School Officials Encouraged to Pray
Supporters of school prayer have long argued its merits since the Supreme Court rendered its rulings against school-sponsored prayer in the early 1960s.
But a new battle is emerging on whether the people who run, operate, and manage school policy at the local level can or should start off their meetings with prayer.
Rep. Tim Walberg, R-Mich., introduced legislation that not only condones it but encourages school districts across the country to do it. The bill, H. Res. 662, offers a non-binding language that expresses support for prayer at school board meetings.
In an interview with Beltway Buzz, the Michigan congressman and former pastor said it's important to honor the Judeo-Christian values upon which America was founded.
Watch what Rep. Walberg says about America's founding principles.
The resolution cites a 1983 Supreme Court case, Marsh v. Chambers, as the basis for its legal protection. Walberg's basic argument is that school boards are deliberative public bodies and should be "free to engage in prayer at the beginning of meetings."
Opponents believe Walberg's resolution is an example of political pandering ahead of the November election. And recent court rulings appear to be trending toward the other side of the argument.
The bill has 33 co-sponsors and has been referred to two House committees. (Sen. David Vitter, R-La., authored a Senate bill that mirrors Walberg's resolution.)
Stay tuned to Beltway Buzz and CBN News for more information about Walberg's bill.