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Tennessee’s Bully Psalm: ’The Lord Is My Lawyer, I Shall Not Want’

Thursday Mar 27, 2014

If a bill that is sitting on Tennesse Governor Bill Haslam's desk is signed into law, the power of Christ could compel some students to slander LGBT peers without repercussion and invoke the name of the Almighty as an acceptable way of avoiding learning science. The Gaily Grind reports:

According to the ACLU, Tennessee SB 1793/HB 1547 "crosses the line from protecting religious freedom into creating systematic imposition of some students' personal religious viewpoints on other students."

"Should this pass, students with a range of religious beliefs, as well as non-believers, would likely routinely be required to listen to religious messages or participate in religious exercises that conflict with their own beliefs," the ACLU adds. "Conversely, if a student of a minority religious faith (e.g., a Buddhist, a Wiccan, etc.) or a non-believer were to obtain a 'position of honor,' as defined under this bill, that student would be permitted to subject all classmates to prayer and proselytizing specific to his or her faith tradition in connection with school events."

The New Civil Rights Movement further warns:

"At a basic level, a student could merely write "God" on a chemistry test as the answer to a question asking to 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 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."

Although the bill is in direct contradiction to Establishment Clause of the U.S. Constitution, it easily passed both houses of the Tennessee legislature on a 32 -0 vote in the Senate and a 90-2 vote in the house. It currently sits awaiting Governor Haslam's signature.


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