Establishment of Religion

A bill recently put forward in the General Assembly objecting to the Federal courts issuing an injunction against local governments opening their meetings with Christian prayer.

It’s a poorly worded bill that will never see a vote.  That being said I support the sentiment.

First, I say that it’s poorly worded for one simple reason, it proposes that North Carolina has the right to create an Establishment of Religion (and strictly speaking, that is true.  Maryland had an official state religion – Catholicism – when they adopted the Constitution).  It is a fight that nobody is interesting in having and that nobody wants.  The REAL issue is that opening a government meeting with Christian prayer is not, in any way shape or form, an establishment of religion and thus IS NOT prohibited under the US Constitution or the State Constitution.

 

Second, and I think it’s the real point of the objection in the drafted legislation, is that what right does the Federal Government have to tell the local citizenry who they can or cannot pray to?  By attempting to tell North Carolinians what kind of prayers are acceptable to the government, they are in fact establishing a religion and violating the first amendment rights of the people.  And secularism is a religion, make no mistake about that.

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