The proportion of conservative Christians is declining in the U.S.,
yet right-wing lawmakers are flipping out. Legislatures everywhere are
passing religious-minded bills likely to be struck down after costly
legal battles, merely to prove their allegiance to the Christian right.
From Bibles to vouchers to school prayer, here’s how they’re signaling
their religious stripes, even as the electorate scurries away.
1. The Ten Commandments The wars about displaying the Ten Commandments are continuing.
attempt to get the Bible into classrooms demonstrated, schools often
become the arena for religious pandering. And there’s no pandering like
school prayer, which is perfectly constitutional as long as the state
doesn’t endorse it — which, of course, is exactly what legislators want.
way to intertwine religion and schooling is to reverse the process:
rather than force religion onto students, export students into religion.
That’s been the path of Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, who’s overseen
a massive voucher program, essentially privatizing—and pietizing—his
state’s education system.
4. Religious Freedom Bills
to the unexpected pushback against Indiana’s so-called religious
freedom bill last month, which caught everybody, especially Indiana
Governor Mike Pence, by surprise, religious freedom restoration acts are
now the subject of public scrutiny.