13 Freethinker’s attended a meeting of the Lancaster Freethought Society held on Monday, 11/04/2013 from 6 to 8 PM at Isaac’s Restaurant, Manheim Pike, Lancaster, PA.
The meeting began with the current LFS Board Member Secretary welcoming the new and attendees. The subject of this months discussion was concerned with the current pending vote on Pennsylvania House Bill 1728, which had cleared committee by a vote of 14-9. The bill is meant to introduce into our public school buildings the national motto “In God We Trust”. The bill was introduced into the PA Education Committee by Rick Saccone as the primary sponser. Rep. Rick Saccone was also a sponsor of the “Year of the Bible” for 2013 (PA HB 922) so he is clearly suspect of promoting religion.
We discussed the the following issues of this proposed legislation:
The promotion of a religious rather than a historical message.
The waste of valuable educational funds.
The impression of state sponsored religious message.
The divisiveness of the motto.
What you can say to your representative.
The coverage of this issue in the local news.
If you chose to appeal to your local House of Representative’s, now is the time. You may want to use this as a guide:
PA House Bill 1728 is unnecessary and divisive. There is no need to impose burdens on public schools to symbolically affirm our national motto when it is under no threat in the first place. This bill claims: “To increase student understanding of and familiarity with American historical documents, historically important excerpts from or copies of the documents should be prominently displayed in public school buildings.” However, it only mentions the current national motto. A reasonable person would see that this motto is a proclamation of faith. Currently up to 20% the United States population identify themselves as non-religious. Should we not err on the side of caution and not open our public schools to the on going debate concerning the separation of church and state? This could open our schools to other “historical” messages that maybe you would not agree with? Please think about how others would feel that may not especially agree with placing this motto within our public schools.
The meeting ended at about 8 PM with some attendees remaining to discuss relevant issues.
12/02/13 -LFS Monthly Meeting at Isaac’s @ 6 PM
All of the above are advertised at Meetup.com. Please RSVP for these events.