This week, two North Carolina Republican representatives submitted a resolution to make Christianity the official religion of the state. Their argument is that North Carolina doesn’t respect Federal court rulings regarding the establishment of religion in state, public schools or other governmental functions. They want to protect people like the county commissioners in Rowan who end their public meetings with “In Jesus’ name, amen” from the scrutiny and lawsuits of non-Christians. They claim they are “… not starting a religion. We’re supporting … freedom of speech … ”
I personally don’t care if the county commissioners of Rowan, North Carolina, chose to end their meetings with a reference to Jesus. However, one of their residents took issue with it and decided to file
a lawsuit. The First Amendment of our constitution prevents the government from establishing one religion over another, and if this resident feels that this law has been violated then it’s the duty of the court to determine whether or not this is the case.
By trying to establish Christianity as the state religion of North Carolina, these representatives are undermining everything the First Amendment stands for. The point of government is not to further one religion or hinder another. It isn’t even about advancing all religions equally. The First Amendment is about the government staying out of religion entirely. The county commissioners shouldn’t make any reference to any religion because it’s not relevant to the objectives of their positions.
Regardless of my personal beliefs, I think it’s insulting that these two representatives think the way to protect freedom of speech is to show favoritism to one religion and therefore deny equal freedom of speech opportunities to other religions. It’s convenient to make such laws when they are in your favor, but how many of these men would be behind making North Carolina have a dual state religions of Christianity and say, Hinduism, or Buddhism, or Islam? I doubt there would be much support for these minority view points.
Whatever arguments are presented, it’s not difficult to weed through the fallacies and recognize this as a thinly veiled attempt to pander to religious conservatives and those who believe states have the ability to subvert federal legislation. I find it sad that people elected to a state legislature could think that trying to argue against the Constitution would be a good idea or that they would even stand a chance of not looking like fools.