My take on the separation of church and state is that we don’t want to create a national religion that would allow the leaders of the church to be the leaders of the state. As was the case when folks first left England for the “new land”. At that time, the King of England was also the head of the Church of England.
Of course, over time, here in America we have taken this concept and twisted it to all kinds of silly that now prevents us from offering a prayer before graduation, before a football game. It prevents kids from singing Christmas carols during winter concerts. Local governments are unable to display mangers.
Not, in my opinion, the intent.
Mississippi seems to be going the other way in an equal manner:
JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant has signed a bill that could lead to student-led prayer over school intercoms or at graduations or sporting events.
It says all school districts must adopt a policy to allow a “limited public forum” at school events such as football games or morning announcements, to let students express religious beliefs. The policy must include a disclaimer that such student speech “does not reflect the endorsement, sponsorship, position or expression of the district.”
In the same way and manner that I don’t think that we should forbid coaches from holding a small prayer before hitting the hardwoods, I don’t think that we should be mandating a forum either.
However, when we begin to legislate stuff like this we end up with all kinds of twisted and tortured legislation that, when boiled down, is really meant to say, “Just leave me alone!”
My hope that this might just be a good common sense codified is the ACLU’s response:
Bear Atwood, legal director for ACLU of Mississippi, says the group will wait to see if there’s proselytizing in schools before deciding whether to file a lawsuit.
What else can ya expect from a dude named “Bear”?