If we needed an indication that we are over-legislated, this incident is definitely an indication of that.
People who do not understand the Christian faith have a hard time grasping the fact that Christians cannot just turn their “religion” on and off like a light, depending on the circumstances in which they find themselves. Christianity isn’t a religion, by definition, it’s a faith, and a lifestyle. A Christian believes he is a vessel in which the Holy Spirit dwells, a creation of the God of the universe, who is, through faith in Christ, united with his creator. (I’m using the male pronoun because I am speaking from a personal perspective, but the same holds true for Christians who are female.) It’s hard to stop being that simply because you happen to have a career in the public square.
So, a school official asked another one, presumably both Christians, to offer up a prayer. Perhaps, considering the civil authority of our day, that was not politically correct or appropriate, though I think someone would really have to have a gigantic chip on their shoulder to be offended by that, or be very gullible to think that they were being coerced. But it is absolutely ridiculous to even put it in the same category as criminal behavior. Yet that is apparently how it is being treated.
Are we surprised that the ACLU is involved?
The ACLU spokesperson says that it was not their intention for anyone to go to jail, and they wanted to make it clear that no one was going to jail because they prayed, but because they violated a court order.
The ACLU’s spokesman said, “The moral of this story is, for us, this is about the students’ right to be free from teachers and school administrators thrusting upon the students their religious beliefs. They keep talking about the religious rights of the administrators, but the administrators and the principals don’t have any right to trumpet their religious beliefs in a school setting.”
The First Amendment to the Constitution says that Congress “shall make no law” respecting the establishment of religion. But it is also not to infringe on the free exercise of religion, or infringe on the freedom of speech, and a court order forbidding a Christian to pray, under any circumstance, is most definitely infringing on the free exercise of religion and freedom of speech of a Christian, regardless of their employment status, or their geographic location. The prayer was not directed at anyone, no one was “required” to listen to it or acknowledge it, and simply uttering a prayer is not, any way you look at it, “thrusting” religious beliefs upon the students. Even more ludicrous is the idea that a judge, someone you might think is a person of reasonable intelligence, does not have the discernment to distinguish the level of criminal activity involved in “violating a court order.”
Would the ACLU have even bothered to get involved if a Muslim had offered the prayer, or if an atheist had made some kind of statement or speech?