November 7, 2011

Are All Men, Women, And Children Created Equal? Not in Michigan!


MICHIGAN SENATE BILL 137: THIS SECTION DOES NOT ABRIDGE THE RIGHTS UNDER THE FIRST AMENDMENT OF THE CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES OR UNDER ARTICLE I OF THE STATE CONSTITUTION OF 1963 OF A SCHOOL EMPLOYEE, SCHOOL VOLUNTEER, PUPIL, OR A PUPIL'S PARENT OR GUARDIAN. THIS SECTION DOES NOT PROHIBIT A STATEMENT OF A SINCERELY HELD RELIGIOUS BELIEF OR MORAL CONVICTION OF A SCHOOL EMPLOYEE, SCHOOL VOLUNTEER, PUPIL, OR A PUPIL'S PARENT OR GUARDIAN.

Lansing, Michigan: That’s the text of Michigan Senate Bill 137 that was passed by the Republican controlled state Senate last week. That’s the language crafted by the Michigan American Family Association, the state offshoot of the American Family Association - that is a known “hate group” as determined by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

I’m not a lawyer, but I have to question whether this law is Constitutional. Aside from providing a clear path to falsely justify bullying and hate speech, it gives preference to any religious based speech, suggesting that any speech or belief that has roots in the Bible, the Koran, or the Talmud is more valid than any other speech.

It’s shocking that a tea-party conservative like Senator Rick Price, with the full consent of the American Family Association, would enact a law in the state with the largest Muslim population in the country, that equates Christian and Muslim values.

Teabaggers continually decry Muslim values, and try to instill a misplaced fear of all things related to Islam. It makes me wonder if they fully considered the text above.

Rather than protect Michigan students from harassment and bullying, in a safe and secure environment, the legislature has elevated all religious based beliefs, and speech, in violation of the Constitution, and the values we have long held dear - that all men, women, and children in our nation are created equal. Unless you live in the state of Michigan.

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