Well, that didn't take long. Less than 48 hours after two Republican state representatives in North Carolina introduced a resolution that would have allowed the state to declare Christianity the official religion, the state house leadership effectively killed it--at least for now--by announcingit won't come up for a vote.
The resolution that would assert North Carolina and its counties have the right to declare an official religion won’t be voted on, the office of House Speaker Thom Tillis said Thursday. That means it’s essentially dead.This hits a nerve for me on several counts. Not only as a North Carolinian and a reality-based born-again Christian, but because the two morans who drafted it, state reps Carl Ford and Harry Warren, live in my metro area. Specifically, half an hour east of my home in Charlotte.
A pair of representatives from Rowan County drew national attention this week after filing a measure that says the state is not subject to the First Amendment prohibition on creating laws on an official religion.
Tillis may have spared the state a ton of embarrassment by deep-sixing this idiotic resolution. Not only does it declare that the First Amendment doesn't apply to the states, but it also declares that the power to determine constitutionality is a power reserved to the states under the Tenth Amendment. So by their "logic," the courts had no power to declare Jim Crow unconstitutional. Or to declare that defendants have the right to an attorney. Or to strike down state laws as unconstitutional. In other words, even allowing debate on this misbegotten resolution would have made this state look horrible.
The real irony? Also yesterday, the state house, in the name of going back to basics, passed a bill requiring elementary school kids to learn cursive writing. If North Carolina's lawmakers were so concerned about going back to basics, maybe they should require yearly civics courses as a graduation requirement.