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NC: Teahadist Lawmakers Propose Bill to Institute a “State Religion”

rowan county offices

Rowan County Offices

As I’ve said countless times before, the 2010 election saw a tidal wave of Teabaggers roll into our General Assembly in NC, and with the first GOP supermajority since Reconstruction, they’ve been hard at work since day one rolling back progressive progress in the state. In response to an ACLU challenge to prayer before Rowan County Board of Commissioners public meetings (97% of them open with Christian prayers, no less!), two lawmakers would like NC to establish an official state religion. It’s called the “Rowan County Defense of Religion Act.”  (WRAL):

House Bill 494, filed by Republican Rowan County Reps. Harry Warren and Carl Ford, would refuse to acknowledge the force of any judicial ruling on prayer in North Carolina – or indeed on any Constitutional topic:

“The Constitution of the United States does not grant the federal government and does not grant the federal courts the power to determine what is or is not constitutional; therefore, by virtue of the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, the power to determine constitutionality and the proper interpretation and proper application of the Constitution is reserved to the states and to the people,” the bill states. “Each state in the union is sovereign and may independently determine how that state may make laws respecting an establishment of religion.”

The Tenth Amendment argument, also known as “nullification,” has been tried unsuccessfully by states for more than a century to defy everything from the Emancipation Proclamation of the Civil War to President Obama’s health care reforms to gun control.

Yes, they want to cite one constitutional amendment to nullify another. Brains…brains…brains…these GOP zombie Christianists  have to be removed. Eleven other GOP lawmakers have signed on to this trash.

BTW, since a similar lawsuit was brought against the Forsyth County Board of Commissioners, prayer at government meetings was not banned by the Fourth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals; the court ruled only that the prayers could not favor one faith or denomination over another.  Here is language from this current attempt at theocracy in NC:

SECTION 1. The North Carolina General Assembly asserts that the Constitution of the United States of America does not prohibit states or their subsidiaries from making laws respecting an establishment of religion.

SECTION 2. The North Carolina General Assembly does not recognize federal court rulings which prohibit and otherwise regulate the State of North Carolina, its public schools or any political subdivisions of the State from making laws respecting an establishment of religion.

What’s frustrating is that the demographics of the state are rapidly changing, and these dysfunctional Teabaggers and good old boys are on borrowed time. What we are seeing is the use of their current numbers — with the support of the Governor, Pat McCrory, to steamroll as much damaging, regressive, insane legislation through as they can (and in 2010, that also meant redrawing the districts in their favor) to hold onto power.

Photo by lumierefl released under Creative Commons License

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding