Saturday, April 05, 2014

Tenn. GOP & Dems Pass Religious Liberty for School

Liberals, homosexualists, secularists and atheists alike, across America, are fuming that all but two legislators in Tennessee voted to forbid discrimination against Christians in schools. The Religious Viewpoints Antidiscrimination Act (SB 1793/HB 1547), which ensures students' freedom to speak and write about their Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Wiccan (etc.) faith, or lack thereof, is expected to be signed by Republican Gov. Bill Haslam.
“The aim is to give direction and protection to schools by providing clarity to the existing laws of the land. There are no new rights created by this bill – the intent is to maintain equal rights and equal protection.”
-- Rep. Courtney Rogers
For background, read God is NOT Your Idol, Tenn. Teacher Tells Student; Michael Jackson Is

To read previous articles concerning religious liberty in Tennessee, click headlines below:

Wisconsin Atheists Want Prayer Stopped in Tennessee

Wisconsin Atheists Say: Bar Pastors From Tenn. Schools

Atheists Pay Kid to Play Victim in Tenn. Prayer Lawsuit

Atheists' Actions Increase Prayer at Tenn. Schools

Tennessee Law Lets Teachers Pray with Students

Appeals Court Refuses Atheists, re: Prayers in Hamilton County, Tenn.

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

UPDATE 4/6/14: Mississippi Religious Liberty Law Infuriates Liberals

-- From "Tenn. Senate passes Religious Antidiscrimination bill" by Chas Sisk, The Tennessean 3/24/14

Senators voted 32-0 to pass the Religious Viewpoints Antidiscrimination Act, a bill that says schools cannot block students from stating their religious views in public forums, organizing religious groups or stating their views in assignments. Similar measures have passed recently in Texas, Oklahoma and South Carolina. The bill already has passed the state House of Representatives [90-2].

Court rulings and existing state laws have stated previously that students can exercise their religious beliefs while at school. The measure’s sponsor, state Sen. Ferrell Haile, R-Gallatin, said it would provide “guidance” to school officials who fear they might be sued if they permit religious expression.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Tennessee bill would expand students' religious rights" by Andy Sher, The Chattanooga Times Free Press 3/28/12 (TWO years prior to passage of the current bill)

Rep. Andy Holt, R-Dresden, the bill's sponsor, said his legislation is needed to protect students. If anyone has issues with the bill, Holt said, "then you're expressing your problem with the First Amendment and not with my bill."

The bill requires school boards to provide a method, based on "neutral criteria," for the selection of student speakers at school events and graduation ceremonies. School systems would also must adopt a policy regarding a limited public forum and voluntary student expression of religious viewpoints.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Tennessee Sends Religious Anti-Discrimination Bill To Governor" by Shadee Ashtari, The Huffington Post 3/25/14

The legislation’s primary sponsors, state Rep. Courtney Rogers (R) and Sen. Ferrell Haile (R), introduced the measure after a teacher asked a 10-year-old student to choose a subject other than God to write about as the person she admired most, according to the Associated Press. The state House passed the bill earlier this month by a vote of 90-2.

Similar legislation, modeled after Texas’ 2007 Religious Viewpoint Anti-Discrimination Act, unanimously passed the Oklahoma Senate in February.

The Tennessee bill now awaits Gov. Bill Haslam’s (R) signature. Given the measure's overwhelming support in both the Senate and the House, a veto by the governor would likely be overturned.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "ACLU: Tennessee ‘religious freedom’ law would turn public schools into ‘Sunday schools’" by David Ferguson, Raw Story 3/26/14

The New Civil Rights Movement blog reported Wednesday that the “Religious Viewpoints Antidiscrimination Act” enshrines students’ right to use religion in any way they choose, even if that means expressing condemnation of their classmates, such as LGBT students or atheists.

David Badash at NCRM wrote, “The bill states ‘a student may express beliefs about religion in homework, artwork, and other written and oral assignments free from discrimination based on the religious content of their submissions. A student would not be penalized or rewarded on account of the religious content of the student’s work.’”

“At a basic level,” Badash wrote, “a student could merely write ‘God’ on a chemistry test as the answer to a question asking where water comes from. A student could also stand in class and say their religion says that gay people are sinners and going to hell, and that speech would be legally protected.”

The bill also provides for a student speaker program, in which students of faith are chosen by local school boards to address their classmates in what the ACLU called “a variety of inappropriate settings, from the classroom to school-day assemblies and school events.”

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Activists Condemn TN Bill Allowing Students to Write, Talk About God" by Lauretta Brown, 4/4/14

The bill states that a Local Education Agency (LEA) “shall treat a student’s voluntary expression of a religious viewpoint, if any, on an otherwise permissible subject in the same manner the LEA treats a student’s voluntary expression of a secular or other viewpoint on an otherwise permissible subject and may not discriminate against the student based on a religious viewpoint expressed by the student on an otherwise permissible subject.”

“In addition to codifying Supreme Court precedents, this bill also places, in Tennessee code, guidance published by the U.S. Department of Education. There have been increasing instances of school officials who have felt compelled to quash students’ religious expressions for fear of lawsuits – even when the quashing itself is illegal,” Tennessee Rep. Courtney Rogers (R-District 45), the bill’s co-sponsor in the House, told

. . . LGBT advocates also oppose it. An article on The Gaily Grind claiming that the bill will “allow the bullying of LGBT students in the name of ‘religious freedom’” has even prompted a petition to the White House asking the Obama administration to challenge the legislation in court.

The Human Rights Campaign also said that “the bill opens up state-sanctioned avenues to bully LGBT students” because “under the “religious liberties” measure, a student could be permitted to personally target an LGBT student by couching the bullying in religious terms.”

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

Because of the intimidation tactics of atheist lawyer organizations, state governments across America are educating its citizens on constitutional religious liberty by passing laws in Texas, and Louisiana, and North Carolina, and South Carolina, and Missouri, and Mississippi, and Florida, and Tennessee.

Also read Gay Agenda will be Complete when Christians are Muzzled, Say Homosexualists as well as Senator Ted Cruz Says the Gay Agenda Ends Christian Liberty

In addition, read American Decline: President Obama's Gay Agenda vs. Christians