Attorney General Leslie Rutledge cheers today one of the two pillars of her legislative “agenda” (the other was discriminating against transgender children). That is Governor Hutchinson’s signing of what she terms the “Faith Family Freedom Acts.

I prefer the “Last Refuge of Scoundrels Act” for the legislation’s reliance on phony patriotism to whip up the Trumplican base.

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The news laws require the playing of the National Anthem at EVERY school sporting event, I guess including cross-country and trap-shooting. It also redundantly mandates a moment of silence, already part of the law, following the required recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance.

These are time wasters in already inadequate educational days. The time and recording equipment necessary will come with at least some marginal costs.

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Said Rutledge

“In Arkansas we are ensuring that American patriotism is taught in our schools.”

To which I respond: It is teaching patriotism to throw the U.S. Constitution in the trash basket as the legislature did repeatedly? It is patriotic to promote discrimination or simple cruelty based on gender, sexual orientation, religion, national origin and poverty?

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It is teaching to turn national emblems into just another rote exercise to daydream through in school?

I say it’s demagoguery, and I say to hell with it.

Nobody is “taught” patriotism or religion or good behavior by government-enforced rituals. They are taught by good examples, which were lacking in the recent legislative session. (Enforced ritual seems positively North Korean to me.)

God help the students who exercise their First Amendment right not to participate in these meaningless exercises. They will be abused and bullied. What’s worse, their tormentors likely will be protected by politicians like Rutledge.

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Remember the 2016 Razorback women’s basketball team?