Any doubt about the agenda for those professing to protect religious freedom by expanding the Virginia constitution should be dismissed by this quote:
“Our country was built on the Christian principles of the Bible,” he said. “Today, our Constitution, in my opinion, has to be strengthened to protect those rights of all Christians around this country.”
–Del. Charles W. Carrico, the resolution’s sponsor
The Virginian Pilot has more.
Many supporters had hoped that the passage of HJ537 would open the door to organized prayer in schools.
The amendment’s author, Del. Charles W. Carrico, Sr., R-Grayson, initially said his amendment would allow formal classroom prayers if students’ parents requested it. Carrico later said he misspoke, after legal scholars who support his amendment said school-sanctioned prayers would still be unconstitutional.
Carrico, a retired state trooper, said he would reintroduce the amendment in 2007 because he believes judges are restricting the rights of students and adults to speak openly about their faith in schools.
Which led Sen. Dick Saslaw (R-Fairfax), who is Jewish, to recall his school days.
[Saslaw] recalled attending public school in Washington, D.C., when school-sanctioned prayer and Bible-reading were allowed. The school was divided between Christian and Jewish students, and Saslaw said, “There were kids that felt awful uneasy about it.”
Leaning toward Carrico, Saslaw asked, “What do you tell these other people that don’t read from your Bible … What do you tell those Muslim parents?”
“I don’t know what I would tell them,” Carrico replied. “I tell my children that you respect people of other faiths.”
Saslaw responded, “If you respect those other beliefs then you don’t impose your religion on them.”
Apparently, Carrico hadn’t thought so far as to consider other religions.
The whole issue is bogus.
Fortunately, a Senate committee killed the resolution.