creators.com opinion web
Liberal Opinion Conservative Opinion
Daily Editorials
26 Nov 2014
Ferguson Burns. Time for Justice Department to Act.

Ferguson Burns. Time for Justice Department to Act. The story of Ferguson has been told in pictures. First … Read More.

26 Nov 2014
Ferguson Grand Jury Did its Duty

Ferguson Grand Jury Did its Duty We empathize with the 12-person grand jury in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson,… Read More.

25 Nov 2014
Breaking Through the Immigration Roadblock

Welcome, Astrid Silva. President Barack Obama defied Congress and many in his own party Thursday night to … Read More.

Prayer Bill Looks Tame For Now

Comment

A new "prayer bill" is trying to win converts in the Florida Legislature, but it's worded so foggily that it doesn't do much more than play legal peekaboo with the American Civil Liberties Union. The bill carefully avoids mentioning Christianity or any other religion. It doesn't require anything of anybody. It doesn't even use the word prayer.

What it talks about instead are "inspirational messages."

"A district school board," the bill says, "may adopt a policy allowing an inspirational message to be delivered by students at a student assembly." Students will decide whether such a message will be delivered, who will deliver it and what it will say. Teachers need not apply. School district personnel, the bill says, won't be involved in planning or delivering the inspirational message. They won't even be allowed to "monitor or otherwise review" the content of the message.

The phrase "inspirational message" sounds safe and non-controversial. But don't be fooled. This is all about school prayer. "Ever since I was elected in '01," bill co-sponsor Sen.

Greg Evers, R-Baker, said last week, "a prayer bill has been one of the top priorities of mine."

Even so, civil libertarians and school officials are greeting this particular prayer bill with yawns.

Benjamin Stevenson, an attorney for the ACLU, said school boards already can let students offer inspirational messages. "It's unclear why Florida legislators believe this law is going to do anything," he said.

Tim Wyrosdick, superintendent of schools in Florida's Santa Rosa County, where a long, divisive fight over religion in schools ended just last year, echoed the lawyer's sentiment. "That bill," he said, "will not add anything to the privileges at Santa Rosa County or take anything away."

So far, so good. But we wonder if school administrators will be as nonchalant when a student somewhere wants his "inspirational message" to be a Muslim prayer, a Wiccan chant or an ode to atheism. Will school officials feel compelled to step in? Will new lawsuits be filed?

Whenever government pokes its nose into matters of personal faith, there are unintended consequences.

 

REPRINTED FROM THE NORTHWEST FLORIDA DAILY NEWS
DISTRIBUTED BY CREATORS.COM



Comments

0 Comments | Post Comment
Already have an account? Log in.
New Account  
Your Name:
Your E-mail:
Your Password:
Confirm Your Password:

Please allow a few minutes for your comment to be posted.

Enter the numbers to the right:  
Creators.com comments policy
More
Newspaper Contributors
Nov. `14
Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa
26 27 28 29 30 31 1
2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9 10 11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 19 20 21 22
23 24 25 26 27 28 29
30 1 2 3 4 5 6
About the author About the author
Printer friendly format Printer friendly format
Email to friend Email to friend
View by Month
Betsy McCaughey
Betsy McCaugheyUpdated 26 Nov 2014
Michelle Malkin
Michelle MalkinUpdated 26 Nov 2014
Brent Bozell

23 Jul 2014 Time to Privatize Mail Service

13 Mar 2014 Society Tolerates Rampant Sex Abuse in Schools

26 Mar 2014 Lifting the Lid on the Scope of Snooping