North Carolina lawmakers would like to declare a state religion and nullify the U.S. Constitution as it relates to anything the state wants to do.
House Joint Resolution 494, filed by Republican Rowan County Reps. Harry Warren and Carl Ford, would refuse to acknowledge the force of any judicial ruling on prayer in North Carolina – or indeed on any Constitutional topic:
“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,” the resolution states.
“Each state in the union is sovereign and may independently determine how that state may make laws respecting an establishment of religion,” it states.
The Tenth Amendment argument, also known as “nullification,” has been tried unsuccessfully by states for more than a century to defy federal laws and judicial rulings from the Civil War period to President Obama’s health care reforms to gun control.
This adolescent temper tantrum has as much chance of survival as a snowball in a skillet, but just for giggles let’s play this out and say that North Carolina declares Christianity to be the official state religion. Okay, which Christianity?
There are a whole lot of varieties of Christianity, ranging from Roman Catholic, Episcopalian, Methodist, Presbyterian, Lutheran, Jehovahs Witness, Seventh-Day Adventists and Baptists to Unitarians, Quakers, and so on. Each denomination claims to be the True Church, and even within those denominations you have different flavors, such as Anglicans who split off from the Episcopalians, several branches of Lutherans, and even among the peaceful Quakers we have different meetings. So which one will become the True State Religion of North Carolina? Who would decide? Would they create a state bureau of religion? Who would run it? The Minister of Ministries?
As for the U.S. Constitution not having any bearing on the decisions of the state, we already had this discussion. It lasted between 1861 and 1865. It was in all the papers, and the nullifiers lost.