N. Carolina Lawmakers Want to Declare State Religion They say Constitution forbids Congress, not states, from doing so By John Johnson, Newser Staff Posted Apr 3, 2013 5:00 PM CDT 197 comments Comments (Shutterstock) (Newser) – The US Constitution might have a problem with merging church and state on the federal level, but two lawmakers in North Carolina say that shouldn't apply to their state or any other, reports the Raleigh News & Observer. The two Rowan County Republicans have introduced the Defense of Religion Act, arguing that North Carolina should be able to declare an official state religion. Their chances of success? Not so hot, reports the Week, which rounds up reaction from a host of outlets. All of this stems from a lawsuit filed by the ACLU last month to stop Rowan County commissioners from opening their meetings with a prayer, reports WRAL.com. Two quotes from the competing camps: "Each state in the union is sovereign and may independently determine how that state may make laws respecting an establishment of religion," states the bill. “The bill sponsors fundamentally misunderstand constitutional law and the principle of the separation of powers that dates back to the founding of this country,” says the ACLU. Click for more at the Huffington Post.