I love the first paragraph of this editorial from the Salt Lake Tribune about a bill in the Utah state legislature that purports to protect the religious liberty of public school students from imaginary threats. This seems surprising to me, but maybe if I read that paper regularly it wouldn’t:
Convincing people that you have come to rescue them from threats that do not exist is a good way to raise campaign funds or win votes in a neighborhood caucus. But it is a lousy way to govern.
That could apply to about 70% of the conservative agenda right now.
Sen. Todd Weiler, R-Woods Cross, isn’t claiming that the religious rights of Utah public school students are really under threat. But he still wants to waste the Legislature’s time and taxpayers’ money by pursuing a bill that would purport to give public school students several rights that nobody questions and one that could create some unnecessary woes.
The lawmaker says his as-yet undrafted bill, soon to appear in the file titled “Religious Freedom for Students,” is patterned after Mississippi’s Student Religious Liberties Act. Which is, in turn, if by happenstance, mostly patterned after a set of guidelines the federal government has been promoting as far back as 1998.Despite what some religious leaders may want you to believe, the religious rights of public school students have never been excluded from our educational institutions, except by the occasional fearful teacher or clueless bureaucrat who didn’t get the memo.
Exactly right. And those fearful teachers and clueless bureaucrats are likely getting it wrong precisely because the same people who complain about their actions keep mindlessly repeating that all religion has been banned, or as they like to say “God has been expelled,” from public schools.