Presnell not interested in freedom of religion

To the Editor: 

I was horrified to learn that my representative in the N.C. House, Rep. Michele Presnell, R-Burnsville, co-sponsored House Resolution 494, the Rowan County Defense of Religion Act of 2013.  

H494 is designed to allow North Carolina to establish a state religion, declaring itself exempt from the U.S. Constitution, federal law and judicial precedent. This bill garnered widespread support among the radial Raleigh Republicans, including two senior members of the House leadership team, but it was reportedly killed by Speaker of the House Thom Tillis, to his credit.  

The sponsor of the resolution, Rep. Harry Warren, has since apologized for the resolution’s poor wording and how it embarrassed the state, but Rep. Presnell continues to defend it. Perhaps she is unaware that the N.C. Constitution states that it is subservient to the U.S. Constitution. Since she pledged allegiance to the state and federal constitutions, perhaps she should read them.

I was raised a Southern Baptist, granddaughter of a circuit-riding Baptist preacher and daughter of a Baptist deacon. I learned at my daddy’s knee the critical importance of the separation of church and state. My ancestors came to North Carolina from Scotland in the 1700s. The oral family history passed along that, being Protestants, they came to the New World because they objected to the establishment in Britain of the Church of England as the official state religion. Why is there not an outcry from the churches about H494?

For the last several years, some in the Republican Party have been rather “in your face” about the U.S. Constitution, carrying copies around with them and quoting from it. Why is there not an outcry from them about H494?

According to his website, Republican Rep. Mark Meadows is a member of the Constitutional Caucus in the U.S. Congress. I emailed a query to him asking what he thinks about the disrespect from Rep. Presnell and the other co-sponsors of H494, but he has not replied. Why is he not outraged about H494?

The Taliban is an intolerant sect of Muslims who originated in Afghanistan. They enforce their religion, fundamentalist Islam, in areas where they rule. Religious freedom and tolerance are unheard in those areas. Sound familiar?

I wonder if those who voted Republican in the last election and caused the takeover of our state government by this radical gang realized they were voting for the Taliban. This grievous error can be remedied in 2014.

Carole Carson Larivee


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