I’m doing a series of postings on the First Amendment and how it is being misused. Lest you think I’m paranoid, below are two news items that show how the separation of church and state clause in the First Amendment is being used to interfere with the free practice of one’s religion:
Suspensions Reversed: Students Can Pray
A decision to suspend praying high school students has been reversed in Vancouver, Washington, after the Liberty Counsel represented several of the students in an appeal to the Evergreen School District.
Several months ago, a student complained to school officials that a group of students were praying in the cafeteria before school and, consequently, were sent outside by a vice principal. After they insisted on continuing their prayers, twelve were suspended.
Mathew Staver, founder and chairman of Liberty Counsel, commented: “Students have the constitutional right to gather together to pray before school, just as they can gather to discuss sports, music or movies. In these days of discord and violence, schools should know better than to ban students from praying.” As a result of the help received from Liberty Counsel, the suspensions will be purged from the student’s files.
Seniors Regain Their Right to Sing
Seniors in a Montana senior center nearly lost their right to sing Christian songs before meals.
Some of their peers had threatened to call the ACLU, but administrators at Bozeman Senior Center researched the facts and found that they were not at risk for losing federal funding for their Meals on Wheels program, as they originally feared. Amy Smith, an attorney with the Alliance Defense Fund, said that when senior center board members contacted her group, they learned that the seniors were well within their rights.
“On Good Friday, they voted to reinstate the singing of songs before meals, and they were very pleased to do so,” Smith told Family News in Focus.
Pastor’s Weekly Briefing, May 3, 2007, Copyright © 2007, Focus on the Family, All rights reserved