The first step? Spit in the face of the Supreme Court, the Federal Government and the Constitution by establishing a state religion.
Here’s the most current version of House Joint Resolution 494:
A JOINT RESOLUTION to proclaim the Rowan county, North Carolina, defense of religion act of 2013.
Whereas, the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States reads:”…Congress shall make no law respecting an Establishment of Religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;…”; and
Whereas, this prohibition does not apply to states, municipalities, or schools; and
Whereas, in recent times, the federal judiciary has incorporated states, municipalities, and schools into the Establishment Clause prohibitions on Congress; and
Whereas, the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States reads: “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”; and
Whereas, the Tenth Amendment of the Constitution of the United States prohibits the federal government and prohibits the federal courts from expanding the powers of the federal government beyond those powers which are explicitly enumerated; and
Whereas, 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; and
Whereas, each state in the union is sovereign and may independently determine how that state may make laws respecting an establishment of religion; and
Whereas, Rowan County, North Carolina, asserts that the protections afforded to citizens of the United States under the First Amendment are not in any way to be abridged when such citizens become government actors by virtue of their appointment, election, contract, employment, or otherwise engagement; and
Whereas, Rowan County, North Carolina, requests and encourages the North Carolina General Assembly to pass a resolution declaring that the State of North Carolina does not recognize the authority of federal judicial opinions arising from the exertion of powers not granted to the federal government by the Constitution of the United States; Now, therefore,
Be it resolved by the House of Representatives, the Senate concurring:
SECTION 1. 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.
SECTION 2. The North Carolina General Assembly 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.
SECTION 3. This resolution is effective upon ratification.
The genius that wrote this law must be under the mistaken impression that “Nullification” works and ignores 60 years of Supreme Court precedence. Yes, at one time, the First Amendment only applied to the Federal Government, but then came the Fourteenth Amendment, the “due process” clause, and incorporation. It is here that the First Amendment has been applied to the states, through the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.
In the majority opinion in Everson v. Board of Education, 330 U.S. 1 (1947), Justice Hugo Black writes:
The ‘establishment of religion’ clause of the First Amendment means at least this: Neither a state nor the Federal Government can set up a church. Neither can pass laws which aid one religion, aid all religions or prefer one religion over another. Neither can force nor influence a person to go to or to remain away from church against his will or force him to profess a belief or disbelief in any religion. No person can be punished for entertaining or professing religious beliefs or disbeliefs, for church attendance or non-attendance. No tax in any amount, large or small, can be levied to support any religious activities or institutions, whatever they may be called, or whatever form they may adopt to teach or practice religion. Neither a state nor the Federal Government can, openly or secretly, participate in the affairs of any religious organizations or groups and vice versa. In the words of Jefferson, the clause against establishment of religion by law was intended to erect ‘a wall of separation between Church and State.’ 330 U.S. 1, 15-16.
If this bill passes in North Carolina, there will be a long, drawn out court battle, with the state of North Carolina spending millions of tax payer money to fight a losing battle. I’m so glad I don’t live there any more!