readily as any secular humanist if this clause were enforced.
At least PA's doesn't require that you believe, just states that believing in such things does not preclude one from holding office.
Implying of course one who does not believe CAN be excluded.
I don't see that. At the time it was written it was generally beleived that everyone had SOME kind of beleif in a higher power. If they wanted to exclude somone from holding office they probably would have just said, "...beleif in a higher power is a requisite for holding office.." or something along those lines.
yes, at the time it was a pretty liberal pro-catholic phraseology there, repudiating the heritage of the test acts. but nowadays it is an anachronism and should be deleted.
Not true. There have always been atheists.
That doesn't logically follow. "The fact that someone believes in God/etc. will not itself disqualify a candidate" does not logically equate to "The fact that someone does not believe in God/etc. may itself disqualify a candidate."
It's an insidious violation of the equal protection clause of the fourteenth amendment. Religious people are protected from disqualification from holding office, but not atheists.
instead of stubbornly insisting their view is more 'logical' or 'superior' or 'advanced'.
The status as a "belief" is beside the point. The statute reads, "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 under this Commonwealth." Atheism is quite obviously not protected, to say nothing of agnosticism.
atheism can be spun to acknowledge god, since it, you know, relies on the idea of a god existing to deny in the first place. i concede that agnostics would be screwed, though, with their wishy-washy deal.
Conversely, Penn Jillette doesn't "not believe in god", instead he firmly believes in "no god".
There are already terms for what you are describing; it's the difference between strong and weak atheism.
"The fact that someone believes in God/etc. will not itself disqualify a candidate" does not logically equate to "The fact that someone does not believe in God/etc. may itself disqualify a candidate."
I'm aware that I'm running the risk of turning JWZ's journal into a big ol' political column, and further that I'm tilting at windmills. That said, this is the third time I've had to make this damn point: the clause, as written, extends a protection (i.e. from disqualification from holding office) to a certain class (i.e. theists) while excluding or withholding that protection from another class (i.e. atheists). This is a flagrant violation not only of article VI, section 3 of the U.S. constitution ("No religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States") and the establishment clause of the first amendment, but also the equal protection clause ("No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.").
But hey, don't take my word for it. Take the word of the SCOTUS in Everson vs. Board of Education: "The 'establishment of religion' clause of the First Amendment means at least this: Neither a state nor the Federal Government can set up a church. Neither can pass laws which aid one religion, aid all religions, or prefer one religion over another. Neither can force nor influence a person to go to or to remain away from church against his will or force him to profess a belief or disbelief in any religion." And in Torcaso v. Watkins, regarding Maryland's nearly identical clause in its Declaration of Rights:
So, now, if you understand and accept this, please be big enough to redact your comments elsewhere in the post. If not, then please profess your profound disagreement with the above cited sections of the constitution.
I hereby taketh the lord's name in vain.
Section 1. Whereas ministers of the Gospel are by their profession, dedi-
cated 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 Legis-
Not just atheists in Tennesse...
Thats section 27 of the texas constitution as well.
And new york:
ARTICLE XXXIX. And whereas the ministers of the gospel are, by their profession, dedicated to the service of God and the care of souls, and ought not to be diverted from the great duties of their function, therefore, no minister of the gospel, or priest of any denomination whatsoever, shall, at any time hereafter, under and preference or description whatever, be eligible to, or capable of holding, any civil or military office or place within this state.
Both of which actually seem unconstitutional to me. If you don't want people being restricted from holding office because they don't believe in God you can't stop other people because they do.
That might serve as an excellent way to get out of having to testify in a subpoena.
"No, I don't know that atheists should be considered as citizens, nor should they be considered patriots. This is one nation under God." - George H.W. Bush
Atheists aren't so bad
Are you a Teapot Atheist?
Richard Dawkins: Root of all Evil
atheist p funk vs. jesus people
Though maybe we all just need a holy spirit enema
Man, there is at least three shops on my street alone of that judge's followers. I've always distrusted them, but never knew until now that there were three mystic dwarves guiding the Florist cult.
Just for clarity, the Maryland clause is article 36 of the Declaration of Rights, not 37 of the constitution. The passage reads in full,
Emphasis mine. As the source article notes this was found unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court in Torcaso v. Watkins but that sure hasn't discouraged the state of Maryland from promulgating it.
And who might not be eligible to vote in North Carolina? Same article, section 4: "Every person presenting himself for [voter] registration shall be able to read and write any section of the Constitution in the English language." (Emphasis mine.)
The Maryland one doesn't seem to be saying you have to believe in God. Only that if you are otherwise competent your belief in God won't render you incompetent. Of course, it does seem geared toward demanding a belief in an Abrahamaic deity but since that isn't spelled out then it equally well applies to Mithras, Thor, and Zorastor. Probably work for Crom as well.
We ran into this upthread, too. The problem with the clause is that it extends a protection to one sector while excluding another: if you believe in God (not gods), moralism, and the afterlife you cannot be excluded from office; but if you deny any of the above, well, you're on your own. It's like saying, "You can't be prevented from holding office on the basis of race, provided you're white."
I think this page pretty much sums up my reaction to the second part of this post.
Basically, wow, what a bunch of silly ideas that are never enforced and when they are enforced are shot down.
Now, someone might say, "Well, if thats the case then where are all the athiests in public office? Huh?" Well, there aren't a lot. Why? Because most people in the US do believe and like it or not, this is still a democracy. Which means who ever panders to the masses best gets to be the leader. Thats the funny thing, a true democracy would probably be incredibly repressive.
Wuh. Buh. Guh.
Um. Article VI? Anyone? Anyone?
out of curiosity (and laziness on my own part), does anyone know whether these articles have been in their respective state constitutions over the entire history of the states?
i'm assuming that there were few non-Christians in the colonial state electorates, and as a result, when drafting these constitutions, would they have even thought of adding religious qualifications?
as for why i'm asking: i've heard that the phrase "one nation, under god" in the pledge of allegiance was added during the cold war years. it could be that these articles are late additions, based on particular reactions to events in the world.
I love the juxtaposition. Drink freely of the green kool-aid...but drink the purple kool-aid and we'll stone you.
Requirements of this sort have been around ever since the U.S. was founded, and probably beforehand too.
There were people around 200 years ago who didn't believe in God and who were perfectly happy to let other people know it. The assumption of the authors of these laws is that such nonbelieving people cannot be trusted to act honestly or give truthful testimony, since they presumably don't believe that they will be punished for their dishonesty in the afterlife.
The fact that most people today find it amazing that such laws were ever passed just shows how much the U.S.A. has changed in the last 100 years.
I'm just wondering what the bias is for someone who listens to three mystic dwarfs. Were they communist dwarfs?
Were they terrorist dwarfs?
Just sayin Mabuhay (hello, in Filipino; it's now 1:30 p.m, here, tuesday, Philippines; [My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org; I reside here in Alido, Malolos City , Bulacan , PHILIPPINES , ASIA ].
FIRST, LOOK AT MY PICTURES and video ---
on my healing - just type judge floro on the upper search engine
Philippine Psychic Judge who talks to 3 mystic dwarfs loses appeal to keep job: Martyr of Filipino Justice will file 2nd Appeal, Disbarment/Administrative Cases before the August 29 Deadline.
Filipino 'dwarf' judge loses case
A Philippines judge who said he consulted imaginary mystic dwarves has failed to convince the Supreme Court to allow him to keep his job.
Florentino Floro was appealing against a three-year inquiry which led to his removal due to incompetence and bias......
In a letter to the court he said: "From obscurity, my name and the three mystic dwarves became immortal."
Dismissed judge, elfin pals claim immortality
By Armand Nocum, Inquirer, 02:42am (Mla time) 08/06/2006, page A1 of the August 6, 2006 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer
HIS pals, "the imaginary dwarfs" Armand, Luis and Angel, may not have impressed the justices of the Supreme Court but, according to dismissed Judge Florentino Floro Jr., he and his three friends were superstars among psychics and believers of the occult throughout the world.
However, the Supreme Court said dalliance with dwarves would gradually erode the public's acceptance of the judiciary as the guardian of the law, if not make it an object of ridicule.
Creature features of the Philippines
Saturday, September 02, 2006
Judge Floro Florentino is not too pleased with his three spiritual guides being referred to as dwarves or duende, as superstitious Filipinos call these elf-like beings. His brother, who first saw them, called them duende, a Spanish word of ambiguous definition.
To Filipinos, they are something like tiny magical goblins who live in forested areas. There are, according to folklore, two types: black, denoting evil which can harm, and red, who are good and can heal. On the island of Mindoro , the Mangyan tribe claim to trade with the few remaining duende for forest products. They are said to be extremely shy because of the violence that has been done to them in the past.
Then there are the nocturnal Agta, tall black men who also hang out in the forests, while the Batibat, found in Ilocos, look like fat women who live inside posts, and suffocate people by sitting on top of them.
The bovine-like Mantahungal have fearsome teeth, the Pugot are self-beheading multi-formed creatures, and the Tikbalang are centaurs in reverse. These and many more magical creatures - some invisible, some half-human, half- animal - are all said to inhabit the Philippine countryside.