Ruling on School Prayer a Victory for Religion?
This same headline – without the question mark– introduced an editorial by Springfield’s local paper The UnionNews on June 21, 2000, the day after the story appeared across the country. I was in total shock that a court ruling against the free exercise of religion could somehow be spun into a victory for the religious. This is utterly absurd. It could be likened to a defending attorney claiming victory when his client was found guilty and received the death penalty.
The editor wrote, "The Supreme Court scored a victory for religious freedom on Monday when it banned student-led prayers at a public high school in Texas.
"The court, by an unusual 6-3 majority, ruled there is no place for school-sanctioned prayer on public property, even a high school football field. It is the high court’s strongest rejection of prayer in public schools since 1992, when it banned organized prayer at public school graduations in a ruling that drew angry responses from many Americans and conservative Republicans.
"It was the right decision then, and it is the right decision today. A vast majority of Americans support prayer in public schools, but the court majority to its credit was not swayed by poll or politician in its ruling. The court correctly ruled that the pre-game ritual violates the First Amendment’s separation of church and state..."
This editor is obviously ignorant of the true intent of the term "separation of church and state". The early Americans had come from countries where the state imposed the faith that the citizenry was to follow. They had therefore determined that their new government would not interfere in any way with the people’s freedom to practice their own choice of religion: however, whenever, and wherever they wished. That idea has now been twisted to imply that religion should in no wise be practiced in any publicly funded or run environment.
What our wise forefathers had set forth to protect believers from government has now been changed to "protect" the government from the churches. What a crime against the very foundation of our unique freedom: the Constitution of the United States of America.
In our system of government, the Judicial Branch’s job is to interpret the law. The First Amendment to our Constitution reads, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; ..."
NO LAW prohibiting the free exercise of religion! That includes at ball games, at commencement ceremonies, in state parks, in federal and state buildings, and wherever and whenever else you can mention or imagine.
The Supreme Court might as well have called the sky green. This blatant misinterpretation of the First Amendment shows a deliberate agenda to end the Christians’ right to practice their faith. It is the nature of Christians to pray. We must speak to our God. It is also fundamental to Christianity to proselytize, even though it is politically incorrect. Knowing that those who die in their sins are condemned to suffer the second death in the lake of fire, it is our civil obligation to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and the story of Salvation with all men.
God help us, that we may be even as the prophet Daniel, who kept on praying in spite of the laws.
Paul said, "Pray without ceasing."
Let us pray.