Pushing creationism into science classrooms wasn’t enough, so now there’s legislation to require the recitation of the Lord’s Prayer at the beginning of each school day. Yes, public school. It’s all in Senate Bill 251, which states:
4.6. (a) In order that each student recognize the importance of spiritual development in establishing character and becoming a good citizen, the governing body of a school corporation or the equivalent authority of a charter school may require the recitation of the Lord’s Prayer at the beginning of each school day. The prayer may be recited by a teacher, a student, or the class of students.
(b) If the governing body or equivalent authority requires the recitation of the Lord’s Prayer under subsection (a), the governing body or equivalent authority shall determine the version of the Lord’s Prayer that will be recited in the school corporation or charter school.
(c) A student is exempt from participation in the prayer if:
(1) the student chooses not to participate; or
(2) the student’s parent chooses to have the student not participate.
1. Spiritual development has nothing to do with establishing character and becoming a good student. From all of the atheist Hoosiers, fuck you.
2. This has been established as unconstitutional by the Supreme Court so many times. SO MANY TIMES. Are these legislators thinking no one is paying attention? Even I have a hard time believing they’re stupid enough to A) Not know how fucking unconstitutional this is or B) Think they have any chance of the current Supreme Court overturning the previous rulings.
3. Adding an exemption clause does not suddenly make this constitutional. It’s still the government endorsing a religion (and a particular religion at that). Not to mention that it’s completely ignorant of the power dynamics of schools. A student who chooses not to participate is effectively choosing social suicide and bullying. Ask Jessica Ahlquist how much she enjoys losing all of her friends and constantly receiving threats. It’s effectively making it so students must participate.
Unsurprisingly, this piece of legislation comes from the same guy who’s pushing the creationist legislation. Way to force your Christian agenda onto the state, asshole. As if it wasn’t already oppressively Christian in an unofficial way.
If you’re an Indiana citizen, please write your representatives. And if you’re in an Indiana atheist organization, please make a stink about this. This is your chance to get in the media and yell “This is not okay!”
You know, I was invited to speak for my alma mater the Purdue Non-Theists during my spring break in March. Maybe I could make a little tour of the state with the topic of “The Indiana Theocracy.” Heaven knows I have enough examples for an hour long talk. Any other groups interested in having me should shoot me an email.