Some good news on the church/state separation front: Soddy-Daisy High School in Tennessee will stop broadcasting Christian prayers during football games and graduation ceremonies.
You would think the administrators and school board members would know better than to break the law, but when you hear their responses to the Freedom From Religion Foundation’s legal victory, you can see the type of people you’re dealing with…
Hamilton County Board of Education member Rhonda Thurman, who represents Soddy-Daisy, said the prayers were part of the school’s tradition, and that anyone who didn’t want to hear could “put their fingers in their ears.
“Everybody is offended by something,” she said. “I’m offended by a lot of those little girls running around with their thong panties showing, but I can’t make that go away.”
I’m offended by ignorant school board members who think it’s their job to force religion onto the students. But I can’t make Thurman go away either.
Sandhya Bathija of Americans United for Separation of Church and State offers this response to Thurman:
Claiming that students can just “put their fingers in their ears” doesn’t change the fact that the school is unfairly and unconstitutionally favoring one particular religion. Students of all faiths and none should feel welcome at school. They should not feel like outcasts because school officials forget that it’s their duty is to remain neutral on the topic of religion. Parents should determine what faith their children practice, not school officials.
There are some court cases where the “right” thing to do isn’t always obvious.
This isn’t one of those times.
Congratulations to FFRF for another victory.
Meanwhile, can someone tell this guy the rules? He thinks a Christian flag at a local war memorial should remain there despite the city council deciding otherwise. (Idolatry, anyone?)
“I won’t let it fall,” [Ray] Martini said. “I have already told the city, before you can take it down, I’ll tie myself to it and you can cut me down first.”
The identity of the resident who complained about the flag, a veteran of the Afghanistan war, has not been made public. But the state chapter of the ACLU has no problem with the vigil.
“We were concerned when the city was sponsoring the Christian flag, but we don’t have any concern with veterans groups displaying the flag,” legal director Katy Parker said. “We think it’s great the city is offering citizens a chance to express their opinions.”
You have to wonder what these people want… do they want the flag on their personal tombstone? Because they can have that. Do they think anyone plans on desecrating it? Not that it would matter, but that’s not the plan.
This is a kind of Christian extremism — assuming that government neutrality on religion is somehow anti-Christian.