Sept. 8, 2010
Reprinted from an American Humanist Association Sept. 7, 2010 press release.
The American Humanist Association (AHA) expressed concern with the religiously motivated attacks on Hawaii’s gubernatorial candidate, Neil Abercrombie. The claims, which declare Abercrombie’s voting record “anti-Christian,” were produced by Island Values, a group comprised of volunteers and supporters of Muffi Hannemann, Abercrombie’s opponent.
“There are acceptable and unacceptable candidates,” the Island Values statement read. “Neil Abercrombie is unacceptable. He declares no religious affiliation.”
“This attack on Neil Abercrombie is filled with blatant religious prejudice that has no place in a productive, civil campaign,” said Roy Speckhardt, executive director of the American Humanist Association. “Religious affiliation doesn’t indicate how qualified a candidate is to serve the public. Claims that having no religion is ‘unacceptable’ are inconsistent with the intent of our nation’s founding fathers.”
The U.S. Constitution’s No Religious Test Clause, Article VI, paragraph 3, states, “No religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.”
“The AHA, while taking no sides in the electoral process, is supportive of balanced civic participation,” said Speckardt, “and it is critical of any effort to disqualify candidates who happen to be humanists, freethinkers or simply wish to keep their religious affiliation a private matter.”