Helen of Marlowe's Blog

American Theocracy — A Tiresome Re-run

Posted in "North Carolina", Government, Government Politics, Local Government, NC, Politics, Religion by helenofmarlowe on February 21, 2012

Not to be outdone by Forsyth County Commissioners, who spent many thousands of dollars and much county time litigating a losing battle which was finally settled by the U.S. Supreme Court,  Rowan County (NC) County Commissioners have apparently decided to fight the same fight.

SALISBURY, N.C. — Commissioners in one North Carolina county plan to continue offering Christian prayers at public meetings, regardless of a letter from a civil liberties group citing a recent Supreme Court action upholding a federal court’s ban on the practice.

The Salisbury Post reported (http://bit.ly/xtafV5 ) that a huge crowd turned out for the Rowan County Board of Commissioners meeting Monday night to offer their support to the elected officials, who say they’ll defy a decision by the U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals striking down so-called sectarian prayer, or prayer that’s explicitly linked to a particular religion, such as Christianity.

“If they tell county commissioners they can’t pray, soon they’re going to be in my church telling me I can’t pray in the name of Jesus,” said Terry Brown, a county resident who came to the meeting.

The appeals court’s ruling was in the case of the Forsyth County Board of Commissions. Last month, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal by that board, letting the Fourth Circuit’s ruling stand. Since then, the state chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union has contacted 25 and 30 government bodies in North Carolina in response to complaints from residents about sectarian prayer.

Only one of about two dozen members of the public who spoke Monday night argued that prayers offered to a specific deity don’t belong in government meetings.

“I think what’s going on right now is a clear example of why we need this law, and why it should be obeyed,” said Salisbury resident Chris Crowell, who compared the atmosphere of the meeting to a religious revival.

Rowan County residents might as well gear up for a long and losing battle.  For a preview of what they have to look forward to, here’s how it went in the Forsyth County Commissioners meeting two years ago, when the Commissioners, in defiance of all good sense and good law, decided to appeal two lower court rulings and send their case to the Supreme Court.

Can’t these benighted North Carolina citizens look around the world and see what it’s like to live in a theocracy?   Is that really what they want for our nation?

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5 Responses

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  1. Jim Wheeler said, on February 22, 2012 at 10:26 am

    This example seems to be another version of the controversy over contraception. One side insists on “access” while the other sees the issue as facilitating rebellion against prescribed behavior. It really bothers people when other people’s behavior is different from their own. I think it’s a tribal thing.

  2. Anders said, on February 22, 2012 at 12:51 pm

    I suspect quite a few people want to live in a theocracy, as long as it’s their theology that gets to do the cracy-ing. The crime against humanity only starts when it’s someone else’s god that’s in charge.

    It’s one of those irregular verbs, isn’t it: I have true faith, you are sincere in your beliefs, he believes in fairy tales

    • helenofmarlowe said, on February 22, 2012 at 6:23 pm

      Well, mine wouldn’t be so bad 🙂 But seriously, you make a good (and interesting) point. I would so much like to see this all come to an end. I guess Rowan County will get by with this for as many years as it takes for *them* to go through the courts now.

  3. Kathy Salkin said, on June 11, 2012 at 7:11 pm

    I think considering that NC has more churches per square mile than most states, it’d be safe to assume a lot of North Carolinians would love to live in a theocracy. I think they need to study Medieval history to realize what living under the thumb of the Church can be like.

    • helenofmarlowe said, on June 13, 2012 at 8:41 am

      Kathy, I didn’t know that about the number of churches, but certainly you’re right about the lack of understanding. Thanks for your comment.


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