SC Rep.: If You Take Prayer Out of School, “You Replace It With Metal Detectors”

By Hemant Mehta

During a public forum last night at the Savannah Grove Baptist Church in South Carolina, several state representatives brought up a still-not-dead bill they sponsored that would allow public school teachers to pray with students. It’s an act that’s already been declared unconstitutional because it’s a form of religious coercion, but that hasn’t stopped these religious opportunists from pleasuring the Religious Right.

H. 3345 was first proposed in December of 2016, but it still resides in the Education and Public Works committee, where it’s been for more than a year. The text is pretty straightforward:

A teacher employed by a public school district may express a religious viewpoint, and also may conduct or participate in any student-led prayer or student-organized prayer groups, religious clubs, or other religious gatherings organized by students of a public school

To put it another way, a football coach could have a pre-game prayer to Jesus Christ. A math teacher could lead the class in prayer before a big exam. And overt proselytizing in the classroom wouldn’t be punished.

It would just be government-sponsored Christian indoctrination.

And that’s why South Carolina Republicans love it.

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