More than 40 years ago, Roy Torcaso was appointed a notary public in Maryland. When it came time for the swearing in, Torcaso refused to take the oath because it contained a reference to God. Torcaso, an atheist, said that would violate his freedom of conscience.
Maryland officials decided to go to the mat. They pointed to a provision in the Maryland Constitution that says public office is open to anyone willing to make a "declaration of belief in the existence of God." Read more