"Read all about it"

Posts Tagged ‘ACLU’

Tennessee: 5 pillars of Islam replace 10 Commandments in public school, tolerance reigns supreme

In Uncategorized on August 9, 2013 at 9:53 PM

Tennessee: 5 pillars of Islam replace 10 Commandments in public school, tolerance reigns supreme

Springfield High School didn’t miss an opportunity to display and essentially express their desire to show their tolerance for an ever growing diverse community at a recent open house for parents and returning public school children.

On display on the freshmen hall wall of the Robertson County TN school, the 5 Pillars of Islam were pasted “up and down” the hallway proclaiming the “rules” to be a good student of Islam, much in the way the 10 Commandments direct Christians.

Photo of one of many posters observed in hallway of Springfield High School in Robertson County, TN.

http://www.jewsnews.co.il/2013/08/08/tennessee-five-pillars-of-islam-in-public-school/

The 5 Pillars were youthfully drawn onto a white cardboard canvas complete with definition and meanings of the 5 pillars of Islam. Interestingly enough the 5 Pillars contained what is often considered the 6th Pillar called Jihad and was missing Zakat,Charity or the tithing pillar which most religions consider very important, more so than Jihad or Holy War.

I was informed of this display from a very concerned parent who sent me a picture of the “poster” displaying the 5 Pillars and said they were all over the place and was very concerned that one “religious” set of rules had been tolerated and posted on school walls and one was not.

The only problem, to date, is the 5 Pillars stayed and the 10 Commandments came down.

The Jihad reference is a very strong one as many believe it along with Zakat or charity is helping fund many of the terroristic attacks around the world against Christians and believers of Christ. 

Simply put, Jihad is war against the non believers, the kafir, you and me, and promotes death as a certain end if you fail to convert to Islam. And our schools and leftist groups are not saying a word and allowing this to be promoted in our TN public schools.

It is evident that the only religion allowed to express their religion and political clout in public schools are the Muslims and the teachings of Islam.

This is indoctrination through prostelyzation to the Kafirs, our children. 

If they can have this type of access to our children all or none should be able to do the same.

Allowing one religion to be promoted in our public schools and not any others shows a deliberate bias and deliberate attempt to make one religious concept acceptable over another. 

A certain hypocrisy is displayed and begs for at least questions to be asked as to why this has been allowed in these “politically correct” times and what is their motivation?

It is extremely obvious that while one  side is attacking the foundations of Christ, it is allowing and ignoring “other” representation of religious display. 

As seen in the references provided below there are mutliple attempts, successfully I may add, by the extreme left to squash the display of any Christian literature or  historical foundational documents from our rich national heritage. Religious display other than Christian seems to be acceptable in our public schools.

The cry for tolerance of all religions is quickly being discovered to be a push for preference while softening or eliminating the evangelical voice in our state and nation.

At what point does it become acceptable to condemn one religion and all it’s tenets for the promotion of another. Where is the outrage by Christians on this subject who have been silenced and their beliefs replaced with the 5 Pillars of Islam.

The driving force behind acceptance comes when the cry for tolerance becomes intolerance and vica versa. As one wise person has said before, “what is good for the goose, is good for the gander!”

How does this foundation of Islam get to be displayed and the foundation of the Christian faith, the 10 Commandments get attacked and ordered removed by numerous lawsuits forcing their removal. 

I believe school leaders and teachers are joining the PC crowd so as not to offend, unless of course you are Christian.

Meanwhile, the 5 Pillars of Islam doesn’t even raise a bleep on the radar screen of  the ultra liberal groups like the ACLU and The Freedom From Religion Foundation crying for their removal, not a word. 

These same groups, at the drop of a hat repeat the mantra that our school or public institutions must be free from religion and influence of the church. “We must separate Church and State”, yet remain silent when Islam or others push for the same.

Its obvious to me this movement is not about separating Church and State and freedom from religion, it’s about removing God from our schools and dismantling the Christian movement. This effort by the left is and always has been about that. It is now being revealed.

 If the measuring stick was religious influence on our children the leftist and the mainstream media would have made a bee line toward removing the 5 Pillars of Islam from our public schools just as they have the 10 commandments. But it is not, and will not!

To me, the first pillar of Shahadah, there is no god but Allah and Muhammed was his messenger is the most powerful “religious” statement that is going unchallenged. To ignore the call for Jihad in the hallways of our TN public schools should not be tolerated in any civilized setting. 

These terroristic expressions of faith and duty by Islam should be condemned by all, including the Robertson County school board, Springfield High School Principal, parents, churches, congregations and teachers inside the system.

Religious freedom, if you believe it, should be applied here in great force to any god or religion! Right?

Showing bias toward one religion and not another shows hypocrisy with a good heap of partiality for one “religion” over another severely weakens their argument that religion should not be in our school system. So, the logical solution and I’m playing the devils advocate, its all or nothing. 

In case you have never seen or reviewed the pillars, here they are. This is what is being displayed in our public schools in TN as proven by many photos taken of their display and parents statements of kids inside this school system.

The 5 pillars of Islam:

1. The Shahadah
A statement of belief: I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah and I further testify that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah.

2. Salah
Compulsory prayers that are performed five times a day.

3. Zakat
The practice of giving, based on accumulated wealth, and is obligatory for all Muslims who can afford it.

4. Saum
Fasting during the month of Ramadan.

5. Hajj
Make pilgrimage during the Islamic month of Dzul Hijjah in the city of Mecca once in a lifetime for those who are physically and financially able to perform it.

6. Jihad
Islamic campaign against nonbelievers:a campaign waged by Muslims in defense of the Islamic faith against people, organizations, or countries regarded as hostile to Islam

Wanna see the disparity and obvious  hypocrisy?

Please glance at these articles below then look at the “flip side” and see the counter offer by the left to drive the teachings of Islam mainstream in our public schools and the lefts silence and lack of resistance to this religious display.

A note worthy of mentioning is in my exhaustive research I found no item or lawsuit by the ACLU or FFRF demanding that the 5 Pillars of Islam be removed from any venue. I did find many supporting and even large corporations promoting their display.

The hypocrisy and one sided approach to “freedom from religion” is very intriguing. 

To contact Robertson County School board:
http://www.rcstn.net/home/board_of_education

Robertson County School Board Email list:

allan.heard@rcstn.net, stoney.crockett@rcstn.net, jeff.white@rcstn.net, jerry.converse@rcstn.net, lyle.payne@rcstn.net, connie.hogan@rcstn.net

Springfield High School website:
http://shs.robcoschools.org/shs/home

10 COMMANDMENTS ASSAULT

ACLU demands Rutherford County TN Courthouse remove 10 Commandments!
http://www.sullivan-county.com/news/rel_war/10cs_downc.htm

10 Commandments removed from Fentress County TN School system.
http://www.wbir.com/news/article/212296/2/Ten-Commandments-removed-from-Fentress-schools-students-carry-message

TN revisits law suits over 10 Commandments!
http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/nation/story/2012-03-31/ten-commandments-tennessee/53914434/1

Let’s cut the 10 Commandments down to six!
http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/2012/05/10/judge-to-school-district-lets-cut-the-ten-commandments-down-to-six/

ACLU demands public schools not display 10 Commandments!
http://www.kentucky.com/2013/04/12/2598336/breathitt-schools-are-ordered.html

FFRF-Freedom From Religion Foundation demands Oklahoma schools take down 10 Commandments.
http://ffrf.org/news/news-releases/item/17695-muldrow-public-schools-removes-ten-commandments-postings-from-classrooms

FFRF demands Pennsylvania Schools take down 10 Commandments.
http://ffrf.org/news/news-releases/item/15778-ffrf-takes-ten-commandments-to-court

Atheist demands North Carolina town to remove 10 commandments.
http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2012/02/09/atheists-demand-nc-town-remove-ten-commandments-from-town-hall/

10 Commandments removed from Jamestown school!
http://www.wate.com/story/17235453/10-commandments-removal-from-jamestown-school-has-community-outraged

THE FLIP SIDE:

North Hampton Middle School adds 5 Pillars of Islam to library!
https://sites.google.com/a/nasdschools.org/middle-school-library/western-civilization/the-five-pillars-of-islam

School for Champions adds 5 Pillars of Islam.
http://www.school-for-champions.com/religion/islam_5_pillars.htm

Crayola school supply provides instruction in how to make and display the 5 Pillars of Islam at your school.
http://www2.crayola.com/lesson-plans/detail/pillars-of-islam-lesson-plan/

5 Pillars of Islam for school children.
http://atschool.eduweb.co.uk/carolrb/islam/fivepillars.html

The Metropolitan Museum of Art displays 5 Pillars of Islam.
http://www.metmuseum.org/learn/for-educators/publications-for-educators/art-of-the-islamic-world/unit-one/the-five-pillars-of-islam

Dallas Fort Worth school system models school organization on 5 Pillars of Islam.
http://www.kippdfw.org/about-kipp-dfw/five-pillars-of-success

School supply company boasts 5 Pillars of Islam in 150,000 schools worldwide.
http://www.daydreameducation.co.uk/servlet/-strse-2245/The-Five-Pillars-of/Detail?category=Religious+Education%3AWall+Charts%3AIndividual+Titles

E-How instructions on how to hang 5 Pillars of Islam in your school.
http://www.ehow.com/info_8554257_projects-kids-five-pillars-islam.html

ACLU defends 5 Pillars of Islam stating by limiting their beliefs cuts down on charitable donations.
http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=84e_1245196692&to_friend=1

5 Pillars of  Islam being taught in public schools.
http://www.nowpublic.com/five_pillars_of_islam_taught_in_public_school

Advertisements

Report OSCE and others if election day fraud, intimidation or abuse observed

In Uncategorized on November 5, 2012 at 10:37 PM

See one report one! Sound familiar?

If you see anything questionable at the polls in the form of fraud, abuse or intimidation please report those results with pictures or video of it’s proof to me at bradleycountynews@gmail.com and I will report this to the proper national authorities and prompt the appropriate response if warranted.

Tea Party Patriots and True the Vote have made themselves available to report any variances at the polls and have the resources to act accordingly.

Of particular interest is the OSCE and their close involvement at our polls. If you see them within 100 feet of our polls, first call police and have them arrested then report to the email above and a national response will be activated.

Furthermore the ACLU, the NAACP, SEIU and Reverend Al Sharpton are deeply involved with OSCE and I have said before they plan to disrupt and intimidate voters.

I feel they collectively could mount a heavy response if the election doesn’t go their way and may activate many to civil unrest that could plunge our country into turmoil.

So please report any occurrences that may occur and use the lefts tactics against them also by seeing one, report one.

Please do not hesitate to contact me via email or call me and leave a message to 423-284-4250.

Thanks for your assistance as we must make sure this election does not get stolen by the left and their socialist tactics.

Obama, Clinton grant UN “poll watchers” diplomatic immunity, Texas AG says “bring it”

In Uncategorized on November 1, 2012 at 11:05 AM

BCN Note- A showdown between Lone Star Texans Attorney General Abbott, Governor Rick Perry and Communist, Marxist and Socialist Barrack Hussein Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton is quickly heating up over UN Monitors from the OSCE observing our elections.

As attention to this battle intensifies the fangs are coming out and the real reasons the United Nations are in our back yard is starting to come to light!

Obama granting this OSCE “poll watching” group “full diplomatic immunity”, meaning they are above the law and not required to follow our state election laws speaks volumes of why they are in our country.

When groups like ACORN (True Vote) although defunct are still very active under another name, ACLU, NAACP, SEIU, Al Sharpton you know there is an agenda. It seems this UN/OSCE delegation which has now grown to 150 or so has turned from apolitical to partisan. Recent research has revealed that the constitutional voter ID laws are the fuel that is igniting their increased presence in Tennessee and the US.

It is evident that their continued and increasing presence at polling places all over the US is going to fan a possible revolution if Obama loses that will be preceeded with a massive deluge of lawsuits challenging our elections and they will have the strength of an international body at their backs. Mark my word it’s clear as crystal.

Please read the article below and visit the New American website for many more outstanding articles. It was so informative I wanted to keep my rants short.

Sunday, 28 October 2012 15:00
Obama Backs UN-linked Election Monitors, but Texas Stands Firm
Written by  Alex Newman

http://www.thenewamerican.com/usnews/constitution/item/13415-obama-backs-un-linked-election-monitors-but-texas-stands-firm

As the national scandal over United Nations-linked “elections monitors” in the United States continues to grow after Texas threatened potential prosecutions, the international outfit deploying “observers” demanded that the Obama administration come to its aid. The U.S. State Department promptly claimed that the UN-affiliated monitors would have “full” diplomatic immunity. But in the Lone Star State, officials fired back and upped the ante: Don’t mess with Texas.

On October 23, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott sent a strongly worded letter to the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) warning that its representatives could be prosecuted if they violate state law or are found within 100 feet of a polling place. Among the most serious concerns was the fact that the UN partner organization was working with discredited far-left radical groups to supposedly seek out conservative “voter suppression” schemes — mostly state laws aimed at preventing election fraud.

In a statement, the OSCE also said it would monitor “compliance” with unspecified “international obligations” supposedly applicable to the United States. The controversial organization, which includes as members the governments and dictators ruling Russia, Kazakhstan, Belarus, and other nations, responded to Texas with its own letter to the U.S. State Department warning against any efforts to “restrain” its personnel.

“The threat of criminal sanctions against OSCE/ODIHR observers is unacceptable,” complained Janez Lenarcic, chief of the OSCE’s Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) monitoring operations. “The United States, like all countries in the OSCE, has an obligation to invite ODIHR observers to observe its elections.” (Emphasis added.)  

The Obama administration responded to the controversy by purporting to offer the international “elections monitors” supposed “diplomatic immunity” — essentially claiming that they were above the law, even in Texas. The two monitors for Texas, scheduled to be deployed in Austin, are Conny Jensen from Denmark and Melanie Leathers from the United Kingdom, documents show. In an October 26 press conference, State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland claimed that “in general, we give them protected status.”

The spokesperson also claimed there were “no sovereignty issues” involved, emphasizing, as Texas’s attorney general did, that the OSCE obviously has no authority over the states it chooses to monitor. “They have said that they do not intend to violate any laws while in the United States,” Nuland claimed. “So we are going to let the conversations go forward between the OSCE and Texas and see how that goes.”

In the Lone Star State, however, officials did not take kindly to the international whining or the Obama administration’s response. “No UN monitors/inspectors will be part of any TX election process,” tweeted Texas Gov. Rick Perry, a Republican, in support of his chief law-enforcement officer. GOP U.S. Senate candidate Ted Cruz, a popular conservative who made opposition to UN schemes a key part of his campaign, also saluted Abbot for standing up to the scandal-plagued international outfit.  

The Texas attorney general, meanwhile, remained defiant despite State Department pronouncements and OSCE complaining. “UN-related vote monitors warn Texas: Don’t mess with us. My response: BRING IT,” Abbott tweeted in response. He also quoted Sam Houston saying: “Texas has yet to learn submission to any oppression, come from what source it may.” Following the tweets, Abbot also sent an official letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton laying down the law. 

“It appears that OSCE is under the misimpression that the State Department can somehow help its representatives circumvent the Texas Election Code. Texas law prohibits unauthorized persons from entering a polling place — or loitering within 100 feet of a polling place’s entrance — on Election Day,” the attorney general explained to Clinton. “OSCE monitors are expected to follow that law like everyone else.”

Of course, as Clinton already knows, Texas election laws govern anyone and everyone who wishes to participate in elections held in the Lone Star State, Abbott said. “The fact that representatives of the United States joined the U.S.S.R, Yugoslavia, Romania, and other OSCE member-nations in signing a document at a 1989 conference in Copenhagen has absolutely no bearing on the administration of elections or laws governing elections in the State of Texas,” he warned.

If the OSCE wants to visit Texas during the election, Abbott said the state would welcome the opportunity to educate its representatives about state elections — perhaps it could be useful to OSCE member regimes like the brutal communist tyrant ruling over Belarus. “But OSCE is not above the law and its representatives must at all times comply with Texas law when they are present in this state,” he added.

The 1990 OSCE governing document signed by the representatives of the U.S. government and cited by the international group in its pleas with the Obama administration is “legally irrelevant” in Texas and “will have no impact” on the way the state administers its election, Abbott pointed out. However, the attorney general still added that, even according to that agreement, observers are required to follow applicable law. In other words, the OSCE is making “false” claims.

In addition to misconstruing its own governing documents, in its letter to the Obama administration, the OSCE promised only to follow all “national” laws and regulations. “This statement may simply reveal that the OSCE is unfamiliar with our nation’s federalist system,” Abbott observed in his letter to Clinton. “On the other hand, it may reveal that the OSCE does not consider itself restrained by state law.”

In either case, Texas needs assurances from the OSCE that it intends to strictly comply with all state laws. So far, Abbott said, those assurances have not been forthcoming. There are other problems, too, however.  

“In addition to my desire to defend and enforce Texas election laws, I am also concerned that an unnecessary political agenda may have infected OSCE’s election monitoring activities,” the state’s top law enforcement officer explained, citing the international outfit’s objections to efforts aimed at preventing registration fraud as well as state laws requiring voter ID. “The OSCE may object to photo identification laws and prohibitions on felons voting — but our nation’s Supreme Court has upheld both laws as entirely consistent with the U.S. Constitution.”

Ironically, Abbott added, the OSCE’s U.S. election monitoring boss, diplomat Daan Everts, hails from the Netherlands, which requires that all voters present identification to help combat fraud. “Why the OSCE appears to now question voter identification laws in the United States is beyond reason. Perhaps it is just politics,” the letter stated. “Regardless, the OSCE’s perspective on Voter ID is legally irrelevant in the United States.”

Meanwhile, the attorney general also took the opportunity to blast the OSCE yet again for meeting with “plainly partisan” U.S. organizations. Among the American groups working with the OSCE are the NAACP, the ACLU, and assorted splinter groups like “Project Vote” formed after the taxpayer-funded, Obama-linked organization ACORN collapsed in disgrace amid charges of massive voting fraud.

In letters and meetings with the international monitors, those groups warned of alleged efforts by conservatives to “disenfranchise” minority voters. The OSCE promised to follow up on the half-baked accusations, drawing widespread criticism and ridicule across the country.

“This appears to reflect a concerted effort to politicize an initiative that was previously perceived as an international information exchange program,” Abbot wrote. “While Texas may welcome visitors from any nation or international organization who wish to learn more about the steps the State has taken to protect the integrity of state elections, we need not open our doors and accommodate an international effort affiliated with partisan organizations in the United States that wish to suppress electoral integrity.”

Of particular concern, Abbot said, was an organization known as Project Vote, which recently boasted that it was helping to advise the OSCE on what issues and jurisdictions to “monitor” this election. “In light of Project Vote’s history of voter registration fraud and its more recent failed attempt to enjoin Texas election laws that were enacted to prevent fraud, no legitimate international body would affiliate with Project Vote,” the attorney general wrote. “Consequently, OSCE’s affiliation with this dubious organization necessarily undermines its credibility and the independence of its election monitors.”

Abbott also took the opportunity to provide some constitutional education for Clinton and Washington, D.C., which seemingly view Texas and other sovereign U.S. states as mere provinces subject to the whims and dictates of the federal government. In the Lone Star State, at least, officials apparently know that the United States was founded under a system in which the central government has limited and specifically enumerated powers. 

“The United States Constitution authorizes the States to regulate the conduct of state and federal elections within their borders,” Abbott’s letter continues. “Unlike the unelected bureaucrats at the OSCE, our State’s leaders and decision-makers were duly elected by Texas voters. Elected members of the Texas Legislature enacted the Texas Election Code to ensure our State’s elections are free, fair, open, and reliable.”

Finally, the attorney general emphasized again, Texas’ election laws do not authorize OSCE representatives to enter polling places. If they do, there will be consequences. Nothing in any OSCE governing documents has any impact — legal or otherwise — on how elections are conducted in Texas, Abbott warned.

“If the OSCE does not wish to follow the laws that govern everyone else present in the State of Texas, including the voters who elect our State’s leaders, then perhaps it should dispatch its representatives to another state,” Abbot concluded. “In closing, I have a simple request: Please work with the OSCE to ensure they agree to comply with Texas law. If they refuse to do so, OSCE’s representatives may be subject to legal consequences associated with any violations of state law.”

Analysts and activists across the country promptly showered praise on the state of Texas and its officials for standing up to the controversial international scheme while protecting state sovereignty, constitutional values, and the rule of law. However, more than a few experts also warned that the UN and its affiliates were becoming increasingly threatening. If America hopes to maintain its freedom and sovereignty, it must continue to resist any and all efforts to impose or even legitimize purported international “authority” over the American people.

Jesus’ name ruled ‘unconstitutional’

In Uncategorized on December 16, 2011 at 9:38 AM

If you think Bradley County is beyond this type of censorship you are dead wrong! This County Commission in North Carolina, our neighbors, probably never thought they would be told they couldn’t pray and use the name of Jesus in doing so!

It took one complaint and the courts with the assistance of the ACLU and they swept in like hawks and stripped this town of it’s ability to pray if they desired or use Jesus’ name!

With Bradley County and it’s elected officials inviting the International world into our community with unprecedented speed it is sure to happen to us also sooner or later!

We are also flirting with this type of disaster! The more federal money we accept, the more this liberal type thinking takes hold in a community, then we are looking stunned, wandering how that could have happened! The works of these people are very sinister and have a huge diabolical net our elected officials are allowing them to cast over us! It is just a matter of time! I’m sorry! My warnings have been loud and often times fall on deaf ears! That’s ok, I’ll know that I did my part, along with 100 s of other Patriots in Bradley County!

We tried to warn of this demise!

Jesus’ name ruled ‘unconstitutional’
Judge says prayers to Christ ‘do violence to America’s pluralistic, inclusive values’
Posted: October 28, 2011
9:35 pm Eastern

By Drew Zahn
© 2011 

A board of county commissioners in North Carolina is asking the Supreme Court for help: Its members don’t believe they should have to forbid volunteers from mentioning the name of Jesus in prayers offered before their meetings.

But the American Civil Liberties Union and Americans United for Separation of Church and State are standing by their victory in a U.S. circuit court decision that states even “a solitary reference to Jesus Christ” in invocations before the Forsyth County Board of Commissioners’ meetings could do “violence to the pluralistic and inclusive values that are a defining feature of American public life.”

Furthermore, wrote Judge James Harvie Wilkinson III in the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals majority opinion, legislative invocations offered in Jesus’ name are inherently “sectarian” and thus should be censored lest they make some attendees feel “uncomfortable, unwelcome and unwilling to participate in … public affairs.”

What is Christianity’s role in the nation? Find out in “Christianity and the American Commonwealth”

But the board disagrees, and with the help of the Alliance Defense Fund is asking the Supreme Court to trump Wilkinson’s ruling.

“America’s founders opened public meetings with prayer; this county simply wants to allow its citizens to do the same,” said ADF Senior Counsel David Cortman in a statement. “We trust the U.S. Supreme Court will want to review this case because of the long history in America of offering prayers before public meetings. Public officials shouldn’t be coerced into censoring the prayers of those invited to offer them just because secularist groups don’t like people praying according to their own conscience.”

For years, the board has extended an open invitation to religious leaders from the community to volunteer a prayer before its twice-monthly meetings, asking only that the invocations “not be exploited as an effort to convert others … nor to disparage any faith or belief.”

But a pair of local citizens, Janet Joyner and Constance Lynn Blackmon, attended the meetings regularly and were bothered by the frequent mentions of Jesus in the prayers. After the pair sat through yet another Christian prayer, this one including references to “the Cross of Calvary” and the “Virgin Birth,” they sued the board of commissioners with help from the ACLU and Americans United lawyers.

After a pair of appeals, Judge Wilkinson handed down a majority opinion Americans United called “a major win for church-state separation.”

“While legislative prayer has the capacity to solemnize the weighty task of governance … it also has the potential to generate sectarian strife,” Wilkinson reasoned. “Such conflict rends communities and does violence to the pluralistic and inclusive values that are a defining feature of American public life.”

“It is not enough to contend, as the dissent does, that the policy was ‘neutral and proactively inclusive,'” the ruling continues. “Take-all-comers policies that do not discourage sectarian prayer will inevitably favor the majoritarian faith in the community at the expense of religious minorities living therein. This effect creates real burdens on citizens – particularly those who attend meetings only sporadically – for they will have to listen to someone professing religious beliefs that they do not themselves hold.”

The Forsyth Board’s invocations, the court determined, “made at least two citizens feel uncomfortable, unwelcome and unwilling to participate in the public affairs of Forsyth County. To be sure, citizens in a robust democracy should expect to hear all manner of things that they do not like. But the First Amendment teaches that religious faith stands on a different footing from other forms of speech and observance.”

Judge Wilkinson concluded, “In order to survive constitutional scrutiny, invocations must consist of the type of nonsectarian prayers that solemnize the legislative task and seek to unite rather than divide.”

But does a volunteer’s prayer that merely mentions Jesus necessarily “divide”?

The court referenced one of its prior decisions in which it ruled a town council’s prayers “clearly ‘advance[d]’ one faith, Christianity, in preference to others … because they ended with a solitary reference to Jesus Christ.”

The ruling further projected, “As our nation becomes more diverse, so also will our faiths. To plant sectarian prayers at the heart of local government is a prescription for religious discord. … In their public pursuits, Americans respect the manifold beliefs of fellow citizens by abjuring sectarianism and embracing more inclusive themes.”

Judge Paul Niemeyer, however, dissented from the two majority judges in the three-judge panel that heard the case, arguing that the court is, in application, “regulating” public prayer.

“When offering legislative prayers in which the Divine Being is publicly asked for guidance and a blessing of the legislators, religious leaders will hereafter have to refrain from referencing the Divine Being with the inspired or revealed name,” Niemeyer wrote. “The majority has dared to step in and regulate the language of prayer – the sacred dialogue between humankind and God. Such a decision treats prayer agnostically; reduces it to civil nicety.

“Most frightfully,” he continued, “it will require secular legislative and judicial bodies to evaluate and parse particular religious prayers.”

Alliance Defense Fund Senior Counsel Brett Harvey agrees.

“The decision is troubling on many fronts,” Harvey wrote in a blog post. “It is out of step with many other federal courts that have considered the validity of public invocations, including the United States Supreme Court. It ignores the religious heritage and history of our nation. But more troubling is the impact of the court’s decision on prayer itself. … It requires the government to censor private prayers and engage in comparative theology.”

He concludes, “The Constitution prohibits the government from deciding which religious words are acceptable and which are not, even if the goal is to make people feel more comfortable.”

%d bloggers like this: