Target: Carrol Mitchem, Lincoln County Board of Commissioners Chair
Goal: Don’t privilege Christians over Americans of other religions.
The United States is a Christian country and the government should prioritize Christians because of it, according to North Carolina’s Lincoln County official Carrol Mitchem. Such favoritism is blatantly illegal and cannot be allowed. Demand that Mitchem cease enforcing his religious biases.
As Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan put it, “every citizen, irrespective of her religion, owns an equal share in her government.” Mitchem does not seem to agree with this, however. After a federal court judge ruled that government meetings in a neighboring county must stop beginning with prayers to “Jesus, the Savior,” Mitchem railed against what he called “changing rules on the way the United States was founded.”
“I don’t need no Arab or Muslim or whoever telling me what to do or us here in the county what to do about praying. If they don’t like it, stay the hell away,” Mitchem said. “Other religions, or whatever, are in the minority. The U.S. was founded on Christianity. I don’t believe we need to be bowing to the minorities… [Christianity] is what the majority of people believe in, and it’s what I’m standing up for.”
Mitchem’s authority as chair of the Lincoln County Board of Commissioners grants him the power to put his contempt for minorities into action. Sign the petition below to demand that he not curtail the rights of religious minorities in his county.
Dear Chairperson Mitchem,
I am writing you today regarding comments you made about religion in America. Your views are contrary to the rights and protections enshrined in the Constitution and Bill of Rights and you must not act on them.
The Establishment Clause in the First Amendment ensures that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” As such, the United States is very decidedly not a “Christian nation.” Whether or not the country was founded on “Christian principles” does not give you or any other government official the right to privilege that religion above any others. Your refusal to allow hypothetical Muslim prayers before your county board meetings, just because they are not Christian, would not be legal.
America was founded in no small part on the principle of religious freedom—you, as a representative of its government, should embrace that reality. I demand that you stop privileging the rights of Christians over Americans of other religions in your capacity as a government official.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: dbking