KANSAS REP. GARBER, LYING ABOUT SCHOOL PRAYER IS ALSO A SIN
There’s a lot going on in the United States right now when it comes to education and politics. But while this is usually true, this is especially true in recent weeks. Especially at the state level. We have seen teacher strikes in several states. We have seen very loud drum beating on both sides of the political aisle. That usually means democrats supporting increased spending, both for teacher salaries and overall state spending for education budgets. On the republican side that usually means to spend less in order to tax less. But what we don’t usually hear from either side is that school prayer will be the solution to all problems in education. That’s what one Republican said the other day. According to Kansas Rep. Randy Garber of Sabetha, Kansas, it’s the best recommendation.
GARBER ARGUED MORE SCHOOL PRAYER, NOT FUNDING, THE BEST FIX
“I say the way to fix our schools is to put prayer and the Bible back in and give it a chance.” He offered those comments in his statements during the House debate over the plan to increase overall school funding to the tune of $500 million over the next five years. Kansas lawmakers are attempting to best respond to the Kansas State Supreme Court decision. The court found that Kansas schools are inadequately funded under the state’s constitution and therefore under State law. But students already may pray in schools. But the U.S. Supreme Court issued decisions back in the 60’s that stopped prayers led by the schools themselves.
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THERE’S A REASON STATE SPONSORED SCHOOL PRAYER WAS ENDED
But at least one lobbyist in Kansas isn’t having it. Mark Desetti works as a lobbyist for the Kansas National Education Association. He deals with these local state education issues regularly. He said there is already prayer in the state’s schools every day. But there is not school mandated prayer that would potentially exclude students who participate in faiths other than Christianity. He said, “The idea that suddenly if kids are praying, or if kids are under orders to pray, that it’s going to solve everything — that’s just the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard.”
GARBER WANTS CHRISTIAN FAITH TO HAVE AUTHORITY OVER COURTS
But Garber gave a long speech during the debate arguing the opposite. He stated that a lack of school prayer is one major cause for societal problems in general and poor education performance by students specifically. Garber also doesn’t like judges and courts having an impact on how constitutional laws are. But most U.S. lawmakers, except Garber, seem to know that it’s a long-standing principle of American political practice that courts specifically serve to do just that: determine the constitutionality of laws.
LOWER SAT SCORES, TEEN PREGNANCIES, ABORTION, ASSAULT ALL FROM NO SCHOOL PRAYER?
But Garber also stated his belief that SAT scores dropped when state-sponsored school prayer was ruled out of practice in 1963. Some Christians, including Kansas Rep. Garber, believe that the lack of state-sponsored prayer has hurt education. But for Kansas Rep. Garber, that wasn’t all. “STDs (sexually transmitted diseases) skyrocketed, birth rates among unwed girls skyrocketed, and our answer to that is abortion. We won’t talk about that today. Pregnancies to girls under 15 skyrocketed. Aggravated assault arrests — I could go on and on.” I could go on and on as well. At a minimum, I pray that courts still do their traditional job and keep Garber’s beliefs from dictating policy.
SANITY AND DEMOCRACY PREVAILED, THANK GOD
In any event, the House passed the $500 million dollar increase to the Kansas State education budget. The vote was close, 63-56. That was certainly something to pray for. Hallelujah. Let’s keep the faith in the courts!