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CONCORD — The House Education Committee on Tuesday decided to dodge the issue of school prayer entirely by voting “inexpedient to legislate” on a bill striking outdated references to the Lord’s Prayer from state statute.

The committee also did not take up an amendment to the bill proposed by Rep. Glenn Cordelli, R-Tuftonboro that attempted to more precisely define religious freedom in New Hampshire schools.

“I am deeply disappointed in the ITL motion,” said Cordelli. “The chair knows that I have an amendment prepared that would strengthen religious liberties for students and faculty in schools. We are missing a golden opportunity to put that into statute.”

Since the committee voted to recommend against the bill, there was no opportunity for Cordelli to present an amendment.

Cordelli said he would try to have the committee action overturned on the House floor, so that his amendment can be introduced there.

“The discussion the bill has sparked about the religious liberty rights of students and teachers ought to continue,” said Shannon McGinley, executive director of Cornerstone Action.

The law encouraging recitation of the Lord’s Prayer in New Hampshire public schools has been on the books since the 1970s, despite an advisory opinion from the state Supreme Court that it’s unconstitutional. Everyone agrees that the law would be struck down if challenged, but for now it remains on the books.