North Carolina kills bill to establish a state religion

The Republican Speaker of the House said that the legislation will not be receiving a full vote

Published April 4, 2013 9:00PM (EDT)

North Carolina State Legislative Office Building    (Wikipedia/W Edward Callis III)
North Carolina State Legislative Office Building (Wikipedia/W Edward Callis III)

North Carolina's Republican House Speaker Thom Tillis killed a bill on Thursday that would have allowed the state to establish an official religion, WRAL reports.

From the Huffington Post:

The bill, which was drafted by state Reps. Carl Ford (R-China Grove) and Harry Warren (R-Salisbury), was intended to address an issue in Rowan County, where the ACLU has filed a lawsuit against the county commission in an attempt to block commissioners from having a Christian prayer at the beginning of meetings.

The North Carolina measure responds to the ACLU suit by declaring that each state is "sovereign" and no federal court can prevent a state from "from making laws respecting an establishment of religion." Though Warren, one of the bill's authors, told HuffPost Live that the measure was not seeking to create a state religion, the drafted legislation would clearly allow for such an action.

“Each state in the union is sovereign and may independently determine how that state may make laws respecting an establishment of religion," the bill says.

By Jillian Rayfield

Jillian Rayfield is an Assistant News Editor for Salon, focusing on politics. Follow her on Twitter at @jillrayfield or email her at

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Christianity Church And State North Carolina Religion Republicans