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Demonstrators march in downtown Wilmington for separation of church and state

Shouting “Keep it separate,” a group of about 40 protestors marched across eight blocks of downtown Wilmington Sunday to protest what they say is a lack of separation of church and state.

Amanda Greene of Wilmington Faith and Values reports that one issue spurring the march was the May vote for a constitutional marriage amendment.

They carried painted signs declaring:  "Tax the church" or "Hate isn't holy" or “God hates you,” just as the Sunday lunch crowds were gathering.   The Humanists and Freethinkers of Cape Fear supported the march, but organizers say it was open to people of all faiths.  

March leader Sam West says it began as a reaction against faith-based lobbyist involvement in the Amendment One fight.   Other recent church-state conflicts West cites include the fight over sectarian prayer in the N.C. General Assembly and at local board meetings.

For the most part, downtown onlookers watched the protestors pass without comment, though one man followed them on his bicycle declaring he would defend the Lord.

Marcher Mikara Bolden drove from Hickory for the rally because she says she’s tired of seeing persecution of people based on their beliefs or lifestyle.  She says she’s glad she made the trip.

Amanda Greene posts for Wilmington Faith and Values.