Missouri Representative Hardy Billington (R-Poplar Bluff) is on a mission from God. Unfortunately, it’s not the type of mission that requires driving to Chicago at night while wearing sunglasses, but rather one to make the separation of church and state just a bit less separate. In a House committee hearing Tuesday, Billington presented a bill that would force plaintiffs advocating for the separation of church and state — those suing to stop the public display of crosses on government property, or seeking to block prayer in public schools — to disclose their real names. No more Jane Doe or Jane Roe. In these cases, and only these cases, Billington would require the legal system to out the person suing.
The foundation has been busy in Missouri. In 2016, its complaint and threat of a lawsuit forced the Tipton school district to prohibit staff from leading prayers in school. In 2017, the nonprofit targeted a 60-foot long cross in a public park in Neosho — the city opted to sell a chunk of the park to a private entity rather than remove the enormous religious symbol.