Proposal would allow state religion in North Carolina

mr. sin

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#1
http://www.wral.com/proposal-would-allow-state-religion-in-north-carolina/12296876/


A bill filed by Republican lawmakers would allow the state to declare an official religion, in violation of the Establishment Clause of the US Bill of Rights, and seeks to nullify any federal ruling against Christian prayer by public bodies in North Carolina.
The bill grew out of a federal lawsuit filed last month by the ACLU against the Rowan County Board of Commissioners. In the lawsuit, the ACLU says the board has opened 97% of its meetings since 2007 with explicitly Christian prayers.
Overtly Christian prayers at government meetings are not rare in North Carolina. Since the Republican takeover in 2011, the state Senate chaplain has offered a explicitly Christian invocation virtually every day of session, despite the fact that some senators are not Christian.
In a 2011 ruling on a similar lawsuit against the Forsyth County Board of Commissioners, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals did not ban prayer at government meetings outright, but said prayers favoring one religion over another are unconstitutional.
"To plant sectarian prayers at the heart of local government is a prescription for religious discord. ...where prayer in public fora is concerned, the deep beliefs of the speaker afford only more reason to respect the profound convictions of the listener. Free religious exercise posits broad religious tolerance."
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:
"Whereas, 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; and
"Whereas, 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.

The bill goes on to say:
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.
Eleven House Republicans have signed on to sponsor the resolution, including Majority Leader Edgar Starnes, R-Caldwell, and Budget Chair Justin Burr, R-Stanly.
 

OptimisticPest

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#2
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
Yeah, yeah it kinda does.
 

Lord Zero

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#3
Fuck North Carolina. I hope their god destroys it.

Again, anyone want to take a guess as to why the Republican Party is dying?
 

whiskeyguy

PR representative for Drunk Whiskeyguy.
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#5
Again, anyone want to take a guess as to why the Republican Party is dying?
Hopefully the current GOP does die with the old people who support this nonsense.

I have no issue with religion being practiced in public. If students want to organize a prayer circle on campus at lunch I don't really care. However, the government should not be supporting one religion or another, and taxpayer money should not be funneled towards religion.
 

Don the Radio Guy

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#7
Reading the story helps. It's not establishing a state religion. It's allowing prayer in government meetings and other public forums. It would allow the establishment of a religion, but it doesn't do that. Nor is anyone proposing that.

It's just a statement against the incorporation doctrine. Which will not be passed into law.

Watch as this fact is soundly ignored.
 

Lord Zero

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#8
I have no issue with religion being practiced in public.
Obviously, there's a difference between public practice and official practice. The latter is quite illegal and rightfully so.

One thing that pisses me off is how religious right republicans act like they're fighting for God when they're only fighting for their god. They don't just want a religious government; they want a Christian government specifically. It's not enough for the government to promote religion, they want it to pick a side too.
 
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OptimisticPest

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#9
Reading the story helps. It's not establishing a state religion. It's allowing prayer in government meetings and other public forums.

Watch as this fact is soundly ignored.
No, that's true. Honestly, I kinda skimmed the rest of the article. That bit caught my eye. I was taking issue more with the very poor wording than the actual content of the bill.
 

Lord Zero

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#10
It's allowing prayer in government meetings and other public forums.
Pray on your own time and dime.
It would allow the establishment of a religion, but it doesn't do that.
It doesn't matter if it seeks to actually establish a religion or not. If it even just allows such a thing, it's unconstitutional. The First Amendment is extremely clear on the matter.

And since when do you trust government not to exploit a loophole?
 

Don the Radio Guy

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#11
No, that's true. Honestly, I kinda skimmed the rest of the article. That bit caught my eye. I was taking issue more with the very poor wording than the actual content of the bill.
It is just an attention getter. No chance of being passed, so they don't bother running the wording past whomever checks these things out.

People are sick of hearing about lawsuits because someone prayed at a high school football game. This kind of backlash is to be expected.
 

Lord Zero

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#12
It is just an attention getter. No chance of being passed, so they don't bother running the wording past whomever checks these things out.

People are sick of hearing about lawsuits because someone prayed at a high school football game. This kind of backlash is to be expected.
The Don Pass has been granted. This bit of government waste is hereby excused.
 

whiskeyguy

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#13
This is an issue with one of the towns in my area... some people wanted the City Council to open with a prayer. I think that's ridiculous myself. Pray outside on the steps, but government officials should not be leading a prayer during an official event.

You know what, I might not be against an optional prayer 30 minutes before the meeting or whatever, but that I'd have to think about more. Once a government employee is acting in their official capacity though, it shouldn't be happening.
 

Don the Radio Guy

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#14
The First Amendment is extremely clear on the matter.
No. It isn't. States had official religions well after the Constitution was ratified. They gave up the practice on their own, but it was legal until the Supreme Court invented incorporation in the 1920s.
 

Lord Zero

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#15
No. It isn't. States had official religions well after the Constitution was ratified.
That fact says less about the Constitution than it does about the States' contempt for following the parts they disagreed with.
 

Wrecktum

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#16
One of the main reasons I can't go 100 percent behind the right. If they could drop the jesusy bullshit.
 

Don the Radio Guy

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#17
That fact says less about the Constitution than it does about the States' contempt for following the parts they disagreed with.
You're a stubborn fuck. Coming from me, that's saying a lot.

Once again. The Bill of Rights only applied to federal government until incorporation was invented.
 

LineBackerU

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#18
Lets make a deal. North Carolina gets to ignore the Establishment Clause of the United States Constitution and the 49 other states don't have to have a single penny of theirs go towards any roads in North Carolina or any Federal Disaster Relief.
 

LineBackerU

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#19
One thing that pisses me off is how religious right republicans act like they're fighting for God when they're only fighting for their god. They don't just want a religious government; they want a Christian government specifically. It's not enough for the government to promote religion, they want it to pick a side too.

Those would be the Evangelical Statists. Claim to be for small government but want Big Brother to force their personal religious views onto everybody else.
 

BIV

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Apr 22, 2002
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#21
Lots of missing the point here. To be expected,I guess.
No, we're not. You are just refusing to see the bigger issue. When acting in an official capacity, the word God should never escape a government official's lips.
 

Lord Zero

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#22
The Bill of Rights only applied to federal government until incorporation was invented.
According to that interpretation, it's not unconstitutional for the States to censor speech, ban private gun ownership, and search and seize property without a warrant.