Jody Hice, the right-wing preacher who is almost certain to be in Congress next year as a representative from Georgia, has a radio show. On that radio show, he says a lot of dumb things. Like blaming every bad thing that has happened since 1962 on separation of church and state (including things that didn’t happen).
So we had in 1952 a clear understanding of the role of religion in our public life, even in our schools. Then shortly thereafter we had the beginning of a reinterpretation of the First Amendment, a reinterpretation of separation of church and state as it applies to the public school system.
And wow, have we been on a downward slide ever since. Removing prayer, then removing the Bible, then removing religious documents such as the Ten Commandments, which of course has led to the removal of other symbols and so forth, and then removal of benedictions and invocations at any kind of school event or activity.
And I just want to ask you, what kind of behavior, as we have removed prayer and Bible and our Christian heritage from our public school, what has been the counter consequence? Has behavior increased or decreased? Has education gotten better or worse? Have our overall citizenship, our citizenry, have we become a better place to live or a worse place to live? Is there more drugs or less? More gang violence or less? More teenage pregnancy or less? More promiscuity or less? What has happened in our society as we have removed our religious heritage from being taught, from even being allowed in our public schools?Folks, across the board we have suffered. Education scores have gone down, violence and crime has gone up and we are witnessing more and more of the consequence of those decisions.
This is wrong on every level. First of all, violent crime has been going down for decades, as has teen pregnancy. Second, even if it hadn’t, it’s a post hoc argument with not a shred of evidence or logic to support it (one could just as easily, and more plausibly, put the blame on television). But more importantly, remember what those court rulings he’s referring to actually did. They said that the government cannot force students to recite government-mandated and even government-composed prayers or force them to read the Bible.
Hice, of course, considers himself a “small-government conservative” who is fighting for liberty, yet here is is demanding that the government force children to recite prayers written by the government. This isn’t liberty, it’s theocracy, the exact opposite of liberty.