North Carolina Bill Would Declare Official State Religion
A group of North Carolina legislators is pushing a bill that would assert that the state is free to declare an official state religion despite what the Constitution says:
Republican North Carolina state legislators have proposed allowing an official state religion in a measure that would declare the state exempt from the Constitution and court rulings.
The bill, filed Monday by two GOP lawmakers from Rowan County andbacked by nine other Republicans, says each state “is sovereign” and courts cannot block a state “from making laws respecting an establishment of religion.” The legislation was filed in response to a lawsuitto stop county commissioners in Rowan County from opening meetings with a Christian prayer, wral.com reported.
The religion bill comes as some Republican-led states seek to separate themselves from the federal government, primarily on the issues of guns and Obamacare. This includes a proposal in Mississippi to establish a state board with the power to nullify federal laws.
The North Carolina bill’s main sponsors, state Reps. Carl Ford (R-China Grove) and Harry Warren (R-Salisbury), could not be reached for comment on Tuesday, The Salisbury Post reported. Co-sponsors include House Majority Leader Edgar Starnes (R-Hickory). Another is state Rep. Larry Pittman (R-Concord), who in February introduced a state constitutional amendment that would allow for carrying concealed weapons to fight federal “tyranny.”
The bill says the First Amendment only applies to the federal government and does not stop state governments, local governments and school districts from adopting measures that defy the Constitution. The legislation also says that the Tenth Amendment, which says powers not reserved for the federal government belong to the states, prohibits court rulings that would seek to apply the First Amendment to state and local officials.
Now, it’s true that state legislators can, and often do, propose all kinds of crazy legislation that never sees the light of day in the state legislature, the fact that the House Majority Leader is one of the co-sponsors of the bill suggests that this may be a far more serious proposal than other “crazy” legislation.
As for the merits of the law itself, they are so utterly lacking that it’s hard to even know where to begin. Incorporation of the Bill of Rights via the 14th Amendment is a long-standing legal concept that the Supreme Court has never shown any inclination to reconsider it. North Carolina’s action, of course, would be a clear violation of the 1st Amendment’s Establishment Clause, which the Court found applicable to the states in Everson v. Board of Education, a case decided back in 1947. So,, basically, these 11 North Carolina Republicans are proposing something that is blatantly unconstitutional. I hope they’re proud of themselves.
Maybe we can make proposal by an elected official of a blatently unconstitutional law grounds for something? At least we taxpayers shouldn’t have to be paying their salaries during this sort of foolishness…
“I hope they’re broad of themselves.”
It looks narrow-minded to me. (removes punning hat).
How much do you want to bet that the sponsors of this bill are the same people who spend a lot of time wringing their hands about the creeping threat of Sharia law?
I doubt they have any interest in what this guy has said about this idea.
But remember, Republicans are the defenders of personal freedoms, and that’s why Doug votes for them.
These people are also blatantly un-American.
Hey, some of us were just lucky, and our parents taught us the One True Religion. Other people, who think their parents taught the OTR are just myopic fools!
I guess South Carolina’s threat to put Sanford back into power was making NC look too smart, or something? I got nothing. These people are idiots.
When some get so offended because the South as well as “flyover country” have the reputations they do, they would do well to remember incidents like this…
Maybe we should just make them foot the bill for the inevitable legal costs?
But in all of history Christians have never been a threat to anyone….. (that whole Inquisition thing was just a misunderstanding and the Crusades were just repeated attempts to retrieve a helmet somebody left behind and the Salem Witch trials were really about parking tickets and…)
Yeah, but he was from Virginia and all one has to do is look at Cuccinelli to know how nuts those guys are…. Wait a minute….
What do you expect from a bunch of neo-Confederates.
The lost cause is lost. Get over it already.
I’m pretty sure they are mighty proud of themselves.
I see no reason why they wouldn’t be proud of themselves. The current GOP base loves crap like this. They see no reason why Christianity shouldn’t take over government.
This is nothing but placating to that base. It will not stand in a court of law, anywhere. But, that just gives these politicians ammo against the government. Not only would the government be seen as immoral, but it also adds fuel to the fire that it is out to oppress Christianity.
Seems like a win/win for the GOP.
Just don’t try and pass universal healthcare, or raise taxes, cause that stuff is UN-American/Unconstitutional.
The great irony is that most, if not all of them, would describe themselves as “constitutional conservatives.”
So North Carolina noses out South Carolina, Texas, and Tennessee in the crazy sweepstakes ..
This is why the Democrats need to focus on winning back state governments.Also too , work at challenges to the 2010 gerrymandering changes that diluted the urban vote.
There may come a time when the Northerners and immigrants who are flocking to NC may just get tired of the yahoos running politics there, pull out their capital and skills and return to civilization.My hope is that they stay there and work for change.
I’m sure that there are libertarians in NC who defend their votes for Republicans there based on just such nonsense. I’m hoping this is a wake up call for them.
They want attention. When you think “Republican” just think, “Toddler.” It all makes more sense that way.
Correct me if I’m wrong but didn’t the south already try this whole nullify federal law thing in the 1860’s?
It’s apparently in response to some legislative prayer lawsuits that cropped up in the last few years. But here’s the fun part of all this. If we assume for the sake of argument that a state can, in fact, nullify SCOTUS rulings that it doesn’t like, we’re still left with this section of the North Carolina constitution:
Seems to me that establishing a religion would still be verboten in North Carolina, though local governments could still conceivably continue with legislative prayer, and the state would be free to deny rights to atheists. Speaking of which, there’s also this:
You can’t really fix stupid.
This a great opportunity for Obama to authorize drone strikes to protect North Carolinian Republicans from themselves, and at minimum loss of lives too – nine, right? This what drones were intended for.
By all means, let’s get all worked up about a non-binding resolution that was only introduced to show support for some local officials who are being sued by the ACLU.
But I’ve been assured, solemnly and sincerely, that Republicans believe in Constitutional literalism and that our Founding Fathers were divinely inspired and therefore we must do precisely what they would have done in the 18th century even though we’re now in the 21st.
Too bad King Henry VIII isn’t still around. I always thought he was a neat guy.
@Septimius: “By all means, let’s get all worked up about a non-binding resolution that was only introduced to show support for some local officials who are being sued by the ACLU. ”
To support some local officials who are breaking the law and violating the constitution and being sued for it by the ACLU.
Yes, let’s all support the courageous citizens. Because all real Americans love the constitution — they just hate what it actually says.
What? It’s a living constitution, isn’t it? You didn’t think it would behave and not start running with a bad crowd when you let it out, did you?
Besides, according Sen Feinstein, it is up to the Supreme Court to say what’s constitutional
In any case, they have to pass the law before we can know what is in the law…it’s the Democrat way.
Still they should have said they were going to adopt Environmentalism as the state religion, then substituted Christianity as the last minute, then they’d have full support of the NY Times. Well, up until they amended the bill at least.
Yeah, let’s make fun of some Republicans who make a non-binding resolution that probably resonates with a majority of the state’s population.
But pay no attention to the Democrat moron who worked for years to ban high capacity magazine but has no clue how they function:
Or responds to an older gentleman who asks what he is suppose to do not that she’s got her gun ban and she basically tells him to die.
Which is more humorous an empty gesture or a representative telling people that sorry we took your right to defend yourself but you’ll be dead anyway?
@JKB: You don’t seem to grasp the difference between “amending the constitution” and “passing a law that explicitly violates the constitution”. It’s important.
Also, are you suggesting Feinstein’s comment is incorrect? Or just throwing a random, unrelated slam into an otherwise poorly-informed comment?
Ah, I see the answer to my previous question – you’re just throwing random insults around to distract from the fact that your argument is completely trashed. Carry on.
So it’s come to this: Republican elected officials are amply rewarded by their base if they loudly shill for some clearly ludicrous proposal.
They are punished by their base if they come to a compromise that gives them 95% of what they want.
But that’s the problem; that blatant bigotry resonates with a majority of Americans in many places.
And that even people with whom it does not resonate, like Doug, will vote for politicians who make these bills anyway.
@JWH: Good find.
This quote is from JKB, whom I can no longer stomach to read.
Hey, JKB… 22 dead children would like to have a word with you….. not to mention a bunch of people in Tuscon AZ who only stopped a homicidal maniac when his clip ran out….
Repeat after me: There are 2 kinds of people who need 30 round clips…. Mass murderers, and really bad shots. Take your pick. Either way, I don’t want
themyou having one.
@JKB: “Yeah, let’s make fun of some Republicans who make a non-binding resolution that probably resonates with a majority of the state’s population.”
Sure, why not? Hey. let them pass a bill bringing back slavery — as long as it’s only a non-binding resolution, what’s the problem? Maybe we should congratulate them if they pass a bill recommending that all liberals be put in concentration camps. Hey, non-binding, it’s all in good fun!
Because no one actually elects law makers to make laws that follow the constitution. No, we all want assclowns who will spend their time on ludicrous bills that violate the very essence of the ideals this nation was founded on.
But hey, they’re non-binding! So let’s all thank them and then change the subject to how mean those meanie libs are to gun owners, who only want to be free to shoot prosecutors in Texas and Colorado like the constitution says they can!
So which category do you put law enforcement in? What about the Secret Service?
So, you’re calling for the assassination of 9 legislators by drone strike over religious beliefs? And you call *them* crazy?
It’s fascinating that national politicians get trashed for not doing anything of any substance and wasting time and money but when some fools in North Carolina do the same things, that gets a very different reaction from the previously outraged…states’ rights indeed…
If anyone wants to slow this down, just ask them which *brand* of Christianity is the State religion? Baptist? Presbyterian? Methodist?
OK, so let’s say they somehow agree on Baptist…but now which brand of Baptist? Freewill? Fundamentalist? Southern Baptist?
The discussion about which precepts are the true requirements will take all the debate time and no one will ever get to vote…
I’m actually *from* North Carolina, a small town outside Raleigh, and while it’s not as bad as this…there some real un-Christian talk amongst some family and friends of the family about other churches and their beliefs…nothing as bad as this at the 2:00 minute mark, but still…
@OzarkHillbilly: Really that shit again? About 21,000 children die a day and you don’t give a shit about it. Yet you want me to bend over backwards because of 22 dying? Hell more then 22 children died that same day in the USA from non gun related accidents involving stuff like pools and cars.
So just quit with the pretend outrage will you.
I read the other day that over a million people have been murdered with guns in this country since John Lennon was murdered with a gun.
No skin off your nose, eh matt?
@anjin-san: Of course over 10x that many died in preventable car crashes. People die and they die a lot every year from stuff that is easily preventable. Focusing on the small non easily preventable things seems silly to me..