Public school students in Georgia already have to begin every school day with a moment of silence “for not more than 60 seconds.” It’s the law. That law also doesn’t specify what students are supposed to do during that time — for good reason. They could pray if they want to. They could also do nothing. By not saying this is all about prayer, it’s very hard to undo this law without political pressure on the other side.
But now Georgia State Rep. Sharon Henderson — a Democrat who was just elected in November — has introduced legislation that would allow for a student to lead the class in a public prayer.
Not just any prayer. A Christian prayer. A very specific Christian prayer.
She even offers the text of that prayer in her bill:
We pray for all students, teachers, and staff who work here.
We give You all the children who study here.
We pray our school will be a safe place to learn great skills and talents.
May this be a place where we love to learn and a place where we learn to love,
A place where everyone is respected and all are deeply valued.
Bless us to maintain good health and protect us from evil.
We ask these blessings through Jesus Christ our Lord.
That’s one way to let Muslims and atheists and Jews and other non-Christians know they’re not appreciated. It’s just so obviously an attempt to inject Henderson’s religion into the schools in a way that would never be acceptable to Christians if we were using the religious language of any other faith, much less something atheistic.
It’s also par for the course for a lawmaker whose biggest credential during the campaign was her role as a pastor. If this is a taste of what’s to come, Georgia Democrats should be furious.
Henderson’s bill, HB 547, says this Christian prayer would take place just before another Christian prayer (the Pledge of Allegiance). Students don’t have to stand up for either of them… but they would likely have to hear it.
There’s no telling if it’ll pass, but it’s beyond belief that a Democrat would even suggest such an idiotic bill. Even outside its constitutionality, students shouldn’t be wasting time praying to begin their school day. Anyone who wants to can do it privately. No need to drag everyone else down with you.