Is it really separate?

From: Ross Cassell
Sub: Is it really separate?

Hello All,

My source for information comes from the front page of the May 28, 1997 Spartanburg Herald Journal of Spartanburg, South Carolina.

From this point on the initials SC will mean 'South Carolina' and not Supreme Court.

The title of the article reads as folows:


I will not type out this article verbosely, but provide an overview, anyone wanting this article word for word, can contact this newspaper via the Internet and inquire about obtaining the transcript for this article @

Atheist Herb Silverman of Charleston wanted to become a notary public, but had his application rejected because he refused to swear his oath to a supreme being. His application originally tendered in 1992, was turned down by Secretary of State Jim Miles and the then governor Carroll Campbell.

Direct Quote from Article:

Since 1868 the South Carolina Constitution has declared: "No person who denies the existence of the Supreme Being shall hold any office under this Constitution".
End direct quote.

It was under that clause in which Herb Silvermans application was rejected.

South Carolinas supreme court recently invalidated that clause of SC's constitution. The Governors office was ordered to reconsider the application.

Direct Quote from Article:

Making public officials acknowledge a supreme being, required by two sections of the (SC) constitution, violates the U.S. Constitution's separation of church and state, the supreme court said.
End direct quote.

1] The article goes on to say that 36 years ago the federal supreme court struck down a similiar 'clause' in Marylands constitution but it did not cause South Carolinas to be changed..

2] SC is one of seven states that have similair clauses in their constitutions, but SC was the only state that enforced it.

The other states:

North Carolina

Now obviously these are holdovers from earlier days, but it does prove that at least here in SC, some legislation does in fact violate the Federal Constitution regardless of what the Hutzlers and Winks may say.. If the state required its officials to believe, just what do you think it required of its citizens?

Go Back to Shy David's First Amendment Page.