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Quick Hit: Florida legislates thoughts about prayers

Sheryl Acquarola, 16, a junior from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, is overcome while watching the Florida state legislature decline to debate laws about assault rifles
Stoneman Douglas High School students react to their legislators’ complete refusal to help protect them from gun violence. (Photo credit Mark Wallheiser/AP)

After declining debate on assault rifles after last week’s school shooting in Parkland, Florida — but supporting a bill to protect kids from the life-threatening evils of porn — Florida lawmakers have decided to do something even more useless: require every public school in Florida to display the state motto, “In God We Trust,” in a “conspicuous place.”

Yeah, that’ll learn those mass shooters. Put ’em right in their place.

The bill’s sponsor in the House, Rep. Kimberly Daniels, a Democrat from Jacksonville who also runs a ministry, said the bill is “so simple, just saying put a poster up to remind our children of the foundation of this country.”

“In God We Trust” is also the national motto.

On Wednesday, in a speech from the House floor, Daniels indirectly referred to the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School last week that left 17 students and educators dead.

“It is not a secret that we have some gun issues that need to be addressed, but the real thing that needs to be addressed are issues of the heart,” she said.

Daniels said she had a vision earlier in the week, “I believe it was God, and I heard a voice say, ‘Do not politicize what has happened in Florida and do not make this a thing of division.'”

And whatever you do, the voice continued, for the love of Me, don’t do anything that might be actually effective in preventing gun violence. We’re in full-on thoughts-and-prayers mode now.

One thought on

  1. “In God We Trust” is both a longstanding and well-worn component of American culture. Its use on currency and public buildings has been well established in American jurisprudence. It’s frequently challenged in court and to my knowledge thus far has never been found against regarding constitutionality. The reason is that it is considered to be purely ceremonial or ornamental, doesn’t amount to an endorsement of a religion, and is in no way coercive.

    However, as a lawyer, I see how having “In God We Trust” in court buildings and courtrooms is not a guarantee for fair sentencing. In a nutshell, HB 839 is purely ceremonial, the legislative version of ‘thoughts and prayers,’ something that has statistically never stopped a single mass shooting. One day prior, student survivors of Parkland shooting pushed for the ban on weapons assault rifles, but that was a bill the Florida House declined to take up.

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