Constitution, smonstitution

April 4, 2013 

We don’t know which historic figures State Reps Carl Ford and Harry Warren admire the most, but apparently Thomas Jefferson, James Madison and John Adams aren’t among them. All those guys were fans of the U.S. Constitution, and Ford and Warren don’t seem to think much of it.

In a General Assembly session with a considerable number of, shall we say, eccentric examples of lawmaking, Ford and Warren have pulled to the front in the race for the most peculiar.

Their “Defense of Religion Act” was a resolution that said state and cities and towns have a right to establish an official religion, no matter what federal courts say. The lawmakers were trying to support Rowan County commissioners, who are fighting a lawsuit that wants them to end their habit of opening meetings with specifically Christian prayers. A federal court ruling last year didn’t ban prayer, but did say that prayers favoring a certain religion violated the Constitution.

Not according to this bill, which said in part, “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 ...”

After North Carolina had been thoroughly embarrassed by this ridiculous resolution, House Speaker Thom Tillis, who should have acted before the damage to the state’s reputation was done, apparently made it all go away.

Among those joining in sponsorship was no less than Edgar Starnes, majority leader of the House, who should have known better.

Alas, with House Republicans, this likely won’t be the last time the state makes national news for all the wrong reasons. What’s up next, guys? Secession?

Uh, oh. Maybe we shouldn’t have mentioned it.

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