This story never fades.
Last year, Illinois passed a Mandatory Moment of Silence and Prayer Act. After being sued, it was changed it a Voluntary Moment of Silence bill. Even that version was struck down as a “sham” by a judge.
That’s old news.
Now, Attorney General Lisa Madigan (a possible candidate to be the next Illinois Governor) is appealing the ruling striking down the law.
Here’s the kicker.
Atheist Rob Sherman, a vocal critic of the bill — his daughter’s lawsuit put a halt to the original version — appeared in Springfield earlier this week in support of the revised bill.
So how did the members of the Illinois education committee react?
Chicago Tribune columnist Eric Zorn explains:
[Sherman] candidly admitted to the committee that he fears the appellate court will rule in favor of the language of the old law — the one that emphasizes prayer. So he sees the proposed new law — the one without prayer — as an acceptable compromise.
This, [the original bill’s sponsor Kimberly] Lightford told me, threw the members of the education committee for a loop. Sentiment quickly formed that, rather than take prayer out now, they ought to wait and see if the federal courts will let them keep prayer in.
They halted a vote on the bill in mid roll-call and tabled it, even though passing the law would have rendered Sherman’s lawsuit moot and saved the state the expense of pursuing the appeal.
Poof! went all pretense that this mandate has any other purpose than to foster and promote religious exercises in public schools. Poof! went the credibility of Kimberly Lightford and others who insist — who continue with a straight face to insist! — that this mandate has everything to do with education and nothing to do with prayer.
I dare them to try passing the law and enforcing it. It won’t work. Most teachers are smart enough to see there won’t be any consequences for ignoring it. Furthermore, the law is unnecessary. No one is stopping students from praying right now.
There’s no need to force all public school students to join in during Christian Prayer Time.
Like Zorn, I’m surprised Sherman is in support of the “compromise” bill. I understand he fears the worst, but there’s no need to settle for the lesser of two silences.
(via Change of Subject)