Republican state Rep. Michele Presnell of Burnsville, N.C., shows that the effort to reform the image of the GOP is still a work in progress. When asked recently about whether she would be comfortable with a Muslim prayer opening a legislative meeting, Presnell responded: “No, I do not condone terrorism.” Presnell was one of the legislators who recently sponsored a bill to allow North Carolina to establish an official religion. My guess is that it would not be Islam.
Presnell wrote to a constituent complaining that “The famed ACLU is telling Rowan County they may not pray before commissioners meetings.”
Britt Kaufmann wrote her to say that he understood the stance of the ACLU in opposing prayer and that he “wanted you, as my representative, to know that I do not think the proposed bill is a good solution to that problem. … Would you be comfortable with a public prayer to Allah before a legislative meeting in Raleigh?”
Presnell’s response was interesting: “We just need to start taking a stand on our religious freedom or it will be whisked away from us.” That was strikingly similar to the statements of former Utah governor Leavitt last night who called on citizens to take a stand and insist on the public expression of faith and not just the right to personal beliefs in God. He also warned that the freedom of religion was being whisked away by secularists, atheists, and non-believers.
What is most striking is the fundamental ignorance shown by Presnell and her colleagues of not just our Constitution but our values as a nation. North Carolina has a law that bans atheists from holding office despite the express language of Article VI that “no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.” While professing faith in our values, these legislators continue to oppose the fundamental precepts of our constitutional system. The desire to embrace a faith-based system finds its greatest allies outside this country in places like Iran and Saudi Arabia which define religious freedom as recognition of their own faith.
Secular values are not the rejection of faith but the insistence on the protection of all faiths by keeping government neutral and separation from religious institutions. Presnell and others are at war not with secularists but the framers in seeking to create state religions and treating other faiths like terrorism.
Presnell must appeal to some in Burnsville but she shows an astonishing level of prejudice not just against Muslim but our constitutional system. Various sites state that she did not supply information on her educational background. She states on one site:
I have always been a Conservative Republican. Lower taxes, less Regulations, then small business people can begin to hire again.
Hot Topic for me is VOTER ID. This is the only way to prevent fraud in our NC elections. My opponent voted NO. We do not have enough votes in the NC House to override the Governor. Another Hot Topic is the Marriage Amendment to our NC Constitution. Let me be clear…I BELIEVE IN ONE MAN AND ONE WOMAN, traditional marriage, period.
She can now add the removal of the wall of separation of church and state as one of her priorities. It appears that she believes that Thomas Jefferson was fundamentally wrong about the direction he wanted to take the country and Michele Presnell is here to re-shape the nation in a new, theological image.
Source: News Observer