In Mississippi, a New Law Will Allow Religious Proselytizing in Public Schools

Today, the “Mississippi Student Religious Liberties Act of 2013” goes into effect.

The law makes student-led, administration-supported proselytizing perfectly legal in the state’s public schools. The state’s House passed it on a 109-6 vote, while the Senate supported it 50-1 (the lone “Nay” vote was cast by the aptly-named Democrat Deborah Jeanne Dawkins). Republican Governor Phil Bryant signed it into law in March:

Gov. Phil Bryant signs the Mississippi Student Religious Liberties Act of 2013 into law (via governorbryant.com)

What does the law say? While much of it just reinforces laws that are already in place (e.g. Students can pray without punishment, Students can form after-school religious clubs), it also allows for Christians to push their faith onto other students in ways we’ve often fought against:

To ensure that the school district does not discriminate against a student’s publicly stated voluntary expression of a religious viewpoint, if any, and to eliminate any actual or perceived affirmative school sponsorship or attribution to the district of a student’s expression of a religious viewpoint, if any, a school district shall adopt a policy, which must include the establishment of a limited public forum for student speakers at all school events at which a student is to publicly speak

In English, that means students can now pray at football games, pep rallies, graduations, and over the loudspeaker during morning announcements. The school has to issue a disclaimer that they’re not endorsing those views, but after that, it’s fair game for the Christian majority to monopolize the airwaves. (The disclaimer may allow the schools to work around the Supreme Court decision in Santa Fe Independent School Dist. v. Doe that put a stop to things like student-led prayers at football games.)

I know this is Mississippi, but we need brave non-Christian students to take advantage of these laws. Let the state legislature and all those school administrators deal with the pushback they’ll inevitably get when Muslim students say a prayer during graduation ceremonies and atheists remind their classmates at the beginning of the day that God doesn’t exist.

If politicians think this is a way to legally push Christian prayers in public schools, let’s see what happens when non-Christians push for those same rights.

(Better yet, let’s see some intelligent Christian students speak out against this new law.)

If we don’t have students who challenge this awful, unnecessary law, you can bet Christians are going to find a way to turn the public schools into extensions of their churches.

***Update***: I should have mentioned that the Freedom From Religion Foundation often gives out scholarships for students who fight for church/state separation. Just something to think about…

(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.

  • Elaine

    Ooh ooh, can I speak at the pep rallies and football games? My speech would go something like this…”There is no god. We are good without a god. Belief in a god causes more strife than peace among humanity. Let us bow our heads in gratitude for the higher logic and reasoning skills we have obtained from evolutionary means. If we ditch the religious belief and keep liberty and justice for all in everything we do, our world will flourish. Alright! Go team!”

    • Stev84

      Just make sure you run away as fast as you can.

    • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

      You could also read from the Bible; straight from the Bible. Talk about selling one’s daughter into sex slavery, talk about how some men have emissions like horses, talk about murdering all the men and boys and married women and raping all the virgin women- there’s sooo much awful stuff in the Bible. http://www.evilbible.com/ has a lot of “good” quotes.

      You’ll still want to run away really fast, though.

      • Michael W Busch

        Ezekiel 23:20 is always a favorite.

        • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

          For sure.

        • C.L. Honeycutt

          How could anyone see that and not immediately realize that he was just writing fap material and disguising it badly with moralisms?

  • Beth

    Yuck! I hope so students of other faiths and no faith are allowed to speak freely also.

    • Yoav

      That’s the insidious part of these laws, while they theoretically allow non-christians (or more accurately non fundi evangelical christians) the same access to use the school to proselytize the asshole who pass them know that they can relay on the good christians students to intimidate anyone who would actually try to take advantage of the law while being atheist/muslim/feminist/gay, and on the administration to conveniently never see said intimidation.

  • Savoy47

    Atheists are now free to promote godless views and actively work to de-convert religious children in school.

    • http://www.holytape.etsy.com Holytape

      I would suggest that the godless student first informs the local hospital about he or she is planning to do. So the local first responders can prepare for the wave of rage-strokes, the theocrats are going to have.

  • Art_Vandelay

    Just that picture alone pisses me off. Look at all of those smug assholes who we’ve allowed to make decisions for the masses…all just foaming at the mouth for a theocracy. They want nothing more than to be able to control society via the mandates of their own cult and their own holy book. They’re just thugs in suits hiding behind this shield that makes people believe the great lie that piety provides you with a moral advantage over rationality.

    • Blacksheep

      “…piety provides you with a moral advantage over rationality.”

      Many, many Christians believe that they have absolutely no moral advantage whatsoever. It’s actually the opposite – we’re thankful for God’s grace.

      “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”
      1 Peter 5:5

      • W. J. Graham

        And yet theists claim to have the omnipresent creator of the universe on your side protecting them and giving them special favours and rewards.
        No pride there at all! No sirree!

        • Blacksheep

          If we didn’t think he was the omnipresent creator of the universe, I wouldn’t have signed up! – He’s not “on my side,” I’m on his. Not sure what you mean by special favors and rewards – whenever things like that are mentioned, it’s always offered to anyone who wants to follow. And besides, in the NT it was usually hardships, not special favors, that come with discipleship.

          • http://absurdlypointless.blogspot.com/ Tanner B James

            Until you prove that “The First Premise” is true and valid we will continue to make the judgment that your imaginary life coach is on your side. And here once again you use gospel as a diversion from the point. Your thinking and reasoning skills are quite two dimensional.

            • Blacksheep

              I said “think” not “know.” If either one of us could prove his position, there would be no more debate.

              How is The Gospel a diversion? My answer specifically addressed W. J., to whom I was responding. He was referencing “what theists claim…” which is a direct reference to our beliefs. And since the source of our beliefs is The Bible, it’s hardly a diversion to reference them. That is the point.

              • http://absurdlypointless.blogspot.com/ Tanner B James

                each time you use religious language, gospel, bible verses, etc. you are projecting an assumption that your readers accept these sources as valid. I think this is called Presupposition. Atheist’s reject presupposition on instinct because it places the speaker in a default superior position. In other words we know bullshit when we see it.

              • GCT

                I said “think” not “know.” If either one of us could prove his position, there would be no more debate.

                It’s not up to us to prove our position, since you are the one who holds the burden of proof. It is up to you to provide compelling reason to believe in your god. Sans that, the rational position is to withhold belief (atheism). If people applied rationality to this question there would be no more debate. But, claiming that the debate is legitimate because you wish to shift the burden of proof onto us is invalid.

                • Blacksheep

                  This discourse is not about proving the existence of God, That was brought up by Tanner. My response was to his question.

                  I never try to prove the existence of God, or that Christianity is true. (You can look back at all of my posts, that’s not my objective) I try to point out and argue with what I percieve to be wrong assumptions about Christianity, based on scripture. Please don’t think I’m using scripture to convince you (or anyone) that God is real, I’m only using scripture to point out incorrect perceptions of our faith.

                • GCT

                  This discourse is not about proving the existence of God, That was brought up by Tanner. My response was to his question.

                  Correct. Your response, however, was in error and I pointed that out.

                  I never try to prove the existence of God, or that Christianity is true.

                  Then, no one has any obligation to listen to a single thing you have to say on the subject.

                  (You can look back at all of my posts, that’s not my objective) I try to point out and argue with what I percieve to be wrong assumptions about Christianity, based on scripture.

                  You do make many pronouncements on who is or is not a true Scotsman…I mean Xian.

                  Please don’t think I’m using scripture to convince you (or anyone) that God is real, I’m only using scripture to point out incorrect perceptions of our faith.

                  You’re cherry picking scripture in order to assert that your specific ideas of what Xianity is are the correct ideas of what Xianity is. This is problematic for numerous reasons including, but not limited to, that it’s a no true Scotsman argument and that you have to use a non-Biblical source to figure out which parts of the Bible you are going to accept and which you will ignore.

                • Blacksheep

                  My response was authentic, so it was not “in error”. I think you meant to say that you disagree with my response. (or maybe not, I don’t want to put words in your mouth).

                  I always try to back up my assertations on Christianity with scripture. NTS is an FA classic, but it doesn’t always apply.

                  “…Then, no one has any obligation to listen to a single thing you have to say on the subject.”

                  That’s 100% correct!

                • GCT

                  My response was authentic, so it was not “in error”. I think you meant to say that you disagree with my response.

                  Your response, authentic or not, was in error. You are fundamentally wrong about how rationality and logic work. It’s not just a simple matter of disagreement, it’s a matter of you making statements that simply are not true from a logical or rational standpoint.

                  I always try to back up my assertations on Christianity with scripture. NTS is an FA classic, but it doesn’t always apply.

                  You can back up just about anything by picking and choosing a piece of scripture and then figuring out a way to manipulate it to claim it means what you want it to mean. Claiming that your interpretations are the correct ones is certainly a no true Scotsman argument, and you’ve committed that fallacy here.

                  That’s 100% correct!

                  So, you agree that we should ignore what you say and discount it?

                • sisterfunkhaus

                  But you are “backing up things” with scripture to people who do not believe that scripture is true. You are trying to prove something to be true with something that is not true (scripture.)

                • sisterfunkhaus

                  Yes, but by claiming that you know what is right and wrong in the religion, you are by default arguing that it exists to people who do not share that belief.

                • sisterfunkhaus

                  Agreed. I don’t consider myself having a position. I consider myself as not having a position. Absence of a belief (in God) does not amount to a belief or position on my part. It’s like the Lochness monster. It’s not my place to prove it doesn’t exist because I am not making a claim. I actually have the complete absence of a claim. So, it’s up to the claimant to prove existence.

              • 3D

                >I said “think” not “know.” If either one of us could prove his position, there would be no more debate.

                Atheists don’t have to prove their position, because they are not making a claim. Only you are making one. We are just rejecting your claim, because there is no evidence to support it.

                This is how the scientific method works. We don’t ACCEPT all claims until they are DISPROVEN; we DISMISS all claims until they are PROVEN. Otherwise, we would be bogged down with trying to disprove every half-baked religious, Bigfoot, or UFO theory that came down the pipe.

                It’s up to you to prove your claim, not up to us to prove your made-up crap is wrong. So, there is no “debate” until you come up with some evidence.

                • sisterfunkhaus

                  I was going to say that we do not have a position to prove. We live by what is. We don’t claim existence of anything other than what we can see, touch, smell, etc…

          • Burzghash

            Which god is that btw? Odin? Ra? Vishnu? Jupiter? Hades? Mars?

            • sisterfunkhaus

              I think it’s Aphrodite.

      • Art_Vandelay

        So Christians don’t think other Christians have a greater moral compass than non-Christians?

        • Blacksheep

          Maybe – but not because of being superior in any way, more from being aware and personally convicted. Tough to answer, since some Christian morals are specific to Christianity, while others are shared by society. Christians don’t think they are more moral than anyone else when it comes to murder, robbery, etc. But a Christian might try to steer away from pre-marital sex, say, which is not necessarily considered immoral for many people.

          Ultimately I hope Christians remember Matthew 7:3:

          “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?”

          • http://absurdlypointless.blogspot.com/ Tanner B James

            If I were you I’d speak for myself, attempting to point out that christians on the whole are more moral, is some kind of special pleading. Individuals might seem more moral on the surface but as a group, historical christian morality is fraught will thousands of human rights violations. I would though like to know which morals you speak of are “specific” to christians alone?

            • Blacksheep

              Please re-read my comment, I never even attempted to say that Christians are more moral. “Forgiven” is very different than “moral.” All I said that was Christians might try to “steer away” from certain things.

              Specific to Christians might be the type of morals taught in the Sermon on the Mount – the parts about humility, loving one’s enemy, and especially the notion of being authentically moral (not just actions but thoughts as well). But these are ideals, the heart of our faith is grace and forgiveness because the ideals are hard to reach.

              • GCT

                What about the other parts of the Sermon that you seem to ignore?

                • Blacksheep

                  What parts?

                • GCT

                  The parts where Jesus talks about following the OT laws so strictly that thinking bad thoughts is the same as crimes punishable by death and then adds on eternal torment as well…for starters.

                • Blacksheep

                  In a way he’s applying reason to the OT laws. “No picking grain on the Sabbath” – and then he picks grain with his disciples, and has to explain to the Pharisees that they are missing the spirit of the law by being obsessed by the letter of it.

                  And by adding crimes of the heart to outward crimes, he’s saying something about honesty and authenticity, the evil of acting holy when one is corrupt – much of what one sees happening in organized religion today.

                  But He’s also pointing out that the OT laws still stand, which is the reason for His life and ministry – reconciliation with God.

                • GCT

                  …and has to explain to the Pharisees that they are missing the spirit of the law by being obsessed by the letter of it.

                  And, he makes clear that they are not obeying the spirit of the law because they are not following it strictly enough and interpreting it to include things like thought crime. (BTW, “Crime of the heart” is a nice euphemism, but you really mean to say, “Thought crime.”)

                  And by adding crimes of the heart to outward crimes, he’s saying something about honesty and authenticity, the evil of acting holy when one is corrupt – much of what one sees happening in organized religion today.

                  He doesn’t chastise them for acting holy. He simply makes the comparison that thought crime is tantamount to actual crime and punishable by eternal hellfire.

                  But He’s also pointing out that the OT laws still stand, which is the reason for His life and ministry – reconciliation with God.

                  At least you recognize that much. Tell that to the multitude of Xians that say that he “fulfilled” the OT law, so therefore it’s no longer binding. I suppose you don’t have any tattoos and never combine dairy with meat?

                • Blacksheep

                  “He doesn’t chastise them for acting holy. He simply makes the comparison that thought crime is tantamount to actual crime and punishable by eternal hellfire.”

                  Huh? here’s the verses, maybe there’s another version somehwere:

                  “At that time Jesus went through the grainfields on the Sabbath. His disciples were hungry and began to pick some heads of grain and eat them. 2When the Pharisees saw this, they said to him, “Look! Your disciples are doing what is unlawful on the Sabbath.”

                  3He answered, “Haven’t you read what David did when he and his companions were hungry? 4He entered the house of God, and he and his companions ate the consecrated bread—which was not lawful for them to do, but only for the priests. 5Or haven’t you read in the Law that the priests on Sabbath duty in the temple desecrate the Sabbath and yet are innocent? 6I tell you that something greater than the temple is here. 7If you had known what these words mean, ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice,’a you would not have condemned the innocent. 8For the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath.”

                  Where does he mention hellfire? he’s pointing out that “something greater than the temple is here…” and that he desires “Mercy not sacrifice…”

                  The multitude of Christians are correct – the laws still stand, and Christ came to fulfill the law by paying the penalty for it. It doesn’t mean it’s not binding, it means that there is grace and forgiveness.

                • GCT

                  Where does he mention hellfire? he’s pointing out that “something greater than the temple is here…” and that he desires “Mercy not sacrifice…”

                  I thought we were talking about the sermon on the mount, where he explains what I said. Also, in this passage, he’s saying that he is the thing that is there greater than the temple. He’s going into another of his, “I am god” phases, where he and his friends get to do whatever they want, since he’s god, and not worry about the law. It’s moral relativism.

                  The multitude of Christians are correct – the laws still stand, and Christ came to fulfill the law by paying the penalty for it.

                  No, they are not. They are claiming that the OT laws are superseded by Jesus “fulfilling” the law, whatever that means. But, he specifically says that the OT law is not done away with.

            • sisterfunkhaus

              One of the things that got my attention in atheism is that I started meeting a lot of atheists. They were all far more charitable, giving, nice, caring about other’s feelings etc.. than any of the Christians I knew. It’s only took me about 4 years to make the leap. Glad I did.

          • Afuddyduddy

            Studies have shown (through prisoner interviews and such) that non-believers are actually more Moral to modern laws than those of faith.

            Gods morals are not humanities morals. This is the same God that told his followers to kill their children should they not obey, or not love their parents. Really moral there

            “For God commanded, ‘Honor your father and your mother,’ and, ‘Whoever reviles father or mother must surely die.’”

            Matthew 15:4

            Gotta love those “Morals”

            • Blacksheep

              I don’t normally see out of context quoting on FA – context and understanding is everything. Here’s more of it:

              15 Then some Pharisees and teachers of the law came to Jesus from Jerusalem and asked, 2 “Why do your disciples break the tradition of the elders? They don’t wash their hands before they eat!”

              3 Jesus replied, “And why do you break the command of God for the sake of your tradition? 4 For God said, ‘Honor your father and mother’[a] and ‘Anyone who curses their father or mother is to be put to death.’[b] 5 But you say that if anyone declares that what might have been used to help their father or mother is ‘devoted to God,’ 6 they are not to ‘honor their father or mother’ with it. Thus you nullify the word of God for the sake of your tradition. 7 You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you:

              8 “‘These people honor me with their lips,
              but their hearts are far from me.
              9 They worship me in vain;
              their teachings are merely human rules.’[c]”

              Jesus was quoting OT verses that even in their context were laws to tie together a tribe in the desert. The meaning was much stronger than one of our kids talking back to us. Christians often don’t follow Christ’s example – but everyone knows that the Gospel of Jesus is not about killing one’s children.

              • GCT

                Telling us what “everyone knows” is a display of your religious privilege.

                The gospel of Jesus (whatever that is) isn’t about killing one’s children? That’s the whole backbone of Xianity! god kills his own child…or did you forget about that part? And, that part of the sermon on the mount that you conveniently ignore about Jesus raving that the problem with the pharisees isn’t that they follow the law, but that they don’t follow it strictly enough. He even goes so far as to claim that looking at a woman is tantamount to adultery, that divorce law (in the OT) needs to be construed as strictly as possible, that being angry at a brother is the same as murder, etc. And, on top of it all, he adds in the idea of eternal torment for not being perfect, which is perhaps the most inhumane idea that anyone has ever had.

                Oh, but “everyone knows” it’s all about puppies and light, right?

                • Blacksheep

                  “…he adds in the idea of eternal torment for not being perfect,…”

                  The Bible makes it abundantly clear that nobody is perfect, and is only perfect in Christ. There is no concept of eternal torment for “not being perfect” in the Bible, unless the verse is referring to being made perfect through Christ.

                  But really GCT, does it matter so much? If there is no God and it’s all fiction anyway, even if the Bible were perfectly worded, with every phrase and nuance laid out exactly as you would like, scrubbed of anything offensive, it wouldn’t make it true for you anyway – just more likeable.

                • GCT

                  The Bible makes it abundantly clear that nobody is perfect, and is only perfect in Christ. There is no concept of eternal torment for “not being perfect” in the Bible, unless the verse is referring to being made perfect through Christ.

                  That’s rubbish. Jesus condemns literally everyone (but himself) for not being perfect and claims hellfire for them. It’s in the sermon on the mount. He claims they should be perfect like god is perfect. The penalty is hell.

                  But really GCT, does it matter so much? If there is no God and it’s all fiction anyway, even if the Bible were perfectly worded, with every phrase and nuance laid out exactly as you would like, scrubbed of anything offensive, it wouldn’t make it true for you anyway – just more likeable.

                  Of course it matters, but only because there are tons of people out there who believe in this rubbish and want to force it upon others. If Xians kept it to themselves I wouldn’t care. Instead, I’ve got people trying to make me into a second class citizen.

                  Additionally, if god were real, we’d expect a book that actually makes sense, so it matters in that sense too.

                • Blacksheep

                  You are interpreting the Bible based on your own incomplete understanding of scrupture and doctrine. Your analysis of the Sermon on the Mount proves that. It would be easier if you stuck to branding it as rubbish ratrher than redefine 2000 years of Christian thought., especially on topics that are pretty universally agreed upon by all Christian sects – namely that Christ’s mission was one of salvation, not condemnation.

                  Make sense? You mean the way humans make sense? And politics, cruelty, and disaster, and war, and unkindness? The Bible makes more sense than all of that!

                • 3D

                  >You are interpreting the Bible based on your own incomplete understanding of scrupture and doctrine.

                  No, you are.

                  See how easy it is to make a logical fallacy? Someone disagreeing with you doesn’t mean they are “ignorant” or have “incomplete understanding.”

                  >Your analysis of the Sermon on the Mount proves that. It would be easier if you stuck to branding it as rubbish ratrher than redefine 2000 years of Christian thought”

                  Something being around 2,000 years doesn’t mean it’s good. Christian slavery was around for ~1850 years, then we got rid of it (at least in the US). Some of the backwards shit in Christianity has long outlived its life span because the world isn’t stupid anymore.

                  >Make sense? You mean the way humans make sense? And politics, cruelty, and disaster, and war, and unkindness? The Bible makes more sense than all of that!

                  No it doesn’t. The Bible is full of politics, cruelty, disaster, war, and unkindness. We do enough of it as humans on our own; we don’t need a shitty book full of horrible immoral guidelines to egg us on.

                • GCT

                  You are interpreting the Bible based on your own incomplete understanding of scrupture and doctrine.

                  Right back at ya.

                  Your analysis of the Sermon on the Mount proves that.

                  So, you contend that Jesus didn’t claim that looking at a woman with impure thoughts was the same as adultery?

                  It would be easier if you stuck to branding it as rubbish ratrher than redefine 2000 years of Christian thought.

                  Wait, you actually think that Xians have thought the same things for 2000 years? That’s a lot of ignorance of history all wrapped up into a neat package of religious privilege. Are you seriously going to contend that Xian “morality” has not changed in 2000 years? Slavery was certainly OK until recently. Treatment of women? It’s not great still, but it’s better than it used to be. Those are just 2 quick examples off the top of my head.

                  …especially on topics that are pretty universally agreed upon by all Christian sects – namely that Christ’s mission was one of salvation, not condemnation.

                  Salvation for those who are graced by god or for those who do good works? What constitutes a good work? How about all those condemnations he does? How about Westboro Baptists? How about historically, i.e. the Inquisition, blood libels, etc?

                  Make sense? You mean the way humans make sense? And politics, cruelty, and disaster, and war, and unkindness? The Bible makes more sense than all of that!

                  So you claim. The Bible, however, is disjointed and contradictory, not to mention that the Bible has led to all kinds of cruelty, disaster, war, and unkindness.

                • sisterfunkhaus

                  So God made us to not be perfect, but punishes us for it? Interesting…

              • ryan miller

                Psa 5:5 The foolish shall not stand in thy sight: thou hatest all workers of iniquity.

                Rom_9:13 As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.

                (Mal 1:2 I have loved you, saith the LORD. Yet ye say, Wherein hast thou loved us? Was not Esau Jacob’s brother? saith the LORD: yet I loved Jacob,

                Mal 1:3 And I hated Esau, and laid his mountains and his heritage waste for the dragons of the wilderness.)

                I’ll give you one guess as to who Esau/Edom is today !!!

                “Edom is in Modern Jewry” ~ The Jewish Encyclopedia 1905 edition

                Gen_36:43 “…..he is Esau the father of the Edomites.”

          • Burzghash

            I’d say they definitely aren’t, as they comprise a greater portion of the prison population. Meanwhile, atheists (who comprise more than 10% of the total population) account for less than a couple percent of the prison population.

            But more on topic; You don’t need religion to have morality. If you can’t tell the difference between right and wrong, you lack empathy. Not religion.

            • Blacksheep

              Sadly, minorities make up the bulk of the US prison population. And the faith of the majority of minorities in the US is Christianity. I don’t think it’s a morals issue, I think it’s a racial issue. And I don’t know the stats on atheists in the US, but my guess would be that it’s a group not known for getting sent to prison.

              Back on topic: My point all along has been that it’s not morality that’s at the backbone of Christianity, it’s salvation and grace. I in fact stated that everyone shares the same moral code when it comes to obvious things like murder, theft, etc., regardless of faith.

            • sisterfunkhaus

              Atheists account for 0.2% of the prison population and between 10-20% of the general population (20% have no religious beliefs.)

              • Burzghash

                Awesome, even further validation of what I was saying – the numbers are even starker than I thought.

        • sisterfunkhaus

          Have you ever read the internet? Those people have the biggest heads. Most of them think they are superior despite the facts. The facts being that atheists commit WAY fewer crimes per capita than Christians, they give more to charity, and they volunteer more. I’m sure there is something I’ve forgotten.

      • TheG

        And yet the Bible commands that those that are not followers of that particular god will be punished for not following that god’s laws and those that do follow that god are just (Romans 2:2-5) (Romans 2:12-15). Sounds to me like back-patting for following the correct rules and condemnation of those that do not. Not really humble to know that those that think differently will be punished.

        • Blacksheep

          Is it back-patting to say that “everyone who stays fit and eats well will live longer.”?

          But you have it in reverse – it’s Jesus that gets the pat on the back for his grace, not us.

          • 3D

            >Is it back-patting to say that “everyone who stays fit and eats well will live longer.”?

            You seem to be comparing natural processes of the human body, with the conscious actions of a superhuman deity actively torturing people in eternal hell.

            I’m sure that’s not what you meant to do, being a rational person and all. Want to walk that analogy back a bit?

            • Blacksheep

              Christians would include the life of the soul with natural processes. So for a Christian, the analogy works.

              • GCT

                That makes no sense. Souls are supposedly supernatural/immaterial things. How can they also be part of natural processes?

                • sisterfunkhaus

                  How can they be supernatural? If you believe in souls, isn’t in your body now? If everyone has one, then they would also be natural.

              • 3D

                Well, even if for the sake of argument we call the soul a natural process (I don’t think most religious people think this; in my experience they consider it a supernatural thing), that wasn’t the point.

                The point was that God is making a CONSCIOUS CHOICE to throw you in hell and torture you. He set up the system that way, and he is also the judge and the executioner. That’s not the same thing as an unthinking process like banana going in your mouth as food and coming out as a turd.

                The person I responded to was trying to normalize torture by making a flattering comparison to something else that isn’t offensive like torture is.

            • sisterfunkhaus

              Isn’t it funny that the in group/out group phenomenon exists in religion? Supposedly, the cool people go to heaven, the not so cool go to Hell. Luckily, through some research, I found it will be the other way around. Einstein, Neil Degrasse Tyson, Billy Joel, Penn Jillette, Kathy Griffith, Confucious, and even Poe will be there. It’s going to be so bad a$$.

        • sisterfunkhaus

          If you look at the Bible, there really is nothing humble about God. “He” is a total asshole. Commanding people to worship him and sending people to hell is horrible. How can any good, loving, or humble being send people to hell, or allow small children to die of cancer? Oh wait– we are so stupid that we cannot understand his reasons and ways. So somehow, in “heaven” Where people are loaded with material possessions (some more than others) we will come to understand how bad can be good and good can be bad. Yeah. That’s it.

      • http://absurdlypointless.blogspot.com/ Tanner B James

        Ya know, whenever I read a comment like yours that says “look we don’t do, say or act this or that way” and my proof is “such and such bible verse” My BS alarm goes off, like a klaxon on a battleship.

        • Blacksheep

          I would never claim that “we don’t act this or that way” as a collective truth for all Christians. I said “many many.” But the larger point is that the Bible promotes humility.

          • Burzghash

            Ah yes. Like killing kids who are disobedient, selling your daughter into slavery, that slavery is ok as long as the slaves come from foreign countries, that you may kill your wife if she’s not a virgin upon marriage, as well as several instances of attempted justification of murder, rape, and genocide.

            I guess it does promote humility. If you’re a buffet christian.

          • WillBell

            From my experience Christians aren’t known for following the bible.

            • Blacksheep

              It depends what you mean by following the Bible. If you mean that many Christians don’t behave as they should, I agree. But a larger part of the Christian faith is trusting Christ for salvation – so in that sense it could be that most are following the Bible.

              • WillBell

                However trusting in faith for salvation is different from humility which was the topic of the post I replied to.

          • GCT

            But the larger point is that the Bible promotes humility.

            Only if you cherry pick the verses that you think support that view and ignore the rest.

            • Blacksheep

              The Gospel of Christ absolutely promotes humilty, kindness, caring for others, etc. To say otherwise is cherry picking the other way. You can certainly cherry pick some verses – especially from the OT, which may seem to promote non-moral behavior (Although often they are reporting events, not saying “do this.”)

              • GCT

                The Gospel of Christ absolutely promotes humilty, kindness, caring for others, etc.

                Only if you pick and choose which parts to ignore and which to accept. There is nothing humble about Jesus ranting and raving that people must believe in him or they should be burned for eternity in hell. There’s also nothing kind about that. Was Jesus caring for others when he spat racist epithets at a woman seeking health care for her child? Was he thinking of kindness and caring when he claimed that one needs to follow the OT so strictly that thinking bad thoughts is tantamount to murder and should lead that person to hell? The idea that the Bible is all peace and light and puppies and cuteness is a modern invention of religious privilege – an idea born of the advances in secular morality that religion continues to try to take credit for.

                To say otherwise is cherry picking the other way.

                What? You can cherry pick and claim that it’s all sweetness and light, but if I point out you’re wrong, then I’m the one cherry picking? Has it not occurred to you that admitting that I can pull verses from the Bible that counter your claim that it is “absolutely” about “humility, kindness, caring for others, etc.” also refutes your claim, regardless of whether I’m cherry picking? You can’t very well admit that I can pull evil verses from the Bible and then pretend that they don’t exist in claiming that the Bible is all sweetness and light.

                You can certainly cherry pick some verses – especially from the OT, which may seem to promote non-moral behavior (Although often they are reporting events, not saying “do this.”)

                I haven’t even used the OT in this discussion. I’ve talked about the reported words and deeds of Jesus.

                • Blacksheep

                  The verse you cited was jesus qouting from OT scripture – that’s why I brought it up the first time, then as an overall statement.

                  I never said that you can’t cherry pick – you were accusing me of cherry picking, so I’m pointing out that you were doing the same.

                  I never said it was “all sweetness and light.” If it were, it wouldn’t very well reflect the tough world that we live in, nor would it stand for absolutes in good and evil.

                  Ranting and raving? Not really, although if someone warned you about something dangerous in the road ahead, would you consider that to be evil?

                  Here’s the other scripture that you were referring to:

                  “Leaving that place, Jesus withdrew to the region of Tyre and Sidon. 22 A Canaanite woman from that vicinity came to him, crying out, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me! My daughter is suffering terribly from demon-possession.” 23 Jesus did not answer a word. So his disciples came to him and urged him, “Send her away, for she keeps crying out after us.” 24 He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel.” 25 The woman came and knelt before him. “Lord, help me!” she said. 26 He replied, “It is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to their dogs.” 27 “Yes, Lord,” she said, “but even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table.” 28 Then Jesus answered, “Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted.” And her daughter was healed from that very hour.”

                  I’ve thought a lot about this verse. On its face, it’s troubling. But then it wraps up as an illustration that Christ came to save everyone, not just a select group. It almost comes off as clever banter between two people. Why did he behave that way? I have no idea. But it ends with healing.

                • GCT

                  The verse you cited was jesus qouting from OT scripture – that’s why I brought it up the first time, then as an overall statement.

                  Which verse was that? I don’t recall citing any verses. And, even if I did, if Jesus is quoting OT scripture in an approving way, it’s no different.

                  I never said that you can’t cherry pick – you were accusing me of cherry picking, so I’m pointing out that you were doing the same.

                  We are in an asymmetric position, however. I’m sure brutal dictators are not all bad, but we certainly won’t laud them for being nice to people every once in a while. If you want to claim your god/Jesus is good, then it is incumbent upon you to explain away all the times when they are not good. If you want to claim that they lay out a moral foundation that is worthwhile, you have to explain away all the evil that they also espouse (as well as telling us how you stay within their moral framework while simultaneously picking and choosing which bits of their moral framework to keep/discard).

                  I never said it was “all sweetness and light.” If it were, it wouldn’t very well reflect the tough world that we live in, nor would it stand for absolutes in good and evil.

                  You claimed that it “absolutely promotes humilty, kindness, caring for others, etc.” Need I say more?

                  Ranting and raving? Not really, although if someone warned you about something dangerous in the road ahead, would you consider that to be evil?

                  Jesus rants and raves quite a bit about how his enemies will burn in hell forever, which was an extra-Judaical idea at the time.

                  I’ve thought a lot about this verse. On its face, it’s troubling.

                  On it’s face? He calls her a dog, which was a racist insult. When she demeans herself by agreeing that she’s a dog, he relents and decides to help her. That’s utterly disgusting.

                  But then it wraps up as an illustration that Christ came to save everyone, not just a select group.

                  How does that help? ‘Jesus came to save everyone. Even the N*****s? Yes, even the N*****s.’

              • Chris James Irving

                If the bible fails at teaching humility in its worse verses, then the book doesn’t teach humility.

          • sisterfunkhaus

            Yes, to the point where Jesus says that prayers are private. Meaning that by allowing prayer on the loudspeakers, they are disobeying Jesus.

          • GarDinSprite13

            Wrong It is a religion build on the Blood of innocent people! Evil to the core,Genocide of American Indians and Canadas Indian’s The Catholic and Protestant Church paved the way for Colonization. In Canada they unearthed Mass graves of dead children behind the Christian schools and also they now have documented proof! I don’t know about you but I want no part in such crimes against Humanities it has been going on for 2K yr’s and still spreading the hate and corruptions.

      • GarDinSprite13

        I wouldn’t put God in the same context as Christian Religion it’s far from it and the # 1 reason people are turning away from God!

  • corps_suk

    Time to teach these believers a lesson in equal protection, much like the monument.
    If a student prays, then a student can speak the TRUTH of reality and not believing in myths but believing in themselves.
    I would like to hear some good atheist announcements, then we can send them to the SSA in the area?

    Anyone…?

    “Good morning students, I just wanted to take a moment and read a hiaku…
    Dont believe in gods
    They are imaginary
    Believe in Yourself

    Thank you and have a good day of reason and education”

    • http://parkandbark.wordpress.com/ Houndentenor

      It just proves that even they know that their proclamations of Obama’s “war on religion” is a pile of doggie doo. If they really thought the government was attacking religion they’d want as big a wall as possible between church and state for their own protection. They don’t. Even they know they are lying.

  • Frazzah

    -Mississippi Student Religious Privilege Act of 2013.

  • Tainda

    I don’t give a shit what the STUDENTS do. If they want to group up and pray by themselves, more power to them.

    This is the part that pisses me off, “over the loudspeaker during morning announcements”. Students of different faith or none can’t walk out during that, I guarantee it.

    I don’t even want to think about if that law really allows administration led proselytizing. I may implode.

    • http://parkandbark.wordpress.com/ Houndentenor

      Exactly. The students have a right to their own religious beliefs. The state (in the form of the school officials) has no right to impose on particular religion or sect on all students.

  • Lijdare

    What is “an otherwise permissible subject?” As in, “the school district shall treat a student’s voluntary expression of a religious viewpoint, if any, on an otherwise permissible subject in the same manner the district treats a student’s voluntary expression of a secular or other viewpoint on an otherwise permissible subject and may not discriminate against the student based on a religious viewpoint expressed by the student on an otherwise permissible subject.”

    It seems to me this means a earth science teacher who is teaching on the history of the earth would have to give an ‘A’ to some lamebrained answer that regurgitates Genesis.

  • http://knottiesniche.com/ Knottie

    Do these people not know their own religion? Matthew 6:6 states that pray is to be done in PRIVATE and not in public. SMH

    • viaten

      They’re trying to institute 1 Timothy 2:8
      “I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands,
      without wrath and doubting.”

      • http://knottiesniche.com/ Knottie

        But if they are “CHRISTians” they are suppose to follow the teachings of Christ not the old testaments…

        Then their are those of us who get that the bible is just a book written by men to control men…. sigh

        • James

          Then, there are those who do not know that “Timothy” is not part of the Old Testament…

          • http://absurdlypointless.blogspot.com/ Tanner B James

            or that he has been resurrected as a catholic priest in NJ.

          • http://knottiesniche.com/ Knottie

            Not the teaching of christ still

        • viaten

          1 Timothy is in the new testament, supposedly the words of Paul. They’d probably argue that Paul is clarifying what Jesus said, arguing that there are times to pray alone and times to pray for all to see.

          • Michael W Busch

            Emphasis on “supposedly” – the consensus is that both letters to Timothy are forgeries by a 2nd-century Christian writer who claimed they were from Paul.

      • Sweetredtele

        It’s as if Paul had never heard or read what Jesus had said, the way he contradicts Him.

        • http://gloomcookie613.tumblr.com GloomCookie613

          Paul always struck me as the less popular friend that tagged along with the group, but was jealous as fuck that everybody liked Jesus more.

          • MarkTemporis

            Paul started something like sixty years after the Romans put Jesus up for the night, so yeah.

        • viaten

          Paul was “clarifying” what Jesus said.

        • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

          Something like! Remember that Paul’s knowledge of Jesus came from a dream and Paul never met Jesus.

        • 3D

          It’s actually more like a bunch of different authors, with no contact with each other, wrote a bunch of fan fiction about a guy who never existed, and lo and behold, the story isn’t consistent at all.

  • Matt Davis

    Step 1: Try to get atheists or even Muslims to proclaim a speech or prayer. Step 2: Report it to the FFRF, ACLU, People for the American Way and Americans United.

  • WingedBeast

    What this law needs is statewide Muslim, Atheist, Pastafarian, Wiccan, Satanist (both the real kind and the imagined kind) Student Groups to each have their turn at the morning announcements.
    The first price of freedom is that other people get to be free, too.

  • http://friendlyatheist.com Richard Wade

    (Better yet, let’s see some intelligent Christian students speak out against this new law.)

    There are many intelligent Christian students, but this would require courage as well as intelligence, and that is a much rarer quality in the world. Courage is not often nurtured in a group that is coddled by privilege. To speak out against your own privilege of the majority is to immediately have your companions use that privilege against you. Being called a traitor to your majority group is to be considered even lower than the minority group you’re speaking up for.

    The number of Christians I know who are capable of doing this I can count on one hand, and I still have three fingers left over to impatiently drum on the table. I hope I’m underestimating them, but I won’t be holding my breath waiting.

    Edit: I’m not implying that I would have that kind of courage if I were a young Christian student. Given the anxiety I have just doing the small amount of public speaking I do as an atheist, and an older adult with little to risk, I doubt I would have the courage.

    • Art_Vandelay

      Absolutely…fear is the greatest recruiting tool that Christianity has ever had. Whether it be fear of a finite existence (or years ago, fear of being killed on the spot), fear of eternal damnation, or fear of exclusion from the protection afforded by being part of a large majority…just by virtue of being a Christian, you’ve submitted to fear. So I think that it inherently doesn’t lend itself to courage.

  • Sven2547

    Gotta catch ‘em young and inject religion into every aspect of their lives, to make the absence of religion seem more alien and disconcerting. It’s kind of like Big Brother.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/ Kevin_Of_Bangor

    When I look at the picture above. This is how I picture everyone in that room.

  • JET

    I feel extremely sorry for the kids in these Bible Belt enclaves. They’re being denied a 21st century education simply because their parents fear change. A good parent takes pride in their child being the first in the family to go to college, make more money or move to the “big city.” A good parent can accept that science and technology are moving forward so rapidly that their child might surpass them in relevant knowledge before they’re even out of high school. A good parent wants their child to succeed, be the best that they can be, and competitively survive in the modern world.
    But these repressive fundamentalist power-mongers don’t want that for their kids. They fear their kids becoming smarter and more knowledgeable than they are. They fear the very idea that their kids might think differently than they do. They fear that a “worldly” education might cause their child to question the archaic beliefs that the parents hold dearer than anything in life. They fear the statistics that show young people leaving religion at a rapidly accelerating pace. They fear the shrinking of their backwards swamp to the point where it is irrelevant. Their fear is causing them to sacrifice their kids’ future, happiness and success in a last-ditch effort to inflate their own power, aggrandize their own egos, legitimize their absurd beliefs, and appease their damned god.
    And so they institutionalize their religion into public education by making prayer and proselytizing a required subject, by banning books that conflict with their ideas, by creating textbooks that deny modern scientific principles, by sending their kids off to bible colleges, or by encouraging them to procreate profusely and at an early age as a means of keeping them repressed while producing more little numb minds.
    The only hope for this backward land of fools is through attrition. The old codgers will eventually die off as each generation produces fewer and fewer of them.

  • Blacksheep

    Allowing students to speak or pray in school is not proselytizing. Here’s the webster defenition:

    1. to induce someone to convert to one’s faith
    2 to recruit someone to join one’s party, institution, or cause

    • Mario Strada

      You can pray and proselytize at the same time. In addition, given that a single religion is basically given a free pass it creates an environment where going against the majority would be dangerous and a socially unaccepted endeavour.
      Proselytizing is one of the main driving forces in Christianity. To think that these laws are put in place simply to allow the Christian students to profess their faith and not impose it over anyone else is very naïve.

      As usual, imagine a future where the demographics of the area change and the majority of students are muslim. How would you feel as part of a christian minority in that school? Wouldn’t you be objecting to the Muslims taking over a public school for the purpose of proselytizing?

      Students already have the right to pray and even proselytize if they wish. It’s called free speech. But they have to do it as individuals and not as a school wide initiative. So what is the purpose of this bill if not to legitimize unconstitutional policies on the part of the school?

      • Blacksheep

        Mario, believe it or not, I’m not big fan of religious speech in schools for the reasons that you cite. I believe that controlling it has gone too far, but that’s my opinion. My point in this particular topic is that FA has a habit of referring to any and all religious speech or prayer as “proselytizing” when in fact it’s not. I can tell a friend that I go to church because I believe in Jesus, and that it’s a source of peace to me, etc, and that person will know that I’m not trying to convince or convert them.

        • http://absurdlypointless.blogspot.com/ Tanner B James

          Sure you can say it to a friend. but that is hardly proof that the same language would not be considered proselytizing by a stranger. You keep basing your arguments on traditional premises. 1) I have always done this. 2) my friends have always done this so 3) this should always be done this way. Religious language is provocative. Hearing or reading it can invoke intellectual and emotional responses. Even I, despite my atheism, would feel some sympathy for a false prophet being beaten down by a roman legion. So you can tersely state Webster’s definition but in reality using religious language is akin to proselytizing.

          • Blacksheep

            I hear you – but proselytizing definitely implies that one is trying to convince someone to join their “thing.”

            • Calaban

              And of course there would be no such proselytizing motive behind such law. No, not at all.

              • Blacksheep

                I think there are questionable motives behind most things, especially in politics.

      • 3D

        There is nothing wrong with proselytizing. Proselytizing is a good thing, if what you are preaching about is progressive, rational, and make sense.

        The problem with Christians is not that they proselytize, but that the content of what they are preaching about is dangerous and psychotic bullshit.

        If they were proselytizing about good dental care, most atheists would have no problem with it. But they are promoting an insane story that claims that there is a super-human being who tortures us in hell if we don’t do very specific actions that are cherry-picked from an ancient book of fables. That’s where the issue comes in.

        As atheists, we should always try to proselytize about skepticism, critical thinking and rationality. There is nothing wrong with proselytizing in and of itself — it depends on the content of the message.

    • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

      Yeah, when the Christian students pointedly invited me to join them at See You at the Pole, they weren’t proselytizing, they were just praying. Sure. If you buy that, I have a bridge I’d like to sell you that’s over in Brooklyn …

      • Blacksheep

        In that case they may have been proselytizing. Not my point at all. My point is that FA uses the word “proselytizing” as a critical term applied to all public religious speech.

        • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

          Students can already pray or speak about religion in school. When they get to lead prayers that others cannot opt out of easily, that crosses the line into proselytizing and unconstitutional imposition of religion by government officials.

          It is equally unconstitutional for an atheist student to get on the PA for morning announcements, tell everyone there are no gods and that they’d all really be better off not believing in invisible sky wizards, and wish everyone a happy, godless day.

    • http://absurdlypointless.blogspot.com/ Tanner B James

      Seriously are you really this daft?

      • Blacksheep

        Do you disagree? You believe that any public religious speech is proselytizing?

        • http://absurdlypointless.blogspot.com/ Tanner B James

          I believe that any and all public religious speech is incoherent babble. A waste of valuable time and in the case of a public educational institution, a waste of public funds.

          • Blacksheep

            I already guessed that part. :)

        • http://absurdlypointless.blogspot.com/ Tanner B James

          Do you casually go around using the “N” word as a colloquialism, I doubt it because society has come to a general agreement that usage of the “N” word is racist. Open and public usage of religious language is also socially unacceptable because many people take offense to such language. American Christians either don’t care or they just assume everybody believes things the same way as they do and thus it is no big deal if it offends someone.

          • Blacksheep

            Of course I don’t. (although I could start using “N WORD” as a code for Nutella, until the kids figure out what it means.

            …hardly the same.

    • UWIR

      Some speaking is proselytizing. All speaking is allowed. Therefore, proselytizing is allowed. How are you not able to understand that?

      • Blacksheep

        “Some speaking is proselytizing. All speaking is allowed.”

        Correct. My complaint / observation is that FA almost always refers to any religious speech as proselytizing – every now and then I point out that simply speaking about one’s faith or praying in public is not proselytizing. Pushing someone to adopt one’s faith is.

        • UWIR

          You’re dissembling. Your comment wasn’t about FA’s posts in general, it was about this one.

          And does FA chronicle every single instance of religious speech? No, it does not. So how can you say that FA calls all religious speech proselytization, when FA does not comment on all religious speech? FA focuses on religion being forced on the unwilling, which, unless you’re insisting on an extremely narrow conception of “proselytization”, is quite solidly in that camp.

          • Blacksheep

            I said almost always. proselytizing is the default word that makes it into almost every post about public Christian speech.

            • GCT

              Maybe because FA doesn’t report on Xian speech that isn’t illegal very often?

              It’s so weird. Every time I read the crime blotter in a paper, I see all kinds of crimes going on. But, not every American engages in crime. Of course, you’d never know it from reading the crime blotter.

              • Blacksheep

                That’s stretching it a bit. What I’m saying is more like Fox news defining something as a “war on freedom” when it has nothing to do with that. Words are powerful.

                I need to get some work done…happy 4th

                • GCT

                  So, let me get this straight. You feel like FA calls Xian speech “proselytizing” too much. To back that up, you claim that not all Xian speech is proselytizing, and you can’t imagine that all the examples here meet the criteria, since there’s simply too many examples given. When it’s pointed out that the reason for that may very well be the fact that it’s what gets written about here at FA, you respond with some non sequitur about Faux News and their penchant to warp the facts to fit their agenda? Really?

                  How about you come up with an actual example instead of religiously privileged implications?

                • Blacksheep

                  are you actually this perturbed about my comment / opinion? yes, I meant exactly what I said. Will I do homework for you to prove it? You can naswer that one. You’re a bit confused in your response – what I said is very straightforward. I don’t “feel” anything – FA commonly uses the word “Proselytizing” to characterize public Christian speech. It’s used to spin facts, just like faux news does.

                  “religious privelege” is another big one, with almost zero meaning when it gets trtted out so often.

                • GCT

                  I don’t “feel” anything – FA commonly uses the word “Proselytizing” to characterize public Christian speech. It’s used to spin facts, just like faux news does.

                  And, the point that you refuse to acknowledge is that FA reports on cases where Xians are doing just that and it’s appropriate to call it by that word. You’re criticizing FA and comparing FA to Faux News for essentially their choice of topic. It’s completely unfair.

                  “religious privelege” is another big one, with almost zero meaning when it gets trtted out so often.

                  Well, when you and your fellow privileged theists stop pushing your privilege in our faces, then I’ll stop pointing it out. Your complaint is like a member of the KKK telling people that people keep calling him a racist, and it has zero meaning when it gets trotted out so often.

  • Tiffany Jade Brown

    I hate living here so much. And I hate Phil Bryant even more.

  • LesterBallard

    Find some young atheists and have them start proselytizing for Islam. See how long that lasts.

  • LesterBallard

    Other than slavery, we should have let the “South” secede.

    • Blacksheep

      Ever spent time there? They’re open to it any time!

      • LesterBallard

        Not in a long time. There are good things, and good people, of course, but damn.

  • Gene Dale Moore

    this will end the day some students decide to form a religious group based on any of the following religions
    Islam
    Buddhism
    Hinduism
    Janism
    Sikhism
    Wicca
    Druidty
    Taoism
    Native American Church
    Scientology
    Church of Satan

  • Jake

    And Mississippi wonders why it’s the #1 sh*ttiest state.

  • Tobias2772

    if an atheist student is physically assaulted for expressing their veiwpoint in this forum, should they sue the school board or the state legislature ??

  • LonesomeDove

    Great – lets line up a bunch of Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, Jews, Scientologists, Mormons, and Atheists to share their points of view…

  • brandoshido

    well, this doesn’t surprise me. not one bit. I don’t live in MS, but I work there regularly. I see this type of thing everywhere, especially the southern areas of MS

  • John Kieffer

    These sorts of laws underscore the anxiety that fundamentalist Christians must be experiencing as they see people, especially youth who are the most internet savy of their populations, leaving their churches in droves. As long as the internet remains a forum for free speech, the demise of Christianity will continue.

  • pagansister

    Mississippi has enough problems without adding this to its’ list! Did they ever hear of “separation of church and state”? Wait, it’s Mississippi—guess that is explanation enough.

  • Katherine de la Haye

    OK Wiccan students, it might be a good idea to start planning an open Samhain rite…

  • ryan miller

    Psa 5:5 The foolish shall not stand in thy sight: thou hatest all workers of iniquity.

    Rom_9:13 As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.

    (Mal 1:2 I have loved you, saith the LORD. Yet ye say, Wherein hast thou loved us? Was not Esau Jacob’s brother? saith the LORD: yet I loved Jacob,

    Mal 1:3 And I hated Esau, and laid his mountains and his heritage waste for the dragons of the wilderness.)

    I’ll give you one guess as to who Esau/Edom is today !!!

    “Edom is in Modern Jewry” ~ The Jewish Encyclopedia 1905 edition

    Gen_36:43 “…..he is Esau the father of the Edomites.”

  • Michael Corliss

    “The disclaimer may allow the schools to work around the Supreme Court decision in Santa Fe Independent School Dist. v. Doe ” I seriously doubt it. Someone needs to file suit to stop this, now.

  • rlwemm

    The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster should start giving out prayer and evangelism instruction sheets to Missippi school children so that they can make use of them to convert and/or harass those who do not believe in his Noodly Appendages.

    • 3D

      I’m kinda over the FSM. It made its point several years ago; now I think it trivializes what we’re trying to do. If they’re gonna exploit this law I’d rather they proselytize actual critical thinking and skepticism rather than make a joke out of it.

    • rlwemm

      The problem is that critical thinking and skepticism are not religious doctrines so they do not fall under the purview of this law.

      • 3D

        Religion is made up, nebulous, and personal to each person who believes in a religion. That usually works against rational people, but in this case it’s a plus. Just say “my religion promotes skepticism and critical thinking” and there’s really no counterargument.

  • GarDinSprite13

    This backwards Poverty stricken ignorant State is breaking a Law of Separation between church and State and using Public Schools to do this! Once again Christians are manipulating, breaking laws that were put in place by our Nation’s founding fathers to keep the Peace!


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