American Theocrats and the Abrogation of the Constitution
From WRAL-5 in North Carolina:
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 Establishment and Free Exercise clauses of the Constitution are simple, well-known, and unbending; they protect your right to follow any religion, worship any god, and, if you so desire abstain entirely from religion.
You can’t get around it. Unless, of course, you try to declare the Constitution null in your state, which is precisely what these lawmakers intend.
From the bill, as quoted by WRAL-5:
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; therefore, by virtue of the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, the power to determine constitutionality and the proper interpretation and proper application of the Constitution is reserved to the states and to the people. […]
Each state in the union is sovereign and may independently determine how that state may make laws respecting an establishment of religion
Hot damn, you might say to yourself, that’s ridiculous! If states can nullify any element of the Constitution that they so deem, then the document is all but useless, and our Union moot.
But haven’t we been here before? Yes:
The Tenth Amendment argument, also known as “nullification,” has been tried unsuccessfully by states for more than a century to defy everything from the Emancipation Proclamation of the Civil War to President Obama’s health care reforms to gun control.
Well said, WRAL-5, if I may.
This all shakes down to Cooper v. Aaron, if you are curious. In that ruling, it was determined that states are bound by Supreme Court decision. Even if they don’t like it.
You can treat the North Carolina bill as useless therefore, as it is patently unconstitutional. I doubt it will become law in the end, but if it does, it will be quickly stricken down.
Still, you have to ask why these fools are putting it forward at all. In short, their view of the United States has become so warped that they think that by directly contradicting its founding principles, they are ‘saving’ it from, well, itself.
If you can tease out that logic, you’ll understand their mind.
Let me help: there is a large, vibrant, and corrosive subset of Christians in the United States who believe that this is a ‘Christian country(!)’ founded on ‘Christian values(!)’ and that toleration of other religions is merely a courtesy.
This is prima facie wrong as the Constitution directly rejects this view, and was itself constructed by a religiously diverse group that included folks who were deist all the way through to fervently Christian.
[Side note here: Darwin hadn’t yet brought forth his theory, but it isn’t difficult to imagine that a deist or two would have had a different take on the foundations of life and the existence of god had natural selection been understood. I’ll let you grok that yourself.]
Just for fun, an example: The First Commandment [Exodus version, not the other copy found in Deuteronomy]:
And God spoke all these words: “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. You shall have no other gods before me.
That’s a dictum by which religious choice is controlled and is therefore not free.
Here’s the Constitution:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
There is no possible way to square the two. Thus, the Constitution must be fuzzed. Enter the North Carolina bill.
Let’s be frank: Those that wish to dismantle the Constitution to suit their religious views are not Americans just doing what they think is best. No, they are theocrats who pose a direct and real threat to free society.