Illinois mandates moment of silence

From Associated Press religion briefs yesterday, an Illinois Democrat in that state’s legislative body successfully changed a law so that schools now are required (rather than have the option) to have a moment of silence at the beginning of each school day, despite the Illinois governor’s veto of the measure. Critics are decrying the slippery slope towards “compulsory school prayer,” even though the one-word change in the law isn’t about prayer at all, says its author, Rep. Will Davis:

An Illinois law called the Silent Reflection and Student Prayer Act already allowed schools to observe a moment of silence if they wanted. The new provision changes just one word: “may” observe becomes “shall” observe.

The sponsor of the change, Rep. Will Davis, a Democrat from Homewood, said his goal is not to open the door for teachers to lead their classes in morning prayer but help students calm down and think about their plans.

It’s the first story in the briefs round-up, here. Other items of note include a new president of the National Association of Evangelicals, if you’re curious about that sort of thing, and another small-town brouhaha over a Nativity scene landing the issue on that locale’s Nov. 6 election ballot. (We can see the signs now–Vote for the Baby Jesus!)

A little levity for your morning Café fare. Now, back to your moment of silence…

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