The Board of Trustees for Victor Valley Community College in California just voted on a new policy that they think will benefit everyone: Prayer at all future board meetings:
The legislation was first proposed by Trustee Joseph W. Brady in May and received support from fellow Trustees Lorrie Denson and John Pinkerton.
Denson is the first lady of Burning Bush Baptist Church in Victorville and said the spiritual gesture would add to a more serious tone at the meetings, despite the fact that it could open the college up to lawsuits.
Pinkerton, who is a high school counselor, cited the words “under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance as evidence that religious speech was welcomed in schools.
“Serious tone”? What do they do at these meetings normally? Throw around confetti and blast music?
Here’s the kicker, though:
According to board documents, a variety of religious leaders and clergy members from the local area will be invited to offer the invocation. It will occur after the Pledge of Allegiance and cannot be longer than three minutes.
As it stands, it doesn’t sound like atheists will be invited. I have serious doubts whether they’ll go out of their way to bring in minority religious groups, too. But maybe they just need a Satanic Temple representative to speak at a future meeting to realize their attempt at a more “serious tone” is much more of a distraction than they think.
I would be pissed off if I were a student there. The board wants to use my tuition money to defend themselves against a lawsuit of their own making instead of putting it back to use within the school? It’s irresponsible and completely unnecessary.
At least one trustee had the right idea:
“If we have to spend 10 cents fighting this I’m going to be very upset about that,” [Board President Dennis] Henderson said. “I pray in church and I don’t wave it around in here. What you do on your time, to whomever, it’s your decision and I don’t want to jam anything down anyone’s throat.”
Henderson doesn’t seem to understand that Christian prayers don’t count unless everyone watches you say them…
So there you have it: The leaders of an institution of higher education hastily voted to punish themselves (and the students) in the future. Maybe they should take some classes and learn something instead of going to these meetings.
(Thanks to Brian for the link)