Remember when the ACLU was going after prayer at school? They said they simply did not want school officials praying, placing undue influence on the easily-influence students. Prayers given specifically by students were okay. They have First Amendment rights afterall…not anymore..
The ACLU wants to sue a school district in Arkansas for a student saying a prayer at graduation. Nothing else should really matter. The details in the case make it seem a little less ACLU-friendly than a normal prayer, but the ultimate question is do students have freedom of religion and freedom of speech or not.
The prayer in question was four minutes long and included an “altar call,” where the student asked if anyone “would like to accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, here’s your chance.”
Was that a wise, or sensitive thing, to do? Maybe not, but there is no law requiring wisdom and sensitivity. This girl was invited to speak and she spoke what was on her mind. She did not spew any hate speech. She simply shared her beliefs.
Only to the ACLU would someone actually exercising the freedom giving in the First Amendment be viewed as a “blatant display of contempt for the First Amendment.”
Before I hear the standard response – “You don’t know what it’s like since you are a Christian.” Actually, I do know what it is like. I sat through two long Unitarian prayers at a graduation where the priest or pastor (whatever they are called) rattled on and on about trees, Mother Nature and the Universe. His second “prayer” was reading of some boring nature poem.
I was annoyed by his prayers. I thought they were silly and a waste of my time. But guess what, just like the ACLU, I had no right to sue the university (public by the way) who asked him to speak.
The reason the ACLU is “looking to sue” and not actually bringing a lawsuit is because they have yet to find a plantiff. The graduation happened this past May, but they have not been able to find someone who would like them to sue on their behalf.
Despite having no plantiff, just the mere mention of a lawsuit causes the school district to wet their pants.
“It has occurred from time to time that students speak their mind about religion, or about prayer at graduation. The problem comes when the school recognizes that,” said Mixon [the school district’s attorney], “And we had a lapse where our policy about prayer was apparently not followed that is still being investigated, but we can assure the ACLU and the public that that will not happen again.”
Heaven…I mean Government forbid we actually have students speaking their minds about religion. We just can’t have that.