North Carolina Republican Equates Praying to Allah with Terrorism

North Carolina is back in the news for more religion-related idiocy.

You might remember how the Rowan County Board of Commissioners have pretty much had only Christians delivering their invocations at meetings for a long time — specifically, “97% of Board meetings in the past five-and-a-half years have featured sectarian prayer,” according to a lawsuit filed by the ACLU.

Then, a week ago, Republican lawmakers filed a bill (since tabled) that would allow them to establish a state religion.

Rep. Michele Presnell was one of the co-sponsors of that bill.

Rep. Michele Presnell

Recently she wrote a letter to her constituents explaining why she supported this awful legislation:

“The famed ACLU is telling Rowan County they may not pray before commissioners meetings… We pray in Raleigh before our legislative meetings, U.S. Congress prays in Washington DC, why can they not pray?”

Actually, the ACLU has no problem with the Commissioners praying before their meeting… privately. But once Christian prayer becomes a part of the meeting, it’s not ok. Not to mention this sort of bill would never have been considered if the prayers were anything but Christian.

That’s what her constituent Britt Kaufmann thought and he said as much in an email back to her:

“Yes, I do understand that the ACLU is suing Rowan County and I think they have clearly articulated why they are not comfortable with prayer before the commissioners meetings. I wanted you, as my representative, to know that I do not think the proposed bill is a good solution to that problem… Would you be comfortable with a public prayer to Allah before a legislative meeting in Raleigh?

You know how Christians always answer this: Of course that wouldn’t be okay. This is a *Christian* nation. Blah blah blah.

I guess Presnell never got the memo.

Presnell responded: “No, I do not condone terrorism.”

Just let that sink in for a moment.

Not just that she think Muslims are automatically terrorists… but that she also had the audacity to document that ignorance in an email.

(And hats off to Kaufmann who had the good sense to pass that along to the media.)

According to The News & Observer, “She did not return a call for comment Monday about the string of emails…”

Finally, she did the right thing.

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.