House Resolution to Open School Board Meetings with Prayers

Anne here… (Just like JT, I’m making up for a dearth of postings over the last few weeks.)

On Thursday, June 6, Rep. Tim Walberg of Michigan introduced House Resolution 250. The resolution declares Congress’s support for opening local school board meetings with prayer.

The proposed resolution states that the United States was founded on the principle of freedom of religion and not freedom from religion … prayer by a deliberative public body should be protected under law and encouraged in society because voluntary prayer has become a part of the fabric of this society.”

This, boys and girls, is bullshit. We cannot have freedom of religion unless we are also free from it, and free from having others impose it on us.

This patently unconstitutional proposed resolution already has 43 co-sponsors intent on this blatant attempt to weaken the separation between church and state.

School board meetings are no place for sectarian prayer, and national groups like the American Humanist Association, Americans United for Separation of Church and State, American Atheists, the Freedom From Religion Foundation, and others have worked hard to oppose such practices all over the country. You read about these efforts here and elsewhere on the Patheos Atheist Channel as well as in the news at large.

This resolution would encourage more school districts to pray at school board meetings and alienate nonreligious students, teachers, parents, and school administrators from their own communities. It’s a very bad idea, not to mention an illegal one.

The AHA has provided a convenient form for contacting our Representatives. Please click this link and fill in the blanks. Do it for our cause.

Schools are meant to be places of learning, not venues for prayer or religious instruction. Let’s band together to ensure that school board meetings remain secular and focused on improving schools instead of spreading religion.

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About Anne

Civil rights activist Anne Orsi is one of the spokespeople for the Arkansas Society of Freethinkers and is the primary organizer of Reason in the Rock, a conference on science, secularism and skepticism. Got a question? Email her at anne@aramink.com. She's a lawyer but may not be licensed in your state. Sending her an email or reading her blog posts does not create an attorney-client relationship. Find Anne on Twitter as @aramink, and read her regular blog at www.aramink.com.


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