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Say "Amen" and Go Directly to Jail

Freedom of speech is DOA in the USA folks.

A federal judge has ruled that nobody at a high school graduation can use religious terms like "prayer" and "Amen."

So, remember that whole thing about "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech..." Well, it looks like judges can do whatever the hell they please.

Fox News reports:

A federal judge has ordered a Texas school district to prohibit public prayer at a high school graduation ceremony.

Chief U.S. District Judge Fred Biery’s order against the Medina Valley Independent School District also forbids students from using specific religious words including “prayer” and “amen.”

The ruling was in response to a lawsuit filed by Christa and Danny Schultz. Their son is among those scheduled to participate in Saturday’s graduation ceremony. The judge declared that the Schultz family and their son would “suffer irreparable harm” if anyone prayed at the ceremony.
We could go on and one about how crazy this is. We all know that nobody suffers irreparable harm from hearing religious words. This is about drumming Christianity out of this country. It's really that simple.

I'm hoping this high school takes a stand. I want everyone there including students, parents, teachers, administrators, janitors, lunch ladies, the librarian, and heck yeah even the hall monitors to say any and all religious words (including "prayer" and "Amen") as often as they can until they pass out. And when they wake up start over.

The stupid judge said that anyone affiliated with the school district not obeying his edict that they'd be found in contempt of court and face incarceration. That's right. Incarceration. That means...yeah...in America they're now sending people to jail for mentioning God. Well, make 'em do it.

Maybe we should all get in a bus and head down there. I've got a 24 pack of Diet Cokes. That'll get me at least to Delaware. And then we can all crash on Jen Fulwiler's couch in Texas. Don't worry, it's a sectional so there's plenty of room.

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34 comments:

Doug Stein said...

Easy to be in contempt of court when court is contemptible. This is only one step away from burning a pinch of incense to Caesar.

Robert said...

If you pass through Georgia on the way to Texas, you can park the bus in my driveway for the night...I'll even throw in another 24 pack of Diet Cokes.

Anonymous said...

Some of them are taking a stand - by threatening to kill the kid. How very Christian and forgiving of them.

matthew archbold said...

Well, he did say he would be caused "irreparable harm."

beez said...

I just like the way you promised us a place on Jen's sofa. Look, I know about her scorpion problem. I'm not afraid of this stupid judge, but I am afraid of critters who are the throwback to the mesozoic era!

Mary De Voe said...

The establishment of atheism or secular humanism AND of the worship of the devil. Human sacrifice, the chief worship of the devil, putting to death the human being for the crimes and sins of their parents or others, (abortion, fornication, (abuse of the dignity of human consent), pornography,(the lie about human sexuality) homosexual behavior,(fecklessness) every abomination and heresy set loose to prey (Not Pray) but to prey upon humankind, against the common good and the will of the people. The will of a sovereign people is the common good as tested through the good to the individual sovereign person in the womb or outside the womb and to the whole of the people. Good does not vary but is good to all including our posterity, our Constitutional posterity, if with God's help, we will have a Constitutional posterity.

Anonymous said...

Another thing to do would be for everyone to simply not attend the "official" graduation ceremony. Let the Schultz' have the ceremony all to themselves.

Let the rest of the class and any like-minded school authorities meet in someone's backyard and pray and speak as they wish.

I would bet that the young Mr. Schultz would be abandoning his parents to go to be with his classmates in a heart beat.

The Dutchman said...

Does it broaden anyone's perspective to point out that the ruling also prohibits anyone saying "Allah al Akbar," "Satan rules," or "God is dead?"

One of the foundational ideas of democracy is that minorities (e.g. atheists) don't have the will of the majority crammed down their throats by the government. No one should be forced to participate in public prayer any more than pharmacists should be forced to dispense abortifaciants.

Sarah said...

To Dutchman- the boy can plug his ears then! No one's forcing them to participate. He can stand in silence and think whatever thoughts he wants to think.

The Dutchman said...

Sarah—

Would you like to live in a country where the state pushes a religion not your own? The whole point here is that religion is a PRIVATE matter that ought to be outside the sphere of government. Telling an atheist child that he can "plug his ears" is about on par with telling a Catholic pharmacist to "just fill the prescription!" Freedom of religion means that not only that we are free to practice our faith, but that atheists don't have to participate.

VSO said...

@Dutchman

So then atheism IS a religion. Have you ever voted in a church building? Have you ever read any of the preambles for the States Constitutions? How about "“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech…" Does this mean they can't even sing John Lennon's "Imagine"?

If these intolerant pissants want to live in an atheist country they can move because in the USA people can pray where'er they please despite what this idiot judge thinks. There's also a world of difference between forcing a Catholic doctor to supply abortion pills and an atheist having to listen to someone pray.

I win.

TerentiaJ said...

Dutchman,
The State is pushing a religion: atheism. The Bill of Rights says Congress shall make no laws... prohibiting the free exercise of religion. This is subverted by having judges declare prohibitions by fiat. The establishment clause does not override the prohibition clause. Also, it is Congress that is forbidden to establish a state religion that all are required to follow. It does not violate the establishment clause for a citizen to participate in religious speech in public venues. Just hearing something one does not agree with, does not violate the hearer's rights. If that were the case, you would be violating the rights of almost everyone reading this blog as few of us agree with you. However, we are not trying to silence you as you are trying to silence us.

Jonathan said...

Dutchman-

I hesitate to join the chorus of those who disagree with you, but at the risk of beating a dead horse...

The Establishment Clause in the First Amendment prevents Congress from establishing, or prohibiting the practice of, a religion. It does not state that a public employee (ie, a public school principal) can not pubicly profess a belief in God. Public ignorance regarding the so-called "separation of Church and State" is staggering; where is this established in any legal document in these United States? If you can find a specific reference to "separation of Church and State" in the Constitution, I would give you $1,000,000,000,000,000,000. Or more.
Now, regardless of the dubious claim of a "separation of Church and State" (yes, I realize you did not use those words verbatim), let's assume the judge did not overstep legal boundaries with his prohibition on the use of "religious" language by school officials. One could conceivably argue that a public official or public employee specifically acting in his capacity as such should not make specific reference to any particular religion. What is beyond understanding or logical reason is how he justifies dictating what a student can or can not say. No one can possibly successfully argue that a student is an agent of a public entity and has any official authority to act as an agent of that same entity. To tell that same student, then, that there are limitations on their speech is a direct and clear violation of that student's Frist Amendment right to free speech. Think about it this way: when you drive on the Interstate, are you acting as an agent of the US DOT? No, and it would be ridiculous for anyone to make that claim. You are simply availing yourself of a public service. Would the government have a right to tell you to take a bumper sticker off of your car that reads "Jesus Saves", or else ban you from public roadways? How is that different from the government telling a citizen who also happens to be a student in a public school how they may or may not express their religious beliefs in a way that does not inflict any real damage to any person or property? No one ever suffered irreparable damage from hearing the words "prayer" or "God." This is simply a case of hyper-sensitive and overreacting parents who don't want to hear anything they don't agree with. Kind of like how I don't particularly want to hear what you have to say, but I recognize and defend your right to say it. Nice thing about America: everyone has an equal right to their opinion, no matter how stupid it may be.

Paul Zummo said...

Does it broaden anyone's perspective to point out that the ruling also prohibits anyone saying "Allah al Akbar," "Satan rules," or "God is dead?"

No.

The Dutchman said...

Wow, this is a real illustration of why this country is coming apart. A few months ago I got into a hot debate with a rad-fem who seemed to think the First Amendment FORCED pharmacists to dispense contraception, and now I'm in an argument with people who seem to think that people should be FORCED to listen to prayers at a government function.

Doesn't ANYBODY realize that democracy is about respecting the rights of others?

Forcing religion down people's throats is just counter-productive anyway. Look at those European countries that had established religions until recently: rates of church attendance in Europe are 3% or 4%. It is our heritage of religious freedom (including freedom from religion if that's what you want) that accounts for our 40% or better rates of weekly worship.

And, if you're Catholic, do you really want Protestants (they're the majority, remember?) setting a religious agenda for our country? The Air Force Academy is now so dominated by strident Evangelicals that two Jewish cadets have filed suits alleging harassment. Protestants already disagree with us on the birth control issue; do you think it bothers any of them when Catholic pharmacists loose their jobs?

The answer is to be fair minded and to protect the rights of everyone, not to try to get the government to push your own sectarian agenda.

Paul: Glad to know your perspective is immune to being broadened. Allah al Akbar!

Paul Zummo said...

Doesn't ANYBODY realize that democracy is about respecting the rights of others?

So when a minority of people restrict the religious rights of others, that's peachy keen? Again, we're not talking about the state mandating a prayer - we're talking about a prohibition on people even mentioning God. That doesn't sound at all like a violation of the First Amendment?

Forcing religion down people's throats is just counter-productive anyway.

The only people forcing their viewpoints down other's throats are the atheists.

Look at those European countries that had established religions until recently: rates of church attendance in Europe are 3% or 4%. It is our heritage of religious freedom (including freedom from religion if that's what you want) that accounts for our 40% or better rates of weekly worship.

This is a non sequiter. If you believe that someone even uttering the name of God in a public venue is an establishment of religion, then you are completely lost.

Paul: Glad to know your perspective is immune to being broadened.

I know that pretending to be obtuse is a regular part of your schtick, but it's pretty tiresome. Obviously you presented this hypothetical in an effort to play "gotcha," thinking that if you bring up those wiley ole Muslims that somehow people will suddenly clap their approval at the infringement of their first amendment rights. By phrasing your question in such a bizarre manner it allows you to offer up a witty retort that simply reveals your own idiocy.

The Dutchman said...

Paul, the whole idea of bringing up Muslim prayer wasn't a game of "gotcha," it was to propose a counter-factual. For the record: would you like your son's high school graduation to begin with a prayer to Allah? or Krishna? or Satan for that matter?

I know I wouldn't. In fact, I'd probably sue.

No one is saying you can't pray yourself, no one is saying you have to stop being a Christian, just that government employees, acting in their taxpayer supported roles, simply have to leave religion out of it.

My mother used to say "Putting prayer in the schools would do as much to reduce crime as putting Giddeon's Bibles in hotel rooms has done to reduce adultery."

veneremurcernui said...

The school in question is my wife's alma mater. She has two nieces graduating this weekend. Medina Valley is a country school system west of San Antonio.

This is the tyranny of the minority. One person does not wish there to be a prayer said at the graduation, as there have been prayers said for 90+ years at similar events at that institution. Hundreds of people will be denied the practice of their Faith over the objections of one. There is no constitutional right to avoid being annoyed! There is nothing in the Constitution that bans the individual or group practice of the Faith on government property. This is one of many reasons why I hate federal funding of schools - all these idiotic federal requirements come into play because the schools receive federal money.

There is a vocal, generally well funded minority in this country that would like to see religion completely banned from public spaces. They would like to see Catholic Church silenced on any issue that does not benefit them (but then, they are ready to use the Church as they see fit). There is no right on behalf of the complainant being violated, because there is no 'right' to not being annoyed! If he wants to yell and scream how he hates God or God doesn't exist while the others pray, let him. But don't deny hundreds of others the practice of their faith just so he won't be offended.

Midday said...

The Dutchman,
I remember hearing lots of things at high school assemblies that offended me, none of them of a religious nature. I even tried the tactic of getting a hall pass from a teacher to get out of going to assemblies (I sat and studied with friends in the cafeteria). Eventually, I was compelled to attend assemblies, pep rallies, etc. When things arose that I found distasteful, I either mocked them quietly with my friends or sat quietly and dreamed of a better life. I don't believe any irreparable harm was done to me.

And, no disrespect at all to your mother, but who knows how many cases of adultery have been thwarted by the presence of a Holy Bible in a hotel room?

Paul Zummo said...

Paul, the whole idea of bringing up Muslim prayer wasn't a game of "gotcha," it was to propose a counter-factual.

Yes, and it's a counter-factual that wouldn't bother me. If your first reaction to such a public sentiment would be a lawsuit, then it proves the point that you're the close-minded bigot here, not us.

No one is saying you can't pray yourself,

Actually this specific ruling comes pretty close to saying that.

Tori said...

Dutchman, do you think a student should be forbidden to mention God at a graduation ceremony, perhaps during a speech? If a student wants to thank God in front of his/her peers, I don't believe it should be in the government's power to say no. That is very different than prayer being an official part of the ceremony, isn't it? Yet the ruling prohibits both.

Susan L said...

I would love to see this group of young grads do what I've heard done before. That is have someone sneeze and then the whole class say "God Bless You."

Just for a start. :)

audeamus.fiat said...

The students should take a page from Washington Community High School's famous sneeze blessing. It's become something of a email chain legend now, but snopes has a pretty good breakdown of it:

http://www.snopes.com/politics/religion/sneeze.asp

Linda said...

I want some brave soul at the graduation ceremony stand up in the middle of it and lead a rousing chorus of that "Amen" song. And, I'm assuming that the entire audience will join in - 'cept that little weasel and his family.

Subvet said...

Good news folks, an appeals court struck down the ruling.

audeamus.fiat said...

The 5th circuit court of appeals overturned the chief justice's decision within 24 hours of the emergency request for appeal. That quick of a turnaround is virtually unheard of and is a huge embarrassment to the errant judge. It will likely send a shock wave, making others pause before abusing their judicial power. The appeals court decision cited the role of the valedictorian who, as a young American, demonstrated a strong civic awareness and of the Bill of Rights. This gag order was a violation of her right to free speech and practice of religion.

The Watcher said...

Story on the overturning: http://www.kwtx.com/home/headlines/Texas_Attorney_General_Fights_Courts_Ban_On_Prayer_At_Graduation.html

Mack said...

But did you vote in your last school board election? Local election? State election?

bloggingsatan.com said...

Sad. Blogged it at Satan's Blog (Christian satire): http://wp.me/p14HPl-RK. Check it out.

Jennifer @ Conversion Diary said...

The 5th circuit court of appeals overturned the chief justice's decision within 24 hours of the emergency request for appeal.

Does this mean y'all won't be crashing on my couch? I had just ordered the keg...

Mary De Voe said...

This nation, America, is founded on The Declaration of Independence: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal (not born equal) and endowed by our Creator (not the state)with certain unalienable rights and among these rights are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” Our founding principles hold that Our Creator, the Father of Jesus Christ is our God and Father of us all. Our founding principles were written to exclude Allah, Satan, atheism, for these deny all unalienable (civil) rights to man. All civil rights cases are paid for by the federal tax dollars. Citizens must rise up and sue the government for establishing the worship of Satan in human sacrifice, the putting to death one person for another person in abortion. Human sacrifice destroys civilization and brings barbarianism. With removal of the Ten Commandments, execution of innocent students at Columbine, and other executions at Newark New Jersey schools, that could have and ought to have been prevented by enforcing the Ten Commandments were not prevented, vengeance for not indoctrinating human beings in the love of their neighbor and the sacredness of the human being. Citizens must sue the federal government for establishing the totalitarianism of atheism and the destruction of the common good through Islam. Who of the Muslim religion has the perfect innocence to act for Allah in executing so called “infidels”??? Let him who is perfect in innocence step forward and PROVE he is perfect in innocence to act in Allah’s name. Religious execution is nothing but destruction of witnesses to testify against homicide. Allah will act for Himself.
Every murder victim’s family needs to sue the government for not preventing the murder by instructing the people in the Ten Commandments: 5) Thou shalt not kill. Every murder victim’s family needs to sue the atheist for removing from the public square the instruction to prevent the crime of homicide to their family members. 5) Thou shalt not kill.
The barbarian hordes have been let loose to carnage, murder, rape and sack among the people by the government and they, both the barbarian hordes and the enablers, need to be held accountable to the victims and the common good. The will of the people is being violated and the government is standing by waiting for God to bring Divine Providence, instead of exercising the sovereign authority vested in them to govern.
Elected officials who reject OUR CREATOR of our Declaration of Independence and the objective ordering of rights, Life before Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness, reject their citizenship and their endowed civil rights in this nation.

Mary De Voe said...

@Anonymous: "Let Shultz have the official graduation all to himself" Excellent. Otherwise one becomes a party to his own disenfranchisment.

Laura said...

Susan L: you're an evil genius

The path to follow is very simple: someone should sue the school and say the will suffer an irreparable damage if they don't hear the word "amen" on their graduation day ;)

Anonymous said...

Pinko commies using slave schools to dispirit the reactionaries and prevent the strongest arm of the counter revolution.

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