capitol dome section with flagWritten by Don Byrd

The winner of last night’s Republican congressional primary in Georgia’s 10th district, and expected winner of the general election, Jody Hice, is a Baptist minister and talk-show host.

As Think Progress details, his platform rests on a number of troubling views with regard to church-state separation, including his lament over the Supreme Court’s 1962 decision barring state-directed prayer in schools.

Other Hice gems include his belief that Islam is not a religion, his view that the U.S. Constitution created a “distinctly Christian society,” and this:

He believes eliminating the separation of church and state is the best way to protect children from gun violence. After the massacre at Sandy Hook, he blamed secularism for the shootings. On his radio show, he lamented that, “For decades here, we have been kicking God out of — obviously our schools [and] the public square [and] our entire nation,” and claimed “this is type of thing that you get when there is the absence of God: evil.”

What do we do with Representatives who want to turn the church-state clock back more than 50 years? I understand debating the finer points of church-state law. Today’s accommodation debates, for example, are very complex and there are important arguments to be heard from all sides. But government-led prayer in schools? That ship has sailed. And we are better off for it.

You can read some of the BJC’s articles on religion and public schools here.