North Carolina Legislation Would Allow Establishment Of State Religion

644630Republican North Carolina state legislators have proposed a bill that would allow the state to establish a state religion and further declares the state exempt from the Constitution and court rulings. What is astonishing is that eleven GOP members are pushing the law, which rejects not just the core principles of our country but would move the state closer to the model of government currently ripping Egypt and other nations apart in mixing religion and government. The main sponsors, state Reps. Carl Ford (R-China Grove) and Harry Warren (R-Salisbury), seem to have little more judgment than they do knowledge of our Constitutional system. Obviously, the law is facially unconstitutional but it is the contempt for our separation of church and state that is truly unnerving in these members.

The sponsors insist that as a sovereign state, North Carolina cannot be barred from establishing an official religion. The bill reads as follows:

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.

This is part of a belief that the First Amendment only applies to the federal government. Under this theory, the rights of free speech, free press, assembly, and religion can be denied by states. Notably, North Carolina’s Constitution still prohibits people who do not believe in God from taking public office.

Ford attended a Community College in 1978 and has a high school degree. He is described as “Broadcaster, owns two Gospel music stations.” He stated his priority is “Anything having to do with pro-life” followed by transportation. He also stressed that “I just read we moved up in the rankings and I know the per pupil spending is pretty high.” So he wants to cut back on public education, which may be a good reason for a state religion to start praying for the future of the state in a competitive global market.

Warren has a degree from Kent State University, 1972. Warren worked as a Human Resources Specialist for Tar Heel Capital Corp., one of the largest Wendy’s restaurant franchises.

Source: WRAL

63 thoughts on “North Carolina Legislation Would Allow Establishment Of State Religion

  1. Aside for the issues of legality, aside from these legislators demonstrating they they don’t understand the basis of our country, this legislation is plain stupid.

    This is going to motivate the opposition (from all parts of the political spectrum) to fight republicans.

    Are there no more pressing issues in North Carolina (as an example, unemployment)?

  2. If these goonie birds want to do some real good for their constituents, they’d forget about a state religion and push for a state bank.

  3. North Carolina has a new republican governor that has shifted toward the tea party. I wonder if he supports these fellow tea party republicans in their latest unconstitutional effort. It looked like North Carolina might turn blue in 2008 but now it appears to be going the way of the rest of the southern red states.

  4. Is it me or have a great many legislators throughout this country, recently lost their minds and common sense and have become detached from the law and reality?

  5. There is a good-faith argument that the Establishment clause was not intended to apply to the states, and was in fact designed in part to protect municipal establishments of religion popular in New England at the time. Note the curiousness of the word choice “respecting an establishment of” as opposed to “establishing a.” The legislative history is quite unclear. In any event, Stare Decisis certainly governs, but the interpretation is not “facially” implausible by any means from a standpoint of first principles.

  6. One more group of idiot politicians fiddling while Rome burns. Wouldn’t it be grand if they’d spend their time on writing legislation that would actually have a positive impact on their constituents and their state economy?

  7. So at what point do they decide which denomination is to be the one of the state? When do folks have to go in the dark of night to practice their own Faith(s) that is not the state’s mandated religion?
    More ridiculousness (that word is so inadequate) from these republican zealots who cannot for sure see the speck in their eye.

  8. Fallacy of equivocation.

    A good faith argument isn’t necessarily a logical argument and the legislative history is quite clear and the intent of the Founders is found in the words of Madison himself:

    “Congress should not establish a religion and enforce the legal observation of it by law, nor compel men to worship God in any manner contary to their conscience, or that one sect might obtain a pre-eminence, or two combined together, and establish a religion to which they would compel others to conform”. – Annals of Congress, Sat Aug 15th, 1789, pages 730 – 731.

    “The experience of the United States is a happy disproof of the error so long rooted in the unenlightened minds of well-meaning Christians, as well as in the corrupt hearts of persecuting usurpers, that without a legal incorporation of religious and civil polity, neither could be supported. A mutual independence is found most friendly to practical Religion, to social harmony, and to political prosperity.” – Letter to F.L. Schaeffer, dated Dec. 3, 1821.

    “Notwithstanding the general progress made within the two last centuries in favour of this branch of liberty, and the full establishment of it in some parts of our country, there remains in others a strong bias towards the old error, that without some sort of alliance or coalition between Government and Religion neither can be duly supported. Such, indeed, is the tendency to such a coalition, and such its corrupting influence on both the parties, that the danger cannot be too carefully guarded against. And in a Government of opinion like ours, the only effectual guard must be found in the soundness and stability of the general opinion on the subject. Every new and successful example, therefore, of a perfect separation between the ecclesiastical and civil matters, is of importance; and I have no doubt that every new example will succeed, as every past one has done, in showing that religion and Government will both exist in greater purity the less they are mixed together. It was the belief of all sects at one time that the establishment of Religion by law was right and necessary; that the true religion ought to be established in exclusion of every other; and that the only question to be decided was, which was the true religion. The example of Holland proved that a toleration of sects dissenting from the established sect was safe, and even useful. The example of the colonies, now States, which rejected religious establishments altogether, proved that all sects might be safely and even advantageously put on a footing of equal and entire freedom; and a continuance of their example since the Declaration of Independence has shown that its success in Colonies was not to be ascribed to their connection with the parent country. if a further confirmation of the truth could be wanted, it is to be found in the examples furnished by the States which had abolished their religious establishments. I cannot speak particularly of any of the cases excepting that of Virginia, where it is impossible to deny that religion prevails with more zeal and a more exemplary priesthood than it ever did when established and patronized by public authority. We are teaching the world the great truth, that Governments do better without kings and nobles than with them. The merit will be doubled by the other lesson: the Religion flourishes in greater purity without, than with the aid of Government.” – Letter to Edward Livingston, dated July 10, 1822.

    “Veto Message, Feb 21, 1811 By James Madison, to the House of Representatives of the United States: Having examined and considered the bill entitled “An Act incorporating the Protestant Episcopal Church in the town of Alexander, in the District of Columbia,” I now return the bill to the House of Representatives, in which it originated, with the following objections:

    Because the bill exceeds the rightful authority to which governments are limited by the essential distinction between civil and religious functions, and violates in particular the article of the Constitution of the United States which declares ‘Congress shall make no law respecting a religious establishment.’

    The bill enacts into and establishes by law sundry rules and proceedings relative purely to the organization and policy of the church incorporated, and comprehending even the election and removal of the minister of the same, so that no change could be made therein by the particular society or by the general church of which it is a member, and whose authority it recognizes. This particular church, therefore, would so far be a religious establishment by law, a legal force and sanction being given to certain articles in its constitution and administration. Nor can it be considered that the articles thus established are to be taken as the descriptive criteria only of the corporate identity of the society, inasmuch as this identity must depend on other characteristics, as the regulations established are in general unessential and alterable according to the principles and canons by which churches of the denomination govern themselves, and as the injunctions and prohibitions contained in the regulations would be enforced by the penal consequences applicable to the violation of them according to the local law.

    Because the bill vests in the said incorporated church an authority to provide for the support of the poor and the education of poor children of the same, an authority which, being altogether superfluous if the provision is to be the result of pious charity, would be a precedent for giving to religious societies as such a legal agency in carrying into effect a public and civil duty.”

    There is nothing unclear about the existence and the purpose of the Separation of Church and State Doctrine.

  9. So states can ban the Second Amendment also? Most states would ban guns today using this legal rationale. If you can ban the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment then you can certainly ban any other amendments (women’s voting rights, African-American rights, etc.).

  10. More Southern, undereducated Republican theocrats! Now that’s a Big Tent strategy if ever I saw one. Barely a third of all Americans want Christianity enshrined as our national religion — about the same amount who believe in BigFoot and who deny the moon landing. We’d best realize straight up that one third of the population is batcrap crazy.

  11. If this does not undermine the constitution and and the lawfully elected government then what does?

    Where is the House Committee on Un-American Activities now that we really need them?

  12. You mean to tell me that man has been on the moon…. I once saw a cow jump over it…. I swore once I saw a pig fly…. Or was that a fly on a pig…. I get confused….and if you’ve ever seen big foot you’d know it too….

  13. Article VI (Section 3) states: “…members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial officers, both of the United States and of the several states, shall be bound by oath or affirmation, to support this [federal] Constitution; but no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.”

    Following the Civil War, confederate officers/soldiers could have been executed but as a gesture of amnesty and unity were instead required to swear (or affirm) allegience to the United States Constitution in order to serve in government and avoid severe punishment.

    During the Jim Crow era laws in some southern states were passed to subvert the U.S. Constitution (lunch counters, riding at the back of the bus, etc.) which prompted the federal government to step in resulting in the Civil Rights Act, Voting Act, etc.

  14. If if you’re a states rights-type of person, the bigger problem is that the NC state constitution bans the establishment of a religion

  15. Why do the legislators, particularly the ones of the Republican persuasion, hate America? Isn’t always the ones who wrap themselves in the Flag and the Constitution that are the first to throw both out the window when it is convenient?

    If they do establish a state religion which form of corporatism will it take? To which Jesus will it pray, the almighty entrepreneur ?

    Who said there is a NEW SOUTH? New South looks a lot like the old south but with money.

  16. Didn’t we fight some war or something over this sort of thing…..
    oh, right; The Civil War!! I do, however, like the comment about whether
    other states could simply ignore the Second Amendment; however I live in
    Georgia, and it will never happen.

  17. Re: BobN

    Tenth Amendment rights only apply if they don’t violate other rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution. The preceding Ninth Amendment states: “The enumeration [naming or listing] in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.”

    So during the Jim Crow era, some southern states couldn’t use the Tenth Amendment to subvert the Fourteenth Amendment or any other constitutional rights (African-Americans, minorities, etc).

    Today it creates a very interesting Tenth Amendment case on “marijuana legalization” by the state governments and since this issue doesn’t involve other constitutional infringements it seems that state jurisdiction would supersede federal jurisdiction. If the activity remains in the state does the federal government have any jurisdiction at all?

  18. As I grow older I become more and more alarmed at the intelligence and mental condition of many politicians.

  19. Don’t these people swear an oath to uphold the Constitution of the United States? If they do, and then they put forth garbage like this, they should be thrown out of office.

  20. It’s amazing to me that these people never stop to think “what if the religion established could be one other than mine?”

  21. You are right Gyges. What do you think they would do if we told them that the established religion was going to be Muslim?

  22. Imagine if a Protestant parent were transferred to Salt Lake City or Detroit (city with a large Muslim population) by his employer and their children were forced to learn about Mormonism or Islam (but not their interpretation of Christianity) in those local schools? The parent at home teaching his children his religion and a teacher at school teaching his child something else that contradicted the parents.

  23. “The ‘establishment of religion’ clause of the First Amendment means at least this: Neither a state nor the Federal Government can set up a church. Neither can pass laws which aid one religion, aid all religions or prefer one religion over another. Neither can force nor influence a person to go to or to remain away from church against his will or force him to profess a belief or disbelief in any religion. No person can be punished for entertaining or professing religious beliefs or disbeliefs, for church attendance or non-attendance. No tax in any amount, large or small, can be levied to support any religious activities or institutions, whatever they may be called, or whatever form they may adopt to teach or practice religion. Neither a state nor the Federal Government can, openly or secretly, participate in the affairs of any religious organizations or groups and vice versa. In the words of Jefferson, the clause against establishment of religion by law was intended to erect ‘a wall of separation between Church and State.'”

    Justice Black, Everson v. Board of Education, 330 U.S. 1, 15-16 (1947)

  24. If they would just enact the Faith of the Dog we would be in fat city. Four legs good, two legs baaaaad. Dog biscuits on every corner, a pope that says nope, a star in the eyes of the beholder, a state without leash laws, …. Oh, I could go on. RepubliCon, you say? Can I vote early and often? North Dakota you say? Is that above South Carolina and Lindseed Graham, Billy’s brother?

  25. Let’s not forget that the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment was originally created to protect Christians from being persecuted by other Christians with a different interpretation (Church of England). In the 18th Century, England was using religion as a repressive tool of government – to punish perceived enemies or rivals to King George III – having nothing to do with the actual doctrine of religion.

    Using today’s demographic predictions, Protestants won’t be the majority religious group in the very near future – so the same group that hates the Establishment Clause today may need it for their own protection one day.

  26. “The very beasts associate the ideas of things that are like each other or that have been found together in their experience; and they could hardly survive for a day if they ceased to do so. But who attributes to the animals a belief that the phenomena of nature are worked by a multitude of invisible animals or by one enormous and prodigiously strong animal behind the scenes? It is probably no injustice to the brutes to assume that the honor of devising a theory of this latter sort must be reserved for human reason.” — Sir James George Frazer, The Golden Bough: a study in Magic and Religion

    Which leads to thoughts in verse concerning::

    Dog’s Plan

    Dog shared Its plan with George last night
    Which gave him such an awful fright
    He stayed awake till dawn’s first light
    Too scared to run and hide

    Dog’s Plan concerned our land’s defense
    And naked, fierce belligerence
    And dreadful leaders proud and dense
    Who waltzed while others died

    He’d often heard barks just as dumb
    But this one left George cold and numb
    For by the sucking of his thumb
    He knew that Dog had lied

    For Dog had nothing planned at all
    It merely longed to see men crawl
    And women moan and babies bawl
    And peoples petrified

    The Book of Dog contained no clue
    That what appeared as Doggie-doo
    Would sicken not just me and you
    But others, too, beside

    Sometimes George thought he understood:
    Dog wanted him to do some good
    By bombing nature’s neighborhood
    With Power’s pesticide

    But George had garbled up the rhyme
    Which led him then to pantomime
    An offer of Medieval Time
    To those he’d terrified

    He claimed he lived to do Dog’s work
    Yet only seemed to play the jerk
    With curling lip and cynic’s smirk
    Upon his mouth so wide

    His reckless swagger left appalled
    A world aghast at one enthralled
    By perquisites and servants called
    And makeup reapplied

    But mom and Dog had always seen
    That newsmen wore their glasses green
    In Emerald City’s vapid sheen
    And they, of course, complied

    So few observed or told of ills
    As boy George, green around the gills,
    Downed fantasies like poison pills
    Which left whole countries fried

    But Dog said not to sweat the small
    That sycophants would dance on call
    At his inauguration ball
    And have him glorified

    Upon the stage he struts and frets
    A player poor without regrets
    As good as little ever gets
    Absorbed in pompous pride

    His monologue no rhyme consults
    His thought the human mind insults:
    A sound and fury that results
    In nothing signified

    His hour upon the stage unfilled
    The audience leaves hardly thrilled
    At having bought bad tickets billed
    As drama unsupplied

    Reviewers chose to see his clothes
    Where he wore none, which only shows
    How power blinds and money glows
    In circles rarefied

    He chose to write his own critique
    Which papers printed: cowed and meek
    Too scared and bought to try and seek
    The truth unsanctified

    He thought himself both shrewd and deft
    Yet brain-wise he had little heft
    His flighty visions only left
    Our nation vilified

    But, anyway, the plagues will come
    They need no fife or beating drum
    To herald where they’re to or from
    This, Dog has certified

    So George was left alone to weep
    Betrayed by Dog, in doo-doo deep,
    As shadows cruel began to creep
    Up on him as he sighed

    Michael Murry, “The Misfortune Teller,” Copyright © 2005

  27. Put a turban on their heads and their words would be considered religious extremism, Taliban style. What’s next in NC? Biblical law? Seven Laws of Noah? The more I hear and see from these Christian nut jobs, the more they appear to act like those they detest most – non Christians…..

  28. North Carolina is one of the only states (left) where a spouse can sue the other spouse’s lover for the harm done by that lover. It must be so wonderful to live in a place with such very nice, God fearing and morally righteous Christians. I wonder how Jewish people there (are there any?) feel about this; I can imagine what any Muslims feel about it just fine. Upon my return from Afghanistan a few years ago I thought I’d left behind the worse of religious hypocrisy and malfeasance but boy, was I wrong! I’m about to develop a persecution phobia just reading about these kind of Christian conservatives in the article. I think I may need to rethink the power of praying…

  29. Gene, your selective quotation from the individual writings of Madison (the most ardent separationist of the founding fathers) does not address the fact that several changes in the wording of the drafts of the Establishment Clause are completely without explanation. The legislative history is indeed quite unclear, which is certainly historically and culturally interesting. Quoting the most famous Revolutionary-era separationist hardly resolves this matter.

  30. Then prove your case, Josh. As for the “unexplained revisions”? That’s what is known as irrelevant because the wording I’m relying on is what was ratified. I can give you more Madison . . .

    “If the Church of England had the established and general religion in all the northern colonies as it has been among us here, and uninterrupted tranquility had prevailed throughout the continent, it is clear to me that slavery and subjugation might and would have been gradually insinuated among us. Union of religious sentiments begets a surprising confidence, and ecclesiastical establishments tend to great ignorance and corruption; all of which facilitates the execution of mischievous projects.” – Letter to William Bradford, 1774.

    Some Franklin . . .

    “When a religion is good, I conceive it will support itself; and when it does not support itself, and God does not take care to support it so that its professors are obliged to call for help of the civil power, ‘tis a sign, I apprehend, of its being a bad one.” – Benjamin Franklin, in a letter to Richard Price. dated October 9, 1790.

    Some Paine . . .

    “Persecution is not an original feature in any religion; but it is always the strongly marked feature of all religions established by law.” – Thomas Paine, The Age Of Reason

    Some Jefferson . . . and, well, you get the idea. I can provide cites from a wide variety of the Founders all expressing the same sentiment all day. Namely that they thought the separation of church and state was not only a good idea, but of critical importance. Madison himself considered the issue paramount. There is good reason it is the 1st Amendment, not the 1st Suggestion.

    Also consider another very specific provision in the Constitution that indicates the validity and clear nature of the Separation of Church and State:

    “The senators and representatives before mentioned, and the members of the several state legislatures, and all executive and judicial officers, both of the United States and of the several states, shall be bound by oath or affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.” Article VI, Section 3, The Constitution of the United States.

    These “selective quotations” are what as known as cites to proof. In this instance, proof of what the Founders intended by the actually rather clear and unambiguous language of the 1st Amendment as ratified.

    When you get some, instead of your as yet unfounded and apparently legally and factually ignorant opinion, get back to me. Unless the facts have your tongue. There is nothing unclear here. Even your attempt to revise history is clear as crystal.

    There is no debate about the Doctrine of Separation of Church and State among serious legal scholars. It’s a well settled and thoroughly discussed issue. But if you’d like to present your proof to the contrary?

    Be my guest.

  31. Seamus

    you can still have such warm feelings about China Girl.

    (and who could blame you. Asian women are lovely)

  32. If the government imposes religion on it’s citizens, are the citizens really expressing the free will of God? If one has true religious faith, they don’t need the government to force them to do it – they do it freely. If the government forces it onto it’s citizens it’s not genuine worship. Only when religion is used as a weapon and to exercise control over others does the government need to impose religion on it’s citizens – that is the case here in North Carolina – the church is assuming the role of the government itself.

  33. One can only conclude the current elected officials are unfit to serve out their terms.

    The North Carolina Constitution:

    Sec. 13. Religious liberty.

    All persons have a natural and inalienable right to worship Almighty God according to the dictates of their own consciences, and no human authority shall, in any case whatever, control or interfere with the rights of conscience.

  34. I just cited an entire textbook, Gene. There are over 120 pages of historical material included therein. I’ll wait for you to get back with your thoughts on those materials.

  35. “… several changes in the wording of the drafts of the Establishment Clause are completely without explanation.” — Josh

    “It is no explanation at all of a fact to pronounce it inexplicable.” — Charles Sanders Peirce

    Aside from the dialectical invalidity of arguing from ignorance — i.e., “we don’t know that Saddam Hussein has WMD or ties to Al-Qaeda, therefore let us conclude that he has” — the word “draft” means that a written composition has not reached a level of intellectual or literary competence that would justify its publication. So who would bother to explain sloppy or ineffectually written drafts when calling attention to such deficiencies would only bring embarrassment and discredit upon anyone who had seriously considered such rubbish in the first place?

  36. “The excesses of fundamentalism … are American and Israeli, as well as the all-too-obvious depredations of radical Islam. The rapture, end-times, and Armageddon hucksters in the United States rank with any Shiite ayatollahs, and the last two presidential elections mark the transformation of the GOP into the first religious party in U.S. history.” — Kevin Phillips, American Theocracy: the Peril and Politics of Radical Religion, Oil, and Borrowed Money in the 21st Century (2006)

    The Republican Party does not want any separation of Church and State because the Republican Party thinks it can win national and state elections by unifying the Church (one they approve) and State — much as Emperor Constantine did nearly seventeen centuries ago — thereby placing the State’s monopoly of violence and above-the-law impunity of corporate elites at the service of those who proclaim their religion and political party the only true and acceptable one.

    So much for the United States of America as a “developed” and/or “advanced” nation. Radical Political Religion has gotten loose in America — again — which recrudescent reactionary recidivism leads me to discourse in verse upon:

    Boobie Theology
    (from Fernando Po, U.S.A., America’s post-linguistic retreat to Plato’s Cave)

    The concept of the single gawd
    Leaves little more to mock.
    Yet charlatans consider it
    Their tawdry trade and stock.
    No worse idea ever crawled
    From underneath a rock

    Michael Murry, “The Misfortune Teller,” copyright 2011

  37. “North Carolina House Speaker Kills Bill To Create State Religion”

    The Huffington Post | By John Celock Posted: 04/04/2013 4:12 pm EDT | Updated: 04/04/2013 4:33 pm EDT

    “The Republican speaker of the North Carolina House of Representatives killed legislation on Thursday that aimed to establish an official state religion.

    House Speaker Thom Tillis (R-Charlotte) announced Thursday afternoon that the bill would not be receiving a vote in the full House, effectively dropping the measure. Loretta Boniti, a reporter for News 14 Carolina, broke the news on Twitter, and it was confirmed in a breaking news alert posted on the home page of, a Raleigh-based television station. Tillis’ decision followed several days of national media attention on the bill, which also said that the state government did not have to listen to federal court rulings and was exempt from the requirements of the First Amendment.

    The bill, which was drafted by state Reps. Carl Ford (R-China Grove) and Harry Warren (R-Salisbury), was intended to address an issue in Rowan County, where the ACLU has filed a lawsuit against the county commission in an attempt to block commissioners from having a Christian prayer at the beginning of meetings.

    The North Carolina measure responds to the ACLU suit by declaring that each state is “sovereign” and no federal court can prevent a state from “from making laws respecting an establishment of religion.” Though Warren, one of the bill’s authors, told HuffPost Live that the measure was not seeking to create a state religion, the drafted legislation would clearly allow for such an action.” …article continues.

  38. ap,

    Thanks for the chuckle and the update.

    “We didn’t intend for the T-rex to kill a bunch of people, we just wanted to bring it to San Diego.”

    Sure you did Warren. Sure you did.

  39. It seems a link to Amazon will get a comment deleted on this blog. In any event, the casebook I linked to is “Religion and the Constitution” by McConnell (though I somehow doubt anyone will bother).

  40. Josh,

    That’s not making your case. That’s referencing a book you probably don’t understand in the proper context. Do you know the evolution of the 1st Amendment before it was enacted on September, 25, 1789? I can give you several draft versions of it as it relates to religion and none of them back your case that the legislative history was “unsettled”.

    “The Civil Rights of none shall be abridged on account of religious belief or worship, nor shall any national religion be established, nor shall the full and equal rights of conscience be in any manner, nor on any pretext infringed. No state shall violate the equal rights of conscience or the freedom of the press, or the trial by jury in criminal cases.” Proposed by James Madison, June, 7, 1789.

    “No religion shall be established by law, nor shall the equal rights of conscience be infringed,” Proposed in the House Select Committee, July 28, 1789.

    “Congress shall make no laws touching religion, or infringing the rights of conscience.” Proposed by Samuel Livermore, August 15, 1789.

    “Congress shall make no law establishing religion, or to prevent the free exercise thereof, or to infringe the rights of conscience.” Proposed by Fisher Ames in the House, August 20, 1789.

    “Congress shall make no law establishing religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” Initial Senate proposal, September 3, 1789.

    “Congress shall make no law establishing articles of faith or a mode of worship, or prohibiting the free exercise of religion.” Final Senate proposal, September 9, 1789.

    The final wording of the 1st Amendment was ratified by the States in 1791.

    Your homework is to further investigate the origins of the 1st Amendment’s Establishment and Free Exercise Clauses by studying the law it was based upon, Thomas Jefferson’s “A Bill for Establishing Religious Freedom” written in 1777, initially rejected by Virginia in 1779 (which at that time endorsed Anglicanism as the official state religion), before being passed with some minor amendments as shepherded through the Virginia legislature by James Madison on January, 16, 1785 while Jefferson was away busy with his duties as Ambassador to France.

    Carry on.

  41. Gene H:

    Jefferson’s statute was about the free exercise of religion or not. It wasnt about the state denying religious freedom in the name of freedom. The founders would have been all for a religious display in the public square as long as it wasnt sponsored (paid for by the state).

    Now I will admit that includes all mono and polytheistic religions and atheism.

  42. Josh,
    Regarding Amazon links: It is not the fact you linked to a book that gets a comment sent to moderation. It appears that Amazon has multiple embedded links within their pages, and WordPress has a problem with that. That is the problem with linking to many commercial sites. I have not tried Barnes & Noble, but suspect the same thing will happen with a link to one of their books as well.

  43. Bron,

    “It wasnt about the state denying religious freedom in the name of freedom.” I think you’re once again failing to see that the rights of individuals end where the rights of others begin and making the distinction that the government has no business endorsing or prohibiting beliefs, but a valid interest in limiting religious practice when said practice is otherwise against the law – including being in prime facie contradiction to the 1st Amendment as the bill these clowns proposed was. See the remarks in Reynolds about the illegality of human sacrifice to clarify that distinction. You may honestly believe that this is a “Christian nation” in contradiction to the facts, but you cannot legitimately force the state to enforce that view by the power of law. The 1st is not just about freedom of religion, but freedom from religion. There is ample evidence of this in both the letters of Madison and Jefferson. You cannot have this freedom without the ability to limit practice. All laws come at the sacrifice of an absolute liberty under the social compact. Part of the price of free exercise is the limitation of free practice.

  44. Gene H
    Otteray Scribe

    .Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

    .North Carolina can do whatever it wants because it isn’t congress. How is what North Carolina doing in conflict with congress. Now if the U.S. government wanted to pull all federal funding from North Carolina for doing so then that is O.K. but the first amendment is not being denied.

  45. Gene H.

    You missed the entire first amendment my friend. It begins with congress and North Carolina is not congress.

Comments are closed.