Just a week after the West Virginia Legislature reopened, two theocratic bills passed out of their committee hearings with little opposition. Senate Bills 280 and 152 are threats to secular education across the state. These two bills aim to bring religion into classrooms without any guardrails protecting students rights. Contact your representatives today and protect children from religious indoctrination!
SB 280 would allow public school K-12 teachers to “teach scientific theories of how the universe and/or humanity came to exist,” but the bill’s sponsor made clear that the intent is to clear the way for teachers to include intelligent design in their lessons. This blatantly disregards the constitutional prohibition against intermingling religion and state-funded schools. Courts have routinely found that creationism and its offshoots, including intelligent design, are based on unsupported religious claims and doctrines rather than scientific evidence. Intelligent design and any other claims of supernatural intervention in the origin of life or of species are untestable, and therefore unscientific, and should not be taught to public school students!
Meanwhile, SB 152 would require all public school classrooms to display posters with “In God We Trust” on them. This bill is clearly an effort to slowly indoctrinate children into believing that America is a Christian nation rather than showing respect for our secular democracy. The motto “In God We Trust” was belatedly adopted by Congress during the Red Scare in 1956. The motto has miseducated the generations since the 1950s that the United States is predicated on God, rather than our godless Constitution, whose only references to religion are exclusionary. Any assertions that the phrase “In God We Trust” is inclusive of non-Christian or nonreligious students would be disingenuous, and plastering a religious motto on the walls of every public classroom serves no secular purpose whatsoever!
FFRF Action Fund needs your help to ensure that these bills don’t reach the governor’s desk. Action Fund Senior Policy Counsel Ryan Jayne submitted written testimony against them on Jan. 16 but public opposition from West Virginia residents is essential to stop these bills. Don’t hesitate to take action today! We’ve included suggested language through the “Take Action” button which can be customized to your liking. For best results, please be succinct and polite.
(Note: You must live in this state to take part in this action alert.)