Friday, December 3, 2010

Good Without God

I'm constantly hearing how Christianity is not only about doing the right thing because of the fear of hell and the reward you get in the afterlife, but it is something to live you're life by. They say that you need the believe of god to live a fulfilling life.

I for one, have never felt something missing in my life when I began to stray from religion. I beleive that I have a better grasp on what morality is because I'm no longer deluded with the thought that good and evil is black and white. I also beleive that I have a better grasp on how important life is to us. I understand that this life is all we have and we need to make the best of it, for not only us, but other people who are effected by our time here.

I've been told that I am just confused or that I am a rebel for "choosing" to be an atheist. First of all, I have never chosen anything. Atheism is no more a choice then you're sexuality is. Second of all, I feel that I know more about the world around me and even religious doctrine since I began to think freely. I am no longer oppressed by rules and guidelines that are indoctrinated into me. I have the obility to think freely with an open mind and learn things on my own.

If you didn't know me, you would have no idea if or not I beleive in a higher being, based on my actions. This is my point. It's upsetting when a self righteous person tells me how I act, without even knowing me personally. I'm also upset because just by being who I am, I am judged and feared. I'm also always blamed for things that are out of my control, and when I stand my ground on an issue, people feel like they are the ones being attacked. I'm tired of misconceptions. I'm tired of ignorance and intolerance. If you come from a belief structure that claims to be the most morally upright, then dont attack me when you are afraid of learning something that you would like to shelter you're self from.

Another thing I am tired of hearing of is that I am arrogant because I do not beleive in a higher being. I'm probably more modest then you are because I realize that we do not have all of the answers and probably never will. But at least we are trying based on real methods of thought, not just taking someones word for it. In my experience, a creationist is usually more arrogant because they feel that they are always right in what they beleive and is too closed minded to challenge their doctrine.

I feel that I am good without god because, everything I have, I work for and I do not let the limitations of religion slow me down. I take responsibility for my own actions. I do not wait for judgment to take responsibilities for them like you say I will have to when I face our creator. I face them when they happen, and I learn from my mistakes and actions. Everything we do in this life effects someone else, or something else on this earth. Hiding behind an idea of punishment and reward after death does nothing but hinder decisions you make in you're life. We must live for today, and for the tomorrow of others.

I never feel that I am missing out on something because I do not have a religion, or a relationship with a higher being. I take things in my life seriously and try not to take what I have for granted. Life is full of enough reasons to live well. We have loved ones, friends, relationships, the beauty of nature and the kindness of people just to name a very few. To think that you deserve anything else is just selfish. What makes a human life sacred or important enough for the creator of everything to love more then another?

I never claim to know for certain that there is no god. It can never be proved either way, but the thing about belief is, you dont need absolute proof. If you can not handle you're thoughts of only having to work with so many ideas to come to a conclusion, then it is only fear that is holding you back.

I do not have a fear of life or death, or a lack of control of my life. I am not concerned with what will happen to me in this life, because I am fine with the fact that I am the one who controls my life and my future. Nothing else. It is empowering to know that you are the one in control, and dont have to worship a tyrant to help you along you're way. After life is useless to me. I respect the natural cycle of life, and death to me is nothing more then the final step of my existence.

If you were to ask me how I came to this conclusion, I would say that it came from many years of thought and research of ideas. I have many reasons not to beleive in the doctrine and false hope of religion. If I were to list them here, I would be wasting you're time.

I dont miss out on anything that religion has to teach or offer us, because I have found more logical ways to make my life fulfilling.

these are only a few reasons why I am good without god.

The Christian Response

http://studygrowknowblog.com/2010/12/01/noahs-ark-in-kentucky/

This is an interesting story. Apparently, the Creation Museum in Kentucky, is spearheading the plan to build a full-scale replica of the famed vessel and include it with its Creation Museum. The price of this venture is said to be over 24 million dollars and the park adjoining the museum will also be expanded.

I went to a few places on the Web where this information is shared and of course, the atheists, liberals, and agnostics were there in droves posting their trash talk. Of course, many of them not only castigated Christians for doing something like this, but concluded that the idea of a global flood and Noah’s Ark simply perpetuates the ignorance found within the belief system of many Christians.

The answer? Evolution, of course! To these same folks, evolution is THE answer to life on this planet, the variety of species and everything else that goes along with it. One brilliant individual wrote that evolution is seen every day in bacteria! Um…that’s great, but you would think after the billions of years that scientists have said that evolution has been occurring, we would see something far more substantial than the evolution of bacteria. Maybe my standards are just too high for the scientific community.

But if we take the time to go back over the history of evolution, what stands out are any number of hoaxes and downright frauds that scientists have attempted to perpetrate on the world, in the hopes of garnering respect for the religion of evolution.

We have the following for your consideration:

Piltdown Man: Found in a grave in England, 1912. Fossil was seen for what it was 41 years later, a complete hoax. Fragments of the skull had been stained with chemicals to give the appearance of age

Nebraska Man: this was based on one tooth – that’s right, an entire skeletal frame grew out of a tooth, which later turned out to be from a type of wild pig.

Java Man: skull and femur were found 50 feet apart and this was
Orce Man: found in 1982 in Spain, was proclaimed to be the oldest fossilized human skeleton. Though originally stating that the skull came from a man who lived roughly one million years earlier, they finally admitted that it most likely came from a 4 month-old donkey. Looks like Orce Man succeeded in making a jackass out of scientists whose sole desire is to pretend that God does not exist, and use any means necessary to achieve that end.

In spite of these and other serious mistakes, people who prefer not to accept the reality of God’s existence hang onto this distorted and preposterous fairy tale called Evolution. It has no basis in fact, evolutionists cannot even tell us for sure how life supposed began on this planet, and beyond that, there are no transitional fossils.

In other words, the theory of evolution is so convoluted and unbelievable that it should be classified as myth. However, it is the only thing that scientists have going for them that separates science from God.

It is also amazing how hostile some of the evolutionists can get when defending their pet belief or denigrating Christianity. In fact, they become very adept at ad hominem attacks, which is really all they can do.

I am asked to believe that from some ancient primordial soup, the complexity of life evolved into what we have today. That stretches credulity so far out of shape, it resembles nothing. How is that possible to have a primordial soup (no comment on where the soup came from) that in and of itself is so complex, or at least contains all the complexities necessary for life in all of its remarkable stages?

We are to believe that some group of amoebas somewhere in past time, had everything already somehow within it to evolve into the complex stage to which human beings have supposedly arrived in 2010? If that is the case, then why did it have to go through all those stages to begin with, when it could have simply become what we are now, saving a great deal of time and energy?

Evolutionists tell us that certain things are facts, yet in spite of the fact that science should be empirical, nothing within the evolutionary system is that. It is all guess work, stemming from perspective that “God does not exist,” therefore what happened? Science gives no consideration to the possibility of God because God cannot be empirically tested or defined. Neither can a good deal of things.

For instance, does the universe go on forever? If so, how do we know that? What happens to all the things that get sucked into a black hole? If they go to another dimension, why can’t we find a way to see that other dimension? If they do not go to another dimension, where do the objects go when they enter a black hole?

Here we are, in 2010, billions of years after the alleged beginning of evolution and all science can say is “possibly,” “maybe,” “likely,” and that is supposed to be good enough? Regarding the start of life on this planet, now science is telling us life may have come from the ocean. Great, but where did the ocean come from? Other scientists are now leaning toward the idea that life was seeded here either on the backs of crystals, or by aliens.

That would certainly solve the problem, wouldn’t it? If science can find a way to answer that question of the actual origin of life on this planet, then I’m sure they believe everyone will stop asking them about it. “Aliens! Aliens seeded life on this planet! End of story. Let’s move on!“ The faithful minions will respond with “Excellent! I knew science would eventually have the answer! Those crazy, ignorant Christians can finally shut up now.“

Where is the proof that life began on this planet either through crystals floating through space, or by being seeded here through the oversight of aliens? No proof? So, science is leaning toward something (again) that it cannot prove? Hmmm, that’s interesting, but certainly not a first.

So the Creation Museum in Kentucky is going to expand its park and include a 1:1 scale Noah’s Ark. That has all the atheists and “learned” people up in arms. Some even referred to it as child abuse (a brazen ad hominem attack).

I will say this: there is nothing that will prove God’s existence to people who do not want to be convinced. If God were to now part the heavens and speak to the people of the earth, He would still not be believed! People would simply wonder how the holographic imagery was created! It looks so believable!

If Noah’s Ark itself were found on top of one of the mountains of Ararat, people would still not accept the fact that there was a global flood. They would claim that a group of ignorant, conservative Christians had spent years building the thing only to pull back the curtain now that they had finished the task.

A number of years ago, while searching at the bottom of part of the Red Sea, a number of coral-encrusted wheels and things were found. They certainly looked like chariot wheels. In fact, in the same vicinity, bones and skeletons were found, along with coral-encrusted pieces of what appeared to be armor. Some of the bones and partial skeletons looked suspiciously like horses. Could it be? Could the event of crossing the Red Sea actually have occurred as recorded for us in the book of Exodus? Holy moley, Batman!

Immediately, a number of atheists weighed in on the subject intoning that it would take much more than a wheel – even if it did look remarkably like a chariot wheel – to convince them that the crossing of the Red Sea event had actually taken place, so there! Shortly after the discovery of these potential artifacts, Egypt decided that no one would be given permission to do any further research there and closed things down. There are a few pictures that recorded the evidence and eye-witness testimony of the individual who took the photos.

Do you see? Atheists could care less about facts, if those facts have anything even remotely to do with the possibility that God does exist. How many chariot wheels would it take to convince an atheist, 5? 10? 50? The answer is that it does not matter how many wheels might be located. Unless THOUSANDS of chariot wheels were located, they wouldn’t budge. Even if they did begin to budge, the credit would not be giving to Moses or the Red Sea crossing as described in Exodus. The chariot wheels and such would be said to be of something else altogether. Scientists and researchers would get together to find out if any other event could have taken place in that area throughout history. Even if they find something that might have something to do with something that would be remotely connected to some chariot someplace, they would say that the currents of the Red Sea (since it was probably FAR larger eons ago) washed the chariot wheels up/down to its current landing ground.

What possible thing could convince an atheist that God exists? Besides God directly opening their eyes to the truth, there is only one thing and unfortunately, it does not happen on this side of death. We all die. It cannot be helped. One day, every person will walk through the dark door of death. Once that is done, the truth will be instantaneous. Each and every person who walks through that door will immediately know whether God exists or not. It is that simple…and that final. There is no turning back. It’s over. All chances are gone.

This is where atheists get snippy and state that Pascal’s Wager is merely a philosophical argument that proves nothing. Wonderful, but I’m not talking about Pascal’s Wager, because Pascal’s Wager assumes only that salvation is good after death, and not before. In other words, Pascal’s Wager basically states “what have you got to lose? Receive Jesus now and you get free life insurance against hell.“ It’s the most ridiculous argument to try to convince someone to become a Christian, because they wind up becoming one (or thinking they do) for the wrong reasons.

While becoming a Christian is about not ending up in hell for eternity (actually, it’s the Lake of Fire, because according to Revelation, both death and hell are thrown into the Lake of Fire that burns forever), it is far more than that. It is the individual deciding to submit their life to God in order that God will use the individual as He sees fit in this life, in order to fulfill His purposes here and now.

Becoming a Christian is not about avoiding the eternal frying pan. It is about recognizing our dire need for God and the only salvation that is available. It is about allowing God through Christ Jesus to knock SELF off the throne and replace SELF with the only Person who should actually be there – Jesus.

Becoming a Christian starts with a spiritual transaction (cf. John 3) and grows from that vantage point. It is a life-changing transaction that takes place within a person, and continues throughout the remainder of the person’s life, only to culminate in eternity.

Becoming a Christian is not simply obtaining fire insurance against hell, and living the way I want to live now. That’s nothing. This is why people who call themselves Christian often fall from great heights. It is because the reality of the indwelling Holy Spirit does not exist. If He does not indwell the person, they are not a Christian. If He does not indwell the person, it is because they have never had a spiritual transaction. If they have never had a spiritual transaction, everything they do, say, or think in the Name of Jesus means absolutely nothing (except possible dishonor for Jesus).

I have no problem believing that a global flood wiped out everything except Noah, his immediate family and the animals with him on the Ark. Atheists scoff at the idea that two of every animal could have fit on the Ark. The math problem was solved long ago. What they also fail to see is that God brought the animals to Noah. Noah was to take them with him on the Ark, but there is nothing that indicates he actually went out and GOT the animals. Having said that, is it possible that God decided that dinosaurs would be left off the list as well as other animals?

Of course, atheists and others ridicule anyone who has the temerity to believe myths such as Noah’s Ark, yet these same individuals will, with a straight face, look at you and tell you that everything evolved from the great primordial soup in the sky.

Evolution leaves people valueless. If evolution is true, then man has no more value than snakes, rabbits, or rats. If the biblical account of Creation is true, then man is the pinnacle of God’s Creation, having supreme value.

The choice of beliefs is yours of course. The only thing I would caution you about is ask hard questions. Don’t take a scientists word for it and don’t take a theologian’s word for it. Do the homework yourself and stop parroting your

favorite Dawkins phrase, complete with cynical smirk.

Beyond this, do not believe that Christianity is merely (or only) an insurance policy. If that’s what you think of Christianity, better think again. We are to submit ourselves to Him in thought, word, and deed. If you cannot or are unwilling to do that, then ultimately, you will have no part in Him, or He withyou. I pray that you take the time to seek the truth and I pray that you do it today.

**************************************************************************************

First of all, I have "known" god more then you know. I HAVE prayed for his "truth" to no avail.

These are only a few things that I have to say about this right now....trust me, there is a lot more.

"Don’t take a scientists word for it and don’t take a theologian’s word for it." ...ok, then why do you take you're religious doctrine's word for it? you couldn't have done the homework because you cant even express logically that you even understand how evolution works.

when you can beleive something without any information behind it at all, over something that has been tested with trial and error and makes more sense then just falling out of the sky....you're beyond hope.

"many of them not only castigated Christians for doing something like this..." Oh and us "atheists, liberals, and agnostics" are never oppressed?

"you would think after the billions of years that scientists have said that evolution has been occurring, we would see something far more substantial than the evolution of bacteria." ....you haven't been paying attention have you?

"what stands out are any number of hoaxes and downright frauds that scientists have attempted to perpetrate on the world, in the hopes of garnering respect for the religion of evolution."...religion of evolution? wow, a scientific theory is a religion...you are so deluded. at least we are looking for the truth enough to make mistakes, the only reason you dont make mistakes with you're theory is because you gave up on looking for the truth.

you wonder why we take offense? you wonder why we are frustrated? you wonder why we actually use a method to our thought process??? this letter is exactly why. it's people like you that wont budge no mater what. science is ever changing moving forward with the information that we find. it's ignorant people like you that dont beleive in any other possibility and are stuck in you're ignorant ways.

the bible said that when the earth was completely flooded, god sent a great wind to blow it off of the earth....if a wind can blow all of that water off of the earth, how the hell was Noah still alive??? must have been a miracle.

You can tell this person doesn't even understand what fossil evidence we have. they seemed to enjoy pointing out our mistakes, but what do they have? just faith based on what someone told them.

if evolution leaves people valueless, and we are no more different then animals, how is you're morals that come from the bible which are incomplete and irrelevant make you any different? the difference is, morals come from life experience and logic.

"Pascal’s Wager is merely a philosophical argument that proves nothing." you think pascals wager is in you're favor? I hate to tell you but pascal's wager exists to contradict you.

if you need god to live you're life to the fullest, have substance and morals.. you're doing it wrong.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Stats and the Definition of Atheism - anonymous

"Below is on little research I did on atheist which centers around the stats and the definition of atheism. I did not go into a great amount of detail however. I typed it in research paper format. Here you go. It is a lot I know."


   1. Introduction

The label atheist has an obvious negative connotation in society today. According to studies, atheists are one of the most stigmatized groups in the United States (Arcaro 50). Many nonbelievers decide not even associate themselves with the label though it clearly defines their beliefs or, rather, non-belief (Arcaro 53). Indeed, a copious number of skeptics fear coming out and revealing their disbelief to their family members and friends for fear of rejection and even physical and financial abuse (Arcaro 53). If one would read various atheistic blogs and forums, one could easily see evidence of their dilemma. The purpose of this report is to present what exactly is atheism and other various statistics amongst the non-religious group.


   1. What is Atheism?


   1. Definition of Atheism

Atheism has its roots in the Enlightenment Era with such renowned atheist philosophers such as David Hume, Immanuel Kant, and Bertrand Russell (Thrower 97). In a more general sense, atheism is the belief that God does not exist. However many atheists object to this definition as with Charles Bradluagh (1833-1891) (Cliteur). He was one of the most influential advocates of atheism in the nineteenth century and defined it as follows:


“The atheist does not say ‘There is no God,’ but he says: ‘I know not what you mean by God; I am without idea of God; the word ‘God’ is to me a sound conveying no clear or dis-tinct affirmation. I do not deny God, because I cannot deny that of which, by its affirmer, is so imperfect that he is unable to define it to me.’” (Cliteur)


Amongst atheists, elucidating their non-beliefs is very important for the question “Who has to prove what?” (Cliteur). This idea is known as the weight of proof and typically, the one asserting a claim is the one who has back it up with evidence. To say there is no god is to make a claim and therefore, in discussions, an atheist must justify it. Take for instance this quote given by Paul Cliteur in “The Definition of Atheism.”


“Is not that the way we normally operate? I cannot prove that the world is not created by an elephant standing on the back of a tortoise, but why should I? It is the speaker who makes such a claim who has to prove his case.” (Cliteur)


Many atheists know that it is extremely difficult if not impossible to prove a negative such as proving there is no God. So atheism means simply the disbelief in and rejection of the proofs provided by theists for their perspective deities (Cliteur). The “a” in “atheism” is an alpha privans meaning it denies what follows which in this case is theism (Cliteur). It does not follow logically that one creates a belief system when one denies a belief system (Cliteur). This way, the atheist makes no claim and therefore the weight of proof is on the believer as Cliteur argues it should.


B. The Difference Between Agnosticism and Atheism

A person might ask then, what is the difference between agnosticism and atheism? Agnosticism is generally defined as the belief that nothing is known or can be known about God or the supernatural (Sorensen 777). Agnostics tend to claim neither faith nor disbelief in God and are often thought to be 50-50 on whether God exists (Sorensen 777). Some agnostics are even quite adamant that no one can know if God exists. In spite of that, atheism is the disbelief in God, while theism is the belief in God. Notice that agnosticism speaks of knowledge while atheism and theism speaks of belief.

The two labels do not appear to be mutually exclusive given that a person can believe or disbelieve in God without knowing for sure. So what can be argued is that one can be agnostic atheist or agnostic atheist which means that one can disbelieve in God without knowing he does not exist and one can believe God exists without knowing he does. Those few atheists and theists who say they know are often described as Gnostic atheists or Gnostic theists. In conclusion, simple agnostics claim neither faith not disbelief in God while atheists disbelieve in God.


C. Is Atheism a Religion?

Interestingly enough, atheism is recognized by the U.S. government as being a religion (Davis 707). According the New Oxford American Dictionary, religion is defined as the belief in and worship of a superhuman being(s). One would assume that atheism is the very antithesis of this and therefore is not a religion. Nevertheless in the case Kaufman versus McCaughtry, atheism is a religion and therefore should be given the same rights as one (Davis 708). The issue of rights started in 2005 with inmate James Kaufman who wanted to start an atheist group in prison at Waupan Correctional Institution in Wisconsin (Davis 707). He was not allowed to because his group was not religious in nature (Davis 707). He sued for a violation of the Free Exercise Clause and won in the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals (Davis 707). Below is a quote from one of the Judges.


“The problem here was that the prison officials did not treat atheism as a 'religion,' perhaps in keeping with Kaufman's own insistence that it is the antithesis of religion. But whether atheism is a 'religion' for First Amendment purposes is a somewhat different question than whether its adherents believe in a supreme being, or attend regular devotional services, or have a sacred Scripture. The Supreme Court has said that a religion, for purposes of the First Amendment, is distinct from a 'way of life,' even if that way of life is inspired by philosophical beliefs or other secular concerns. A religion need not be based on  belief in the existence of a supreme being, (or beings, for polytheistic faiths) nor must it be a mainstream faith.” (Davis 707-708)


In essence the court ruled that for the purposes of First Amendment rights, atheism is a religion and is therefore protected. 




   1. Stats on Atheists



   1. General Statistics

Various studies have been undertaken to profile the non-religious in America and in other various countries. In this report we will focus on one particular extensive study of the non-religious community (Arcaro 51). The sample size was 8,200 and the study yielded interesting results (Arcaro 52). One of the important things the study found was that the respondents were overwhelming male with 74% and that 62% of atheists had an education level of college graduate or higher (Arcaro 52). Those surveyed also tended to be white and very liberal with 42% (Arcaro 52).

There are other labels that the non-religious tend to associate with themselves and they include but are not limited to Humanist, Bright, Freethinker, Skeptic, and Nonbeliever (Arcaro 52). When asked "Which word below [out of the aforementioned] do you most often use to identify yourself?" the respondents chose overwhelmingly for atheist with 71% (Arcaro 52). Those are the more eclectic labels but there are also some more discrete labels, such as “rationalist,” “critical atheist,” “anti-atheist,” “teleologist,” “non-theistic Re-constructionist Jew,” “agnostic atheist,” and “Gnostic atheist." (Arcaro 52)

However, one of the more striking findings in the survey was that in the United States 58% of the respondents did not feel comfortable with the label Atheist as opposed to 73% in Western Europe (Arcaro 52). This report will detail later what may be the cause of this.


B. Growth of Atheism

According to the 2009 American Religious Identification Survey (ARIS), religious belief is declining in America (Cheyne 56). The non-religious in America gained more subscribers than that the Catholics or Protestants in absolute terms (Cheyne 56). According to the survey, there are 19,838,000 more non-religious in the U.S. in 2008 than in 1990 (Cheyne 56). For comparison, the Catholics gained 11,195,000 members and the Protestants gained 10,980,000 members (Cheyne 56).

The Non-religious grew nearly as much as the Catholics and the Protestants did combined. The Catholics and Protestants numbers did not keep pace with population growth which indicates a decrease proportionally to the numbers (Cheyne 56). The members practically doubled for the non-religious amongst all races (Cheyne 56). No other religious sect can claim such an accomplishment during this period (Cheyne 56).

However, non-religious groups include much more than just atheists. They also include agnostics, spirituals, deists, etc (Cheyne 56). As of 2008, the non-religious consist of 15% of the population and atheist consists of only 1% of that 15% (Cheyne 56). That is not to say that atheism did not see a considerable rise in its numbers for it did (Cheyne 56). There seems to be two ways that the population is leaving religion (Cheyne 56). The hard way is explicit atheism and the soft way is the absence of religion as a main factor in life (Cheyne 56). In this case, people can still believe in God or a “higher power” but not adhere to any of the prominent religions.

Perhaps another factor that could explain the rise in non-religion is the uptick to anti-religious books from best-selling writers, such as Richard Dawkins, who is a well-known atheist and anti-theist, popularizer of science, and author of The God Delusion and The Blind Watchmaker. Another well-known popularizer of science is astrophysicist Carl Sagan with his book The Demon-Haunted: Science as a Candle in the Dark. Also the argument has been made that 9/11 aided in turning many away from religion altogether. Sociologist P. Zuckermann who studies such issues internationally said this:


“we can deduce that there are approximately 58 times as many Atheists as there are Mormons, 41 times as many atheists as there are Jews, 35 times as many atheists as there are Sikhs, and twice as many atheists as there are Buddhists.” (Cheyne 33)


However the number of atheists may be deceiving as to the genuine number because many simply do not like the label atheist so they describe themselves in other ways (Cheyne 52). Studies show that about twice as many people say they don’t believe in God as say they are atheists (Cheyne 53). Clearly, the “Nones” are quickly becoming one of the largest minorities in America and many have argued the most ignored politically.


   1. Evidence of Stigmatism


Only 16% of atheists feel no stigmatism related to their disbelief in the U.S but the number was higher in Canada, UK, Western Europe, and Australia with (38%, 68%, 68%, and 56% respectively) (Arcaro 53).


pastedGraphic.pdf

Fig.1 “How Stigmatized do you feel atheists are in you culture?” Tom Arcaro, Skeptic Magazine Vol. 15 #4 2010 Pg 51


The stigmatism levels varied by regions (Arcaro 53). Those living in the Bible Belt region of the U.S. clearly felt more stigmatized than the rest of the country with 25% of the respondents strongly agreeing (Arcaro 53) And this is to be expected given the high number of religious people in that region. The following statistics demonstrate even more how atheists feel in society. 57% of atheists thought there would be minor repercussions if they revealed their atheism in the workplace, 61% within their own families, and 68% in their community (Arcaro 53). The numbers were lower in Western Europe, UK, Canada, and Australia (Arcaro 53).

Atheists report that many in the religious community believe them to be immoral, dangerous, and caught in “Satan's grip” by their surrounding environment (Arcaro 55). Which is ironic given that atheists don’t believe in Satan either. Marriages between theists have been troubled after one of the spouses de-converted to atheism (Arcaro 55). Children of atheist parents are being cornered and harassed in schools (Arcaro 55). In six states, nonbelievers are still barred from holding office at all including Arkansas and North Carolina (Waters 1).

Stories collected from the Anti-Discrimination Support Network (ADSN) contained more stories of firings, death threats, abusive family situations, and even threats of abuse in the military (Arcaro 55). An example of discrimination in military is from a New York Times article in April of 2008 concerning specialist Jeremy Hall being forced to leave Afghanistan war because he was an open atheist and he was receiving threats from his fellow soldiers because of his disbelief (Banerjee 1-2). Perhaps this clear up the saying “there are no atheists in foxholes." There obviously are atheists in the military but perhaps they are too afraid “come out” because of stories like Jeremy Hall’s. Stories such as these continue today and across the world (Arcaro 54).



   1. Conclusion


From what has been presented, we have a small window to world of atheism. Atheists do not belief in God and they are no doubt one of the least trusted minorities in this country (Arcaro 50). According to a recent poll only 45% of the country said they would even vote for an atheist if he was otherwise qualified (Jones 1). In some states they are denied the right to be elected at all (Waters 1). Atheist tend to be white, very liberal, and well-educated males (Arcaro 50). Will there be a day when an atheist will not be feel he or she is being treated like a second-class citizen? Only time will tell. Given the rise in the non-religious and the decline of the religious, it is very likely that they will get the vindication they hope for.



VI. Work Cited


Arcaro, Tom. "The Stigma of Being an Atheist." Skeptic Magazine 2010: 5. Web. 9 Oct 2010.


Banerjee, Neela. "Soldier Sues Army, Saying His Atheism Led to Threats." New York Times (2008): 1-2. Web. 22 Nov 2010. /span>http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/26/us/26Atheist.html?_r=1&scp=1&sq=Jeremy%20Atheist&st=cse


Cheyne, James. "The Rise of the Nones." Skeptic Magazine. 2010: 56-60. Print.


Cliteur, Paul. "The definition of Atheism." Journal of Religion & Society 11.(2009): ATLA Religion Database with ATLASerials. EBSCO. Web. 21 Nov. 2010.


Davis, Derek. "Is Atheism a Religion? Recent Judicial Perspectives on the Constitutional Meaning of "Religion"." Journal Of Church & State. 47.4 (2005): 707-723. Print.


Jones, Jeffrey. "Some Americans Reluctant to Vote for Mormon, 72-Year-Old Presidential Candidates." Gallup News Service (2007): 1-2. Web. 22 Nov 2010. /span>http://www.gallup.com/poll/26611/some-americans-reluctant-vote-mormon-72yearold-presidential-candidates.aspx>.


SORENSEN, ROY. "Meta-Agnosticism: Higher Order Epistemic Possibility." Mind 118.471 (2009): 777-784. Academic Search Complete. EBSCO. Web. 23 Nov. 2010.


Thrower, James. A Short History of Western Atheism. London: Pemberton Books, 1971.


Waters, David. "Atheist Revival in Arkansas ." Washington Post (2009): 1. Web. 23 Nov 2010. /span>http://newsweek.washingtonpost.com/onfaith/undergod/2009/02/an_advocate_for_Atheists_in_ar.html>.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Is religion a force for good or evil? Tony Blair Vs. Christopher Hitchens

You have to watch the videos to know what all of this is about:


http://www.thinkatheist.com/profiles/blogs/christopher-hitchens-vs-tony?xg_source=activity


Everything that I will be talking about will probably have to do with what Tony blair said, everything that I didn't mention, I probably agreed with to some degree.

When the man in the beginning of this video said that sometimes people use "google machines" to prepare for a debate, he wasn't kidding. this seems to be exactly what Tony Blair has done. Everything He has said has been said before. He makes no new points which makes it very easy to rebuttal his argument.

Whenever there is a debate about wither or not religion is a force for good or evil, the first argument is always about religious charity. they say that "well, it cant all be bad because we have religious charities" or something like that. they say that their religion inspires people to do good. that may be so, but what of the non-religious who are inspired to do good based on human survival instinct, compassion, and experiences that have formed our personalities through out our life times? These people do not need religion to be inspired to do these things. What does that really tell you about the kind of people who are religious? Do they need some sort of special inspiration for basic human emotions? Wither you are inspired by faith, or just you're own naturally developed morality to help people, you are still helping people. It's that fact that people need an extra nudge from religion that I feel sad for.

He keeps saying that people of faith are kind to one another because of their faith, but it doesn't really have to do with rewards from their religion, he says that it is because their faith teaches them to love one another. well then, why is it necessary to claim that faith is a main reason for people to love one another, when secular people dont NEED faith to love one another?

I also find it disturbing how he can say that science and faith can in fact exist in harmony, that there doesn't need to be anything that divides the two. He says that faith's purpose in science is to understand how we should use the information that science gives us. He seems to forget that, going on faith, the very reason we are all here in the first place contradicts each other.

also, he goes on to say that the reason atheist dictators in the 20th century hindered the overall well being of tolerance is because of their atheism. this is certainly not true. It is because of communism. lust for power. greed and the need for total control. anyone with these motives, no mater what their beliefs are bound to cause harm. This is always one of the first arguments as well, that seems to be parroted during every debate. 

I can never understand how people claim that without religion, the world would have a lack of morality. If you need a doctrine which is out dated, incomplete and that contradicts it's self to be moral, then I guess you really are better off beveling whatever lets you sleep at night. I really think that if you need religion to do good, and that it is only extremists who make it look bad for the religion as a whole, then if you believe in you're doctrine in the first place, you are deluded and that will only lead to extremism.

I think that religion will never be able to completely unite with everyone because even within them selves, they have a hard time uniting their different beliefs. I dont think that you can really unite a certain kind of people, with another certain kind of people, when the first kind of people need to feel that they belong to a congregation. They disagree with the other sects of their beliefs, and because of that feeling of helplessness, they feel that they need to ban together with like minded people. This may be good for some things, but it doesn't speak well for tolerance. True religion may not be about excluding people because they are different, but you cannot stop the intolerance when it happens to breed from it.

Tony says that "for some people, humanism isn't enough". this just proves that these people are deluded and that they are the true problem. In this same response, he implies that a higher being isn't necessary to religion, but yet it is found in every religion, and it always seems to be the thing that puts fear in people's hearts and causes confusion in the first place.

oh and I just found it funny that whenever Hitch brings up something that is directly caused be what a religious leader said, Tony says something like "well...there were also religious people who stood against it". well fuck, I would hope so. They cant ALL be stupid!

Also, we will never have complete secularism coming from religious people. Their politics are directly related to their beliefs and doctrine. It is deep into their personalities and is impossible to really control. He says that Israel and Palestine have problems because of politics, not necessarily religion, but he doesn't seem to realize that yes, they have other reasons to have conflict, but they are justifying their reasons with religious doctrine. It has been going on ever since it was "divinely inspired" to be written in the bible.

the bottom line is, anything can be a force for good or evil, no matter what it is. It all depends on who is using it.

so...who "won"?

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Beyond Anything I Can Think Of...

Ok, here's the story:

My father has been diagnosed with a disease that is shutting down both of his kidneys. It's no surprise, we've known this since my childhood, but things are getting worse. He's going to need a transplant and several people have tried to donate but were not able to. He is on a waiting list, but chances are he will never receive a kidney that isn't donated from a live candidate. They actually got their pastor at their church to make an announcement to the congregation in hopes someone will come forward that is able to donate a kidney. In the meantime, I have been asked if I would donate if all else fails.

This has got to be the biggest thing that has ever been asked of me. I replied with a no. I don't beleive that with all of my father's other heath issues that it would really even make too much of a difference, It wouldnt really be adding that much time, or even really improve his health enough to make him happy. not to mention I beleive that in this situation, it would seem like a hopeless cause. It also seems kind of weird to me. I guess..it's kind of unatural to think that it is ok to give someone an organ, just so they can squeeze a little more time out of life. Dont get me wrong, as an atheist, I relize that life is precious. it's all we have. But, these people are christian and they are asking such a big thing from me.

Wouldn't their religion comfort them in the fact that he is sort of coming to the point in his life that is supposed to be the most important factor of their faith? I mean..I guess I think that heaven should be seen as the destination here.

This is coming out all wrong...I love my dad and don't want anything to happen to them, but this is so conflicting. To make matters worse, they are making me feel pressured and judged because of my decision.

Pardon the language, but it is making me feel like shit. I feel that just because I am trying to live my own life, I am being selfish. I mean...I already have to do a lot of things for them, I'll have to do even more in the near future. I'll also have to help my mother take care of her father and autistic brother. To top it off...I'm trying to start my "life"...I have a girlfriend who I am planning on marrying, I want kids in the near future and I'm working on trying to find a career.

This is sooo much at once. I wish my parents would actually support me emotionally since I am relatively young and am starting out in life. Instead, all I'm getting from them is pressure.

Any thoughts? Opinions? Advise?

thanks for hearing me vent guys.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Killing In The Name Of Atheism

I have already talked about how morality is possible without religion in the past, and
this is just another reason that people have thought of to point the blame at atheism..especially I have found out, when you talk about events like the crusades, witch hunts or the inquisition. Personally, I'd hardly call us even...even if we DID kill in the name of our lack of belief.

there has been communist leaders who did not have faith in a god or religion, who have killed countless people for not thinking like them. But, was it because of atheism that they did this?

First, you have to understand that atheism is not a belief system. There are no Atheist principles or philosophies. I read a great quote once that said: "Being killed by an atheist is no more being killed in the name of atheism than being killed by a tall person is being killed in the name of tallness."

Some of the reasons these rulers were responsible for the deaths of people that disagreed with them is because they did not agree with those in power. Some were anti-communists and opposed the government. The main reason, is because these people got in the way and were inconvenient for the corrupt rulers.

Most of the reason people were killed were because of political reasons. Atheism is simply the lack of belief in a higher being.

The reason people would kill for a belief system in the first place is because of the doctrines that are followed, atheism however does not have any doctrine...so it couldn't possible be used as a credible reason for bad people to do bad things.

Monday, October 25, 2010

"You Can't Have Morality Without God"

As an Atheist, I am constantly hearing from Christians that morality would not exist without the word of God instructing us on how to live our lives. Though I’ve found many things in the bible to dispute this claim, I will stick to the most well known set of ground rules in the bible, The Ten Commandment.

Most may not know them all, but everyone knows what they are and what they represent. If morality is truly from God’s own words, then surely it should be in these laws.

Having looked at them all though, only about six of them are even relevant to life and God's chosen people broke all but one of them. Some of the laws were even overlooked by God, because it was prosperous for the chosen people.

Think About This:

The first four commandments:

1. Thou shalt have no other gods before me. - This is just God being a jealous god like we've read so much about. I'm referring to the passages that actually say he is a jealous God even though he is just and fair.

2. Thou shall not make unto thee any graven images. - To me this is the same reason as the first commandment. The Catholic Church is especially known for breaking this commandment. Just look at all the religious art.

3. Thou shalt not take the name of the lord thy God in vain. - To me this is the same reason as the first commandment.  Also, how would one define "in vain"? Could it be saying God is great while blowing up a plane in his name or simply saying that something should be an abomination unto him?

4. Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy. - This is because God had to rest on the seventh day and so should we. Really that doesn't make sense. Also, Sabbath comes from the Pagan word "Sabbat" which means celebration. Just thought I'd throw that out there.

Now we get to the next six. These are the ones that I actually approve of, even if God overlooked them.

5. Honor thy father and thy mother. - It's always a good idea to honor and learn from you're elders, except it doesn't quite work this way. We are supposed to love our parents, but we shouldn't honor everything they say. Look at it this way, what if you're father was the man in Sodom and Gomorrah, he didn't want people to hear of the city's bad reputation, so he offered his own daughters for his enemies to "have their way with". An honorable person wouldn't do this to their own children, but if a dishonorable man DID do this, the child would have to obey or they would be breaking a commandment.

6. Thou shalt not kill. - of course if you are populating the world, you wouldnt wouldnt to kill you'reselves off. Besides, how could a society grow with such chaos? Only thing is, the bible is filled with people who have killed in the name of God.

7. Thou shall not commit adultery. - , but it doesn't make a bit of sense because God obviously didn't mind polygamy.

8. Thou shalt not steal. - stealing brings disorder to society. It causes distrust and contempt. So of course this is a good idea, except that God's chosen people stole not only property, but wives and slaves whenever they conquered a new tribe.

9. Thou shalt not bare false witness. - This one is great. This is one that actually doesn't get broken in the bible very often.

10. Thou shalt not covet. - I think wanting things give you motivation and a purpose in life..I dont really find this comandment nessesary, thier are reasons why it can be bad though. in the bible, God's chosen people coveted land that they were told they would inherit. They also coveted the property, slaves and wives of the men that they conquered. But God obviously didn't care about this transgression. Also, I find it interesting that you can't even THINK about doing something. It commands you to ignore the natural urges of desire.

This leaves us with only six commandments that give us morality. Only six and no where does it cover rape, abuse, slavery, equal rights or anything else that we claim are important. So if God is the reason for morality, wouldn't he add a lot more than six commandments? And what of the ones that God seemed to overlook for his chosen people?

After reading the commandments, it’s obvious that basing morality off of them is a bad idea. People can learn a far better ideal of morality from common sense and their own life experiences.

Morality without religious doctrine is related to culture, upbringing, life experiences, logic and common sense. If you follow only the moral code set forth by a certain religion, there is always going to be something left out.

There are also shades of gray when it comes to morality, not everything is simply "good and evil." If you had the chance to save the life of a complete stranger, but it meant letting someone you loved die, how would you choose? That's sort of an example.

Now I've talked about sharing the same principles as the word of God has taught us, but who's to say that these rules are just in the first place? Is God to say that they are absolutely just when really, we are the ones who are interpreting the word of God?

What of the other things that God let everyone get away with in his name in the old testament? What about treating women as property and what about slavery? In our secular nation, we have found that these are considered immoral and were probably influenced mostly by religion in the first place. Isn't this a good argument for Godless morality?

There were many other commandments that Moses passed onto us and maybe I'll talk about those some other time.

In conclusion, there are certain things that God's word has left out or even included that should be considered as immoral. I also find it interesting that the son of God's teachings could differ so much from our omnipotent creator's teachings. If you think about it, Jesus Christ's teachings were more influential to morality in our modern world then our God's. But even the savior's teachings can be challenged and it still goes to show that a belief in God is not necessary for morality.

Written by Jon Heim, edited by Hannah Hood.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Boy Scouts Of America

Last year, a gay man and his son were accepted into the boy scouts. The openly gay father went on camping trips, attended meetings and given a uniform. This year the "don't-be-gay-sparky boy scouts" decided that the gay father could not wear the uniform but could still be in charge of fund raising.Boy Scouts of America have a policy of no OPENLY gay or OPENLY ATHEIST. The supreme court has ruled that as a private organization they are permitted to do this.

Boy Scouts Of America are intolerant. They ban Homosexuals, atheists, and women and probably anyone else who is not a christian. They even support the stance that abortion is wrong. What the hell does this have to do with guiding children?...it's indoctrination.

 They specifically mention atheists, but what if a Muslim father wanted to support them? It's ridiculous to say that, oh...if you don't have a faith, you're not equal, but if you believe in something else, we'll make an exception...if that even is what they do.

It's all about money too, since they are a non-profit organization to avoid taxes and government regulation. they are letting this guy sell popcorn for them, but they are not allowing him to be any other part of the organization. This is certainly not separate but equal.

it's really sad that even though you don't bring up you're beliefs or sexuality, they still judge you based on them.

They should consider the fact that this guy is doing what fathers should do, take a part in their children's lives. many fathers don't even care!

If I have a son in the future, and he wants to be a part of a scouting program, I'm going to find a program that is not out to ban free thinking, or is apposed to being  you're self.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Who I'm Voting For (lesser of multiple evils)

Joe Sestak For Senate

Political Positions

* Abortion - Sestak is pro-choice, holding a 100% rating from NARAL Pro-Choice America and   a 0% rating from the National Right to Life Committee.NARAL endorsed Sestak in the 2010   Democratic primary over Specter because of Sestak's opposition to a ban on partial birth   abortion. In 2009, Sestak's invitation to speak to students at the Catholic Malvern   Preparatory School was rescinded after the school received criticism from Catholic   parents and alumni.

* Economy - Sestak supports requiring Congress to offset the cost of all new spending. The   Congressman also supports expanding middle class tax cuts and letting the Bush tax cuts   expire. He voted for the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (the Stimulus)   and the Tax Extenders and Alternative Minimum Tax Relief Act of 2008.

* Education - Sestak voted for the Improving Head Start Act and the College Cost Reduction   and Access Act.

* Environment - Sestak voted for the Waxman Markey American Clean Energy and Security Act   (Cap and Trade) program.Joe Sestak has a 96% lifetime rating from League of Conservation   Voters and a 100% rating from PennEnvironment. He was endorsed by the Sierra Club in his   2006 and 2008 Congressional election campaigns. He voted for the Renewable Energy and   Energy Conservation Tax Act of 2007 and the New Direction for Energy Independence,   National Security and Consumer Protection Act. He was also an original co-sponsor of the   Climate Stewardship Act (H.R. 620) and the Safe Climate Act.

* Gun Rights - Sestak supports gun control and has a 100% rating from the Brady Campaign to   Prevent Gun Violence and an F rating from the National Rifle Association. Sestak has   called for the reinstatement of the federal ban on assault weapons.

* Heathcare - Sestak credits his support for health care reform as to "pay back" the   country that provided him and his family health care while he was in the Navy (the   TRICARE program), especially for treating his daughter's brain tumor. He supports state-  provided preventive care and voted for the CHAMP Act. Sestak originally co-sponsored the   Medicare Prescription Drug Price Negotiations Act, the Caroline Pryce Walker Conquer   Childhood Cancer Act and co-sponsored H.R. 3800, which establishes a public-private   Partnership for Health Care Improvement. He also announced the Pediatric Cancer Caucus,   which he will co-chair. He is also a member of the Autism Caucus, Diabetes Caucus, 21st   Century Health Care Caucus, Congressional Mental Health Caucus, Nursing Caucus, and   Cystic Fibrosis Caucus.

* Unions - Sestak is an original co-sponsor of the Employee Free Choice Act and supports   the original version that includes card check. He created the Labor Advisory Committee to   address the challenges facing working families in his district.

* Medical Marijuana - Sestak voted to allow states to regulate medical marijuana  by voting   for the Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act of 2008,   which would have barred the Department of Justice from preventing the implementation of   state laws regarding the distribution, possession, and cultivation of medical marijuana.   The bill was defeated 165-262.

* Military - As a candidate, Sestak campaigned to end the war in Iraq. Once in office in   2007, he supported Congressional efforts to re-deploy forces but ultimately voted for the   no-strings-attached war supplemental that the House constructed after President Bush's   veto, a bill that many critics of the Bush administration have called a "blank check" for   the continuation of administration policies in the Middle East.

  Sestak supported the FISA Amendments Act of 2008, which critics contend continues the   Bush administration's policy of warrantless wiretapping and provides retroactive immunity   to telecommunications companies who participated in the National Security Agency's   "terrorist surveillance program."

  Sestak supported the deployment of additional troops to Afghanistan in late 2009, and   military actions such as drone strikes in northwest Pakistan. He supports the gradual   drawdown of troops from Iraq.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Chris Carney For House Of Representatives

Political Positions

Carney is a somewhat conservative Democrat, which is not surprising given the nature of the district. For example, while opposing proposals to privatize Social Security, he said he is open to the idea of adding private accounts in addition to (not at the expense of) traditional defined benefits. He supports federal investment in stem cell research, and is an advocate of universal healthcare. He supports gun rights, identifies as Pro-Life, and opposes gay marriage. He supports estate tax reduction.

Carney made change of direction in Iraq policy a cornerstone of his 2006 campaign, often decrying the Bush Administration's war policies. However, he subsequently voted to continue the war in Iraq, H.R. 2206, and against H.R. 2956, an effort to establish a timeline to withdraw from Iraq. Carney was one of only ten Democrats to vote against ending the war. Carney also is not enthusiastic about investigations of pre-war intelligence. “The more energy spent on answering Congressional investigations, the less time will be spent on winning the war,” he said.

On May 3, 2007, Carney voted with 166 Republicans against the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2007 (aka Matthew Shephad Act), even though the Pennsylvania delegation (including 4 Republicans) voted 14-4 in favor.

In 2008 he was one of the "Blue Dog" Democrats who joined most Republicans in an unsuccessful to attempt to pass a bill amending FISA to grant telecommunications companies immunity from prosecution for their involvement in warrantless wiretapping of American citizens. In particular, he sent a letter to Speaker Pelosi encouraging her not to fight the bill.

Carney voted against the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 and voted for the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. Congressman Carney also voted for the Affordable Health Care for America Act as well as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Remeber This The Next Time You Vote! II

The Preamble to The Bill of Rights

Congress of the United States
begun and held at the City of New-York, on
Wednesday the fourth of March, one thousand seven hundred and eighty nine.

THE Conventions of a number of the States, having at the time of their adopting the Constitution, expressed a desire, in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added: And as extending the ground of public confidence in the Government, will best ensure the beneficent ends of its institution.

RESOLVED by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America, in Congress assembled, two thirds of both Houses concurring, that the following Articles be proposed to the Legislatures of the several States, as amendments to the Constitution of the United States, all, or any of which Articles, when ratified by three fourths of the said Legislatures, to be valid to all intents and purposes, as part of the said Constitution; viz.

ARTICLES in addition to, and Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America, proposed by Congress, and ratified by the Legislatures of the several States, pursuant to the fifth Article of the original Constitution.

Note: The following text is a transcription of the first ten amendments to the Constitution in their original form. These amendments were ratified December 15, 1791, and form what is known as the "Bill of Rights."

Amendment I

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Amendment II

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

Amendment III

No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.

Amendment IV

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Amendment V

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

Amendment VI

In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.

Amendment VII

In Suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise re-examined in any Court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.

Amendment VIII

Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

Amendment IX

The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

Amendment X

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

AMENDMENT XI

Passed by Congress March 4, 1794. Ratified February 7, 1795.

Note: Article III, section 2, of the Constitution was modified by amendment 11.

The Judicial power of the United States shall not be construed to extend to any suit in law or equity, commenced or prosecuted against one of the United States by Citizens of another State, or by Citizens or Subjects of any Foreign State.

AMENDMENT XII

Passed by Congress December 9, 1803. Ratified June 15, 1804.

Note: A portion of Article II, section 1 of the Constitution was superseded by the 12th amendment.

The Electors shall meet in their respective states and vote by ballot for President and Vice-President, one of whom, at least, shall not be an inhabitant of the same state with themselves; they shall name in their ballots the person voted for as President, and in distinct ballots the person voted for as Vice-President, and they shall make distinct lists of all persons voted for as President, and of all persons voted for as Vice-President, and of the number of votes for each, which lists they shall sign and certify, and transmit sealed to the seat of the government of the United States, directed to the President of the Senate; -- the President of the Senate shall, in the presence of the Senate and House of Representatives, open all the certificates and the votes shall then be counted; -- The person having the greatest number of votes for President, shall be the President, if such number be a majority of the whole number of Electors appointed; and if no person have such majority, then from the persons having the highest numbers not exceeding three on the list of those voted for as President, the House of Representatives shall choose immediately, by ballot, the President. But in choosing the President, the votes shall be taken by states, the representation from each state having one vote; a quorum for this purpose shall consist of a member or members from two-thirds of the states, and a majority of all the states shall be necessary to a choice. [And if the House of Representatives shall not choose a President whenever the right of choice shall devolve upon them, before the fourth day of March next following, then the Vice-President shall act as President, as in case of the death or other constitutional disability of the President. --]* The person having the greatest number of votes as Vice-President, shall be the Vice-President, if such number be a majority of the whole number of Electors appointed, and if no person have a majority, then from the two highest numbers on the list, the Senate shall choose the Vice-President; a quorum for the purpose shall consist of two-thirds of the whole number of Senators, and a majority of the whole number shall be necessary to a choice. But no person constitutionally ineligible to the office of President shall be eligible to that of Vice-President of the United States.

*Superseded by section 3 of the 20th amendment.

AMENDMENT XIII

Passed by Congress January 31, 1865. Ratified December 6, 1865.

Note: A portion of Article IV, section 2, of the Constitution was superseded by the 13th amendment.

Section 1.
Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.

Section 2.
Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

AMENDMENT XIV

Passed by Congress June 13, 1866. Ratified July 9, 1868.

Note: Article I, section 2, of the Constitution was modified by section 2 of the 14th amendment.

Section 1.
All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. 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.

Section 2.
Representatives shall be apportioned among the several States according to their respective numbers, counting the whole number of persons in each State, excluding Indians not taxed. But when the right to vote at any election for the choice of electors for President and Vice-President of the United States, Representatives in Congress, the Executive and Judicial officers of a State, or the members of the Legislature thereof, is denied to any of the male inhabitants of such State, being twenty-one years of age,* and citizens of the United States, or in any way abridged, except for participation in rebellion, or other crime, the basis of representation therein shall be reduced in the proportion which the number of such male citizens shall bear to the whole number of male citizens twenty-one years of age in such State.

Section 3.
No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice-President, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any State, who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any State legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any State, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof. But Congress may by a vote of two-thirds of each House, remove such disability.

Section 4.
The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned. But neither the United States nor any State shall assume or pay any debt or obligation incurred in aid of insurrection or rebellion against the United States, or any claim for the loss or emancipation of any slave; but all such debts, obligations and claims shall be held illegal and void.

Section 5.
The Congress shall have the power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.

*Changed by section 1 of the 26th amendment.

AMENDMENT XV

Passed by Congress February 26, 1869. Ratified February 3, 1870.

Section 1.
The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude--

Section 2.
The Congress shall have the power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

AMENDMENT XVI

Passed by Congress July 2, 1909. Ratified February 3, 1913.

Note: Article I, section 9, of the Constitution was modified by amendment 16.

The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several States, and without regard to any census or enumeration.

AMENDMENT XVII

Passed by Congress May 13, 1912. Ratified April 8, 1913.

Note: Article I, section 3, of the Constitution was modified by the 17th amendment.

The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State, elected by the people thereof, for six years; and each Senator shall have one vote. The electors in each State shall have the qualifications requisite for electors of the most numerous branch of the State legislatures.

When vacancies happen in the representation of any State in the Senate, the executive authority of such State shall issue writs of election to fill such vacancies: Provided, That the legislature of any State may empower the executive thereof to make temporary appointments until the people fill the vacancies by election as the legislature may direct.

This amendment shall not be so construed as to affect the election or term of any Senator chosen before it becomes valid as part of the Constitution.

AMENDMENT XVIII

Passed by Congress December 18, 1917. Ratified January 16, 1919. Repealed by amendment 21.

Section 1.
After one year from the ratification of this article the manufacture, sale, or transportation of intoxicating liquors within, the importation thereof into, or the exportation thereof from the United States and all territory subject to the jurisdiction thereof for beverage purposes is hereby prohibited.

Section 2.
The Congress and the several States shall have concurrent power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

Section 3.
This article shall be inoperative unless it shall have been ratified as an amendment to the Constitution by the legislatures of the several States, as provided in the Constitution, within seven years from the date of the submission hereof to the States by the Congress.

AMENDMENT XIX

Passed by Congress June 4, 1919. Ratified August 18, 1920.

The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.

Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

AMENDMENT XX

Passed by Congress March 2, 1932. Ratified January 23, 1933.

Note: Article I, section 4, of the Constitution was modified by section 2 of this amendment. In addition, a portion of the 12th amendment was superseded by section 3.

Section 1.
The terms of the President and the Vice President shall end at noon on the 20th day of January, and the terms of Senators and Representatives at noon on the 3d day of January, of the years in which such terms would have ended if this article had not been ratified; and the terms of their successors shall then begin.

Section 2.
The Congress shall assemble at least once in every year, and such meeting shall begin at noon on the 3d day of January, unless they shall by law appoint a different day.

Section 3.
If, at the time fixed for the beginning of the term of the President, the President elect shall have died, the Vice President elect shall become President. If a President shall not have been chosen before the time fixed for the beginning of his term, or if the President elect shall have failed to qualify, then the Vice President elect shall act as President until a President shall have qualified; and the Congress may by law provide for the case wherein neither a President elect nor a Vice President shall have qualified, declaring who shall then act as President, or the manner in which one who is to act shall be selected, and such person shall act accordingly until a President or Vice President shall have qualified.

Section 4.
The Congress may by law provide for the case of the death of any of the persons from whom the House of Representatives may choose a President whenever the right of choice shall have devolved upon them, and for the case of the death of any of the persons from whom the Senate may choose a Vice President whenever the right of choice shall have devolved upon them.

Section 5.
Sections 1 and 2 shall take effect on the 15th day of October following the ratification of this article.

Section 6.
This article shall be inoperative unless it shall have been ratified as an amendment to the Constitution by the legislatures of three-fourths of the several States within seven years from the date of its submission.

AMENDMENT XXI

Passed by Congress February 20, 1933. Ratified December 5, 1933.

Section 1.
The eighteenth article of amendment to the Constitution of the United States is hereby repealed.

Section 2.
The transportation or importation into any State, Territory, or Possession of the United States for delivery or use therein of intoxicating liquors, in violation of the laws thereof, is hereby prohibited.

Section 3.
This article shall be inoperative unless it shall have been ratified as an amendment to the Constitution by conventions in the several States, as provided in the Constitution, within seven years from the date of the submission hereof to the States by the Congress.

AMENDMENT XXII

Passed by Congress March 21, 1947. Ratified February 27, 1951.

Section 1.
No person shall be elected to the office of the President more than twice, and no person who has held the office of President, or acted as President, for more than two years of a term to which some other person was elected President shall be elected to the office of President more than once. But this Article shall not apply to any person holding the office of President when this Article was proposed by Congress, and shall not prevent any person who may be holding the office of President, or acting as President, during the term within which this Article becomes operative from holding the office of President or acting as President during the remainder of such term.

Section 2.
This article shall be inoperative unless it shall have been ratified as an amendment to the Constitution by the legislatures of three-fourths of the several States within seven years from the date of its submission to the States by the Congress.

AMENDMENT XXIII

Passed by Congress June 16, 1960. Ratified March 29, 1961.

Section 1.
The District constituting the seat of Government of the United States shall appoint in such manner as Congress may direct:

A number of electors of President and Vice President equal to the whole number of Senators and Representatives in Congress to which the District would be entitled if it were a State, but in no event more than the least populous State; they shall be in addition to those appointed by the States, but they shall be considered, for the purposes of the election of President and Vice President, to be electors appointed by a State; and they shall meet in the District and perform such duties as provided by the twelfth article of amendment.

Section 2.
The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

AMENDMENT XXIV

Passed by Congress August 27, 1962. Ratified January 23, 1964.

Section 1.
The right of citizens of the United States to vote in any primary or other election for President or Vice President, for electors for President or Vice President, or for Senator or Representative in Congress, shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any State by reason of failure to pay poll tax or other tax.

Section 2.
The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

AMENDMENT XXV

Passed by Congress July 6, 1965. Ratified February 10, 1967.

Note: Article II, section 1, of the Constitution was affected by the 25th amendment.

Section 1.
In case of the removal of the President from office or of his death or resignation, the Vice President shall become President.

Section 2.
Whenever there is a vacancy in the office of the Vice President, the President shall nominate a Vice President who shall take office upon confirmation by a majority vote of both Houses of Congress.

Section 3.
Whenever the President transmits to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives his written declaration that he is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, and until he transmits to them a written declaration to the contrary, such powers and duties shall be discharged by the Vice President as Acting President.

Section 4.
Whenever the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive departments or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall immediately assume the powers and duties of the office as Acting President.

Thereafter, when the President transmits to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives his written declaration that no inability exists, he shall resume the powers and duties of his office unless the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive department or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit within four days to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office. Thereupon Congress shall decide the issue, assembling within forty-eight hours for that purpose if not in session. If the Congress, within twenty-one days after receipt of the latter written declaration, or, if Congress is not in session, within twenty-one days after Congress is required to assemble, determines by two-thirds vote of both Houses that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall continue to discharge the same as Acting President; otherwise, the President shall resume the powers and duties of his office.

AMENDMENT XXVI

Passed by Congress March 23, 1971. Ratified July 1, 1971.

Note: Amendment 14, section 2, of the Constitution was modified by section 1 of the 26th amendment.

Section 1.
The right of citizens of the United States, who are eighteen years of age or older, to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of age.

Section 2.
The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

AMENDMENT XXVII

Originally proposed Sept. 25, 1789. Ratified May 7, 1992.

No law, varying the compensation for the services of the Senators and Representatives, shall take effect, until an election of representatives shall have intervened.

Remember This The Next Time You Vote!

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

Article. I.

Section. 1.

All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives.

Section. 2.

The House of Representatives shall be composed of Members chosen every second Year by the People of the several States, and the Electors in each State shall have the Qualifications requisite for Electors of the most numerous Branch of the State Legislature.

No Person shall be a Representative who shall not have attained to the Age of twenty five Years, and been seven Years a Citizen of the United States, and who shall not, when elected, be an Inhabitant of that State in which he shall be chosen.

Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers, which shall be determined by adding to the whole Number of free Persons, including those bound to Service for a Term of Years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three fifths of all other Persons. The actual Enumeration shall be made within three Years after the first Meeting of the Congress of the United States, and within every subsequent Term of ten Years, in such Manner as they shall by Law direct. The Number of Representatives shall not exceed one for every thirty Thousand, but each State shall have at Least one Representative; and until such enumeration shall be made, the State of New Hampshire shall be entitled to chuse three, Massachusetts eight, Rhode-Island and Providence Plantations one, Connecticut five, New-York six, New Jersey four, Pennsylvania eight, Delaware one, Maryland six, Virginia ten, North Carolina five, South Carolina five, and Georgia three.

When vacancies happen in the Representation from any State, the Executive Authority thereof shall issue Writs of Election to fill such Vacancies.

The House of Representatives shall chuse their Speaker and other Officers; and shall have the sole Power of Impeachment.

Section. 3.

The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State, chosen by the Legislature thereof for six Years; and each Senator shall have one Vote.

Immediately after they shall be assembled in Consequence of the first Election, they shall be divided as equally as may be into three Classes. The Seats of the Senators of the first Class shall be vacated at the Expiration of the second Year, of the second Class at the Expiration of the fourth Year, and of the third Class at the Expiration of the sixth Year, so that one third may be chosen every second Year; and if Vacancies happen by Resignation, or otherwise, during the Recess of the Legislature of any State, the Executive thereof may make temporary Appointments until the next Meeting of the Legislature, which shall then fill such Vacancies.

No Person shall be a Senator who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty Years, and been nine Years a Citizen of the United States, and who shall not, when elected, be an Inhabitant of that State for which he shall be chosen.

The Vice President of the United States shall be President of the Senate, but shall have no Vote, unless they be equally divided.

The Senate shall chuse their other Officers, and also a President pro tempore, in the Absence of the Vice President, or when he shall exercise the Office of President of the United States.

The Senate shall have the sole Power to try all Impeachments. When sitting for that Purpose, they shall be on Oath or Affirmation. When the President of the United States is tried, the Chief Justice shall preside: And no Person shall be convicted without the Concurrence of two thirds of the Members present.

Judgment in Cases of Impeachment shall not extend further than to removal from Office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any Office of honor, Trust or Profit under the United States: but the Party convicted shall nevertheless be liable and subject to Indictment, Trial, Judgment and Punishment, according to Law.

Section. 4.

The Times, Places and Manner of holding Elections for Senators and Representatives, shall be prescribed in each State by the Legislature thereof; but the Congress may at any time by Law make or alter such Regulations, except as to the Places of chusing Senators.

The Congress shall assemble at least once in every Year, and such Meeting shall be on the first Monday in December, unless they shall by Law appoint a different Day.

Section. 5.

Each House shall be the Judge of the Elections, Returns and Qualifications of its own Members, and a Majority of each shall constitute a Quorum to do Business; but a smaller Number may adjourn from day to day, and may be authorized to compel the Attendance of absent Members, in such Manner, and under such Penalties as each House may provide.

Each House may determine the Rules of its Proceedings, punish its Members for disorderly Behaviour, and, with the Concurrence of two thirds, expel a Member.

Each House shall keep a Journal of its Proceedings, and from time to time publish the same, excepting such Parts as may in their Judgment require Secrecy; and the Yeas and Nays of the Members of either House on any question shall, at the Desire of one fifth of those Present, be entered on the Journal.

Neither House, during the Session of Congress, shall, without the Consent of the other, adjourn for more than three days, nor to any other Place than that in which the two Houses shall be sitting.

Section. 6.

The Senators and Representatives shall receive a Compensation for their Services, to be ascertained by Law, and paid out of the Treasury of the United States. They shall in all Cases, except Treason, Felony and Breach of the Peace, be privileged from Arrest during their Attendance at the Session of their respective Houses, and in going to and returning from the same; and for any Speech or Debate in either House, they shall not be questioned in any other Place.

No Senator or Representative shall, during the Time for which he was elected, be appointed to any civil Office under the Authority of the United States, which shall have been created, or the Emoluments whereof shall have been encreased during such time; and no Person holding any Office under the United States, shall be a Member of either House during his Continuance in Office.

Section. 7.

All Bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with Amendments as on other Bills.

Every Bill which shall have passed the House of Representatives and the Senate, shall, before it become a Law, be presented to the President of the United States: If he approve he shall sign it, but if not he shall return it, with his Objections to that House in which it shall have originated, who shall enter the Objections at large on their Journal, and proceed to reconsider it. If after such Reconsideration two thirds of that House shall agree to pass the Bill, it shall be sent, together with the Objections, to the other House, by which it shall likewise be reconsidered, and if approved by two thirds of that House, it shall become a Law. But in all such Cases the Votes of both Houses shall be determined by yeas and Nays, and the Names of the Persons voting for and against the Bill shall be entered on the Journal of each House respectively. If any Bill shall not be returned by the President within ten Days (Sundays excepted) after it shall have been presented to him, the Same shall be a Law, in like Manner as if he had signed it, unless the Congress by their Adjournment prevent its Return, in which Case it shall not be a Law.

Every Order, Resolution, or Vote to which the Concurrence of the Senate and House of Representatives may be necessary (except on a question of Adjournment) shall be presented to the President of the United States; and before the Same shall take Effect, shall be approved by him, or being disapproved by him, shall be repassed by two thirds of the Senate and House of Representatives, according to the Rules and Limitations prescribed in the Case of a Bill.

Section. 8.

The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;

To borrow Money on the credit of the United States;

To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes;

To establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization, and uniform Laws on the subject of Bankruptcies throughout the United States;

To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin, and fix the Standard of Weights and Measures;

To provide for the Punishment of counterfeiting the Securities and current Coin of the United States;

To establish Post Offices and post Roads;

To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;

To constitute Tribunals inferior to the supreme Court;

To define and punish Piracies and Felonies committed on the high Seas, and Offences against the Law of Nations;

To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water;

To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years;

To provide and maintain a Navy;

To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces;

To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;

To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;

To exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten Miles square) as may, by Cession of particular States, and the Acceptance of Congress, become the Seat of the Government of the United States, and to exercise like Authority over all Places purchased by the Consent of the Legislature of the State in which the Same shall be, for the Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-Yards, and other needful Buildings;--And

To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.

Section. 9.

The Migration or Importation of such Persons as any of the States now existing shall think proper to admit, shall not be prohibited by the Congress prior to the Year one thousand eight hundred and eight, but a Tax or duty may be imposed on such Importation, not exceeding ten dollars for each Person.

The Privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in Cases of Rebellion or Invasion the public Safety may require it.

No Bill of Attainder or ex post facto Law shall be passed.

No Capitation, or other direct, Tax shall be laid, unless in Proportion to the Census or enumeration herein before directed to be taken.

No Tax or Duty shall be laid on Articles exported from any State.

No Preference shall be given by any Regulation of Commerce or Revenue to the Ports of one State over those of another; nor shall Vessels bound to, or from, one State, be obliged to enter, clear, or pay Duties in another.

No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law; and a regular Statement and Account of the Receipts and Expenditures of all public Money shall be published from time to time.

No Title of Nobility shall be granted by the United States: And no Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under them, shall, without the Consent of the Congress, accept of any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or foreign State.

Section. 10.

No State shall enter into any Treaty, Alliance, or Confederation; grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal; coin Money; emit Bills of Credit; make any Thing but gold and silver Coin a Tender in Payment of Debts; pass any Bill of Attainder, ex post facto Law, or Law impairing the Obligation of Contracts, or grant any Title of Nobility.

No State shall, without the Consent of the Congress, lay any Imposts or Duties on Imports or Exports, except what may be absolutely necessary for executing it's inspection Laws: and the net Produce of all Duties and Imposts, laid by any State on Imports or Exports, shall be for the Use of the Treasury of the United States; and all such Laws shall be subject to the Revision and Controul of the Congress.

No State shall, without the Consent of Congress, lay any Duty of Tonnage, keep Troops, or Ships of War in time of Peace, enter into any Agreement or Compact with another State, or with a foreign Power, or engage in War, unless actually invaded, or in such imminent Danger as will not admit of delay.

Article. II.

Section. 1.

The executive Power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America. He shall hold his Office during the Term of four Years, and, together with the Vice President, chosen for the same Term, be elected, as follows:

Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors, equal to the whole Number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress: but no Senator or Representative, or Person holding an Office of Trust or Profit under the United States, shall be appointed an Elector.

The Electors shall meet in their respective States, and vote by Ballot for two Persons, of whom one at least shall not be an Inhabitant of the same State with themselves. And they shall make a List of all the Persons voted for, and of the Number of Votes for each; which List they shall sign and certify, and transmit sealed to the Seat of the Government of the United States, directed to the President of the Senate. The President of the Senate shall, in the Presence of the Senate and House of Representatives, open all the Certificates, and the Votes shall then be counted. The Person having the greatest Number of Votes shall be the President, if such Number be a Majority of the whole Number of Electors appointed; and if there be more than one who have such Majority, and have an equal Number of Votes, then the House of Representatives shall immediately chuse by Ballot one of them for President; and if no Person have a Majority, then from the five highest on the List the said House shall in like Manner chuse the President. But in chusing the President, the Votes shall be taken by States, the Representation from each State having one Vote; A quorum for this purpose shall consist of a Member or Members from two thirds of the States, and a Majority of all the States shall be necessary to a Choice. In every Case, after the Choice of the President, the Person having the greatest Number of Votes of the Electors shall be the Vice President. But if there should remain two or more who have equal Votes, the Senate shall chuse from them by Ballot the Vice President.

The Congress may determine the Time of chusing the Electors, and the Day on which they shall give their Votes; which Day shall be the same throughout the United States.

No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any Person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States.

In Case of the Removal of the President from Office, or of his Death, Resignation, or Inability to discharge the Powers and Duties of the said Office, the Same shall devolve on the Vice President, and the Congress may by Law provide for the Case of Removal, Death, Resignation or Inability, both of the President and Vice President, declaring what Officer shall then act as President, and such Officer shall act accordingly, until the Disability be removed, or a President shall be elected.

The President shall, at stated Times, receive for his Services, a Compensation, which shall neither be increased nor diminished during the Period for which he shall have been elected, and he shall not receive within that Period any other Emolument from the United States, or any of them.

Before he enter on the Execution of his Office, he shall take the following Oath or Affirmation:--"I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."

Section. 2.

The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States; he may require the Opinion, in writing, of the principal Officer in each of the executive Departments, upon any Subject relating to the Duties of their respective Offices, and he shall have Power to grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offences against the United States, except in Cases of Impeachment.

He shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur; and he shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, Judges of the supreme Court, and all other Officers of the United States, whose Appointments are not herein otherwise provided for, and which shall be established by Law: but the Congress may by Law vest the Appointment of such inferior Officers, as they think proper, in the President alone, in the Courts of Law, or in the Heads of Departments.

The President shall have Power to fill up all Vacancies that may happen during the Recess of the Senate, by granting Commissions which shall expire at the End of their next Session.

Section. 3.

He shall from time to time give to the Congress Information of the State of the Union, and recommend to their Consideration such Measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient; he may, on extraordinary Occasions, convene both Houses, or either of them, and in Case of Disagreement between them, with Respect to the Time of Adjournment, he may adjourn them to such Time as he shall think proper; he shall receive Ambassadors and other public Ministers; he shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed, and shall Commission all the Officers of the United States.

Section. 4.

The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.

Article III.

Section. 1.

The judicial Power of the United States shall be vested in one supreme Court, and in such inferior Courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish. The Judges, both of the supreme and inferior Courts, shall hold their Offices during good Behaviour, and shall, at stated Times, receive for their Services a Compensation, which shall not be diminished during their Continuance in Office.

Section. 2.

The judicial Power shall extend to all Cases, in Law and Equity, arising under this Constitution, the Laws of the United States, and Treaties made, or which shall be made, under their Authority;--to all Cases affecting Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls;--to all Cases of admiralty and maritime Jurisdiction;--to Controversies to which the United States shall be a Party;--to Controversies between two or more States;-- between a State and Citizens of another State,--between Citizens of different States,--between Citizens of the same State claiming Lands under Grants of different States, and between a State, or the Citizens thereof, and foreign States, Citizens or Subjects.

In all Cases affecting Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, and those in which a State shall be Party, the supreme Court shall have original Jurisdiction. In all the other Cases before mentioned, the supreme Court shall have appellate Jurisdiction, both as to Law and Fact, with such Exceptions, and under such Regulations as the Congress shall make.

The Trial of all Crimes, except in Cases of Impeachment, shall be by Jury; and such Trial shall be held in the State where the said Crimes shall have been committed; but when not committed within any State, the Trial shall be at such Place or Places as the Congress may by Law have directed.

Section. 3.

Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court.

The Congress shall have Power to declare the Punishment of Treason, but no Attainder of Treason shall work Corruption of Blood, or Forfeiture except during the Life of the Person attainted.

Article. IV.

Section. 1.

Full Faith and Credit shall be given in each State to the public Acts, Records, and judicial Proceedings of every other State. And the Congress may by general Laws prescribe the Manner in which such Acts, Records and Proceedings shall be proved, and the Effect thereof.

Section. 2.

The Citizens of each State shall be entitled to all Privileges and Immunities of Citizens in the several States.

A Person charged in any State with Treason, Felony, or other Crime, who shall flee from Justice, and be found in another State, shall on Demand of the executive Authority of the State from which he fled, be delivered up, to be removed to the State having Jurisdiction of the Crime.

No Person held to Service or Labour in one State, under the Laws thereof, escaping into another, shall, in Consequence of any Law or Regulation therein, be discharged from such Service or Labour, but shall be delivered up on Claim of the Party to whom such Service or Labour may be due.

Section. 3.

New States may be admitted by the Congress into this Union; but no new State shall be formed or erected within the Jurisdiction of any other State; nor any State be formed by the Junction of two or more States, or Parts of States, without the Consent of the Legislatures of the States concerned as well as of the Congress.

The Congress shall have Power to dispose of and make all needful Rules and Regulations respecting the Territory or other Property belonging to the United States; and nothing in this Constitution shall be so construed as to Prejudice any Claims of the United States, or of any particular State.

Section. 4.

The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government, and shall protect each of them against Invasion; and on Application of the Legislature, or of the Executive (when the Legislature cannot be convened), against domestic Violence.

Article. V.

The Congress, whenever two thirds of both Houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose Amendments to this Constitution, or, on the Application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States, shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments, which, in either Case, shall be valid to all Intents and Purposes, as Part of this Constitution, when ratified by the Legislatures of three fourths of the several States, or by Conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other Mode of Ratification may be proposed by the Congress; Provided that no Amendment which may be made prior to the Year One thousand eight hundred and eight shall in any Manner affect the first and fourth Clauses in the Ninth Section of the first Article; and that no State, without its Consent, shall be deprived of its equal Suffrage in the Senate.

Article. VI.

All Debts contracted and Engagements entered into, before the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be as valid against the United States under this Constitution, as under the Confederation.

This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.

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.

Article. VII.

The Ratification of the Conventions of nine States, shall be sufficient for the Establishment of this Constitution between the States so ratifying the Same.

The Word, "the," being interlined between the seventh and eighth Lines of the first Page, the Word "Thirty" being partly written on an Erazure in the fifteenth Line of the first Page, The Words "is tried" being interlined between the thirty second and thirty third Lines of the first Page and the Word "the" being interlined between the forty third and forty fourth Lines of the second Page.

Attest William Jackson Secretary

Done in Convention by the Unanimous Consent of the States present the Seventeenth Day of September in the Year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and Eighty seven and of the Independence of the United States of America the Twelfth In witness whereof We have hereunto subscribed our Names,