A House of Learning Should Not be a Place for Faith-Based Discrimination

During a recent telephone town hall meeting, I fielded a variety of questions about faith and the role it plays in education and government.

I explained that while our state government endorses no particular religion, the Legislature accepts all faiths. Every session opens with a daily prayer from a wide variety of clergy, including pastors, priests, rabbis and clerics.

The questions were no doubt driven by the controversy surrounding a local Veterans Day program. A local chaplain decided not to participate in that program after learning that the district had barred prayer from the presentation.

It has become almost cliché to state that this nation was founded on freedom of religion, not freedom from religion. However, that is a fact. We've watched in dismay as appointed (not elected) judges have chipped away at this nation's faith-based heritage.

Yes, the Supreme Court ruled decades ago that prayer in school is unconstitutional. That apparently isn't enough for some atheist groups, who now wish to eliminate any mention of God on school property and use intimidation by threat of litigation against public schools and veterans groups.

All people of faith, regardless of their religion, should be very concerned.

Doyle Heffley

State Representative 122nd District