Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Virginia Lawmakers Counter Atheists: School Prayer

The Virginia Senate has passed a religious freedom bill to allow voluntary spoken prayers at school events and other expressions of faith in response to threats of financial ruin to local schools by atheist lawyers. The bill is expected to pass the Republican-held lower house, but it's yet to be known if newly elected Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) will sign it into law.

For background, read the long list of states enacting laws to bring prayer back to schools.

Also read Atheists Threaten to Sue Every School in Tennessee and in Mississippi but admit they're Short on Lawyers to Sue ALL Christians

In addition, read Taxpayers Want Prayer Back at Arizona School Board Meetings

UPDATE 2/20/14: Newly elected Democrat Gov. McAuliffe to veto prayer bill (video:)

-- From "State Senate passes controversial school religious freedom bill" by Chris Graham, Augusta Free Press (Waynesboro, VA) 1/21/14

Sen. Bill Carrico’s SB 236 is written to allow student prayer and permit the formation of religious clubs. It would also require forums for faith speech at school events, and specifies that students can wear clothes or jewelry with spiritual iconography or messages.

Carrico said the bill provides legal cover to schools and protects the constitutional right of “each and every student to express their beliefs according to the dictates of their conscience” without giving “preferential treatment” to any one religion.

Democratic senators argued that the bill is unconstitutional and potentially coercive.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Senate passes school prayer bill" by Chelyen Davis, The Free Lance-Star (Fredericksburg, VA) 1/21/14

[Sen.] Carrico called it an “anti-discrimination” bill, saying it would put religious expression on an equal footing with secular expression.

The bill also said schools must adopt policies that would let student speakers pray or express religious viewpoints at any event — like graduation or a ball game — where students are allowed to speak.

Sen. Adam Ebbin, D-Alexandria, said the bill’s practical effect will be to protect Christianity at the expense of other religions.

Sen. Tom Garrett, R-Louisa, said the bill is needed because students now are being discouraged from religious speech in school.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Va. Senate passes school prayer bill" by Michael Sluss, Roanoke Times 1/21/14

The Senate’s 20-18 vote was a victory for Republican Sen. Bill Carrico, R-Grayson County, one of the General Assembly’s most persistent advocates for allowing prayer and religious expression in public settings. The final vote broke largely along party lines. Just one Democrat, Sen. Phillip Puckett of Russell County, supported the bill. Sen. John Watkins of Powhatan was the only Republican to oppose it.

“When they’re doing assignments, when they work so hard to become valedictorian of their class, they shouldn’t be censored by the school system as to how they express themselves when they speak,” Carrico said. “This bill is nothing more than the protection of the students, while they’re at school, to able to do those things.”

Carrico’s bill (SB 236) now goes to the Republican-dominated House of Delegates, where he expects it to get a friendly reception.

“Now we’ll see how the governor reacts to it,” Carrico said after today’s floor vote.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

Also read School Prayer Clubs Spawned by Duck Dynasty