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Indiana Bill Would Require the Lord’s Prayer in Schools

A Republican legislator in Indiana who last year tried to get creationism into science classrooms now has submitted a bill to allow public schools in that state to recite the Lord’s prayer before school every day. The bill, introduced on the first day of the legislative session, says:

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.

That would last about a millisecond after a federal lawsuit was filed.

Comments

  1. Doug Little says

    In order that each student recognize the importance of spiritual development in establishing character and becoming a good citizen

    Anecdotal evidence would say otherwise.

  2. jnorris says

    I wonder if Jack Schaap said the Lord’s Prayer everyday? He was the pastor of a huge megachurch in Hammond, Indiana. He had sex with a 16 year old girl, a student at the time of his church’s school.

  3. freemage says

    If I were a Democrat, or one of the remaining sane Republicans (they exist, but they’re getting scarce), I’d work like hell to put in a clause that, in the event this bill is overturned by the Supreme Court (or a lower court with no appeal attempted), the lawmakers who voted for it, and the governor (if he signed it) would indemnify the state against both legal costs and damages. And if I got pushback, I’d be spending every night on the news making it as clear as I could that they KNOW this law is going to be a money-flush, and they don’t care, and how’s that “party of fiscal responsibility” thing going, again?

  4. says

    @freemage – I like that idea. The only gotcha is that the pols would then buy malpractice insurance and would probably figure a way to make the taxpayers pay for it, as usual.

  5. says

    I would demand equal time for the Charge of the Goddess. Imagine the brouhaha over a high school principle reading over the PA:

    “My worship is in the heart that rejoices, for behold! All acts of love and pleasure are My rituals.”

  6. anubisprime says

    Is this just the equivalent of waving a jebus shaped willy around?
    Every-time the polls show a a bit lacklustre in personal assessment they seem to roll out a jeebus tactic, it does not matter a jot if it never succeeds but it is the tool to extract dumbfuck support from the hard of thinking.

    Surely this idea smacks head on into the separation of religion and state mandate of the constitution?

    But it is the impression of a little jeebus sunbeam fighting the good fight…impressions speak louder then actually doing something constructive for the state…and they can be rolled out ad hoc and incessantly….modern American politics!

    I just hope our dedicated dead beats do not copy the trend, there are signs that it is a possibility, but traditionally religion has never been a real vote getter in the past. gotta get real desperate before a Blighty politician raises that stench….oh wait!

  7. John Hinkle says

    If I recall from my Catholic upbringing – or maybe it was from a Monty Python movie, I forget – the Lord’s Prayer goes like this:

    Oh God. You are so big. You are so incredibly huge. Gosh we’re all really impressed down here.

  8. Randomfactor says

    I wonder if Jack Schaap said the Lord’s Prayer everyday?

    Sure. Especially the part about “forgive us our trespasses.” It’s their get-out-of-jail-free card.

    Or would they use the Protestant version of the prayer instead of the Papist one?

  9. raven says

    I wonder if Jack Schaap said the Lord’s Prayer everyday?

    Sure.

    I’m sure he prayed that:

    1. The girl didn’t get pregnant.

    2. The girl didn’t tell her mother.

    And since he got caught and is in some legal trouble, prayer worked about as well as it always does.

  10. raven says

    may require the recitation of the Lord’s Prayer at the beginning of each school day.

    This is just magic.

    Muttering a few words from an old grimoire and expecting it to actually do something in the real world.

  11. Moggie says

    In order that each student recognize the importance of spiritual development in establishing character and becoming a good citizen…

    Heh, good luck with that. I had to recite the Lord’s Prayer every morning in primary school, and I’m sure it had no discernible effect on my character. Firstly, it contains very little about character and citizenship, being more about kissing God’s arse. Secondly, that daily repetition quickly reduces it to a series of meaningless sounds and just a chore to be endured. To this day, forty years later, despite never having recited it during those intervening years, I can still rattle it off, word-perfect, and it’s as empty of meaning for me today as it was then.

  12. eric says

    @6 – yup, that would be my guess. He did not really submit a bill to get prayer in school (although I’m sure he’d be ecstatic if that happened). He submitted a bill to make himself look good to his constituents.

  13. D. C. Sessions says

    1. The girl didn’t get pregnant.

    2. The girl didn’t tell her mother.

    And since he got caught and is in some legal trouble, prayer worked about as well as it always does.

    You’re giving it credit for 50% effectiveness?

  14. says

    “Secondly, that daily repetition quickly reduces it to a series of meaningless sounds and just a chore to be endured.”

    I could never, despite several years of being an altar boy, remember anything past:

    Pater Noster, quius in caelis, sanctificeter, nomen tuum. Ad veniat regnum tuum, fiat voluntas tua…”

    Same with the “Confetior”.

    Otoh, I can still remember the Suscipiat, almost 50 years after a priest looked down at me and said, “Do that again, slowly!”. We used to race through it, to see which of us could finish first. I think my best time was around 9 seconds.

    “Suscipiat dominus sacrificium de manibus tue. Ad laudem et gloriam nominis sui. Ad utilitatum quoque nostrum, totsiusque ecclesiae sue sancte.”

    I think it might be interesting to see how much of the school day is devoted to, y’know, school, after we’ve spent several hours honoring the various deities worshipped by the student body–oh, wait, that wasn’t the plan?

  15. dugglebogey says

    Since it is very obviously completely illegal in this country to force children to pray in public schools, can we also make it illegal to constantly try to get around that law? Attempted violation of the establishment clause? Conspiracy to violate the first amendment of the constitution? Something with penalties?

  16. lancifer says

    This excerpt from a USA article on the subject pretty much says it all.

    Kruse’s bill may not have much chance of success in the legislative session that begins Monday.

    Senate President Pro Tempore David Long, R-Fort Wayne, has assigned it to the Senate’s rules and legislative procedure committee, often a burial ground for bills.

    “My initial instincts were that it was probably unconstitutional,” Long, an attorney, said.

    The Senate legal staff agreed, he said.

    “It’s a clear violation of the interpretation of the First Amendment by the United States Supreme Court,” Long said, adding: “It’s not a personal opinion on my part.”

    Kruse, he said, may have filed the bill “to make a statement, not expecting a hearing.”

    Kruse did not return calls seeking comment.

    Kruse is just grandstanding for the rural Jebustards in his district.

  17. says

    So how about making them recite Muslim prayers? They have to do that five times a day, which should be five times better than saying only one prayer a day. Right?
    Or they could be Hindu prayers, with much better odds being that there’s like +/- 100,000* possible gods and goddesses who could hear those prayers. Surely one of them would be willing to help the students out.
    Pah, you Christians want just ONE god in our schools?

    * I’m not totally sure of that number, but it sounds reasonable.

  18. Doug Little says

    Random Factor @8,

    I wonder if Jack Schaap said the Lord’s Prayer everyday?

    Sure. Especially the part about “forgive us our trespasses transporting minors across state lines for the purpose of sex.” It’s their get-out-of-jail-free card.

    There FIFY.

  19. Doug Little says

    Moggie @12,

    Firstly, it contains very little about character and citizenship, being more about kissing God’s arse

    QFT!

  20. Doug Little says

    “My initial instincts were that it was probably unconstitutional,” Long, an attorney, said.

    Understatement of the year. Is he hedging his bets?

  21. says

    @Demo:

    “ I could never, despite several years of being an altar boy, remember anything past: Pater Noster, quius in caelis, sanctificeter, nomen tuum. Ad veniat regnum tuum, fiat voluntas tua…”

    Surely, you remember a) what kind of gum priests chew and b) the pope’s telephone number.

  22. says

    @23, those jokes are the only reason I remember any Latin phrases from childhood. In my pre-age-of-reason condition, it all sounded like mumbling, an impression reinforced by our alcoholic monsignor who mumbled even when he was speaking English. The guy’s mouth never moved.

  23. says

    @7 John Hinckle –
    Reminds me of Bokononist last rites (Vonnegut):

    God made mud.
    God got lonesome.
    So God said to some of the mud, “Sit up!”
    “See all I’ve made,” said God, “the hills, the sea, the sky, the stars.”
    And I was some of the mud that got to sit up and look around.
    Lucky me, lucky mud.
    I, mud, sat up and saw what a nice job God had done.
    Nice going, God.
    Nobody but you could have done it, God! I certainly couldn’t have.
    I feel very unimportant compared to You.
    The only way I can feel the least bit important is to think of all the mud that didn’t even get to sit up and look around.
    I got so much, and most mud got so little.
    Thank you for the honor!
    Now mud lies down again and goes to sleep.
    What memories for mud to have!
    What interesting other kinds of sitting-up mud I met!
    I loved everything I saw!
    Good night.
    I will go to heaven now.
    I can hardly wait…
    To find out for certain what my wampeter was…
    And who was in my karass…
    And all the good things our karass did for you.
    Amen.

  24. Scott Hanley says

    Kruse is just grandstanding for the rural Jebustards in his district.

    Hey, that’s my mother you’re talking about!

    *heavy sigh*

  25. grumpyoldfart says

    That would last about a millisecond after a federal lawsuit was filed.

    That wouldn’t faze him in the slightest. He’s not at all worried about school prayers. He couldn’t care less who prays and who doesn’t. He’s just trying to get himself listed by the Christian right-wingers as a politician who behaves “correctly” in the hope it will give him another term at the next election.

  26. Scott Hanley says

    Modusoperandi,

    That is quite true. But if I fail to mention her rösti, then I’m still selling her short.

  27. anubisprime says

    Well yeah…tis ‘Grandstanding’ then!

    You can get the stench of it from the excuse…

    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.

    There is no clue in de lawd’s majik whisper to help in the cited endeavour…it is just bigging up de lawd!

    So he is not even trying to get a coherent spin, just waste tax payers money in an attempt to win the stupidity vote next hustings!
    Is that not illegal?

  28. vmanis1 says

    I get tired of the repetitive attempts to introduce the same crappy bills over and over. So here are some new suggestions.

    1. Repeal the Law of Gravity. (Or at least add a conscience-based opt-out clause.)

    2. Require toast that falls on the floor to land butter-side up. (This can then lead to an interesting Supreme Court case about whether `butter’ includes `margarine’.)

    3. Define e to have the value 2.7, rather than the more common 2.718281828459045…. Don’t forget that Indiana was the state where a bill was once introduced (and survived first reading) to allow users to select their own value for pi, one of 3.2, 3.23, or 4, as your fancy dictated.

  29. iangould says

    Considering how “intelligent design” is a purely scientific theory with no religious content, it’s funny how many of the lawmakers seeking to introduce it into American schools also seek to introduce Christian prayer.

  30. Rodney Nelson says

    This can then lead to an interesting Supreme Court case about whether `butter’ includes `margarine’.

    That case has already been decided. Collins v. New Hampshire 171 US 30 (1898) defined margarine as not being butter.

    The article [oleomargarine] has the color of butter, the same coloring matter being used to color it that is frequently used to color butter, and is made wholly or in part of fats, oils or grease not produced from milk or cream, in imitation of or as a substitute for butter.

  31. says

    And since he got caught and is in some legal trouble, prayer worked about as well as it always does

    Ray Wylie Hubbard tells a great story about that. About how the only prayer he used to know was “O lord if you get me out of this I swear I’ll never do it again.” And how he got caught with some drugs and there was a preacher who told him, “you just gotta refer everything over to Jesus.” And, well “Jesus handed it over to the DA.”

  32. cynix says

    Becasue clearly without the coercive powwer of government to mandate it, Christianity can’t suceed on its own “merits”.

  33. lancifer says

    Scott Hanley,

    Hey, that’s my mother you’re talking about!

    *heavy sigh*

    Sadly my mother is a Hoosier Jebustard as well. It gives her comfort and (mostly) she leaves me alone about my impending date with the “lake of fire”.

    At least I won’t have to change my avatar and, well, I do hate being cold…

  34. jayarrrr says

    Indiana has a budget surplus right now, the result of Our Bitch Mitch’s fiscal prowess (AKA “letting the infrastructure crumble”) so what better to spend it on than defending an illegal Act that should eat up about 2 million of that surplus?

    This guy brings some piece of Focus-on-the-Family-created tripe to the floor every year. last year, he was going to ignore the lesson of Kitzmiller v. Dover and introduced a “Creation Science” bill that was sent to the Gulag committee and forgotten. He’s just trying to give his biggest campaign contributors their money worth.

  35. birgerjohansson says

    We still had morning prayers in Swedish schools for my first two years at school. Boring. Trying to enforce this kind of stuff firmly associates “religion” with “boredom” in young minds.

  36. Sastra says

    “In order that each student recognize the importance of spiritual development …”

    Uh oh. “Spiritual development.” Re-thinking God. Changing your religious views from how you were taught at home by your parents. Growing out of the old ways, and developing your understanding of “spirituality.”

    Looks like we got a subversive here. He just revealed that the “Lord’s Prayer” is part of an agenda. Kids are going to come home wearing pentagrams and hugging trees.

  37. jnorris says

    New state law: for every bill introduced to force school prayer or post the ten commandments, your district loses 2 million dollars in state aid and you are docked a week’s pay.

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