Two NC legislators want the right to declare a county religion

Two Republican legislators, Representatives Harry Warren and Carl Ford, both of Rowan County in central North Carolina, have introduced a bill (PDF) to allow cities and counties within the state, and the state as a whole, to declare an official state religion. It would also formally declare the First Amendement of the American Bill of Rights null and void in North Carolina. The bill is perversely labeled the “Rowan County, North Carolina, Defense of Religion Act of 2013.”

Update: According to a later report, the bill attracted a dozen co-sponsors, but the office of the state speaker of the house has asserted that the bill will never come to a vote.

The bill is clearly unconstitutional, but so is sectarian prayer in government events, and since Republicans took over the state legislature almost all of its sessions have begun with explicitly Christian prayer, despite the fact that not all members of the General Assembly are Christians. There’s more in this news report.

(If adopted, I would expect Wake, Durham, and Orange Counties — home to N.C. state, Duke, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill — to declare their official religion to be basketball.)

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