Republican 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.