Florida Prayer in Schools Bill Passes House, Going to the Governor

Categories: Religion
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"Class, please pass your homework forward." -- Jesus
Joyous news, proselytizers of the world -- if Gov. Rick Scott signs the bill that the Florida House passed moments ago, Florida public school districts will now totally have the ability to allow prayer in public schools.

The bill, SB 98, doesn't explicitly allow prayer in schools, but it does say school districts can adopt policies allowing for "inspirational messages" on the condition that the schools don't control the actual message. That way, the logic goes, the school isn't endorsing the prayer because it didn't know the prayer was coming.

If you expect Florida school districts to make the right choice on their own, consider that, as of last year, 27 of them still allowed students to be beaten with paddles.

The bill says students need "the opportunity for formal or ceremonious observance of an occasion or event." Praise the Lord! The varsity basketball team is playing the cross-town rival!

If you think interpreting this as a prayer bill is a stretch, consider that the original text of the bill specifically said, "The use of a prayer of invocation or benediction is at the discretion of the student government," which seems to be in conflict with a big pile of Supreme Court cases.

That's OK, though -- North Florida Republican Charles Van Zant told the House that removing prayer from schools is what's caused so many of society's gosh-durned problems, according to the Sun-Sentinel.

"Before we removed inspirational messages, the number-one problem was talking out of turn," he said. "Now, it's drug abuse."

But Davie Democrat Marty Kiar said the inspirational messages could also be used to advocate for drug abuse:

"What really concerns me is that the bill sponsor basically said that a student can even preach something that could endanger the health and safety of our students," he said. "They could advocate for drug abuse, they could advocate for gang violence, and that scares me."

The Sentinel also paraphrased Kiar saying that a student could say the Holocaust didn't occur. What's going on up there in Tallahassee?

(Kiar introduced an amendment yesterday to, among other things, prohibit "messages of hate." It failed.)

Delray Beach Democratic Rep. Lori Berman said that she, as part of a small minority of Jewish students, felt awkward discussing religion when she was in elementary school, according to the Palm Beach Post. Because, hey, when you let kids decide which god gets prayed to, the popular one's probably going to win.

"Our constitution protects us from state-sponsored prayer, and this bill is clearly unconstitutional," Berman said.

Boca Democratic Rep. Irv Slosberg agreed, predicting that lawsuits are almost certainly being written up as we speak.

"The only message we're going to be sending," Slosberg said, "is, 'Hello, school boards, get out your checkbooks.'"

Amen.


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26 comments
Chuck Jones
Chuck Jones

The governor will sign it, and it will then go to the Federal Courts, which will strike down the unconstitutional law.  So that would be like the 5th or 6th item that the governor signed into "law" that was found to be unconstitutional.  Rick, you need to get some better legal counsel, cause what you have right now got their law degrees by mail order from Kazakhstan.

Shirahpenn
Shirahpenn

When I was a little girl in Orlando,Florida back in 1944, we had prayer in the classroom. My father was the first Rabbi in Orlando. So as a little Jewish girl I was told to stand and say The Lord's Prayer. That was not my prayer and I felt very excluded. It was a very hard fight to get prayer out of the public schools. That is the problem with allowing prayer in the classroom. It is very discriminatory. 

Isaiah60andjohn3
Isaiah60andjohn3

Whatever you think about the matter that you don't know very well, please keep for yourself, if you don't know who is Jesus Christ and His relevance in the history, please give a favor to yourself and don't talk about Him. Thank you and God Bless You.

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Originalswampyankee
Originalswampyankee

prayer has no place whatsoever in public schools, i am shocked,,,,,,the very foundation of this country was the seperatists escaping from government mandated religion, this is a gateway for the religous extremists to gain a foothold, very very very scary, absolutely apalling to me

Walerob
Walerob

On another subject  " Gambling" Who cares Gambling Was here way before most  of us were born Back in the 20's and 30's We had legal gambling All the hotels  on the beach had gambling tables, so what is the difference now,  Now all of a sudden we are too good , too honest to have Gambling, please give me a break, We need something, we need  work in South Florida to replace  16% unemployment  In Miami-Dade County ...

Martha
Martha

YES !!, , because When I went to school there was prayer in schools,  and every one prayed in there own way . Maybe if prayer had not been taken out of schools,   the country would not be in the state it is,  No respect Parents, No respect for Teachers, No respect for authority s and      Saddly enough for the other humans on this PLANET in general ...

KennyPowersII
KennyPowersII

Perpetuating the fairy tales with legislation. Numb headed legislators pandering to their numb headed constituents.

“Civilization will not attain to its perfection until the last stone from the last church falls on the last priest.” ― Émile Zola

your mom
your mom

i'm just curious to see whats gonna happen when the islamic kid wants to put his inspirational message up on the wall?

FQS9000
FQS9000

Oh no, the Atheists are going to be really, really pissed.  And who but them cares if they are irritated.

BTW, the separation of church and state refers to a state IMPOSED religion.  Not anything that is a free choice of the local yokels.  This is a concept the atheists always ignore as they try to impose their religion on everybody else.

GuntherZorn
GuntherZorn

We may as well face it ... along with long suffering compatriots in Arizona and Texas, we live in one of the most backward, right-wing nut-job states in the union.

Mike Linder
Mike Linder

The First Amendment states that "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof."  Have our house representatives read the constitution?

Mike Linder
Mike Linder

Living in the civilized part of Florida, sometimes I forget that we're still in the south!  This will get overturned in the courts, this is a clear violation of the separation of church and state.

Chaz Stevens, Genius
Chaz Stevens, Genius

Jesus Christ, when will Jesus Christ stop fucking us all up?  I wish the dead bastard would stay dead.

Well, unless of course he can help the Fish win a few games, then hell yes.  Bring that bastard back for another go!

Bebep
Bebep

Religion cause more problems worldwide that anything else.

Nice of you using it as a scapegoat again here.

Mindless drones... mindless drones.

Chaz Stevens, Genius
Chaz Stevens, Genius

Maybe this is just a way for pedophile priests to get one step closer to their inventory.

Chaz Stevens, Genius
Chaz Stevens, Genius

Waterboard that rude little fucker for being...  well... not Christian.

KennyPowersII
KennyPowersII

 It is the selfless job of atheists to drag the religionists and religious zealot fairy tale practitioners out of the stone age for the betterment of society.

Mike Linder
Mike Linder

 If a student is forced by a pulblic school to listen to another student ramble on about jesus, yes it is IMPOSED religion

spudnixx
spudnixx

An argument could be made that public schools, which are funded with tax dollars, fall under that definition. We'll find out soon enough as this is surely headed to court.

But until it's sorted out, I'm sure you'll have no problem when those kids practicing Santaria offer a prayer or two.

Jason Howard
Jason Howard

 I totally agree with what you said here, I think it is reasonable.

GuntherZorn
GuntherZorn

Wait ... What? There is a civilized part of florida?

Satan
Satan

 He didn't help Tebow much in the playoffs!

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