“[T]here will come a day when the speaker [of the United States House of Representatives] will be hauled into federal court and threatened with jail because she dares to stand at that podium .. and ask the chaplain to start our day with the prayer.”
Not soon enough, I’m afraid.
These words were uttered by Virginia Rep J. Randy Forbes in reference to a trial going on now in Florida in which two sdhool official are facing charges for violation of the Constitution of the United States of America. Which part of The Constitution? The part that Republicans, Right Wingers, Libertarians and other conservatives chose selectively to ignore.
The two educators are being tried in federal district court in Pensacola for breaching the conditions of a lawsuit settlement reached last year with the American Civil Liberties Union.
The ACLU sued Santa Rosa County School District a year ago on behalf of two students who claimed that some teachers and administrators were allowing prayers at school events, orchestrating separate religiously themed graduation services and proselytizing students during class and after school.
In January, the school district settled out of court with the ACLU, agreeing to several conditions, including the barring of all school employees from promoting or sponsoring prayers during school-sponsored events.
Good for the ACLU.
Two of the teaches arranged group praywer at a lunch held by the school and an associated booster club. There were no students at the lunch, but it was a school event US District Court Judge Margaret Rodgers issued a contempt order for the two men.
So to be clear: The crime for which they currently stand trial is not praying. It is contempt of a federal court.
There have been other instances of pushing prayer into various school events, but for now they have been overlooked.
For more information on this, visit the Texas Freedom Network. The above quote is from The Washington Times of Thursday, Sep 17th 2009. The WT site is very badly behaved so I can’t link to it.