North Carolina’s Lt. Governor Declares War on the U.S. Constitution

North Carolina Lt. Governor Dan Forest
North Carolina Lt. Governor Dan Forest
Lt. Governor Dan Forest of North Carolina told the Faith and Freedom Coalition’s (that is, Ralph Reed’s) 2014 Road to Majority conference this past weekend that “America is at a great crossroads where it must decide for or against God.”

This is the sort of stuff Ralph Reed loves:

The opening luncheon, Time Magazine reports, saw “remarks by Senator Ted Cruz, Ambassador John Bolton and Rubio, among others…”

Forest, as you will see, fit right in. Listen to his remarks courtesy of Right Wing Watch:

Actually, it doesn’t have to do any such thing.

America, spoken of as a plurality of voters, does not have to choose Forest’s God or any God. Nowhere in the Founding documents is this expectation expressed. Instead, we are told, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…”

As Thomas Jefferson wrote,

But it does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods or no God. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.

Jefferson “got” America. Forest does not. He never will.

The expectation expressed by Jefferson is of a pluralistic and diverse America, where the only expectation is one of religious freedom, where people are free to believe what they wish. This was the Founding Fathers’ great hope.

America, spoken of as a government, is mandated to forbid what Forest wants. The federal government, according to the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment, is not allowed to establish a state religion. Our government is, and must remain, secular.

Yet Forest says America has turned its back on God.

We have forgotten God and we call it freedom.
We kill our children for convenience, and we call it freedom.
We enslave our poor in welfare and call it freedom.
We take from the hard working and give to the sluggard in the name of income equality and call it freedom.
We allow our children to become addicted to pornography in the name of free speech and we call it freedom.
We rack up mountains of debt on the backs of our grandchildren and we call it freedom.
We reward the criminal at the expense of the victim and we call it freedom.
We take God out of our schoolhouse, out of our statehouse, out of our courthouse and we call it freedom.
We allow a few individuals in the courts to determine the moral standard for all and we call it freedom.

What Forest lists is an ideological straw man. What he is so tendentiously attacking are the freedoms granted us by our constitution. He does not want freedom. He does not defend freedom; he denounces freedom.

He wants to order people’s lives. He wants government interference in our daily lives so far unimagined. He is not talking about people being free to believe or want or to do the things he believes – he wants us forced to obedience.

The Founding Fathers already rejected that scheme. They gave us the freedom Forest now decries.

Forest laments,

The heart of the matter is we have forgotten God. We have kicked him out of our house, out of our schoolhouse, out of our courthouse, and out of our statehouse, and now, out of our nation. We call it everything but what it is, we call it everything but sin, the turning away from God.

This is straight out of the Old Testament. It is not, significantly, from the U.S. Constitution.

Forest cites the Declaration of Independence’s assertion that our inalienable rights derive from our creator but he ignores the fact that many of the Founders, like Thomas Jefferson, rejected Forest’s god for the idea of a sort of divine architect. For Jefferson, Jesus was a wise man, not god, and he rejected with his divinity all the miracles described by the New Testament.

He wrote to Peter Carr in 1787,

Question with boldness even the existence of a god; because if there be one he must approve of the homage of reason more than that of blindfolded fear.

The very same blindfolded fear Forest is selling in 2014.

What Forest wants is not democracy. What Forest wants is theocracy. Our Founding Fathers had the chance, rare in history, to establish whatever form of government they wished. They could have chosen theocracy. They did not.

They chose democracy. They chose a government predicated on the proposition that political power derives from the will of the people. They slapped the concept of the divine right of kings square in the face for all the world to see.

Like others on the Religious Right, Forest does not understand America. He does not understand what America is, and what it has always been: a modern liberal democracy. The first of its kind. The highest realization of the secular European Enlightenment. A rebellion against the God-centered Old World and an embrace of Enlightenment principles.

Jefferson wrote to Alexander von Humboldt in 1813, rejecting everything Forest now demands:

History, I believe, furnishes no example of a priest-ridden people maintaining a free civil government. This marks the lowest grade of ignorance of which their civil as well as religious leaders will always avail themselves for their own purposes.

Forest somehow concluded that,

We don’t just need, my friends, to rebuild the walls of America. We need to rebuild the biblical foundation upon which the walls sit. We need to trust God. Fear only comes when we don’t believe that God is who he says he is. If God is the creator of the universe, if he allows our hearts to beat and our lungs to breathe, why do we not trust him? If we trust God, my friends, there is nothing we can’t accomplish. With him we can do anything. Apart from him we can do nothing. Seek first his kingdom and all these things will be given.

We continue to declare ‘God Bless America’ without doing our part, without prayer, without fasting, and repentance as a nation, without recognizing the sins we commit and humbling ourselves before the sovereign ruler of nations, and asking for forgiveness.

It is time for America to recognize that freedom does not come from being a nation of wealth, power, influence, abundance, and ease – but rather it comes from being a humble nation on its knees. It behooves us then, to humble ourselves before the offended power, to confess our national sins, and to pray for clemency and forgiveness.

America’s freedom comes not from being a nation on its knees, but from being a nation on its feet, proudly proclaiming liberty. Forest speaks of “offended power” but the only relevant power according to the Constitution is the power of the people. God does not enter into it, not even as a passing reference.

Freedom comes from the United States Constitution, the same constitution which not only forbids religious tests for holding public office but forbids the establishment of the state religion Forest now demands.

Forest’s speech is a declaration of war on America. The America established by the United States Constitution and ratified by every state. The Constitution Forest swore to uphold when he took his oath of office.

How will America, how will the people – the “offended power” – answer Dan Forest’s and the Religious Right’s declaration of war on its constitutionally guaranteed freedoms? We’ve won the war on marriage equality they began but the culture war, whatever you hear, is not over. Not by a long shot.

66 Replies to “North Carolina’s Lt. Governor Declares War on the U.S. Constitution”

  1. As a foreigner I don’t know the ins and outs of US constitutional law, but couldn’t this moron be sued for eg failing his oath of office?

  2. The Faith & Freedom Coalition is annual theater for the religious far right to pontificate and blow smoke for a day or two and then go home. The self-righteous “patriots” who take to the podium will, per the first amendment, spill their tea to thunderous applause, lick their chops and sit down. Forest was just one of them espousing white supremacist dogma in the name of God. Each attempts to out righteous the other. I think we give too much credence to these theatrics by printing their scripts. A script from Chris Rock would be more entertaining. At least he is a professional.

  3. If he would have said before getting elected that he was an atheist, he wouldn’t have been elected. What the hell is wrong with people? This is the bullshit to be expected from electing god “fearing”, non-reasoning people to office. Stop electing religious people to office.

  4. We have seen the results of societies that adhered to theocracy. In 1492, it was called the inquisition and it was a bloody massacre of women, Jews, Muslims and any dissenters. By the millions were these people massacred, burned, beheaded, racked and tortured.

    Nowadays it’s the Middle East & Africa. Do we really want to emulate Sudan, who sentences a pregnant woman to death for apostasy?

    These religious nuts really have a bug up their ass, itching to anything that will bring about the end times. But as usual, these people have no idea of the forces they are trying to set in motion. If they do get their religious war, there is no guarantee at all they will be the winners. In fact, they won’t. Ignorant sheeple make better cannon fodder than warriors.

    They don’t know what it’s like to have a full scale religious war on their hands like Europe did for 1500 years, or what the Middle East has now.

    Eventually the blood lust wears thin as the bodies pile up. WWII was the last of the Eu…

  5. “We enslave our poor in welfare and call it freedom.
    We take from the hard working and give to the sluggard in the name of income equality and call it freedom.”

    One statement contradicts the other. He says we must help the poor but we can’t give them anything because they are lazy. Way to cover both bases, shortstop.

  6. My daughter lives in NC.There is a real struggle going on between the corporate owned rethugs and the rest of the 99%.Art Pope is as bad as the Koch brothers and the good people of NC are fighting for their right not to become the “silent minority.

  7. “We allow a few individuals in the courts to determine the moral standard for all and we call it freedom.”

    I thought that’s what he wants–wait, not ‘in the courts’ I guess. Unless the Supremes go this way.

  8. His definition of freedom and religion is the opposite of what would Jesus do. His words sounded like the anti-Christ Beatitudes.

    What a vicious man and hearing this NC Lt. Gov, it seems true that when Satan visits earth, he will be wrapped in a bible and a flag.

  9. While on the whole I agree with you and your sentiments, please do not get carried away by the same hyperbole that the crazy’s use. There were not “millions” killed by the inquisition. I am not a historian, but what I have found shows that less than 10,000 were killed. Yes, that is 10,000 too many and looking back, it never should have happened. But it did, and it should be discussed factually. I am a Christian, a Roman Catholic. I realize that many things were done in the name of Christ and Church that were bad. That does not make Christ or Christianity bad or evil, only those individuals who either misinterpreted what they believed or used what they believed for personal gain.

  10. beeb: No. Ironically, the same freedoms he seeks to destroy protect him from any legal consequences for his outrageously anti-American statements.

  11. I think no one knows really but if you take into account the religious wars of the time the figures go well over 100k if not more. That may not be fair to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith who oversaw what is consider THE INQUISTION but the fanatics got their inspiration from somewhere

  12. Ironically, you’re using the same argument some Muslims are using but conservatives mock them as liars and hypocrites. The argument being that the religion is peaceful but some people do bad things in the name of the religion.

  13. If I’m not mistaken the Puritans were kicked out of Europe a few centuries ago for this same thing. I think it’s high time we assist history and eject them from our country. The only down side is that somewhere there would be a native race that are loving stewards of the land they were born in and told they are savages and that God told them to save this land and take it in the name of God. I think we should save the world some hell and just eradicate them here.

  14. This is one Forest that even the trees themselves would be joyful to obscure even in the face of their own obvious concealment.

  15. “Forest says America has turned its back on God.”

    Pure right wing list of things that take personal responsibility out of the hands of the people and place it on the government. All thew while blaming the government for all these problems

    This is all part of two things. The need for the religious extremists who see religion slipping away to make a huge comeback and be in power. And to support the right wing that they feel will share power with religious extremists.

    How funny is it that they claim we kill our children and rack up debts that out children will have to pay when they are the ones wanting war and denying that climate change is occurring as well as wanting to pollute our environment for their children

    These people are dangerous

  16. I have one thing to say to this, “North Carolina, are you listening? Is this what you want for your fine state? I am not from NC so there is little I can do but pray that you are listening to what this man is saying. I pray that you here how he is violating our fundamental rights in the constitution to believe in what religion we want and how we want. North Carolina are you listening?”

  17. North Carolinians in general listen to nothing other than the voices in their head and spend lots of time minding other peoples business in the name of friendliness. As a native New Yorker I made the fatal mistake of moving to NC for the sake of my children to have what I thought were decent relatives nearby. After 20 years in this toilet I can tell you that most North Carolinians don’t have the ability to think for themselves but instead are stuck on stupid and a product of mass bible-belt hysteria. They are afraid to think out of the box and fear God will abandon them if they do. Sorry to wake them up but they have already been forsaken, completely abandoned and enjoy a state with a reputation of treating anything less than southern white like the plague. This is a sad state run by a racist government elected by the old school white majority. My youngest child is now 18 so obviously I plan on leaving this state of oppression asap, never looking back but finally moving forward.

  18. Why is it the people who yell the loudest about “freedom” are the same ones who want to force everyone else to be, act and believe as they do?

  19. I moved from NC 3 years ago after living there for over 20 years. NC is a typical southern bible thumping state with the white elite wishing for jim crowe to come back and the poor whites staying poor and in their “place”. I have found much to my sorrow the majority of southerners in general are stupid and ignorant and they are too lazy or don’t what to change. There is several reasons why companies are leaving NC in droves. The biggest one is they can not find educated workers.

  20. Probably not. His oath is to the State of North Carolina, not the USA. Our Constitution allows states to act within the bounds of the Constitution, and a party can sue the state at the federal level, but that takes a complainant with a lot of money to throw away on District Courts.

    He can say that this was “only stating his opinion at a private event” and that’s a defense he would probably win. If he drew up papers and got the governor to sign it, THAT would be a different story altogether.

  21. Apparently, the “god” these rednecks worship is such a wimp that he can’t get anything done without his loyal followers supporting him. A puny god indeed.

  22. But it does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods or no God. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.
    -Thomas Jefferson, Notes on Virginia, 1782

  23. i really have nothing against religion in and of itself. religion has it’s place in the world and in the scheme of things. yes religion has and can wrought great evil but you can’t deny that religion has also done great good.
    but…. religion does not belong in the rooms of government attempting to change the laws to suit themselves. or trying to subvert the constitution.
    no one, but no one should be forcing the belief in religion or in any god. by the same token, no one should be trying to force a non belief.
    that is one of the true beauties of this country. the right to believe and follow a religion and the right to not believe.

  24. I will not say you are wrong because I just do not know. But any true discussion must be based in facts (as far as we can find them). The wars of religion are other examples, in my mind, of people doing the wrong thing for what they see as the right reason or just using religion as an excuse to heighten their own power.

  25. All government officials swear an oath ” To protect and defend the Constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic” he is guilty of “Sedition”.

  26. Actually I think he is talking about different groups. Those enslaved poor people are the white Christians in poverty for which he has sympathy. The other group is black/brown/others who don’t work hard like “his” people do, they just take – aka 47%

  27. Funny, that’s what Romney got. 47% of takers who are looting this country and because of their ignorance are destroying the planet

  28. Leftists are funny. Dan Forest understands the Constitution instead of following the ACLU’s revised interpretation.

  29. ““America is at a great crossroads where it must decide for or against God.””

    Really has nothing to do with the constitution. Are you that stupid?

  30. You see, this is what happens when you come here full of cloches. You use them and they have nothing to do with anything. Leftists may be funny, but you RWNJ’s are incredibly stupid.

    the ACLU isnt even mentioned here. Do you have anything to say that has to do with the article? We can wait till you connect with Breitbarts brain

  31. Briefart has a brain? I always thought it was some hive collective because not once have I ever heard one of them with a original thought.

  32. Many conservatives are learning how to edit tapes to make things look different then they are. They are doing this by connecting to breitbarts brain in the grave

  33. I don’t know who is more idiotic, the Politian’s who say this shit or the people who truly believes this shit

  34. In the history of this world there has never been a theocratic state that was not repressive and violent against its own people also agressive against its neighbors. Religous leaders can not abide with any free thoughts or suggestions. This history is full of CHRISTIAN countries and includes protestants ones also. Europe fought, butchered each other in Christs name for centuries. The Muslims, Hindus, and others have similar histories. Religion has killed more humans than anything else in the name of God or gods. I believe in God and how disappointed with us he or she must be. I `

  35. If they keep their mouth’s shut, then we wouldn’t know who they are, anyways don’t condemn the morons for speaking their mind. All they are doing is exercising their right to free speech!

  36. ask him if he places his god above the Constitution, as some have done. If not, then he is bound to act for the Constitution. If so, then impeach him, because he will do anything to further his idea of what his god requires. He will lie for his god, as christianists do. He will hate for his god, as christianists do. He will kill for his god, as christianists do. He cannot be trusted to act in good faith for the Constitution, and for the people. He has already clearly stated his case, impeach him.

  37. Christian and Muslim religions mandate adherents convert others, that’s what this is all about. History displays outcomes of this mandate, and Sunni and Shia slaughters that endure even today are evidence of its brutality. Outcomes of the mandate are hatred (in a narrow sense, think hatred of gays, and in a broad sense, you will hate those who oppress you because you don’t share their religious ideas). Here’s a way to look at it: the outcome of the mandate are hatred, wars and killing. These outcomes are also the tools of the devil, another non-existent supernatural being associated with gods. The mandate is of gods, and its outcomes are doing the work of the devil. Religions that so mandate, that adherents convert others, are a scourge. If mankind is to survive it is time for these religions to address this issue, and begin to reform. Of course that will not happen, because the real issue here is power, just like this fool is using his gods to achieve power. He is a tool of the…

  38. If you count only the Crusades, the 100 Years War and the War of the Roses, the body count surely exceeds 10,000. The wars between the Muslims and Christians were, in effect, “world wars” because the area covered the then known world.

  39. These hypocrites make me sick. He is the son of Sue Myrick. She is from Ohio, he was born in Va. we attract the hypocites that want to make the big bucks using religion like dogs attract fleas. Sue was a Sunday School teacher with two children. But that didn’t stop her from going after another woman’s husband that had three children of his own. Ed Myrick. She admitted having an affair while he was still with his wife. Guess that adultery thingy wasn’t in her copy of the Bible or the ten commandments. This was years ago but that doesn’t change the facts. Or the underlying morality of the family.
    Dan learned about politics at his mother’s knee. And exactly what “christianity” really means to the greedy. She did a lot of damage to the people of NC and America with the likes of Jesse Helms and Faircloth behind her.. So typical of people that puts money and personal power above everything decent, she is a lobbyist now.

  40. One thing in the article that sticks out like a sore thumb is the phrase, “a modern liberal democracy”.

    Our American form of Government, as it was originally established, is a Federated Republic, NOT a Democracy.

    A Republic is “of, by, and for the People”. Whereas, a Democracy is Rule by Omnipotent Majority.

    In a Democracy, The Individual, and any group of Individuals composing any Minority, have no protection against the unlimited power of The Majority. It is a case of Majority-over-Man.

    When are people going to wake up and realize what they are losing because they continue to elect Politicians instead of Statesmen.

  41. Patty, with all respect, you should really do some research before you ask that question. Every time you see a politician’s name in NC, check them out right, just takes a minute. Make a list of how many that has any power were actually born in NC. Learn where the money that put them in office came from. And remember just how few politicians we can actually cast a vote for. In my personal case. My congress woman is 93 miles away. Renee Ellmers. She is from MICHIGAN, her husband from Ind. They moved to a very poor area of NC to open a clinic. Her goal was to run against “Obamacare”. Too much profit from medicare and Medicaid without scrutiny.
    She had two MILLION outside dollars and a gerrymandered district. Part of it retired officers from Ft. Bragg and Pinehurst. She still had a runoff and “won” by 1475 votes. Talk about voter fraud. But money talks. Does that sound like we don’t care? Or more like money trumps honesty?

  42. Ahh Steven..thanks for the laugh. I have to admit I know too many of the types you are talking about. But I know a LOT more from “the other side”. My hobby has been watching politics for years.
    I have had “the discussion” about President Obama a few times with the types you describe. I tend to call people on big piles of BS. And in every case when I ask where they get their information they can never give a good answer. And I have NEVER talked to one of them yet that even knows who our congresswoman is. All they know is what they hear from Fox News, Rupert Murdoch, Beck, Limbaugh etc. which BTW, none are from NC.
    Sadly I have known a few people that move here from away with YOUR attitude, too many. I have known many without “The Attitude”. Those types natives like very much and they never have any problems. Thing is, you get what you give. Ever thought just maybe it might be YOU?

  43. Well, the place for “God” is in one’s heart, not in our Constitution or government.

    Once again, so-called “Christians” complain about our secular country and her “failure” to mention God, etc. These are not true Christians, but CINO — Christian in name only. Instead of respecting all religions whatever they may be or represent, they abuse the privilege they have by practicing their belief and insist on a theocracy! It makes one wonder how these would fare in a theocracy of a religion they disagree with or which they condemn!

    Thanks to St. Ronald who validated these extremists when he warmly welcomed them during his administration, we are still encumbered with their chains.

  44. Man has ruined the concept of God with organized religion.If all these “Christians”really followed Christ’s teachings we would not have the social problems we have. When you really get down to it,Christ was a liberal freethinker who changed society.Man hasloused it up. These bible thumpers are CINO’s

  45. Yes, yes he is that stupid. He has never read either the Constitution, Declaration of Independence, Magna Carte, Federalist papers, none are God bound.

  46. Seems to Me He took every one of those words from a ridiculous chain email that was going around a few years ago. Several of My conservative “friends” and relatives made sure to send it to Me and save My Soul.

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