It’s been really hectic around here since we got back from our vacation driving up the California coast. A friend of ours died while we were gone, we’ve been busy helping the family out, and shopping for the start of school. I get back and what type of news do I get about Kern County? It’s bad enough that county officials seem obsessed about gay people, but there is news about Chad Vegas, a member on the school board that wants to institute his right-wing, born-again agenda. Check this out, here is an example of his latest ignorance. Apparently, Chad thinks that atheists should be barred from public office. He also thinks that only Christians should hold office. Here is a transcript of what he said on the radio:
Host: So you believe that in saying no to this support ruling by the judge, you’re defending the Constitution?
Chad: Absolutely and I’m upholding God and God’s law because the Constitution is consistent with God’s law. But I would challenge people who say “How could a representative uphold the constitution of California if they’re an atheist? How is it possible? I don’t think, I think it’s impossible for an atheist to support and defend the constitution of the state of California and so maybe we should have a religious test. Now there is no religious test for federal office, that’s for sure. But maybe there should be one for state office because the preamble of the state constitution says “We the people of the State of California grateful for almighty God for our freedom in order to secure and perpetuate its blessings do establish this constitution. An atheist can’t event believe the preamble to our constitution in the state of California. And yet they are going to swear to support and uphold it or to defend it. I don’t know how they can do that without mental reservations.
Host: So they’re the ones who are crossing their fingers behind their backs?
Chad: They’re the ones crossing their fingers behind their backs and not upholding the constitution without mental reservation, absolutely.
Host: So when the Californian goes to someone and say “How can you make this vow?” They really should be going to someone, in your opinion …
Chad: Yeah. In my opinion they should be going to the atheists and saying “How can you uphold this vow?” in fact, you can’t because you’re express statement is against our constitution. And people go nuts over this whole religion issue …
Host: And by the way, you wouldn’t really, you wouldn’t really expect or demand a litmus test of …
Chad: I’m not necessarily against it, at the state level. I’m against it at the federal level because our federal constitution expressly says there is no religious test for office. Doesn’t mean I can’t vote based on it, but there’s no religious test legally to hold it. At the state level, I’m not opposed to a state saying that we’re not going to allow anybody but Christians to hold office in our state.
Host: I love you. [said adoringly – gag]
Chad: I don’t have a problem with that, if that’s what the state wants, if that’s what that sovereign state wants to do, that fine. If they say we’re like Utah and we want Mormons, I guess Utah has the right to do that, I have the right to move to a different state.
A hat tip to ReasonRulesUs for the mention on a Pharyngula thread and the audio on his/her blog.
After the fight about the “In God We Trust”banners in the high schools, I thought this guy was an ignoramus, but this really confirms it. There is one big problem with his argument however, and that is Article 6 and the 14th amendment to the Constitution. Article 6 states that there will be no religious test for office and the14th amendment states that all citizens have equal rights regardless of which state they reside in.
These provisions in the Constitution totally invalidate his reasoning. You can’t discriminate against someone in one state and expect them to move. And what happens if laws are legislated in all states to discriminate against someone? That is why states cannot invalidate someone’s constitutional rights. I suppose he is all in favor if atheists gain power and decide to enact laws to bar Christians from office? Did he ever think about what he was saying before it flew out of his mouth? Either he is ignorant of the Constitution he swore to uphold, or his oath is worth nothing as he is only too eager to break it.
I’m appalled at the ignorance displayed by Mr. Vegas’s interview. That someone who is in office to help ensure that our local educational system is the best that it can be has so little education himself, so little knowledge of the document that he swears to uphold. It’s a sad day for Kern County and its educational system. And what really gets me is the fact that people actually voted for this willfully ignorant clown and support him. Since he has decided to run again for office, anyone who is in favor of improving Kern County education should vote for his opponent. I know I will.
Possummomma who lives in our local area also has a few words on the subject. She lives in Bakersfield and has to deal with this much more than I do.
Right… dry that out and you can fertilize the lawn. There is no doubt in my mind that this guy would love nothing more than to see Bakersfield purged of any non-Christian influence. Actions speak louder than words. Of course, he claims he’s been taken out of context. Because, as he explains, he was “trying to get the school board to pass an ordinance against gay marriage.” What the hell that has to do with educating our kids is beyond me.
If anyone wants to contact the Kern County School Board, here are the numbers:
KCSBA Members, located in Bakersfield area code 661
Richard Traynor, President 397-0297
Kal Vaughn, Vice President 763-5135
Craig Fulwyler, Secretary/Treasurer 758-4409
Linda Pavletich, Past President 835-8500
Rene Adamo 769-8107
Karen Dewalt 631-9148
Barbara Mettler 589-9386
Chad Vegas 827-3154
More “Pastor” Chad shenanigans:
Letter sent to Kern County supervisors.
Editorial in the Bakersfield Californian about the mess.