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July 03, 2013 11:30 AM Selective Fundamentalism in North Carolina

By Ed Kilgore

Something tells me the North Carolina legislators who suddenly (in order, it seems, to prevent the kind of protests their brethren in Texas are encountering) popped a let’s-shut-down-the-abortion clinics bill onto unrelated legislation would not see the irony in their choice of a Shariah Law bill as the vehicle. Yes, having resolved to protect the Tar Heel State from the entirely imaginary threat of Islamic theocracy, the solons figured they’d show the world what home-grown theocracy looked like.

Maybe I’m exaggerating a bit here, but the belief of many antichoice activists that they are engaged in “spiritual warfare” against demonic hordes promoting rebellion against the Ordinances of the Almighty is pretty hard to ignore. As we speak the Wingnutosphere is aflame with allegations that pro-choice protestors in Texas are chanting “Hail Satan” to counter the hymn-singing of the pro-life godly. Once again, an appreciation of irony is not a strong suit for conservative activists.

North Carolina, of course, is the state where the newly triumphant Republican state legislative majority (emboldened by the election of a Republican governor last November) under the lash of its paymaster and guide, Art Pope, is, well, running kind of wild. GOP leaders did quash the infamous bill seeking to nullify any federal laws or judicial decisions prohibiting the states from setting up an official church, but I’m sure they’ll come back with some version of Rick Perry’s “Merry Christmas bill” to make clear their contempt for any idea of church-state separation.

And these are the people who can’t stop talking about “liberty,” acting on the very eve of Independence Day. Even if their sense of irony is dead, a little shame or just plain sheepishness would be appropriate.

Ed Kilgore is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly. He is managing editor for The Democratic Strategist and a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute. Find him on Twitter: @ed_kilgore.

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