'Religious Freedom'-Fighting NC Lawmaker Opposes Islamic Prayer in Legislative Meetings: 'I Do Not Condone Terrorism'

One of the North Carolina state representatives who co-sponsored a Constitution-overriding bill to declare an official state religion made it fairly clear to a constituent that it was unlikely Islam would be picked as the Tar Heel State's One True Belief System.

Writing to Rep. Michele Presnell (R-Burnsville) with concerns about the since-killed House Resolution 494, constituent Britt Kaufmann asked the first-term lawmaker why she was so adamant to establish a state religion in North Carolina.

"The famed ACLU is telling Rowan County they may not pray before commissioners meetings," Presnell responded. "We pray in Raleigh before our legislative meetings, U.S. Congress prays in Washington DC, why can they not pray?" Kaufmann wrote back to ask if, in same vein, Presnell would "be comfortable with a public prayer to Allah before a legislative meeting in Raleigh."

Presnell replied bluntly: "No, I do not condone terrorism."

In an astonishing bit of Orwellian doublespeak, she then went on to warn that "we just need to start taking a stand on our religious freedom or it will be whisked away from us."

The Council on American-Islamic Relations called on other Republicans to reject Presnell hateful (and nonsensical) remark.

"If the Republican Party hopes to reach out to minority groups, it must clearly and forcefully repudiate such bigoted comments by its representatives," a spokesperson said in a statement.

[H/T: Huffington Post via Wonkette, photo via WRAL]