Republican-Sponsored Legislation to Establish a State Religion in North Carolina Has Been Indefinitely Tabled

Just days after two North Carolina Republican legislators (Rep. Harry Warren and Rep. Carl Ford) filed a bill that would establish an “official religion” (thereby letting the Rowan County Board of Commissioners open their meetings with specifically-Christian prayers), the Speaker of the House’s office is reporting that the bill will thankfully not be voted on:

A resolution by two state lawmakers representing Rowan County that supported North Carolina declaring an official religion is dead and will not be voted on, according to House Speaker Thom Tillis’ office.

The resolution, which would back county commissioner’s use of sectarian prayer in meetings, is co-sponsored by nine other Republican Representatives from across the state.

“The bill sponsors fundamentally misunderstand constitutional law and the principles of the separation of powers that date back to the founding of this country,” ACLU-NC Legal Director Chris Brook told WBTV in response to the resolution.

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

Immediately after it became public knowledge what the Republicans were trying to do, there was an outcry from church/state separation-focused organizations.

The pressure to table the bill worked. Score one for the good guys.

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.