Yesterday, the American Civil Liberties Union sent the attorney general a warning letter pointing out that the current state of case law prevents the General Assembly from opening its sessions with exclusively Christian prayer. Today, House leadership responded by issuing a joint statement.
Speaker Thom Tillis, a Republican from Mecklenburg County, said the letter would be carefully reviewed. Majority Leader Paul “Skip” Stam, a Republican from Apex, said the practice in the House is different from the case out of Forsyth County because members volunteer to pray.
The U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, however, ruled that governments must take action to ensure prayers aren’t just Christian. If left to run its own course, the court said, the majority religion would in effect be forced on everyone.
Tillis couldn’t resist taking a swipe at the civil rights group: “The ACLU has an affinity for pushing a radical, far-left agenda that is out of touch with most North Carolinians.”