Rep. Sue Myrick (R-NC) is one of North Carolina's staunchest defenders from Islamic extremism. When it comes to Christian extremism, though, the record is more mixed.
Myrick held a forum on Thursday, Feb. 25, with about 200 of her Charlotte-area constituents from the Muslim community to address what many see as a record of offensive statements: She has suggested that U.S. House and Senate members shouldn't hire Muslims as interns—they might be trying to infiltrate the government. And she has openly voiced concerns about the number of Muslims operating convenience stores across the country. In 2008, she lobbied then-Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice to revoke former President Jimmy Carter's passport for meeting with leaders of Hamas.
At last week's two-hour forum, Myrick presided over a largely civil discussion of her record as a member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, which has oversight of anti-terrorism strategies, and a somewhat less civil exchange over her defense against Islamic extremism, which itself has bordered on the extreme.
However, Myrick's concern over religious extremism seems relegated to practitioners of one religion. At the forum, she pointedly avoided applying the label of "terrorist" to Joseph Stack, the 53-year-old Texan who flew his airplane into an IRS building in Austin in February.
Perhaps of greater concern, though, is Myrick's work with a right-wing evangelical group whose cause celebre violates the First Amendment's establishment clause.
The National Council on Bible Curriculum in Public Schools states on its Web site that it aims to "bring a state certified (sic) Bible course (elective) into the public high schools nationwide." The council claims that its curriculum is in place in 532 school districts in 38 states. (The NCBCPS doesn't release specifics, so this claim is difficult to verify.)
In its literature, the council echoes other Eurocentric groups' concerns over the U.S.'s increasing diversity. "There has been a great social regression since the Bible was removed from our schools," the group claims in its justification of the legality of its cause. "We need to refer to the original documents that inspired Americanism and our religious heritage."
On its Web site, the NCBCPS lists members of its advisory board, many of them North Carolina elected officials. Myrick's name is third from the top, and is followed by that of fellow N.C. Rep. Robin Hayes. (More)