Friday, June 14, 2013

Michigan Republicans aim for small government

After yesterday's news that Rick Perry bravely defended the rights of all Texans to celebrate Christmas by signing the "Merry Christmas" bill into law, Michigan Republicans took their own actions to protect America's traditions and heritage. Patrick Colebeck, R-Naturally, introduced a bold bill that would permit Michigan high school teachers everywhere to finally teach some history. SB 423 specifies in great detail that our school system must not leave out such controversial documents as:
  • The Declaration of Independence
  • The Constitution
  • The Federalist Papers
  • The Anti-Federalist Papers
  • The Bill of Rights
  • Our National Motto
  • Our National Anthem
  • And many others
This bill and another Colebeck introduced, SB 120, have caught the attention of the Freedom From Religion Foundation. They say that these bills have a hidden religous agenda, and that language just like this has been introduced in similar bills around the country in an attempt to get religous documents added to school property or curriculums. The FFRF states that these bills contain language like below which has used to put religion into public schools or indoctrinate.
Representatives for the Michigan Association of Secondary Schools Principals and the Association of Public School Academies spoke in opposition to Senate Bill 423, which in part says school districts may post documents and objects “of historical significance in forming or influencing the United States or its legal governmental system” and explicitly allows for “documents that contain words associated with religion.” 
The FFRF noted that the other bill, SB 120, has been worded to apparently muddy the waters of church and state separation discussions and pave the way for revisionist instruction in classrooms. Considering the reaction of the Texan citizens that I saw online the other day after the Beaumont preschool graduation prayer fiasco, this is a discussion that doesn't need to get any more confusing for the American public. The FFRF said that SB 120 is designed to prevent censorship of documents due to religous references, but that they aren't aware of any published reports of such censorship.

I agree with the FFRF about the potential for religous abuse present being a cause for concern, but while I was reading these bills and thinking about what is going on these politician's heads I had a different thought.

They're scared.

They see the young people leaving religion behind at a historic rate while the churches hemorrhage followers. They see a nation that is becoming more pluralistic and increasingly more accepting of differences. They are losing their battle against the LGBT in the courts on every single front while they watch societal attitudes and our technology reach the escape velocity of the gravitational pull of primitive religious traditions and beliefs. We are becoming a nation that doesn't look like them, act like them, or believe like them.

Which is why they bring all of these pointless bills up in an attempt to preserve something that was never really theirs in the first place.

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