Louisiana is one of several states that now requires all public schools to put up “In God We Trust” signs at the beginning of the year as part of the Christian Right’s “Project Blitz” agenda.
Senate Bill 224 was signed into law in 2018 by Gov. John Bel Edwards, and not a single member of the state legislature voted against it, though there were a handful of abstentions. The law will finally go into effect now as school goes back into session.
In theory, and according to the text of the bill itself, this is all about loving the country. The religious signs are meant to be part of a “program of instruction on patriotic customs.” That’s obviously a lie. This is all about making Christianity the default religion of public schools. But politicians are usually careful to insist otherwise. They stick to the script about how the national motto unites us all, blah, blah, blah.
I guess no one sent the memo to Principal Shelby Ainsworth at West Monroe High School.
He gave away the game in a recent news story about the signs.
“I still feel strongly that America is a Christian nation,” said Shelby Ainsworth, principal of West Monroe High School. “I want our high school youngsters exposed to as much as that as possible.”
How’s that for an introductory message for students? Welcome back to school, kids! Not so fast, Jews…
When you have a principal who sees Muslim and atheist and other non-Christian students as insufficiently patriotic, how could they ever trust him to look out for their best interests? He says later in the same interview that “it’s nothing forced upon anyone,” but that’s easy to say when it’s your religion treated as the default. You get the feeling he’d be apoplectic seeing a sign in the hallway that reads, “In Allah We Trust” or “In No God We Trust” even if we gave him the same assurances about how he’s free to worship however he’d like.
Louisiana, by the way, ranks almost dead last when it comes to best education systems in the country, according to U.S. News and World Report. That’s what happens when the priority of school administrators is indoctrinating children instead of educating them.
(Thanks to Amy for the link)