Arkansas State Representative: Kids Can’t Say Prayers in School? Then Let Them Sing Prayers!

The Arkansas Department of Education says that pre-schools receiving taxpayer funding cannot teach religion or pray. That’s a good thing, too, since one of the schools — Growing God’s Kingdom — has received over $2,600,000 over the past several years. Now, they shouldn’t be receiving anything.

This is how bad it was there:

Staff members are required to “share the love of Jesus” with students, and the school operates with a Christian curriculum that includes a “Bible time” for verses, stories and prayer. The handbook assures parents that staff members will “strive too [sic] ensure that your child feels the love of Jesus Christ while preparing them for Kindergarten.” The preschoolers, it continues, will be taught “the word of God” so that they can “spread the word of God to others.”

Here’s the kicker: The school is run by Justin Harris who is also a member of the state’s House of Representatives — where he sits on the Committee on Education (*sigh*). And Harris thinks he’s found a way to beat the system: If the kids can’t say their prayers, then just let them sing!

Justin Harris

Republican Representative Justin Harris told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette newspaper that “it just dawned” on him that the students could sing a prayer.

How many loopholes is this guy going to search for before it dawns on him the whole idea is illegal?

At least a few of his colleagues are telling him that won’t work:

Democratic Representative Johnnie Roebuck said Harris will lose funding if the prayer is sung and state Department of Human Services spokeswoman Amy Webb says prayer songs have not been approved.

This isn’t the first time Harris has funneled taxpayer money to his Proselytizing Pre-school, either.

How the rest of the Arkansas government lets him get away with all this, I don’t know, but I have no doubt that Harris would be up in arms if taxpayer money was being used to support Muslim schools or atheist schools. Yet, when it supports his faith and his church, he’s perfectly fine with wasting millions of dollars on religious brainwashing.

(Thanks to Brian for the link)

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.


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