North Carolina bill for a state religion

Posted by AzBlueMeanie:

While the state of Arizona is one step away from sending a bill to Governor Jan Brewer making idolatrous gun worship the official state religion, the Christian Taliban in the state of North Carolina is pushing a bill to establish an official state religion in that state.

The Christian Reconstructionists and Dominionists reject the First Amendment prohibition against the establishment of a state religion and even judicial review to decide whether the state law is constitutional (because in a theocracy, no one can question "God's law"). The Christian Taliban has essentially checked out of reality. It's long past time for the media to stop being deferential to these radical extremists just because they couch their radical extremism in religious beliefs.

Steve Benen writes, Next stage in the culture war: official state religions:

[W]e've already seen Republican policymakers ban abortion rights, reject marriage equality, go after contraception access, target Planned Parenthood, and go after sex-ed.

What else is there? Wait, I know, how about an effort to empower state lawmakers to declare an official religion, shamelessly thumbing its nose at the Constitution?

A bill filed by Republican lawmakers would allow North Carolina to
declare an official religion, in violation of the Establishment Clause
of the U.S. Bill of Rights, and seeks to nullify any federal ruling
against Christian prayer by public bodies statewide. […]

House Bill 494, a resolution 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.

Got that? These North Carolina Republicans are arguing,
with a straight face, that U.S. courts can't decide what's
constitutional under the U.S. Constitution. They're also arguing that
the First Amendment doesn't apply to North Carolina, so they're free to
make their faith the official religion on their state.

It's the 21str century. I just thought I should mention that.

* * *

The hyper-radical philosophy behind proposals like these have an ugly pedigree.

Catawba College politics Professor Michael Bitzer told the Post it
reminded him of the ideology that many Southern states turned to after
the U.S. Supreme Court's Brown v. Board of Education decision mandating
public school integration.

"They basically want to ensure that a long line of U.S. Supreme Court
rulings have no validity either here in Rowan County or here in the
entire state," Bitzer said. "They're basing it on – to put it mildly –
discredited legal theory [nullification] that the states can deny the power of the
federal government within their jurisdiction."

Gary Freeze, a history and politics professor at Catawba College,
told the newspaper the bill verged on being "neo-secessionist."

Even by 2013 standards, this is scary stuff.

Yes it is, and these scary people are right here in Arizona. Sen. Chester Crandell, R-Heber, is the
Neo-Confederate dead-ender sponsoring the "nullification and
secession" ballot measure, SCR1016, which
would have voters decide in 2014 whether to declare that Arizona can
reject federal actions it deems unconstitutional and refrain from
dedicating resources to enforcing them. This measure passed the Senate
on March 4, and is awaiting action in the House.

UPDATE: North Carolina's House Speaker kills a bill that would create an official state religion.

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