Republicans in North Carolina say their state can ignore the U.S. Constitution. That state's House Majority Leader Edgar Starnes, and ten of his Republican colleagues, have sponsored legislation which would establish a state religion, and they say it's not up to the federal government to determine whether or not it's constitutional.
Section one of the so-called Defense of Religion Act reads, “the Constitution of the United States of America does not prohibit states or their subsidiaries from making laws respecting an establishment of religion.” According to The Think Progress Blog, the North Carolina Republicans are stating that the Bill of Rights only places limits on the federal government, and does not apply to the states. However, they fail to explain how their legislation does not violate the federal supremacy clause, or the Fourteenth Amendment.
The supremacy clause states that the U.S. Constitution “shall be the supreme law of the land.” And the Fourteenth Amendment states “no state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States.” So, in addition to being discriminatory to those who don't practice religion – or those how follow a different faith – North Carolina Republicans obviously don't understand the limits of state's rights.
Our fore fathers believed so strongly in the separation of church and state, that it was addressed first in our Bill of Rights. No matter what Republicans and the Religious Right want to believe, we do not live in a theocracy. If North Carolina passes this legislation, it is likely to end up in federal court. The people of North Carolina must stand up for their right of religious freedom, and they must fight to uphold the Constitution.
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