A committee in Alabama’s House of Representatives has passed a bill requiring teachers and students in all of the state’s public schools to spend 15 minutes of every morning in Christian prayer.
Alabama is currently ranked the second most religious state behind Mississippi and is also the home of Roy Moore, the state Supreme Court chief justice who campaigned to keep a huge stone sculpture of the Ten Commandments in the state court building.
The court would gladly, however, tolerate a stone sculpture over forcing religion upon its students.
The bill passed through the Alabama House’s education policy committee last week, according to the Montgomery Advertiser.
Sponsored by Rep. Steve Hurst (R-Munford), the measure would require teachers to spend a maximum of 15 minutes in the first class of each day to read prayers.
The bill was not expected to pass considering many committee members voiced opposition prior to the vote, but Rep. Mary Sue McClurkin, R-Indian Springs, chairwoman of the committee, insists that she registered more people saying “yes” than “no.”
“It’s what I heard as chairman,” she said.
But it turns out that McClurkin and one other Republican were the only two committee members who voted “yes.”
Two Republicans and one Democrat voted “no” and three legislators weren’t even there to vote.
The House’s clerk, however, told the Advertiser that “the chairman of each committee has the discretion to decide the outcome of a voice vote.”
This is how McClurkin was once able to push through a bill “that would allow students to initiate prayer in school and express their religious views in their schoolwork.”
One of that bill’s sponsors told the Advertiser: “Every bit of this bill is already legal. It’s just that no one knows it’s legal.”