Legislators know bills won’t pass high court

Published 12:47 am Wednesday, February 26, 2014

I don’t know about you, but when someone calls me stupid, it makes me mad.

No one in Montgomery has actually insulted my intelligence specifically, but judging by what is going on with the Alabama legislature, that is exactly how some of them view us.

Midway through the 2014 Regular Session, several bills concerning religion are expected to not only cause delays in the clamor to the campaign trails this election year, but are also dealing with some things that have already been decided. Specifically, the bills deal with prayer in schools. I think we’ve covered that.

In fact, the Supreme Court of the United States struck down the practice of state-sponsored prayer in school more than 50 years ago, deeming it a violation of the Establishment clause of the First Amendment.

That being said, I’m like I think most of you are: I hope every kid in every school across America bows his or her head before every meal – and every test – regardless of what god they are praying to. No one says you can’t do that. But, we all know the schools can’t mandate or even lead prayer. The whole separation of church and state thing is kind of a major plot point in the story of America’s formation. What makes me, and should make you, mad is that legislators supporting these lame-duck bills know it, too.

No one, including state lawmakers, expects a bill passed in the Alabama legislature to legalize prayer in school again. The Supreme Court already decided the matter: It is unconstitutional. What lawmakers do expect is to appeal to the largely religious voters of our state by holding up the Bible and, instead of following its instructions on honesty, hiding behind it.

The only things to be gained from these bills are the likelihood of costly court battles we get to pay for.

It’s almost as hard to comprehend as, I don’t know, a judge that fights to keep the Ten Commandments displayed in a courtroom – again, unconstitutional – ostensibly labeling himself a judge who doesn’t know, or simply ignores, the law in order to appeal to religious voters during a run at the governor’s mansion.

I’m a religious person. I know most of you are too, and I’m certainly not attacking that. But, we all know there is an important separation in this country. So, ask yourself this question: Do lawmakers really think we are all dumb enough to see these moves as the actions of Godly people, and not the pandering of greedy politicians with no regard to the consequences?

I think the last person to openly insult my intelligence like that was a grade-school bully, and I wouldn’t give that guy my vote for anything.