Representatives in Tennessee are trying to pass something called the “Religious Viewpoints Antidiscrimination Act.” Sounds awesome. Antidiscrimination?! Who’d be against that?!
You. Here’s why.
The bill would make it easier for “select students” to use their leadership positions in public schools as grounds to preach their religious (or anti-religious) beliefs.
The same bill was vetoed in Oklahoma and caused all sorts of controversy in Texas after it was passed there in 2007.
Also — let’s be honest here — most non-Christian students have no desire to proselytize during school hours. That’s almost exclusively a Christian thing to do. When was the last time a Hindu student preached at a school assembly? Have we ever been up in arms about a Wiccan speaking at a high school graduation? Of course not. This bill would be a legal shield, protecting Christians when they proselytize during graduation, football games, morning announcements, etc.
The American Civil Liberties Union in Tennessee warns that [Rep. Andy] Holt’s bill would subject children “to unwarranted prayer and proselytizing in a variety of inappropriate settings, including the classroom, school-day assemblies and school events.”
At least one Republican saw the obvious problem here:
House Education Committee Chairman Richard Montgomery, R-Sevierville, said that, while he backs the bill, “there is one thing we need to make clear. There is going to be some turmoil out there. As long as your religion is being spoken … everything’s absolutely fine.
“But whenever it does come to, whether it be a Wiccan or a Muslim or whatever, a lot of our community is going to get up in arms that don’t believe in that. You’re going to have an uproar out of this world in a lot of communities because something’s being talked about and speech is being made totally against 99 percent of what the community believes in.“
So there are two ways to handle this.
1) If you live in Tennessee, contact your state Representatives and tell them to vote against HB 3616. Then contact your state Senators and tell them to vote against SB 3632. Let’s stop this bill before it becomes a law.
2) Let’s suppose the bill becomes a law. Then we need students who are atheists, Wiccans, Muslims, Jews, Hindus, etc. to use every opportunity they get to preach their beliefs. Make it as uncomfortable as possible for the Christian majority. Force them to repeal the law. It’ll be a hilarious way to protest this idiotic plan.