Sen. Kimberly Lightford (D-Maywood) is the moron who sponsored the Mandatory Moment of Silence bill in the Illinois Senate.
Thankfully, that bill is on its way to being a Voluntary Moment of Silent Reflection.
Lightford was on a panel with atheist activist Rob Sherman on the local show Chicago Tonight on Thursday.
First, a brief reminder of what Lightford had said previously about the bill:
“I recognize the separation between church and state, but expression must be treated fairly by our public schools… This bill favors expression during a time that does not affect the everyday routine of our students. Senate Bill 1463 is a neutral act, which afford students the opportunity to reflect upon whatever they wish religious or not.”
Now, here’s what she said on the panel last night:
We do it in the Illinois General Assembly. Before we convene, any day in the General Assembly, we have to say a prayer with a priest, a rabbi or some sort of clergy to start our day. And I believe it’s a huge contradiction not for it to be a suggestion that our youth do it…
Did she just say all kids should be praying in school even though she had explicitly denied that before?
That sounds downright contradictory…
And Rob nailed her on it:
SHERMAN: Senator Lightford said right here on Channel 11 that she wants students to think about praying —
LIGHTFORD: I did not say that! I said that children should reflect—
SHERMAN: You said they pray in General Assembly and the children should think about doing that.
LIGHTFORD: I did not say that. You just said that.
Maybe you want to hear the audio version of this exchange (MP3).
No wonder our state legislature can’t get anything done… to paraphrase a famous saying: how can you engage in a battle of reason with an un-armed person?
There is a brighter side to all this. Rob Sherman and his daughter Dawn had been the plaintiffs in the lawsuit against this bill. The judge, Robert W. Gettleman, has now ruled that he wants to expand that side of the lawsuit “into a class-action lawsuit that would include all Illinois school districts” (unless the schools opted out).
Gettleman said he wants to hear from both sides before extending an injunction he issued in November temporarily blocking the state superintendent from enforcing the Illinois law, which requires a brief period of prayer or reflective silence at the start of every school day.
He also wants the sides to plan how to inform school districts of the class action and whether districts can opt out of the case.
The more this turns into an embarrassing spectacle, the more Kimberly Lightford gets exposed as a religiously-motivated moron who knows nothing about separation of state and church and even less about how public schools operate.
(Thanks to infideljoe for the link!)