Target: Indiana Senator Dennis Kruse
Goal: Strike down unconstitutional bill aiming to make school prayer mandatory
Dennis Kruse, a hyper-conservative state senator from Indiana, has repeatedly attempted to undermine the First Amendment. He has fought for the teaching of Creationism in science classrooms while diminishing the role of evolution in the curriculum. Kruse has repeatedly sought to inject Christian prayer in to classrooms as well. Kruse’s most recent attempt at forcing religion into public schools is in much the same vein.
Kruse recently proposed a bill before the Indiana State Legislature that would authorize individual school districts to officially mandate prayer in every public school in their jurisdiction. Essentially, Kruse’s proposed bill would make school prayer a requirement.
Kruse believes that “spiritual development” in education is important for children to be good citizens, good Americans, and ultimately good people. Senator Kruse believes that the only way to ensure this happens is for schools to require students and staff to recite the Lord’s Prayer at the start of the school day.
This bill is baffling, bordering on disgusting. Firstly, it wrongly assumes that all a school’s students and all of its teachers and faculty are Christians. A bill of this nature would only serve to alienate community members of other faiths. This is an arrogant, antiquated, and bigoted way of thinking and a truly ludicrous belief on which to base legislation. In the United States in this day and age, one cannot conceivably think that everyone in a school community has the same spiritual beliefs.
This is not to mention that Kruse’s legislation is inherently and irreparably unconstitutional. Senator Kruse seems to have a complete disregard for the First Amendment. In America, we keep church and state separated. Prayer, regardless of denomination, has no place in a publicly funded forum. Our tax dollars do not go to religious institutions, especially in schools. Public school is not the arena for religious indoctrination. Everyone has the right to practice religion freely, but not at school. If parents want their child to have an education founded on spirituality, they should consider a private religious school, not a public school.
Dennis Kruse’s most recent bill is an insult to the Constitution and to the members of his community. He once again seeks to trample the First Amendment and mandate his own brand of Fundamentalist Christianity as a state religion. He seeks to make members of other faiths and spiritual doctrines targets. Senator Kruse’s proposed bill does nothing to help Indiana or the U.S.; sign the petition and help ensure that it never becomes law.
Dear Senator Kruse,
You recently brought a new bill before the Indiana State Senate. A Senator proposing a new piece of legislation would hardly be noteworthy if it were not for the controversial nature and the sheer unconstitutionality of the bill you have proposed. You have once again attempted to undermine the First Amendment in your state in another effort to blur the distinction between church and state and install mandatory Christian prayer in public schools.
This is not the first time you have tried these kinds of antics. One would think that by this point you would have learned that legislation of this nature is blatantly unconstitutional. There is no grey area in the First Amendment, nor is there any grey when it comes to the separation of church and state.
In the United States we do not mandate religion. We all have the freedom to and the freedom from religion. Every American can worship in whatever way he or she sees fit—it is not the government’s place to dictate that. Your proposed bill violates this core tenet that we hold on to as Americans.
This bill will only serve to ostracize members of the school community. America is a land where everyone is equal, regardless of his or her spiritual background. Decreeing that the Lord’s Prayer must be said in public schools goes against this. It is time for you to reread the Constitution, and reevaluate your stance on the First Amendment, Senator Kruse.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Paul and Jill via Flickr