The Brookville Area School Board in Pennsylvania made the right decision this week.
They decided that whenever community events involved prayer, school groups will not be allowed to participate in them. So the high school band can’t play in, say, an Easter Parade or even a local festival in which a pastor delivers an invocation. (Everyone, of course, can attend these events on their own.)
It’s the right move because playing at religious events, even if religion isn’t the main purpose, could be seen by the courts as an endorsement of that religion, subjecting the district to legal action.
On Monday, at the monthly school board meeting, people were furious. About 30 community members spoke out against the new rule… but when you listen to their complaints, it’s clear none of them are aware of how the law works.
Vicki Brown, whose husband is a veteran, said, “I know a lot of you people on the board. I cannot believe that there are people that stand for God and yet turn something like this, so they (the band) cannot participate anymore because they mention God and they mention the flag. What is our country becoming? I never thought that it would come to this, that a small town like this would have to fight a fight like this. You might be turning against God, but I’ll tell you, every knee shall bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. So he’s the one that’s going to be the judge after all.”
Veteran Russ Sweitzer said, “I’m a Christian. I believe that anything you have done and said about God is wrong. Don’t take God out of the school. Don’t cheat the children out of what they believe in. We pay your taxes; we pay your wages. Nobody else does. No one else has the right to tell our kids they can’t participate in something because you don’t believe in it. I’m here with all the other Christians in this room to say I am a Christian, I am a veteran and we’re not going to let it drop.”
To state the obvious, this policy doesn’t mean people are “turning against God” or that kids can’t participate in the events. The district just isn’t endorsing Christianity anymore to avoid legal problems. If students and teachers want to pray, they can. They always could. If they want to go to a parade that began with a prayer, no one’s stopping them.
These Christians are really just whining about how they’re no longer given automatic deference. Oh well. They can get used to it. Better yet, they should go home and read some books about the First Amendment so that they don’t sound so damn ignorant at the next meeting.
Good on the school board for not caving in to the public’s irrational demands.
(Image via Shutterstock. Thanks to Brian for the link)