CONCORD, N.H. — A Democratic member of the New Hampshire House of Representatives has filed a bill that would repeal a 40-year-old state law that allows for the recitation of The Lord’s Prayer in public elementary schools.
Rep. Amanda Bouldin, who represents the Manchester area, recently filed House Bill 289, with eight co-sponsors—all Democratic.
It repeals the 1975 statute Section 194:15-a, which is stated to be dormant in that no schools in the state are currently known to engage in the practice of reciting The Lord’s Prayer in class.
“As an affirmation of the freedom of religion in this country, a school district may authorize the recitation of the traditional Lord’s prayer in public elementary schools. Pupil participation in the recitation of the prayer shall be voluntary. Pupils shall be reminded that this Lord’s prayer is the prayer our pilgrim fathers recited when they came to this country in their search for freedom,” the law reads.
“Pupils shall be informed that these exercises are not meant to influence an individual’s personal religious beliefs in any manner. The exercises shall be conducted so that pupils shall learn of our great freedoms, which freedoms include the freedom of religion and are symbolized by the recitation of the Lord’s prayer,” it states.
However, due to an advisory opinion some time ago from the New Hampshire Supreme Court—at the request of legislators—that deemed the statute to be unconstitutional, Bouldin believes that the law needs to go. She
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