"That old law about 'an eye for an eye' leaves everybody blind. The time is always right to do the right thing." - Martin Luther King (United States Constitution, Bill of Rights)
© 2006-2009 Sex Offender Issues , All Rights Reserved
the term ‘rights of conscience’ as used in Article I, s 26, of the Constitution of North Carolina, must be construed in relation to the right to worship God according to the dictates of one's own conscience. Consequently, the freedom protected by this provision of the State Constitution is no more extensive than the freedom to exercise one's religion, which is protected by the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. Clearly, these constitutional provisions do not provide immunity for every act which one's conscience permits him to do, or even for every act which one's conscience classifies as required by ethics, nor do they shield the defendant from a command by the State that he do an act merely because he believes it morally or ethically wrong. It is the right to exercise one's religion, or lack of it, which is protected, not one's sense of ethics.