Are you unconvinced that there’s a concerted effort by Christians to legislate Christianity? Don’t think it’s being done on a national scale in individual states? I’m going to try to challenge that notion today.
First, let’s think about this in principle. If you were going to do something underhanded and blatantly unconstitutional — like legislate a religion — would you try to do it all at once in one state? Of course you wouldn’t! You would pass innocuous little bills in many different states, setting apparently trivial legal precedents that don’t raise anyone’s ire.
While you were doing that, you would start programs to train specifically Christian lawyers in the fine art of legal loopholes.
When you were ready to put things together, you’d cite your “innocuous” precedents together, forming a new precedent that was much more than the sum of its parts.
- Innocuous legislation. Missouri is well on its way to passing a bill that would “prohibit government or school officials from adopting policies to prevent prayer in public places, as long as the prayer does not result in disturbance of the peace or disruption of a public meeting or assembly.” Critics of the bill say it is already protected speech, and there’s no need for the legislation. However, when we put this little tidbit — precedent for preventing anyone from adopting policies to prevent prayer — with this little tidbit:
- Innocuous legislation. — In North Carolina, legislators are arguing that prayer in public government meetings is legal, and not only that — it’s protected first amendment speech, since it’s being held on private time. Very much like the prayers being protected in Missouri schools, don’t you think?
- Law School. Pressler College of Law is an openly Baptist law school training lawyers in the fine art of finding legal loopholes. Like the one created in steps 1 and 2 above.
So where does this put us? Maybe nowhere just yet, but maybe somewhere very dangerous. North Carolina is setting a precedent. If passed, it will put the burden of proof on the Non-Theists that there is a reason for us to “infringe” on their first amendment right to have public prayer in government meetings. The Missouri bill will be a precedent for claiming that we have no right to pass any measures preventing such prayers.
The reverse logic will work for schools. As long as students are leading the prayers in “private time” — which could certainly be during class — nobody could bring any legislation against it without first challenging and overturning the previous precedent.
This isn’t about minor little religious tokens here and there. It’s a dangerous and powerful attempt to subvert the Constitution and turn America into a Christian nation.