​MS Rep's 'Heart Would Melt' If Only She Could Violate Schoolchildren's Constitutional Rights

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In 1962, the Supreme Court found, correctly, that prayer in public schools — even if it is non-denominational and even if children are not required to participate — violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment of the United States Constitution. Ever since then, pushy religious people have been trying to undo that, because for some reason it is super important to them to get to force their religion on other people, especially other people's children.

The latest in this long line of people who don't seem to get the whole "separation of church and state" deal is new Mississippi Rep. Jill Ford, who wants children to be forced to pray in schools primarily because she thinks it would be super cute and also Jesus would like it a whole lot. On January 27th, Ford filed her very first bill, a proposed amendment to the Mississippi Constitution that would allow for prayer in schools. Christian prayer, of course.




On Facebook, Rep. Ford wrote:

Yesterday, January 27, 2020, was a historic day for not only Governor Tate Reeves as he presented his State of the State address to the people of Mississippi - favorite line: "we've been singing the Blues long enough, it's time to sing Gospel now - the Good News".

It was also the day I filed my very first Bill. A Bill that will more than likely never see the light of day. But one the Lord planted in my heart years ago: To begin every morning with The Lord's Prayer in every public school in Mississippi.

At least she recognizes that it will never see the light of day, at least as long as we still have some First Amendment rights — though if Trump gets another term, you never know.

This, for the record, is the Lord's Prayer that she wants kids to say in class every morning.

Our Father who art in heaven,
Hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come.
Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us,
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil, Amen

That's the Catholic version, but there are a bunch of different versions and I'm sure there's some special Evangelical version she would want to use, but that's pretty much the gist of it for all of them.

She continues:

Can you only imagine what would begin to happen in the Spiritual Realm if the children would stand before Him lifting their heads in prayer asking Him to "lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil" - oh how we would see the atmosphere begin to change across Mississippi as depression and suicide would stop becoming the norm, we would watch as our children's grades begin to rise, their hearts softened and their minds saturated with good thoughts and not thoughts of addictions. The Word says "the eyes of the Lord range to and fro searching for those hearts committed to Him" and I believe that His eyes would fall on our children every single morning as they continually sought him to "give them this day their daily bread ..." my heart melts just imagining it!

Aw! Her heart melts! How can we say no? Do we want her to have a solid, unmelted heart? And think of how super happy it would make Jesus or God or whichever one of them is officially the Lord. Or both of them if they are both the Lord.

Ford also appears to think that requiring children to pray to a "Lord" they may not personally believe in would reduce suicide rates and depression and make all of the grades go up. Except in science, we would imagine. Now, this may be a thing that works for her, personally — and she should do whatever gets her through the day — but I would imagine that it would not have quite the same effect on non-Christian children. In fact, as someone who was once a non-Christian child herself, I can guarantee it.

First step is requesting Congress to allow prayer back in school. Stranger things have happened: it got taken out by one hell-bent woman. Maybe, just maybe, this heaven-bent woman could have something to do with getting it put back in. I know there is a lot of editing to be done, but I just pray it will at least be taken seriously.

The "hell-bent woman" is, of course, Madalyn Murray-O'Hair.

For what it's worth, Christian children who want to pray in school are free to do so. Christian teachers are also free to pray in school. They can have Christian clubs if they like, in which they all get together and pray their little hearts out. The only thing they cannot do is require all the other kids to do it with them — or put those kids in a position where they have to exempt themselves.

And people like Jill Ford know that. They don't want school prayer for the benefit of Christian children. They want school prayer to reach the kids who are not Christian. They want to use it to evangelize and recruit, because evangelizing is part of their religion. Of course, they probably wouldn't like it too much if other religions decided that Christian school children should be forced to recite their prayers.

If Jill Ford wants to evangelize, she is free to do so. If it would melt her heart to see children praying, surely there is a Sunday School class she could sit in on, or some Precious Moments figurines she could put on display in her home. But it is not the US government's job to subsidize that.

[Friendly Atheist]

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Robyn Pennacchia

Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. In addition to her work at Wonkette, she also has a biweekly column at Dame. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse

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