The Iowa legislature has introduced a bill that would require every school to post the beginning of the preamble of the Declaration of Independence in every building.
Why that part of that passage?
Perhaps because, much like all those “In God We Trust” bills, doing so would allow Christian lawmakers to stick the phrase “endowed by their Creator” in every public school in the state.
Here’s the first sentence of the preamble in case you’ve forgotten it:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
SF 2101 was proposed by Republican State Sen. Jim Carlin and yesterday, the Subcommittee on Education recommended it for passage in the State Senate.
American Atheists’ Iowa State Director Justin Scott has released a statement pushing back against this bill both because it’s another example of Christian overreach and because it micromanages public schools.
Iowa’s “Endowed by their Creator” school display bill would force students to view a religious message in every single classroom across our state. With 35% of teenagers identifying as nonreligious, SF 2101 stigmatizes more than a third of all students and attacks their religious freedom.
This divisive bill also serves no educational purpose. Instead, it serves one purpose and one purpose alone: allow activists to advance a distorted, Christian nationalist agenda in schools…
If teachers want to display a cherry picked section of the Declaration of Independence, they already can. However, forcing them to do so is government overreach — plain and simple — and an attack on local control. With this exclusionary bill, bureaucrats in Des Moines claim they know better than our local public school leaders what’s best for each district.
Instead of micro-managing our already overworked teachers and underfunded public schools, the Iowa legislature should focus its efforts on adequately funding public education and supporting the teachers who have devoted their lives to the craft of teaching. Iowans want schools to educate, not indoctrinate or advance special interests.
He’s right to say this bill serves no educational purpose. Kids study the preamble already. The only reason anyone would want to frame these words in particular is because they’re yet another way to shove God’s name into public schools under the guise of patriotism. Iowa lawmakers should reject the bill and let school districts manage the decorations in their own facilities.
(Image via Shutterstock)