/* */ Rosa Rubicondior: Christian Subversion Update - Mississippi Missionary Baptists

Saturday, 19 January 2019

Christian Subversion Update - Mississippi Missionary Baptists


State Rep. Credell Calhoun, D-Jackson, introduced House Bill 427, which would violate the Establishment Clause.
Photo credit: Mississippi House of Representatives
Mississippi May Mandate Ten Commandments and Pledges to State, U.S. Flags in Schools | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

American Christian fundamentalists are continuing their campaign to subvert the US Constitution, apparently in the belief that the Establishment Clause either doesn't or shouldn't apply to them. This time a concerted effort is being made in Mississippi to make the teaching of Christian dogma compulsory in public schools, to have Mississippi taxpayers pay for it and to impose fines for complying with the Constitution and Supreme Court Rulings forbidding it.

As the Jackson Free Press reports:

Mississippi law would require schoolchildren to recite the Pledge of Allegiance and see the Ten Commandments be displayed on public-school walls under new bills in the Legislature this session, requirements that may violate the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment. One would also require Mississippi teachers to teach Mississippi's pledge glorifying the state flag, which contains the Confederate battle emblem in its canton.

State Rep. Credell Calhoun, D-Jackson, introduced House Bill 427, which would amend the Mississippi Constitution to mandate that public-school teachers and principals must display the Ten Commandments. It would require that school officials display the religious laws "on an appropriately framed background with minimum dimensions" of 11x14 inches in all classrooms, auditoriums, and cafeterias, alongside the motto, "In God We Trust."

Students would have to recite all 10 commandments within the first hour of class each morning. Any teacher or student who objects to reciting it would be excused "without penalty" from reciting the pledge.

Calhoun is a Missionary Baptist who sits on the House Education Committee. He introduced a similar bill last year, but it died in committee.


State Rep. William Shirley, R-Quitman, introduced House Bill 172 to impose fines for complying with the US Constitution.
This despite a 1980 US Supreme Court ruling that a Kentucky state law requiring the Ten Commandments be displayed in all schools violated the Establishment Clause and "served no secular purpose". The Mississippi bill if passed would require not only that the Ten Commandments be displayed but that teachers should lead the students in reciting them.

A second bill, this time by Republican Representative, William Shirley (R-Quitman), also a Baptist, would impose a $1,500 fine on schools which do not require teachers to lead students in reciting the Pledge of Allegiance in the first hour of class. His bill would also require teachers to teach students the pledge of the state of Mississippi, which reads:

I salute the flag of Mississippi and the sovereign state for which it stands with pride in her history and achievements and with confidence in her future under the guidance of Almighty God.

If there is any fixed star in our constitutional constellation, it is that no official, high or petty, can prescribe what shall be orthodox in politics, nationalism, religion, or other matters of opinion or force citizens to confess by word or act their faith therein. If there are any circumstances which permit an exception, they do not now occur to us.

A 1946 ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court declared the students cannot be forced to recite the Pledge after a West Virginia school expelled some students who were Jehovah's Witnesses for refusing to pledge due to religious objections. In it's ruling the Supreme Courts said that "no official, high or petty, can prescribe what shall be orthodox in politics, nationalism, religion, or other matters of opinion or force citizens to confess by word or act their faith therein."

Shirley's bill would require that any fines should not be paid out of federal funds, Mississippi Adequate Education Program funds, or any other state funds and must be paid within 30 days. In other words, these fundamentalist Christians are keen to use public funds illegally to pay for the indoctrination of children into their cults but any fines they impose without due process on those who adhere to the US Constitution and comply with the Supreme Court rulings, must come from their own resources. Teachers and school governors who comply with the US Constitution and resist bullying by fundamentalist Christian bigots are to be penalised.

Both bills now go to the Education Committee, where Calhoun is a chairman with no date set for potential votes.







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