N.C. bill asserts state’s right to declare an official religion

North Carolina Republicans introduced a bill Tuesday that would basically give the state freedom to declare its own official religion.

The bill, introduced by state representatives Harry Warren and Carl Ford, comes a month after a lawsuit by the American Civil Liberties Union alleging that the Rowan County Board of Commissioners opened 97 percent of its meetings since 2007 with explicitly Christian prayers, WRAL reports.

The Rowan County Defense of Religion Act of 2013 would free up the state to establish an official religion, and it would essentially prohibit the federal government from limiting any kind of prayer by public bodies statewide.

“The North Carolina General Assembly asserts that the Constitution of the United States of America does not prohibit states or their subsidiaries from making laws respecting an establishment of religion,” the proposal reads.

The assembly also “does not recognize federal court rulings which prohibit and otherwise regulate the State of North Carolina, its public schools, or any political subdivisions of the State from making laws respecting an establishment of religion.”

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