June 17, 2005

Louisiana Legislators Push Prayer at School Board Meetings

Accent - The News Star - www.thenewsstar.com

On the place of prayer in public school board meetings..."It's like smoking," said Lenard, pensively. "If you don't like prayers, step outside and come back in when they're over."

While I agree that prayer is like smoking in the sense that both are noxious forms of pollution that are bad for the individual and others around him/her, I don't think the analogy holds up. Why? It might have something to do with federal court rulings that invoking Jesus at these meetings is illegal.

Now Louisiana politicians are "sending a message to the courts" that they favor praying to Jesus in every possible situation. Perhaps the real message they are attempting to send is that they are mindless idiots, desperately clinging to superstition despite overwhelming evidence that Christian claims about the natural world are false. Or perhaps they just want to get re-elected.

I suspect that these politicians are actually rather bright. Skilled manipulators who know how to influence the masses through religion can be powerful opponents. It is too easy to dismiss these politicians as simple-minded. They are anything but. In fact, it is their combination of intelligence and their lack of conscience that makes them dangerous.