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                  Actual North Carolina church signage, photographed by actual North Carolinian, the author's brother Matt Cahill
Several North Carolina legislators have recently proposed that North Carolina adopt an official state religion, claiming that the First Amendment only prohibits the federal government from establishing a state religion, ignoring the fact that the line of reasoning that supports their argument means that North Carolina could also re-institute segregation, slavery and male-only suffrage, since banning those practices originally was certainly not North Carolina's idea.

These legislators no doubt favor Christianity as the state's new official faith, but ignore the question of which version of Christianity North Carolinians would have to profess. Christianity, as you know, comes in more variations, both in strength and flavor, than Budweiser, Coke and Captain Crunch combined. A Christian service can mean anything from a dignified droning from the pulpit, guaranteed to put any believer into a light trance, to services featuring snake-handling and Quran-burning (although never the opposite). North Carolinians need a more monolithic faith, if religious practice is going to be standardized from the Outer Banks to the Tennessee border. Fortunately, many religions with more coherent core beliefs are available for the legislators to choose from:

Catholicism: The original old-time religion already has a heavy résumé in state religionhood, starting with the Romans, continuing through years of medieval misery and eventually peaking in the conquest of sunny Mexico. The result of North Carolina becoming the westernmost Papal State? A boom for the textile industry, as demand for vestments goes through the roof, and a marked improvement in the quality of Italian restaurants throughout the region.

Mormonism: Hey, it works for Utah.

Buddhism: North Carolina perennially finishes in the Top Ten in those fakey America's Fattest State rankings that the Internet is so fond of. Roly-poly North Carolinians will love the fat guy statues everywhere.

Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster: These noodle worshipers and their peaceful Pastafarian ways, who believe that the universe was brought into existence by a Supreme Spaghetti Being in only seven minutes (which is why Creation is al dente) deserve a state of their own where the words of their holy writ can be glued in macaroni letters on their altars and the sound of them chanting their mantra (RAA—MEN) will echo through the land. North Carolina is as good a place as any.

Judaism: Ha! Just kidding.

Islam: Already the state religion in many countries where the answer to the question "What's for dinner?" is "Goat!" Islam may be the perfect choice for NC. It combines a nominal allegiance to the concepts of universal peace and brotherhood with a real-life tendency towards mouthy, violent squabbling. Burdensome and expensive criminal justice system replaced by stonings and amputations and death by fatwa replaces Death Row, resulting in big savings for North Carolina taxpayers. Warning—there is a dress code involved.

Norse, Greek or Hindu gods: Polytheism is aching to make a comeback, and where better place than Carolina? Putting a temple down in every holler makes for great tourist attractions, togas are not just for partying anymore and "By the hammer of Thor, y'all," becomes the official state motto. Plus worshiping Neptune might spare the Outer Banks from getting whomped down by hurricanes with near-boring regularity. Okay, probably not.

Westboro Baptist Churchism: The whole state empties out to picket celebrity funerals.

Secular Humanism: Nope.

The Church of Dollar Store Camouflage Jesus: This column has recently converted to this faith. The image of Our Lord is pictured to the upper right. Many tenets of this religion have yet to be worked out, but one thing is for certain—when we turn the other cheek, it's because we need to rest it on the barrel of our weapon.

We're open to other suggestions here, but not religions like Zoroastrianism, Sikhism or Druzeism, which are basically just filler religions that nobody understands. Really. You might as well carry around a sign that says "Persecute Me" or "Mistakenly Commit a Hate Crime on Me."

North Carolina won't stand for that.


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Comments

Matt
04/11/2013 12:01

Good to see the local nuts get some internet play!
Praise be.....

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