(Warning: this post is a parody — though the fact that we have to make that explicit probably says something about the current state of things in North Carolina.)
In an effort to build on the warm reception they received this week to their introduction of the “Uphold Historical Marriage Act” — a proposal that seeks to once again ban same-sex marriage in North Carolina in direct contravention of the U.S. Supreme Court based on a specifically cited directive in Genesis that “a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh” — conservative state lawmakers announced this morning that they are laying plans to introduce omnibus legislation to give numerous other key Bible directives the force of state law.
According to Rep. Harley Smidlap (R – Moab) the legislation will be entitled the “Bible is Inerrant, But Leviticus Especially” Act or “BIBLE Act” for short. “We thought of simply introducing the whole Bible itself as a new and separate chapter in the General Statutes,” the veteran lawmaker observed, “but we knew that the printing cost on that would have been pretty big so we decided to keep things simple for now.”
Smidlap was joined in his efforts by Sen. Homer Noodleman (R – Hazor). According to Noodleman, the overwhelming need for the BIBLE Act became apparent when he and several other conservative legislators were drafting the proposed marriage bill. “When we looked at Genesis the other day, it suddenly dawned on us that there are all sorts of divine commandments that North Carolina law is flouting,” the senator said.
When pressed on the fact that numerous directives in the Bible appear to conflict directly with established principles of constitutional law, neither Smidlap nor Noodleman expressed significant concern.
“I’ll admit that there are some things we’ll have to work out,” Noodleman conceded.
“Yeah, like the whole re-institution of slavery thing. We understand that’s not gonna’ happen overnight,” Smidlap added.
Both lawmakers, however, expressed confidence that the recent confirmation of Neil Gorsuch to the U.S. Supreme Court could pave the way for dramatic constitutional changes in the very near future.
This sentiment was echoed by Sally Subservient, a lawyer for the conservative advocacy group, Christian Religious Advocates for Zero Yielding (C.R.A.Z.Y.). “Justice Gorsuch is an constitutional originalist,” Subservient noted. “And, obviously, the Old Testament is original as you can get.”
Smidlap and Noodleman indicated that details of the Bible Act are still being finalized in the General Assembly’s bill drafting office, but did provide a preview of some of what it will contain. Among the specific provisions expected to be included:
- A new requirement that all boys be circumcised in keeping with Genesis 17:14 (“And the uncircumcised man child whose flesh of his foreskin is not circumcised, that soul shall be cut off from his people; he hath broken my covenant.”)
- An amendment to state criminal law requiring rapists to marry their victims in keeping with Deuteronomy 22:28-29 (“If a man find a damsel that is a virgin, which is not betrothed, and lay hold on her, and lie with her, and they be found; Then the man that lay with her shall give unto the damsel’s father fifty shekels of silver, and she shall be his wife; because he hath humbled her, he may not put her away all his days.)
- A new state ban on tattoos and the tattoo industry in keeping with Leviticus 19:28 (“Ye shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor print any marks upon you: I am the Lord.”)
- A prohibition on the sale, possession or wearing of clothing that includes two different kinds of material in keeping with Leviticus 19:19 (“Ye shall keep my statutes. Thou shalt not let thy cattle gender with a diverse kind: thou shalt not sow thy field with mingled seed: neither shall a garment mingled of linen and woollen come upon thee.”)
- A new series of requirements (modeled in part on similar efforts in Saudi Arabia) that segregate men and women at “that time of the month.” The directives will be in keeping with several verses in Leviticus (e.g. 15:19, 15:20-22, 15:24, 15:28) , that specify how society should treat menstruating women.
- Forced closure of all barbecue establishments and Red Lobster restaurants in keeping with Leviticus 11:7 and Deuteronomy 14:8 (“And the swine, because it divideth the hoof, yet cheweth not the cud, it is unclean unto you: ye shall not eat of their flesh, nor touch their dead carcase.“) and Leviticus 11:10 (“And all that have not fins and scales in the seas, and in the rivers, of all that move in the waters, and of any living thing which is in the waters, they shall be an abomination unto you.”)
- The immediate cessation of all college and professional sporting events on Sundays in keeping with Exodus 20:8-10 (“Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates.”)
Spokespersons for groups dedicated to the separation of church and state were not immediately available for public comment on the proposed Bible Act, this afternoon, but one lobbyist, speaking on the condition of anonymity did observe that she would try to adhere to the directive contained in Proverbs 26:4 (“Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest thou also be like unto him.“)