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Our view: Proposed bill has many flaws

THE FIRST AMENDMENT

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Updated: February 19, 2013 12:25PM



A bill proposed by an Auburn state senator would allow public schools to require students to start the day reciting the Lord’s Prayer. Although the bill stands little chance of moving far this year, the reasons behind the push for more religion in schools are troubling.

State Sen. Dennis Kruse says he sponsored the bill “to foster a conversation about religious liberty in our state and our country.” He also said he thinks religious liberty is often under attack in the Hoosier state.

Both statements show a conceit that seems endless with some members of the religious right. For some reason, legislators like Kruse seem to think their religion is the only one, and their way of worshipping the best way. How can it foster liberty to force a Hindu, a Buddhist or a Muslim to recite a prayer created by Christians to worship their god? And whether you believe religion is under attack or not, how will a bunch of 8-year-olds (or 18-year-olds) mumbling a prayer every day preserve religious rights?

But worst of all is the conceit that reciting a prayer somehow will make students grow up to be moral adults. The truth is, morality is something you learn from how those you grow up around act, not what they say. Good people aren’t always churchgoers, and bad ones aren’t always nonreligious.

Perhaps our legislators should have read more Shakespeare when they were in school. Then they’d know, “The devil can cite Scripture for his purpose,” or even read the Lord’s Prayer aloud every morning.



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