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to the Editor
Sen. Hutto: Massey Sides with ACLU against the Lord's Prayer
posted October 14, 2008
I recently read with interest the convoluted explanation that Sen.
Shane Massey wrote attempting to justify why he voted against
displaying the Lord's Prayer in public schools and other government
buildings. Rather than simply admitting that he in fact voted
against the posting of the Lord's Prayer together with other historic
documents, he gives a tortured interpretation of his decision.
My amendment to add the Lord's Prayer to a list of documents that
should be posted in schools and government buildings was adopted by a
vote of 30-12. This means that it was supported by over seventy percent
of the Senators voting, including a majority of the Republicans and a
majority of the Democrats. The amendment was offered along with others
to allow our students to have the opportunity to be exposed to a broad
array of documents that have historical importance to us as a
nation. Sen. Massey simply did not want our students exposed to
the Lord's Prayer in school, because he was worried what a court may
say about the constitutionality of the bill.
Sen. Massey says he voted as he did to "ensure" that the other
documents in the bill could be displayed. I did not realize that
school boards, county and city leaders needed the permission of Sen.
Massey to display items in the public buildings that they were elected
to control. What Sen. Massey is saying is that he voted against
the Lord's Prayer, because he wanted to make sure that the Declaration
of Independence could be posted in schools. This is ludicrous.
Sen. Massey was simply cowering to the threats of the ACLU and liberal
interest groups who opposed the insertion of the Lord's Prayer in the
bill. It appears either that he agrees with the position of these
liberal groups or doesn't want to challenge them in Court.
I believe in "Home Rule", the concept that local elected officials are
capable of handling local decisions without permission from
Columbia. It is true that I argued against the entire bill.
It was nothing more than another attempt by the "know-it-alls" in
Columbia trying to tell the school, city and county officials what "we"
thought "they" should do. I believe that these decisions
regarding what should be displayed in a public building should be left
to the elected officials that the voters have entrusted to
oversee those buildings. I lost that debate, and it was clear
that we were going to set forth a "list" of acceptable documents.
In that case, I thought that the original list was very limited and
should be expanded to include a list of many more documents that are
important to Americans.
Does anyone doubt that the Lord's Prayer should be on that list?
The answer apparently is yes - Sen. Massey and the ACLU do.
Sen. Massey often uses the cliché phrase 'Shaking Up
Columbia'. I guess by that he means he wants to make sure that
the ACLU dictates the agenda, that the words "prayer" and "school"
should not be used in the same sentence, and that he will vote against
things that he fears may be challenged in Court. Sen. Massey should
just admit that he did not want the Lord's Prayer displayed in our
schools and that is why he voted against it.
Sen. Brad Hutto (D)
District 40, SC Senate.
Editor's note: Sen.
referred to can be found here.
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