The Wyoming legislature is considering a bill (HB0077) that would help insure that students in Wyoming are guaranteed their religious liberties while at school. These are the remarks I made at the committee hearing:
The First Amendment guarantees that government will make no law restricting the free exercise of religion. The freedom to believe and practice according to conscience is sacred, and no government has the right to take it away. In numerous cases, and by overwhelming majorities, the Supreme Court has protected that right. In Westside Community Schools v. Mergens, the Supreme Court overwhelmingly reaffirmed that students do not give up those rights when they go through the school doors.
This bill does nothing more than codify those sacred rights. So why is it necessary? Because radical secularists continue to challenge that right. The threat of expensive lawsuits by nationally funded groups has too often cowed timid school boards into adopting policies that deny these basic rights. Overeager administrators, unclear on the law, often overstep their bounds.
The price of freedom is eternal vigilance. This vigilance must come from every level of government. Laws at the state level, such as HB-0077, which protect these rights will encourage school districts and administrators to stand against attempts to limit those rights, in violation of conscience, our Constitution, and our God-given freedoms.