Illinois House Introduces Bill to Repeal Moment of Silence and Prayer

I’ve written before about how the Silent Reflection and Student Prayer time is back in Illinois.

After several wasted “moments” in the classroom, some legislators are finally trying to put a stop to this nonsense.

House Bill 0273 (HB0273) was introduced by Republican (!!!) Jim Durkin and has since picked up co-sponsors Karen May and Ann Williams (both Democrats).

The bill:

Amends the Silent Reflection and Student Prayer Act. Changes the title and short title of the Act. Repeals the Section of the Act requiring the observance of a brief period of silence in the classroom. Effective immediately.

Rob Sherman — the atheist who, along with his daughter, got the original Moment of Silence and Prayer bill to be ruled unconstitutional — explains the repeal bill’s current status:

HB 293 is pending before the House Judiciary Civil Law Committee (“Judiciary I”). What that means is that HB 293 must be approved by a majority of the Members of Judiciary I in order for the Bill to be sent to the full House of Representatives for consideration…

Judiciary I, he says, will be holding a hearing this Wednesday. This bill may be discussed further at that time.

I will check with Representative Durkin on Tuesday (February 22nd) to see if he is going to call the Bill this week for consideration by Judiciary I. If the Bill is called this Wednesday, I will be there to testify as a proponent of the Bill. If the Bill is not called this week, I will be there when Rep. Durkin does call the Bill.

Godspeed, Rob. May this bill get passed quickly. It’s already being ignored in most classrooms and ridiculed nonstop by the students and faculty. Sure, it’s being officially “observed,” but that doesn’t mean anyone’s getting anything out of it or taking it seriously.

We have better things to do in our classroom than sit around doing nothing (even if for only a moment).

Apparently, the state legislature doesn’t. At least repealing this bill will allow them to move on to more pressing issues in our public schools.

  • http://www.bolingbrookbabbler.com William Brinkman

    I went to the same college as Rep. Ann Williams, and we worked at The Daily Iowan at the same time. I’m glad to see she has the courage to do the right thing.

  • http://www.twinsplusone.com Holly

    I’m so glad to hear something is being done about this. My school still observes a “moment of silence” at the beginning of everyday. I find it annoying.

  • TheDeadEye

    Goodspeed, Rob.

    Fixed it for you.

  • Michelle

    I went to his website and sent a quick thank you note.

  • Hermann

    Isimply do not understand why there seems to be a need for christians in the US for a time of prayer that is regulated by the state! I pray whenever I want to, at home, at work, in the bus, I don´t need anybody to allow m to do it, nobody else has to take notice of it or remain silent.

    What´s the problem?

    By all means get rid of this strange thing

    Schalom
    Hermann – christian

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/ChristopherTK ChristopherTK

    Good luck House Bill 0273.

    Thank you; Jim Durkin, Karen May, and Ann Williams.

  • ludovico

    R.I.P. Illinois “Moment of Silence.” Now if we could all take a moment of silence to mark this passing.

  • CatBallou

    Godspeed? I didn’t even talk like that when I was Christian!

  • joanne

    I personally see nothing wrong with a moment of silence and think it’s rediculous that others can’t see that it is inclusive of all no matter what they believe, or not. Can’t you all find something more important to complain about?? It’s a moment. Get over it.

  • joanne

    The moment of silence is not for Christians only.. It is for ALL. That includes, Christians, Jewish, Muslims etc and even Atheists. It is whatever you want it to be… be it prayer, meditation, thoughts, affirmations.. self pep talk.. etc etc.
    I see nothing exclusive in a moment of silence. I do see inclusiveness. Why do you complainers continue to try to divide people rather than being respectful of differing beliefs and attitudes? Those who
    constantly strive to divide people , in my opinion, are not striving to be inclusive, they striving to spread hate by pointing out differences insted of accepting differences and learning to respect those differences.What’s wrong with celebrating those differences?? Nothing!! Tolerance is needed by all who care anything about living together in harmony. I’m talking about ALL those who call themselves Americans. They come from all walks of life, all religions, all genders and personal beliefs. We are who we are and shouldn’t have to feel singled out for any reason what so ever!! Those who think they have all the answers as to how things should be.. don’t . They are narrow minded and can’t see any viewpoint but their own. That is dangerous in the bigger scheme of things and is not right for our country or the world for that matter. That is how you end up with Dictators and those that only want to control what you think and do.
    Get with it people.. There is room for all of us together. We are more alike then we are different if you really think about it.
    We want a lot of the same things like shelter, family, jobs, love, friendship, meaning, happiness, to be safe .. come on people stop being so negative about every little thing that doesn’t fall within your personal belief system. Compromise is needed by ALL.

  • Baconsbud

    Joanne I agree that a moment of silence isn’t a bad thing but you aren’t looking at this moment of silence the way those that voted for it are seeing it. I very much doubt that the ones that voted for this were saying to themselves that it is an inclusive moment but as a way to get around the court rulings saying they can’t force people to pray in school. I know what they say in public that is what it is but if you look at some recent events you find many say one thing in public but hold completely different views in private. It is those private views they are more likely to be pushing. Another example is the court rulings where they make the claim that a cross is an all inclusive but everyone knows it isn”t.


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