Republican Senator Tommy Tuberville gave his first Senate speech this afternoon and urged the nation to rip up the First Amendment and use public schools to indoctrinate kids with his brand of religion.
… We’ve got to start teaching our young people moral values again. That starts with putting God and prayer back in our schools. Our kids need structure and they need to learn right from wrong…
Tuberville, who doesn’t even know the three branches of government, doesn’t seem to understand that students are already allowed to pray in school. They can even get together with their friends and do it. They can even start a Bible Club. Atheists aren’t getting in their way.
What public schools can’t do is shove religion — and it’s always Christianity — on all students. They can’t have Bible readings over the public address system, or invite a preacher to hunt for fresh meat during assemblies, or tell kids Christianity is superior to other religions, or have a teacher lead the class in prayer.
Tuberville is also wrong to say we need God and prayer back into our school because he’s too dumb to realize they were never taken out of school in the first place. Only forced prayers and Bible readings were removed — and we’re all better off because of it.
None of this is new for Tuberville. As the head football coach at Auburn University, he was arguably the main reason illegal chaplaincies were pushing Christianity on athletes at public universities around the country. As a Senate candidate, he said that it’s a lack of forced Christianity that’s causing all the problems in our country. He also claimed last year that there were cities in the U.S. where he couldn’t drive because “Sharia Law has taken over.” (That’s a lie. He’s not a smart man.)
Alabama could’ve kept Doug Jones in this seat. Instead, voters went with this conservative blowhard because Roy Moore wasn’t viable.
***Update***: The Freedom From Religion Foundation quickly issued a statement about Tuberville’s remarks:
U.S. Senator Tommy Tuberville, who built a reputation for pushing religion onto public school football players, today repeated his Christian nationalist talking points on the floor of the U.S. Senate.
Religion is the typical justification of politicians like Tuberville who reject the science on vaccines, climate change and more. Tuberville should reflect on the fact that the countries that have outpaced the United States in terms of academics are, on a whole, much less religious.
FFRF is not optimistic about Tuberville’s prospects of helping to advance science while on the Senate Health, Education, Labor & Pensions Committee. That committee should be composed of lawmakers who respect science and are committed to upholding the rights of public school students, including the right to a secular education.