Deranged in NC

Obama Administration

The headline at HuffPo is that North Carolina is considering creating a state religion, in clear violation of the 1st Amendment establishment clause and the 14th Amendment due process clause.

The bill, filed Monday by two GOP lawmakers from Rowan County and backed by nine other Republicans, says each state “is sovereign” and courts cannot block a state “from making laws respecting an establishment of religion.” The legislation was filed in response to a lawsuit to stop county commissioners in Rowan County from opening meetings with a Christian prayer, reported. …

… The bill says the First Amendment only applies to the federal government and does not stop state governments, local governments and school districts from adopting measures that defy the Constitution. The legislation also says that the Tenth Amendment, which says powers not reserved for the federal government belong to the states, prohibits court rulings that would seek to apply the First Amendment to state and local officials.

Originally the 1st Amendment did only apply to the federal government, but the 14th and subsequent case law changed that. But establishing a religion really isn’t the craziest part of this, as Charles Pierce points out

Not only the clearest violation of the First Amendment possible, but backed up by the theory of nullification which, to borrow a phrase from my pal, Roy Blount, Jr., was a bad idea at the time and looks even worse in retrospect. Thus does North Carolina march boldly into the past, looking neither right nor left as it passes 1789 or 1776, until it arrives at 1640, and Quakers and Catholics are hiding under the bed.

“The Constitution of the United States does not grant the federal government and does not grant the federal courts the power to determine what is or is not constitutional; therefore, by virtue of the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United 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 states. “Each state in the union is sovereign and may independently determine how that state may make laws respecting an establishment of religion.”

Now, anyone smart enough to outwit a turnip ought to be able to realize that if states could just ignore the federal government whenever they liked, there wouldn’t be a United States today. Indeed, the nullification theory is built on a vision of America that was rejected when the Constitution was adopted — that every state retained all of its sovereignty. Some, yes. Not all.

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  1. Dan  •  Apr 3, 2013 @4:28 pm

    I say let ’em go. We refuse to give them any federal money, take all federal programs out of the state, and tell them good luck. They are de facto seceding, and I think it is time we give them their wish. Let all of the South go. No fighting, nothing. Make them negotiate treaties, ask for their passports, the whole nine yards. I’m tired of the least able holding their people hostage. We can have open borders – let all the people who want to secede do so, and accept all the people who want to be Americans do so.

  2. c u n d gulag  •  Apr 3, 2013 @4:36 pm

    I weep for the state I lived in for almost 9 years.

    This should be considered a bellweather for what will happen if Republicans grab total control of the Federal Government – they will do their best to pass, ASAP, their antediluvian, Nihilistic, and crypto-Fascist Evangelical Christian agenda, onto the rest of the country.
    We dodged a bullet last year – thankfully, by more than a razor’s edge, which should give us normal people, some hope.

    At this point, Republicans are like an alcoholic or drug addict, who’s at the point where only more and more of the pure, and ever purer, stuff, will keep them “happy,” and at an “even” keel.

    Hopefully, if our cowardly, compliant, and complicit MSM ever decides to make a point of Republican extremism, more than just us Liberals on the internet will notice.
    Pardon me if I don’t hold my breath.
    As I’ve noted before, we’re living in the times of the ancient Chinese curse – “May you live in interesting times.”
    I’d prefer dull and boring, thank you very much. Just not THEIR version of dull and boring.

  3. c u n d gulag  •  Apr 3, 2013 @4:53 pm

    Oh, and to be truly honest about this issue, I’d be really interested to see what the other X# of Christian demonimations think of their state adopting some other flavor of religious ice-cream?

    THAT, might not turn out to be too pretty when, instead of ruling the roost like he ‘cock-of-the-walk,” you’re just another simple feckin’ egg in coop.

  4. joanr16  •  Apr 3, 2013 @5:14 pm

    No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.
    14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution (1868). Or….

    North Carolina, where nothing ever happened after 1865.
    New state motto?

  5. paradoctor  •  Apr 3, 2013 @5:23 pm

    Posturing or rebellion? You decide.

    As for state religions; we already have “In God We Trust” on Federal Reserve Notes; a curious collision of church, state and market. A god worshiped on fiat currency is, by definition, a god _of_ fiat currency. Let there be money!

  6. joanr16  •  Apr 3, 2013 @5:27 pm

    My favorite line from Charles Pierce’s piece is the opener:
    The most frightening phrase in the English language at the moment is, “majority Republican state legislature.”

  7. Swami  •  Apr 3, 2013 @5:36 pm

    Dan…I don’t think that’s a good idea..I’m not to eager to be burned at the stake for blasphemy.. Or even to have a hole bored in my tongue for denying the trinity. Well, maybe it won’t be that bad if they reinstitue the appeal to the corsned.

    What I find most disturbing is the shallow knowledge of history that these people who are elected to govern us have about how the United States of America came into being, and why that history was so unique. We kicked the church out of power and instituted a government of men.

  8. c u n d gulag  •  Apr 3, 2013 @6:09 pm

    And, even better, in 1919 – a government of men AND women!

  9. biggerbox  •  Apr 3, 2013 @6:29 pm

    As I recall, our forebears had a very spirited debate about such ideas back in the 1860s. I was told that ended with my ancestors agreeing to let those traitorous sons of bitches, er, their ancestors continue to enjoy the benefits of being part of the greatest nation in the world, in exchange for them giving up such silly ideas, growing up and realizing they were in a modern nation. I admit it seems like they’ve had trouble with the idea ever since, but this does seen like they are backsliding. Are we gonna have to get all Sherman-y on their butts, or what?

  10. Dan  •  Apr 3, 2013 @6:39 pm

    What do “they” say they hate most? Sharia Law.

    What do “they” propose? Sharia Law.

    When you catch your kids with cigarettes, do you just forbid them ever to smoke again, or do you sit there and make them smoke the whole pack, throw up, and maybe learn a lesson?

    I say we make them smoke the whole pack… Anyone who wants out, let them out. Anyone who wants in, pay for their bus ticket!

  11. c u n d gulag  •  Apr 3, 2013 @6:48 pm

    All I know is, that I hope so.

    And I’m saving up salt, so that THIS time, after we burn the South totally and completely to the ground, I can contribute to having our Federal Government give them the “Carthage” treatment.

    Just to let them know that they won’t be able to sow what they’ve reaped anymore, because we’ve put salt in the ground, to discourage further rebellions.

    I’VE HAD IT!!!
    We’ll have a 5 year negotiation to get the Liberals Southerners traded for out rural Blue State red-neck Conservatives, and trading their property rights.
    And, after that’s done, we’ll build that border fence, to keep the yahoo’s out of our new country.

    And, after they’re gone, let them try to live in their 5th world, “FascistJesusLoves MeYesIKnow,And Our CompaniesCauseHEToldUsSo-Himself-YesHEDid-istan!”
    Please – GO!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  12. Swami  •  Apr 3, 2013 @7:48 pm

    We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

  13. Swami  •  Apr 3, 2013 @7:56 pm

    Oh, the comment above is from the Declaration of Independence. I should have italicized it, or blockquoted it…just don’t want anybody to think that such a fine statement emanated from between my ears.

  14. Swami  •  Apr 3, 2013 @8:19 pm

    I like to nominate the Norse Goddess Frigg to be the deity for North Carolina’s new found state religion.. This way they can all be a bunch of Frigging idiots.

  15. Dan  •  Apr 3, 2013 @8:51 pm

    Yes, I know it will not happen, but one can dream!

  16. Bill Bush  •  Apr 3, 2013 @10:07 pm

    Now I know how Molly Ivins felt as she watched the Texas state government’s shennanigans. Here I sit in NC waiting for them to tell me I have to go to church with them. This is seen as a clever constitutional maneuver by the Reteathuglicans here. I personally think the turnips still have a fighting chance in the IQ races in Raleigh. I can only imagine what flagwaving orgy of my-country-right-or-wrong they will hold in the streets come 4th of July.

  17. c u n d gulag  •  Apr 4, 2013 @6:18 am

    Government and religions are both great “tastes,” but, unlike chocolate and peanut butter, they don’t taste better together.
    It’s more like mixing together garlic and anthrax.

  18. joanr16  •  Apr 4, 2013 @8:49 am

    I like to nominate the Norse Goddess Frigg.. This way they can all be a bunch of Frigging idiots.

    Laughing unto tears! Coworkers begone!

    (P.S. Displaying “The Last Supper” in my cubey would only invite offers from coworkers to pray w/ me. Frigging idiots.)

  19. c u n d gulag  •  Apr 4, 2013 @9:35 am

    OT – North Korea is moving a missile further East.

    We know, ’cause we’re tracking the movement via Horse-cam.

    After the mission’s done with the horses, I wonder how you say “Elmers Edible Glue” in North Korean?

    It’s a glue! It’s a dessert topping! If only they had things in North Korea like meals, and desserts!

  20. c u n d gulag  •  Apr 4, 2013 @11:17 am

    Back On Topic – more craziness from NC:

    Voter suppression for college students.

    This is yet more evidence of what will happen if Republicans get a hold of the Federal Government in 2016.
    They will enact the most radical agenda in a Democracy (former, once they get a hold of it) since those two Conservative loons from Italy and Germany in the earlier part of the last Century got a hold of their governments.

  21. erinyes  •  Apr 5, 2013 @8:40 am

    “North Carolina is considering creating a state religion”
    Me too;after regarding the financial / religious dynasty created by Joel and Victoria Osteen. What an awesome Gig!
    My religion will feature universal health Care for all, and I’ll just drive my F-150 to the stadium and live in a bamboo shack in Bali between gigs & stay at La Quinta when I’m on the road. Oh, and I’ll pay income tax and limit my salary to $50,000 per year.

  22. Philo Vaihinger  •  Apr 8, 2013 @5:45 am

    The 14th did no such thing.

    Case law doesn’t change the constitution, but it can perpetuate and even enlarge wrong decisions and false legal doctrines.

    In the Supreme Court, stare decisis is a fig leaf behind which judges hide willful refusals of legal rectitude.

    Seidman was right about this, at least.

    People have been lying about the constitution since the ink was still wet, and when they weren’t lying they have often been just flat wrong.

    None of which is to say those same guys in NC aren’t nuts or that the nullificationism they also affirmed, according to stories I have seen, isn’t nuts.

  23. maha  •  Apr 8, 2013 @8:14 am

    The 14th did no such thing.

    Yes it did. Take a class in the constitution and civil liberties some day, and stop being ignorant.

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