Alabama lawmakers are proposing a multitude of school prayer and religious expression bills this session including one to allow the display of the Ten Commandments in schools and other public buildings.
Alabama lawmakers are proposing a multitude of school prayer and religious expression bills this session.
Legislators say the bills are an effort to push back efforts to squash all vestiges of religion from the public square. But opponents called the bills election-year pandering and said the proposals are either unnecessary or unconstitutional.
Republican Rep. Steve Hurst has proposed setting aside up to 15 minutes at the start of each school day to study the procedures of Congress, including having teachers give a verbatim reading of a congressional opening prayer.
The Alabama House has approved a bill aimed at allowing the Ten Commandments to be displayed in public schools and state buildings. Representatives voted 77-19 Thursday for the proposed constitutional amendment that goes to the Senate and would also have to be approved by voters. Valley Republican Rep. DuWayne Bridges says Alabama should celebrate the country's religious roots. He predicted that Alabamians would overwhelmingly approve the measure. The legislation specifies that the display would have to be intermingled with other historical documents.
The Alabama Senate has approved a proposed constitutional amendment to protect the display of the Ten Commandments in public buildings.
The Senate voted 23-1 Tuesday for the legislation sponsored by Republican Sen. Gerald Dial of Lineville. The bill still must be approved by the House and by voters in a statewide referendum before it can take effect.
The legislation is designed to provide state constitutional protection for the display of the Ten Commandments and other historically significant documents in public buildings, regardless of their religious significance.
A handful of Republican Alabama lawmakers are pushing a bill to make it legal to display the Ten Commandments in any public building in the state.
WAFF-TV reports a pre-filed bill sponsored by Republican state Sen. Gerald Dial and has gained support from Sen. Shadrack McGill and Sen. Clay Scofield.
Dial says the bill — titled the Alabama Religious Freedom Amendment — could act as a safeguard for constituents who have expressed concerns over being sued for displaying the Ten Commandments in public places.