It seems Tennessee has a big problem with state spending when it doesn’t involve promoting Christianity.
House Bill 2248 was passed through the Tennessee Legislature’s House Committee for Education Administration and Planning with a “do pass” recommendation if an identical bill, Senate Bill 1912, passes through the Senate subcommittee for Education Administration and Planning. And what do these bills say? Get a load of this:
“This bill prohibits the expenditure of state funds to support the office for diversity and inclusion at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and requires that any compliance monitoring required by the federal government that is performed by the office for diversity and inclusion at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, be performed by an employee in the office of the chancellor of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.” (emphasis mine)
Instead of going to the office for diversity and inclusion, the bill requires that the funds “be appropriated to the department of finance and administration to be used in a decal program administered by the department to fund the placing of a decal of the national motto on vehicles of local or state law enforcement agencies.” (emphasis mine)
According to their website, the Office for Diversity and Inclusion’s mission is “advancing efforts to create a welcoming and accessible campus community. Our leadership drives inclusive excellence, leads to new discoveries and affords all students, faculty, and staff the opportunity to realize their full potential.”
I can totally understand why the Tennessee legislature is doing this: who needs diversity and inclusion when you can just slap God on cop cars?
If the legislation passes, $436,700 will be diverted into the national motto decal fund, where it will be used to reimburse law enforcement agencies for the cost of placing “In God We Trust” on their vehicles.
HB 2248 has everything that conservatives love all wrapped up into one nice, shiny package. Does it target minorities? Check. Does it promote Jesus? Check. Does it “support our police”? Check. It is the perfect combination of racism, religion, and nationalism.
The current makeup of the Tennessee Senate is 28 Republicans and 5 Democrats, so I’m sure this legislation will have no difficulty making it through the Senate committee. The House makeup isn’t much better at 73 Republicans and 26 Democrats, so if this comes to a full vote, I have no doubt it will pass.
However, I do have one recommendation for the Tennessee Legislature. Instead of putting “In God We Trust” on your state’s police cruisers, perhaps change the motto to one more fitting: Assimilate, or leave.