On her Facebook page last week, Texas State Rep. Debbie Riddle (R-Tomball) explained her view that schools would be acting wisely and constitutionally if they start forcing students to read Christian Proverbs:
Formal prayer has been taken out of our schools. How about this idea? Read from the book of Proverbs from the Bible. Proverbs is a book of wisdom. Proverbs is in the Holy Scriptures for Christians and Jews. As for other religions – the wisdom won’t do them any harm…I say have a reading out of Proverbs each day in our classrooms.
Riddle’s suggestion that forcing students to listen to Christian proverbs is constitutional is wrong. The Supreme Court held that both school-led prayer and scripture readings are unconstitutional over forty years ago because the First Amendment prohibits public schools from promoting one religion over another or over no religion at all. Though Riddle claims the Book of Proverbs is a neutral “book of Wisdom,” she later admits that the reading of the proverbs is a Christian text which “won’t harm” people of “other religions.”
This is not the first time that Riddle’s ideas have been riddled with flaws. In 2010, Riddle claimed that pregnant women were coming to the United States to have babies “with the nefarious purpose of turning them into little terrorists, who will then come back to the U.S. and do us harm.” With no facts to back her up “terrorist babies” claim, Riddle became a symbol of completely unfounded right-wing conspiracy theories.