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GOP Lawmakers Propose Bill To Allow North Carolina To Declare Official Religion

A bill put forth by Republican lawmakers in North Carolina seeks to do away with the that whole “separation of church and state” business and allow the state to declare an official religion — and nullify any federal action against Christian prayer by public bodies.. The move branched out of a lawsuit involving the American Civil Liberties Union, and its backers argue that each state’s sovereignty allows it.

In the lawsuit between the ACLU and the Rowan County Board of Commissioners, the ACLU said ” the board has opened 97 percent of its meetings since 2007 with explicitly Christian prayers,” according to WRAL’s report. “Since the Republican takeover in 2011, the state Senate chaplain has offered an explicitly Christian invocation virtually every day of session, despite the fact that some senators are not Christian.”

The bill, then, would seek to allow the state to establish an official religion and asserts that the U.S. Constitution does not prohibit states from passing such laws. The Tenth Amendment, it says, states “the power to determine constitutionality and the proper interpretation and proper application of the Constitution is reserved to the states and to the people.”

The bill further says:

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.

The eleven sponsors of the bill include House Majority Leader Edgar Starnes (R-Hickory) and Reps. Larry Pittman (R-Concord), Carl Ford (R-China Grove), and Harry Warren (R-Salisbury).

Watch the WRAL report below:

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