Friday, December 09, 2011

Rick Perry: The Anti-Establishment Clause Candidate

DES MOINES REGISTER: Just to clarify on this point, when you talk about a Day of Prayer, or permitting prayer in schools, are you talking specifically about Christian prayer, or are you saying non-denominational prayer?

PERRY: What I’m saying is it’s not the government’s business to be telling folks that, at the state level, if a – obviously, if a school is a Jewish school in Dallas, Texas, they should be able, I mean, that private school should be able to do that.

DES MOINES REGISTER: But, they can as a private school. The issue here has to do with public schools.

PERRY: Well, then, the independent school boards that oversee those [public schools] should make the decisions, not the government. Again, I mean, the idea that we have to be so politically correct that there’s one family that says, ‘Listen, I don’t want my child--,’ then that child ought to have the freedom to be, you know, can sit over there and play tic-tac-toe or what have you.  But the issue is that for Washington to tell a local school district that you cannot have a prayer and a time of prayer in that school, I think is offensive to most Americans. I trust the people of the states to make those decisions. I trust those independent school districts to make those decisions better than eight unelected and frankly unaccountable judges. And it’s one of the reasons that I’ve called for the end of lifetime appointments to federal judgeships, and go to some set term.
H/T: The Washington Monthly's Steve Benen:
Let’s count the errors of fact and judgment, because this a doozy.
1. There are nine Supreme Court justices, not eight.

2. When public school boards make policy decisions affecting public schools, that is “the government.” It may not be the federal government, but Perry is still calling for government officials — rather than families — to intervene in the religious upbringing of children.

3. Playing tic-tac-toe is very hard for one person to do by himself or herself.

4. In the United States, we don’t make decisions about religious liberty based on majority rule or popularity contests. Here’s a question for Perry to ponder: if an evangelical Christian family sent their daughter to a public school in a predominantly Muslim neighborhood, would Perry want her to sit in a corner playing tic-tac-toe while the rest of the class prayed towards Mecca, or would he want the public school to remain religiously neutral?
Perry Flubs Justice Sotomayor's Name
GOP contender Rick Perry can't remember Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor.
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