Texas Opens The Back Door for ID, Bitch Slaps Dover, PA
Texas' new "Religious Viewpoints Antidiscrimination" law requires every public school in the state to adopt a policy guaranteeing students' right to religious expression. It mandates that schools create "limited public forums" for religious and other types of speech.
One of the drafters of the law, a Houston attorney named Kelly J. Coghlan, urges students to lead their peers in prayer before the beginning of the school day as well as before football games, graduation ceremonies and other school events. A student could, for example, read the morning announcements over a loudspeaker and then lapse into a prayer or mini-sermon.
"This law is fundamentally at odds with the principle of religious freedom," said Kathy Miller, president of the Texas Freedom Network, an Austin-based group that opposes the machinations of the Religious Right. "It will force public school students to participate in public events that promote religious views -- through prayer or even proselytizing -- that they and their families may not share or may even find deeply offensive. So rather than protecting religious freedom, this law represents a grave threat to it."