Students, teachers and local pastors are protesting over a court case involving a northern Florida school principal and an athletic director who are facing criminal charges and up to six months in jail over their offer of a mealtime prayer.
“I have been defending religious freedom issues for 22 years, and I’ve never had to defend somebody who has been charged criminally for praying,” said Mathew Staver, founder and chairman of Liberty Counsel, the Orlando-based legal group that is defending the two school officials.
“The defendants all admitted wrongdoing,” said Daniel Mach, director of litigation for (ACLU’s) freedom of religion program. “For example, the Pace High School teachers handbook asks teachers to ’embrace every opportunity to inculcate, by precept and example, the practice of every Christian virtue.’ “
In January, the Santa Rosa County School District settled out of court with the ACLU, agreeing to several things, including a provision to bar all school employees from promoting or sponsoring prayers during school-sponsored events; holding school events at church venues when a secular alternative was available; or promoting their religious beliefs or attempting to convert students in class or during school-sponsored events.
Mr. Staver said the district also agreed to forbid senior class President Mary Allen from speaking at the school’s May 30 graduation ceremony on the chance that the young woman, a known Christian, might say something religious.
… read the full story at the Washington Times article School prayer charges stir protests
Something tells me the ACLU wouldn’t do very well in Barbados
I lived and worked in the United States for a decade, in a small community in New Jersey and then in Brooklyn, but I will never understand the outright idiocy of the American courts in trying to regulate and curb every behaviour and opinion that some folks might find offensive. Part of being free is having the right to hold opinions and say things that some people might consider offensive.
Think about this folks… Can you imagine what would happen in Barbados if the court decided there should be no Christian prayers by anyone at any public function? That a student would be banned from speaking at a graduation ceremony because she is a known Christian and “might say something religious”?
Many of our youths aspire to go to the United States for a variety of reasons, most of them good. As people who have “been there, done that”, Shona and I know that life in the USA is quite different from life in Barbados – and not every difference is an improvement over living near, for instance, Grape Hall.