Religion Pimping: Secessionists and Proselytizers on the Public DolePosted: April 3, 2013
I’m not the the resident psychologist here, but I really feel hyper-religiousity is a fricking mental disease. I know it is a social one. I have no idea why some people feel they have the right and duty to plaster their religious beliefs all over the rest of us, but it is clearly not an American idea. Here’s the latest whackadoodle attempt to do an end run around our constitution by a cluster of bananas in North Carolina.
The Constitution “does not grant the federal government and does not grant the federal courts the power to determine what is or is not constitutional” according to a resolution sponsored by North Carolina House Majority Leader Edgar Starnes (R) and ten of his fellow Republicans — a statement that puts them at odds with over 200 years of constitutional law. In light of this novel reading of the Constitution, Starnes and his allies also claim that North Carolina is free to ignore the Constitution’s ban on government endorsement of religion:
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.
This resolution is nothing less than an effort to repudiate the result of the Civil War. As the resolution correctly notes, the First Amendment merely provides that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion,” and, indeed, the Bill of Rights was originally understood to only place limits on the federal government. For the earliest years of the Republic, the Bill of Rights were not really “rights” at all, but were instead guidelines on which powers belonged to central authorities and which ones remained exclusively in the hands of state lawmakers.
In 1868, however the Fourteenth Amendment was ratified for the express purpose of changing this balance of power. While the early Constitution envisioned “rights” as little more than a battle between central and local government, the Fourteenth Amendment ushered in a more modern understanding. Under this amendment, “[n]o State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States,” nor may any state “deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.” The Fourteenth Amendment completely transformed the nature of the American Republic, from one where liberties were generally protected — if at all — by tensions between competing governments to one which recognized that there are certain liberties that cannot be abridged by any government.
So, a few folk want a state religion in North Carolina because sectarian opening prayers just aren’t pious enough for them.
A bill filed by Republican lawmakers would allow North Carolina to declare an official religion, in violation of the Establishment Clause of the U.S. Bill of Rights, and seeks to nullify any federal ruling against Christian prayer by public bodies statewide.
The legislation grew out of a dispute between the American Civil Liberties Union and the Rowan County Board of Commissioners. In a federal lawsuit filed last month, the ACLU says the board has opened 97 percent of its meetings since 2007 with explicitly Christian prayers.
Overtly Christian prayers at government meetings are not rare in North Carolina. 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.
In a 2011 ruling on a similar lawsuit against the Forsyth County Board of Commissioners, the Fourth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals did not ban prayer at government meetings outright, but said prayers favoring one religion over another are unconstitutional.
“To plant sectarian prayers at the heart of local government is a prescription for religious discord,” the court said. “Where prayer in public fora is concerned, the deep beliefs of the speaker afford only more reason to respect the profound convictions of the listener. Free religious exercise posits broad religious tolerance.”
Supplanting modernity, science, rationale thought and replacing it with government mandated religious views is the agenda here. Here’s another good example. RNC Chair Reince Preibus thinks he knows more than doctors. He equates letting doctors and women decide about the outcomes of late term abortions–and possibly pre-term births–to infanticide.
In an article published Wednesday on the conservative website RedState, Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus blasted Democrats for supporting Planned Parenthood, while floating the damning suggestion that the likes of President Barack Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) support infanticide.
“The President, the Senate Majority Leader, the House Democratic Leader, and the Chair of the Democratic National Committee (in whose home state this hearing occurred) made funding Planned Parenthood an issue in the 2012 campaign,” Priebus wrote. “They should now all be held to account for that outspoken support. If the media won’t, then voters must ask the pressing questions: Do these Democrats also believe a newborn has no rights? Do they also endorse infanticide?”
Priebus appeared to predicate much of his piece on recent testimony from a Planned Parenthood lobbyist before the Florida legislature. The lobbyist was posed a number of hypotheticals on what the women’s healthcare organization would do if a baby survived a botched abortion.
“Not once in her testimony did the Planned Parenthood representative say the newborn baby has a right to life. Not once did she say anyone has a duty to care for the child,” Priebus wrote. “Whether the living, breathing child survives is up to the adults in the room because, as we now know, Planned Parenthood doesn’t believe the baby has rights.”
Who better knows the outcome of this situation? The State? Priestb00 and his merry band of republican religious nuts?
This reminds me of the attempts in Louisiana and other places to drain money from public schools to religious-based schools. Republicans are horrified to think that religions other than their own might have access to the funds. This is playing out in Tennessee right now.
Republican lawmakers in Tennessee are threatening to block Republican Gov. Bill Haslam’s school voucher bill over fears that Muslim schools could receive funding.
The Knoxville News Sentinel reported on Monday that Haslam hinted that he would withdraw his bill after objections from Republican lawmakers that it was not broad enough and that the vouchers could be used by Islamic schools.
Over the weekend, state Sen. Jim Tracy (R) had told The Murfreesboro Post that he had “considerable concern” that tax dollars could go to schools that teach principles from the Quran.
Tracy, who is on the Senate Education Committee and identifies himself as a member of the Church of Christ, insisted that Islamic school funding was an “an issue we must address” before the voucher bill can go forward.
“I don’t know whether we can simply amend the bill in such a way that will fix the issue at this point,” he said.
Yes, there is one Muslim school in Memphis that would have access to state funds under the bill. So, it’s wrong to fund Muslim schools, but you can guess which religious schools should be the only ones funded by government.
Look, I have nothing against other people’s free practice of religion. There are at least two great places for that to happen. The places are called THEIR home and THEIR place of worship. Every place else should be a religion-free zone. It’s obvious these folks didn’t get a very good education in American history or political thought. For that matter, the don’t appear to have been well-educated in much else. OR, they are just plain crazy. I’m going with the latter.