Ron DeSantis Is Discriminating Against Some Religions As 'Not Real' or Deserving of Religious Liberty

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis just violated the very First Amendment of the Constitution. He very publicly declared that he gets to decide which religions are real or not, and which are entitled to the protections of religious freedom, especially in the context of public schools.

This could set a dangerous precedent. Florida lawmakers must react now by repealing their school chaplains bill that openly discriminates against certain religions!

Young people across the U.S. are facing mounting mental health challenges, so DeSantis and his supporters cooked up a scheme. They used this as an excuse to get more religion into public schools. Rather than requiring qualified, certified mental health counselors to be on-campus, Republicans in Florida passed a bill that allows religious chaplains into public schools to support students instead.

This is already a problematic approach - because mental health can be a life-or-death topic, and requires proper professionals to handle these issues - but it doesn't end there. DeSantis then decided that he also gets to choose which religions' chaplains are allowed in. And he made it very clear that not all religions are welcome.

In particular, Satanic Temple chaplains are going to be excluded. The Satanic Temple does not actually believe in or worship Satan - but regardless, it really doesn't matter, since the U.S. is supposed to protect freedom of all religions equally. The Satanic Temple does believe in empathy, compassion, personal autonomy, and bodily integrity. It is federally recognized as an official, registered, tax-exempt church in the U.S.

Ron DeSantis doesn't get to decide what is a religion or not. Just because he doesn't like something doesn't mean he gets to discriminate against it. This is a very slippery slope. It opens a gateway to excluding other religions he might oppose - and that is in direct opposition to religious liberty under the Bill of Rights.

Even the original sponsor of the bill, Erin Grall, expressed concerns with DeSantis's position, saying: "as soon as we get in the middle of defining what is religion and what is not ... we start to run (into) constitutional problems."

We already know that DeSantis wants to control every aspect of public education. From making it easier for teachers to carry guns in schools, to limiting mentions of race, gender, and sexuality in teaching, to sweeping book bans, it's clear the governor doesn't want to support kids - he wants to control them.

First of all, these chaplains were already a bad idea because they can't ever be a substitute or replacement for proper mental health counselors, who have years of training on how to support young people's well-being.

Second of all, DeSantis does not have the right to elevate certain religions above others! Florida's new law is clearly discriminatory and unconstitutional. Florida lawmakers must repeal it now!
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