The House Education Committee adopted what’s ballyhooed as the “Religious Viewpoints Antidiscrimination Act”—the brainchild of pig farmer/Republican Rep. Andy Holt, who boldly declared during today’s debate that anyone who opposes his bill opposes the First Amendment.
The U.S. Constitution, the state constitution and federal and state law already guarantee students’ right to express and practice their religious faith in public schools. They can pray individually or in groups or meet to discuss their religious views as long as they aren’t disruptive.
But as the ACLU points out, Holt’s bill would subject children “to unwarranted prayer and proselytizing in a variety of inappropriate settings, including the classroom, school-day assemblies, and school events.”
And that’s fine with the legislature’s Christian nutjobs. They became a little queasy about the bill only when school superintendent lobbyist Chuck Cagle testified that it also would allow “the Wiccans and those of Jewish faith” as well as atheists to brow-beat all those little budding Billy Grahams at school.
Rep. Richard Montgomery, who is chairman of the Education Committee even though he regularly mangles his grammar and speaks in bizarre hillbilly English, pointed this out:
I do support this legislation but there is one thing we need to make clear. There is going to be some turmoil out there. As long as your religion is being spoken …everything’s absolutely fine. But whenever it does come to, whether it be a Wiccan or a Muslim or whatever, a lot of our community is going to get up in arms that don’t believe in that. You’re going to have an uproar out of this world in a lot of communities because something’s being talked about and speech is being made totally against 99 percent of what the community believes in.