Republicans in North Carolina File Legislation To Establish a State Religion

In North Carolina, Rep. Harry Warren and Rep. Carl Ford, both Republicans who represent Rowan County, filed a bill on April 1st that’s no joke.

Warren and Ford

In short: It says the state should be allowed to declare an official religion, Constitution be damned. (And I wonder what that religion would be…)

This is revenge legislation. Rowan County is the place where the Board of Commissioners has recited Christian prayers at meetings for years… and the ACLU is finally trying to put a stop to it. Now, Warren and Ford are trying to stick it to the ACLU.

The bill is H.J.R. 494 (PDF):

In English, that basically says neither the Constitution nor the courts can stop the state from establishing a religion if it wants to because states have rights according to the Tenth Amendment!

Which is a valid point… if you’re an eighth grader about to fail your Constitution test.

Laura Leslie at WRAL points out that this trick has been tried before to no avail:

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.

This bill won’t pass. If it does, the courts will take it down. But it’s still a waste of time and money for the state’s taxpayers thanks to two irresponsible Republicans and their nine Republican co-sponsors.

But that doesn’t mean citizens can’t complain about the bill to their representatives. Tell them to do everything in their power to make sure this bill never sees the light of day.

It’s bad legislation — bad for the country, bad for the state, and even bad for Christianity. This is all about the Christian majority forcing their will on the non-Christian minority. The Constitution is supposed to prevent that from happening, but Warren and Ford don’t give a damn about that. There’s only one piece of writing they care about, and it’s not the one they were elected to defend. Voters should remember that when the next elections come around.

(Thanks to Gordon for the link!)

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.