Off The Wall
On The Record
Registered Sex Offenders for Edgefield
2005 Crime Stats
& Audio Updates
PO Box 972
State and Federal
Local Political Parties
Chamber of Commerce
New York Times
New York Post
Los Angeles Times
past articles please visit our Archives
Sen. Massey explains vote on Lord's Prayer
to the Editor
posted July 23, 2008
I read the recent Wandering
Minds comment about my vote on the Lord’s Prayer, posted
7/21/08. The poster stated that I was one of only 12 senators who
voted against having the Lord's Prayer in public schools. The comment
and vote require a response to clear up any confusion.
The vote in question was on an amendment to a bill that would allow
state and local governments to post a display of the “Foundations of
American Law and Government.”
The Senate Judiciary Committee decided on a display to include the Ten
Commandments, the Magna Carta, the Mayflower Compact, the Declaration
of Independence, the Star-Spangled Banner, the Bill of Rights, the
Preamble to the South Carolina Constitution, the national motto “In God
We Trust,” and the image of Lady Justice. Why these historical
items? Two U.S. Circuit Courts of Appeal have already ruled this
exact display (minus the S.C. Constitution’s preamble, of course)
satisfies the First Amendment.
Although the bill successfully made it through the committee process, a
group of Democratic senators was determined to kill the bill, primarily
because it included the Ten Commandments. When the bill came up
for debate on the Senate floor, these Democratic senators offered
several amendments in an attempt to prevent passage. The most
clever “poison pill” was Senator Brad Hutto’s amendment to include the
Lord’s Prayer in the display.
The proposed “Foundations of American Law and Government” display bill
is constitutional. Senator Hutto knew that if he included a
purely religious document, the entire bill became constitutionally
suspect. He also thought that it would be extremely difficult for
Republican senators to vote against the Lord’s Prayer.
However, the South Carolina Southern Baptist Convention and the
Palmetto Family Council, both strong backers of the legislation,
publicly opposed the Lord’s Prayer amendment because they knew it was
designed to destroy the bill.
When the vote came on the amendment, I voted “no” because I wanted to
ensure that our county governments and school boards could display the
Ten Commandments and other foundational documents. Unfortunately,
Senator Hutto succeeded; the amendment passed because too many senators
were scared of being seen voting against the Lord’s Prayer.
Consequently, the bill, which ultimately passed with amendments, is now
certain to be challenged as an unconstitutional establishment of
When I campaigned for the Senate last year, I argued that we needed to
change the status quo in Columbia – shake things up – and I said I
would work hard, get involved, and do my best. I honestly believe
I have fulfilled those commitments.
While other senators are comfortable just being in the Senate, I got
involved and worked hard on legislation to strengthen our DUI laws,
combat illegal immigration, tighten restrictions on payday lending, and
make our state more business friendly so we can recruit good,
high-paying jobs. I have done my best to keep citizens informed
through monthly guest editorials and 18 “Neighborhood Chats” (so far)
around the district. Most importantly, I have always been
available to communicate with you by phone or e-mail because serving
you is my primary job.
We have serious issues affecting us as South Carolinians: the economy,
health care, education, and yes, the good ol’ boy status quo that
continues to hold us back. We will be talking about those issues
and more in the coming months. In the meantime, if you have a
question about one of my votes or a position I hold, just ask.
Send me an email (email@example.com), give me a call (480-0419),
or just pull me aside when you see me.
original material is property of
EdgefieldDaily.com and cannot be reproduced, rewritten or redistributed
without the expressed written permission of Edgefield Daily.com
JAM Straight Customs
We still need recipes for Cooking Section
WEBNEWS – Send in your favorite or
favorites. There is no limit to the number of recipes you can send in.
With the Editor’s wife being the driving force behind her own personal
section, help her create an exchange of local favorites, home cooking,
grilling, sauces, and deserts! Send in your submissions here.