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North Carolina bill: The Constitution doesn’t bar us from making laws about religion
Hotair ^ | 04/03/2013 | AllahPundit

Posted on 04/03/2013 5:39:08 PM PDT by SeekAndFind

Perfect flame-war bait for a slow news day.

The bill itself doesn't mention a "state religion," although that power is implicit. The language is precise, and for a reason:

The bill reads:

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.

North Carolina wants to establish an official state religion? No, not really. (I think.) The GOP legislators who are floating this are needling the ACLU, which is suing a local board of commissioners for opening their meetings with Christian prayers. Can't have the state officially sanctioning a particular faith, right? Sure you can, says the NC bill: The First Amendment’s Establishment Clause applies only to the federal government, not to the states. Which is true, or was — Doug Mataconis is right that the Supreme Court has applied the Establishment Clause to state governments too (via the Fourteenth Amendment) for more than 60 years now. Unless SCOTUS is prepared to do something very unexpected to the constitutional doctrine of “incorporation,” the bill would be laughed out of court if it became law, which it almost certainly won’t. The bill’s sponsors are, I take it, mainly interested in making a symbolic point about federal encroachment, especially from the judiciary, on state sovereignty per the Tenth Amendment. And if you’re going to do that, prayer/religion is a smart choice of subject matter. Prayer in public schools has always polled well, and if the Supremes turn around and legalize gay marriage later this summer, this sort of Tenth Amendment argument will be popular among opponents.

Question: Has anyone seen numbers from major nonpartisan pollsters like Gallup on the separation of church and state? Polls have been conducted by advocacy groups but I’d prefer a less partial source. And I’d also prefer a narrower question. “Separation of church and state” is a gassy concept compared to asking specifically whether a state should be permitted to establish an official religion. This YouGov poll is interesting in showing a partisan split on whether separation should be “absolute,” but that’s not the precise issue here. The reason I ask is because when I saw the North Carolina story, I thought it looked like the sort of thing that Democrats would eagerly use as a wedge issue against the GOP (if, that is, the bill went anywhere). But a wedge only works if the majority’s on their side and I don’t know for a fact that it is because I can’t find a poll on point. Anyone seen one? If not, I assume we’ll get one next week thanks to Carolina.


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; US: North Carolina
KEYWORDS: constitution; northcarolina; religion

1 posted on 04/03/2013 5:39:08 PM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

Freedom From Religion are going to have a heart attack.


2 posted on 04/03/2013 5:45:33 PM PDT by Viennacon
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To: SeekAndFind
"Official support for religious faith and state religious requirements for public office persisted well after adoption of the First Amendment. The established church of Massachusetts was not abolished until 1833. In New Hampshire, the requirement that one had to be Protestant to serve in the legislature was continued until 1877. In New Jersey, Roman Catholics were not permitted to hold office until 1844. In Maryland, the stipulation that one had to be a Christian lasted until 1826. As late as 1835, one had to be a Protestant to take office in North Carolina; until 1868, the requirement was that one had to be a Christian; thereafter that one had to profess a belief in God."

The Religious Roots of Freedom
M. Stanton Evans

Link to the rest of the article.

3 posted on 04/03/2013 5:47:15 PM PDT by Sgt_Schultze (A half-truth is a complete lie)
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To: SeekAndFind
And I’d also prefer a narrower question. “Separation of church and state” is a gassy concept compared to asking specifically whether a state should be permitted to establish an official religion.

BS, separation of Church and state does not exist (Constitutionally) and is only mentioned in a letter from Jefferson to the Danbury Baptist.

He also explain quite clearly the intent of the 10th Amendment.

4 posted on 04/03/2013 5:50:45 PM PDT by Las Vegas Ron (Medicine is the keystone in the arch of socialism)
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To: SeekAndFind

I love it. Won’t happen but it will be fun to watch the atheists’ heads explode.


5 posted on 04/03/2013 6:18:27 PM PDT by ilovesarah2012
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To: SeekAndFind

The Constitution only barred the Federal government from establishing a religion. States could, and did, maintain their state religions until late in the 19th century. I am a little fuzzy on it, but I think that the federal courts have since held that the 14th amendment prevents states from maintaining a state religion any more. The libs have sure gotten a lot of unintended mileage from the 14th amendment.


6 posted on 04/03/2013 6:21:31 PM PDT by Defiant (If there are infinite parallel universes, why Lord, am I living in the one with Obama as President?)
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To: SeekAndFind

Dumb and dangerous.

Don’t give the government any more power to promote or even RESPECT Christianity than you want it to have to promote or respect Islam, Wicca or Shamanism. Don’t set precedents (or even support the most venerable of precedents) that are based on the assumption that the majority is comprised of Bible believing Christian, because there is no guarantee it will be in 50 years time.

Same principle as with police and investigative organizations- NEVER give them more power to go after those we consider terrorists or gang bangers than we want them to have to go after preppers, home schoolers or church goers.


7 posted on 04/03/2013 6:41:58 PM PDT by RedStateRocker (Nuke Mecca, Deport all illegals, abolish the IRS, DEA and ATF.)
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To: Defiant

RE: I think that the federal courts have since held that the 14th amendment prevents states from maintaining a state religion any more.

I don’t see how religion is related to the 14th amendment.

The 14th amendment was designed to grant citizenship to and protect the civil liberties of recently freed slaves. It did this by prohibiting states from denying or abridging the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States, depriving any person of his life, liberty, or property without due process of law, or denying to any person within their jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

How does that relate to state religions?


8 posted on 04/03/2013 6:42:39 PM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

I agree the U.S. Constitution in no way prohibits states from making laws regarding the subject of speech or relgioun.

How do we know this?

1: We can read the text which explicitly apply’s the limitations to congress alone, not the state leglsators.(unlike the 2nd amendment.)

2: In the argument for the amendment the whole point of the Amendment was to prevent Washington from interfering with State religions.

3: Many States continued to legally host official religion until around the mid 1800’s.

Its unfortunate modern schools are not teaching our history anymore or most american would know all of theses facts and thus be equipt to help uphold the limits of the Federal Constitution.

Bring the Constitution and American history back into the class room as a central focus must be our top priority at the state & local levels!

We cannot retain, or even defend Constitutional government if Americans know not the text nor original history of their documents(to prove its meaning).


9 posted on 04/03/2013 6:45:36 PM PDT by Monorprise (`)
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To: SeekAndFind

From the NC Constitution, Article 1:

Sec. 13. Religious liberty.

All persons have a natural and inalienable right to worship Almighty God according to the dictates of their own consciences, and no human authority shall, in any case whatever, control or interfere with the rights of conscience.

Might not hurt to remind the ACLU et al of that....The state is NOT preparing to mandate religion but to keep these buttheads from stopping its proper expression.


10 posted on 04/03/2013 6:48:16 PM PDT by Adder (No, Mr. Franklin, we could NOT keep it.)
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To: SeekAndFind

The only comment I have is : good. I despise the godless communists of the ACLU.


11 posted on 04/03/2013 7:52:57 PM PDT by GenXteacher (You have chosen dishonor to avoid war; you shall have war also.)
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To: SeekAndFind

“The 14th amendment was designed to grant citizenship to and protect the civil liberties of recently freed slaves.”

Congress had already used their naturalization powers to grand all former slaves citizenship. the 14th ammedment was simply proposed and passed(allegedly) because the radical republicans worried about their own misreading of a Federal court ruling. (Dred Scott v. Sandford)

Of course the amendment was recklessly written, where as it was originality only intended to reverse the effects of Dred Scott. It’s actual application was “reinterpreted” about 50 years later as a platform upon which the Federal employees in black robes could affectingly wield boundless power by simple application of ‘discovering’ a heretofore undiscovered ‘right’ to compel or prohibit it.


12 posted on 04/03/2013 8:44:49 PM PDT by Monorprise (`)
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To: SeekAndFind
Which is true, or was — Doug Mataconis is right that the Supreme Court has applied the Establishment Clause to state governments too (via the Fourteenth Amendment) for more than 60 years now.

Not only does Section 1 of 14A clearly indicate that 14A applies only "privileges or immunities of citizens" to the states, but please consider the following. FDR's puppet justices wrongly ignored that John Bingham, the main author of Section 1, had officially clarified on several occasions that 14A did not take away state rights.

"The adoption of the proposed amendment will take from the States no rights (emphasis added) that belong to the States." --John Bingham, Appendix to the Congressional Globe, 1866. (bottom half of first column)

"No right (emphasis added) reserved by the Constitution to the States should be impaired…" --John Bingham, Appendix to the Congressional Globe, 1871. (top half of first column)

"Do gentlemen say that by so legislating we would strike down the rights of the State? God forbid. I believe our dual system of government essential to our national existance." --John Bingham, Appendix to the Congressional Globe (bottom half of third column)

Despite Bingham's clarifications, outcome-driven justices robbed the states of their 10A-protected power to regulate (I say cultivate) religious expression in Cantwell v, Connecticut as evidenced by the following excerpt.

"The First Amendment declares that Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof. The Fourteenth Amendment has rendered the legislatures of the states as incompetent as Congress to enact such laws. The constitutional inhibition of legislation on the subject of religion has a double aspect." --Mr. Justice Roberts, Cantwell v. State of Connecticut, 1940.

The reason that patriots haven't done more to throw out the Supreme Court's spin on 14A and the Establishment Clause is the following imo. Given that knowledge is power, the consequence of parents not making sure that their children are being taught the Constitution and its history in the nation's public and private schools for many generations, patriots are powerless to stop activist justices from walking all over their constitutional rights.

13 posted on 04/03/2013 8:47:10 PM PDT by Amendment10
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To: Adder

“Sec. 13. Religious liberty.

All persons have a natural and inalienable right to worship Almighty God according to the dictates of their own consciences, and no human authority shall, in any case whatever, control or interfere with the rights of conscience.

Might not hurt to remind the ACLU et al of that....The state is NOT preparing to mandate religion but to keep these buttheads from stopping its proper expression.”

This is precisely the point & fact that all people of all States SHOULD have learned in school if they learned nonthing else.

How is it that someone can be expected to be a good citizen if they don’t even know how their System of goverment is suppose to work constitutionally?

How many of our people don’t even know about their state & local Governments and their exclusive right to dominate domestic policy?

How many voters today have had this basic fact with held from them causing them to wast their vote?


14 posted on 04/03/2013 8:49:57 PM PDT by Monorprise (`)
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To: Amendment10

Why do people call thoses federal employees in black robes justices? What is ‘just’ about their careless disregard of the limits of the Federal Constitution?

What is ‘just’ about their completely unbounded edicts?

What is ‘just’ about the way they almost always just rubber stamp their apposing ecustive and leglsators acts?

What is ‘just’ about theses corrupt federal employees in black robes? There is hardly more justice on the federal bench than exist in the halls of congress or the Whitehorse. Indeed in many respects their is much less.

So I shall not call them ‘justices’ but injustices.

By the way the 1925 Federal court that invented the incorporation doctrine did so rejecting not only the words of the amendments author, but 2 prior Federal court rulings on the subject.

It was indeed a results driven edict.


15 posted on 04/03/2013 8:56:20 PM PDT by Monorprise (`)
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To: Defiant

If this were strictly true, a government could not enforce building codes on church buildings. Where religion is part of the culture, it is impossible to untangle the two. “Lemon” shows how the court can tangle itself into knows trying to come up with a rule. The ACLU approach is absurd but effective because no one wants to waste time and money mudwrestling with them in the courts. Now of course the Court has set their approach in concrete with rulings such as the one that forbids prayer at football games.


16 posted on 04/03/2013 9:13:27 PM PDT by RobbyS
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To: Monorprise

Given that Judicial Review is not a power given to the Court by the Constitution, and given the hash that the Court made in Dred Scot, the fact that the Court was not forever disgraced, it has become a tool whereby the national elite can avoid the political process.


17 posted on 04/03/2013 9:17:29 PM PDT by RobbyS
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To: SeekAndFind

The 14th Amendment’s due process provision has been held to mean that the bill of rights applies to the states. This is how, for example, the 5th amendment requires that states give Miranda rights to criminals. It has been taken much farther than the people who passed the 14th intended, of course.


18 posted on 04/03/2013 11:02:08 PM PDT by Defiant (If there are infinite parallel universes, why Lord, am I living in the one with Obama as President?)
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To: Monorprise

We allow that to happen. My poor grandkids can speak for a long time about Rosa Parks but have only the most minimal knowlege of George Washington. They know he is on the dollar but are not real sure why.

I do not know HOW we make it stop but we better figure it our. I think we need to stop worrying about being called names and confront these people in their faces and be damn ugly about it.
I keep hearing how we do not want to stoop to their level. Thats all nice and all if you were dealing with reasonable adults, But we are not: we are dealing with children and damn stupid ones at that. You always crouch down to speak to a child directly.


19 posted on 04/04/2013 6:41:49 AM PDT by Adder (No, Mr. Franklin, we could NOT keep it.)
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To: Adder

“We allow that to happen. My poor grandkids can speak for a long time about Rosa Parks but have only the most minimal knowlege of George Washington. They know he is on the dollar but are not real sure why.”

This is the real problem with most public schools, they are indoctrinating and totaly neglecting real education.

Rosa Parks is illrelevent without George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, or John Adams.


“I do not know HOW we make it stop but we better figure it our. I think we need to stop worrying about being called names and confront these people in their faces and be damn ugly about it.”

We are going to have to get on the school boards, and commites and start forcing them to change the lession plans & topics, to place core emphases on American history & Federal Constitutional structured. NOT as the Federal Employees in black robes have defined it but as it is written!

That last point could not be more clear, because if you put kids in a class room and have them start reading the Edicts of Federal Employees in black robes not only are they going to get board they will get confused and misled.

Teach the Constitution, Teach about the men and Condition under-which it was written, this is the underpinning of our System of Government and the one thing they must know to exersize their vote in this country.

Tell school officials & state Representative that they cannot possibly expect our children to operate this machine if they know not how it works. Nor can they expect them to maintain such a machine if they know not how it was suppose to work.

Give them the Constitutions make them read theses laws for themselves, and ask them under such a system who should they ask to address any given issue.

Themselves, their family, their city, their State, or Washington.

Most American don’t know the answer to this question on almost any issue, thus most Americans throw away their vote trying to get a hammer to function like a screwdriver.

The result is very much what we have Frustration & dysfunction.


“I keep hearing how we do not want to stoop to their level. Thats all nice and all if you were dealing with reasonable adults, But we are not: we are dealing with children and damn stupid ones at that. You always crouch down to speak to a child directly.”

Unforutantly that is going to get worse as more and more of the population falls victim to their ignorance. We are dealing with children with the power of adults. That means the only advantage we have is our minds, and the knowledge that their own ignorance and immaturity is going to get them hurt.

In many case we are going to have to wait for that, then they might be preswared to learn. In other-cases we can just as well take advantage of their immaturity in leading them along as you would a child.(this is essencaly what liberals are trying to do)

In any-case, whatever we do we must fix this problem in our schools now so that future generations dont suffer such a disatvantag. We cannot do this everywhere but we can and we must do this in the states that we control.

Then in 20 years we shall have a foundation with which to take advantage of the self-destruction in the states we don’t control.


20 posted on 04/04/2013 2:53:07 PM PDT by Monorprise (`)
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To: RobbyS

“Given that Judicial Review is not a power given to the Court by the Constitution, and given the hash that the Court made in Dred Scot, the fact that the Court was not forever disgraced, it has become a tool whereby the national elite can avoid the political process.”

I remember reading Dred Scot and coming away with a completely different understanding of the ruling than the radical republicans took in driving their party to power.

For example I don’t see how the judge was saying African Americans could never be citizens as many radical republicans claimed. When I read the ruling it seemed quite obvious to me that all judge was saying(in a racist manner) was that The territory in which Dred Scot was living and claiming had freed him from bondage by virtue of being a anti-slavery territory, was in fact incapable of doing so to the Fifth Amendment due process clause.

That actually makes sense to me, because if you assume that slaves are property as was the assumption at the time then freeing them from their owner on the grounds that they were illegal would constitute a due process violation.

What Dred Scot should have done was make his case in the State of Illinois which suffered no such disability, and in which he had also resided with his master.

Instead the ruling was misconstrued by political hacks wishing to build a political party out of the rage of the anti-slavery movement. By implying the ruling was more signification than it was. If anything the ruling merely implied that Washington could not ban slavery in its territories.


21 posted on 04/04/2013 3:20:45 PM PDT by Monorprise (`)
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To: Monorprise

The due process clause in the Bill of Rights applies only to the federal courts. Taney was of course operating in the context of the fugitive slave law which had strengthened the rights of slave owners. The rights of slave ownership varied state by state, even in the South, and many of the northern states no longer recognized it. But when I say the Court made a hash of it, I meant the terms of Taney’s opinion. his obiter dicta. He was trying to settle a political issue in court.


22 posted on 04/04/2013 4:01:55 PM PDT by RobbyS
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To: RobbyS

“The due process clause in the Bill of Rights applies only to the federal courts. Taney was of course operating in the context of the fugitive slave law which had strengthened the rights of slave owners. The rights of slave ownership varied state by state, even in the South, and many of the northern states no longer recognized it. But when I say the Court made a hash of it, I meant the terms of Taney’s opinion. his obiter dicta. He was trying to settle a political issue in court.”

I agree completely. The problem was the radical republicans pushed for the 14th amendment because they were concerned that Taney’s Obiter dictum was law. A ridiculous position premium upon the idea that the Federal court makes law.


23 posted on 04/04/2013 4:50:30 PM PDT by Monorprise (`)
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