Mississippi State Rep. Jill Ford took office just a couple of weeks ago, and her first bill will be an illegal one.
Ford, who hasn’t officially filed the bill, said in a Facebook post that it would bring forced Christian prayer back into public schools.
[Jan. 27] was also the day I filed my very first Bill. A Bill that will more than likely never see the light of day. But one the Lord planted in my heart years ago: To begin every morning with The Lord’s Prayer in every public school in Mississippi.
Can you only imagine what would begin to happen in the Spiritual Realm if the children would stand before Him lifting their heads in prayer asking Him to “lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil” – oh how we would see the atmosphere begin to change across Mississippi as depression and suicide would stop becoming the norm, we would watch as our children’s grades begin to rise, their hearts softened and their minds saturated with good thoughts and not thoughts of addictions. The Word says “the eyes of the Lord range to and fro searching for those hearts committed to Him” and I believe that His eyes would fall on our children every single morning as they continually sought him to “give them this day their daily bread …” my heart melts just imagining it!
First step is requesting Congress to allow prayer back in school. Stranger things have happened: it got taken out by one hell-bent woman. Maybe, just maybe, this heaven-bent woman could have something to do with getting it put back in. I know there is a lot of editing to be done, but I just pray it will at least be taken seriously.
She’s referring at the end there to Madalyn Murray O’Hare, the atheist who was one of several people who fought to end mandatory Christian prayers in school in the 1960s. Conservative Christians have long said that’s synonymous with eradicating prayer from school, which isn’t true. Kids can pray. Kids can read the Bible. If there are extracurricular clubs in school, they can form a Bible club. No one is stopping them. No one has ever tried to stop them.
But what Ford wants is for everyone — Jews, Muslims, atheists, etc. — to have to listen to the prayers of her religion to start the school day. It might make her heart melt, but her reaction would be very different if someone made her pray to Allah every morning.
Even if this bill passes, it would be illegal and unenforceable. The fear isn’t that this will go into effect; it’s that someone as ignorant as she is happens to be in a position of power. If her first act in the legislature is to promote Christian supremacy, contrary to the Constitution, who knows what else she’ll try?
Even a reporter for the Madison County Journal pointed out that an amended resolution, allowing kids to opt out of the prayer, would still be illegal:
Ford’s bill might allow students to opt out of saying the prayer, but it would still stand in contradiction to the Supreme Court’s 1992 ruling in Lee vs. Weisman, which held that “the State may not place the student dissenter in the dilemma of participating or protesting.”
In deference to that ruling, Ford wrote in her announcement that the first step is asking the U.S. Congress to allow prayer back in school.
She doesn’t care. If we’ve seen anything during the Trump era, it’s the idea that rules don’t apply to Republicans when they have any kind of majority. Everything is okay to these people as long as it benefits themselves and elevates Christianity. It’s a twofer in this case.
Ford is a disgrace. And this is just her first act.
(Featured image via Shutterstock)