For everyone wringing their hands about the lack of unity in our country, there was a shocking display of it this year — largely ignored by the media — on an issue of critical importance going forward: Exposing school children to our religious heritage
Back in March, in the waning days of the Florida Legislative session, black, female Democrat Rep. Kimberly Daniels stood to make the final pitch on a bill she co-sponsored with another black Democrat.
The bill: Require that all Florida public schools display “In God We Trust” prominently in their buildings, in a place where students will see it and perhaps want to talk about it.
In an unheard of display of unity between right and left, Republican and Democrat, male and female, black and white, Daniels rose on the House floor to speak and one by one Republican lawmakers (all of them white, male and female) went and stood behind her in support.
“Few would disagree with me that God is positive,” said Daniels. “He’s not a Republican, and he’s not a Democrat. He’s not black, and he’s not white. He is the light. And our schools need light in them like never before.”
Daniels went on, as more legislators stood behind her in support. She pointed out how we must “remind our children of the foundation of this country, which was founded on people who came for religious liberty.”
It was a powerful moment with whites and blacks, Republicans and Democrats standing together. When she concluded her remarks, she received a long standing ovation on the floor. And then the bill passed the House 97-10 vote.
And that moment got zero media coverage in a state smothered in major media outlets covering the legislative session. The law’s passage got some coverage, but not much. In fact, it was so ignored that I had to take a screenshot from the state’s C-SPAN equivalent taping the session to use with this story.
Secular leftists have long been trying to erase America’s religious heritage, and religion itself, as part of our exceptional nation. And they have had a depressing amount of success in the past 70 years. These battles have often been focusing on the public schools, because that is where the next generation is won over.
But what happened in Florida this past year represents a sharp counterattack in this anti-religion war. While Florida is the tip of the spear, five other states — Tennessee, Alabama, Louisiana, Arkansas and Arizona — have passed laws mandating or allowing “In God We Trust” to be placed prominently in public schools. This all comes 56 years after the U.S. Supreme Court banned prayer in schools, beginning the long, deleterious march of squeezing all religious references from public education.
This move has flown under the radar largely because the media hyper-focuses on every breath of President Trump every day, and every leak and fake story regarding this or that alleged corruption or chaos, or every tell-all book. After all that nonsense coverage, there’s not much time left for actual news. And that, actually, can be a plus because we all know how this issue would generally be covered by the CNNs and New York Times of the media world.
In Florida, “In God We Trust” is also the state’s motto and is on the state seal. Of course, it’s on the nation’s currency.
Daniels’ law, passed during the Spring legislative session, has already gone into effect this school year. All of the schools have the signs up.
Of course the ACLU is not pleased and sees it as a separation of state and church issue. But they also have not been successful in other cases involving the phrase in public places. They are “monitoring” the public schools law in Florida, which means that they probably will challenge it at some point when the right case comes. Likely, atheist parents will use their child to go to the ACLU to get the courts to overturn what is obviously a very popular move. Status quo there.
What’s worth noting here is that this is not the least bit controversial with most Floridians, or probably in other states. Just with the elitist left. The Florida House 97-10 vote came during an election year for all of those representatives. That pretty clearly shows that politicians in both parties not only support it, but expect that their voters support it.
There are some attempts to gin up outrage and opposition, but they don’t have much umph behind them. The only hope for the leftists who want to control everything is the courts. That’s where they’ve had all of their success — not from the approval of the American people. That will certainly be tried and the media will undoubtedly be all over it at that point.
But right now, a battle has been won and convincingly. “In God We Trust” signs are up in all of Florida’s 4,269 public schools, and 2.7 million school children will see them and maybe start having discussions that have not been happening in our schools for generations.
Rod Thomson is an author, TV talking head and former journalist, and is Founder of The Revolutionary Act. Rod is co-host of Right Talk America With Julio and Rod on the Salem Radio Network.
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