Separation Of Church And State

Prayer

Okay, so, awhile ago I mentioned that North Carolina is dangerously republican:

In the state house?  The republicans not only held serve but they extended their majority.  To the point that they hold a veto proof majority.  In fact, they are so in the majority that the republicans are able to submit constitutional amendments to popular vote without even one democrat agreeing.

Well, another piece of legislation has been proposed that will try to take advantage of this republican advantage:

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.

I can’t imagine that this bill will pass into law.  In fact, I have no idea what the point of the legislation is about.  North Carolina already has a requirement in our constitution that speaks to religion:

Sec. 8.  Disqualifications for office.

The following persons shall be disqualified for office:

First, any person who shall deny the being of Almighty God.

Serious, under the state constitution, if you deny the existence of God, you are disqualified from holding office.  And, as the article mentions, prayer at meetings is not rare; apparently we do it fairly often.

Again, not sure what the point of the bill is, but it certainly will be interesting to watch.

6 responses to “Separation Of Church And State

  1. The point of the bill is to test (1) the Federal Government’s ability to police church-state separation and (2) the extent of the Tenth Amendment. Also, the point is to chest thump about how godly they are.

    That section of the constitution is disgusting, but NC is not alone. I don’t see why you think the two things are related, though, they’re pretty distinct.

    • the Federal Government’s ability to police church-state separation

      I dunno. We pray here in Carolina all the time. I think you’re giving them too much credit. After all, the prayers are all, to my knowledge, Christian prayers.

      That section of the constitution is disgusting

      I think much of the original foundings have a lot in common with Masonry. And this is bedrock tenant of the craft; no man ca be made a mason unless he professes a belief in a Supreme Being. Our thinking is that without a creator, no man can enter into an oath that is truly binding.

      However, while I think that is a perfectly acceptable position in a private setting, I’m less sold that it is acceptable in the public space. My only reason to with hold complete support is that I firmly believe this nation was founded on the idea that the divine is an implicit assumption and integral in the formation of the nation.

      I don’t see why you think the two things are related, though, they’re pretty distinct.

      I think they are related because there is ZERO chance that Islam would be considered a religion of the State. And there is no doubt that the acceptance in the constitution of Almighty God is any other than the Christian God.

  2. While I’m sure that the vast majority of those god-fearing public officials are christians, I doubt they’d ever try to disqualify someone for being jewish or muslim. I did see a story, however, about an atheist city councilman who got through somehow (but there were purported legal challenges in the works). I doubt much happened there.

    The more significant aspect is that I think you really underestimate the particular hatred many religious people have for atheists. http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=in-atheists-we-distrust

    • I did see a story, however, about an atheist city councilman who got through somehow (but there were purported legal challenges in the works). I doubt much happened there.

      Crazy.

      The more significant aspect is that I think you really underestimate the particular hatred many religious people have for atheists.

      So, the hatred part probably comes into p lay due to the tie with rapists?

      But I don’t think it really is hatred. It’s more an undesirability. For example, I met, dated, fell in love with, married and then became parents with my wife. I like knowing that I’ll be in the same place after death. I couldn’t imagine having one of us saved the other damned.

      That’s why people don’t want atheists marrying their kids.

      For me, I don’t understand how someone can disregard the presence of the divine and not be moved in that spiritual manner that results in acknowledgement of something greater.

      And for others, as I mentioned above, to an atheist, there is nothing “greater” that can bind an oath; there is an element of trust.

  3. ” The more significant aspect is that I think you really underestimate the particular hatred many religious people have for atheists. ”

    Quite amusing . I can direct to websites run by Atheists who show nothing but deep hatred for all religions .

  4. Pingback: North Carolina: Church and State | Tarheel Red

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