I freaking love the FFRF. Do you remember when a brave high school student named Katy Vaughn stood up and cried foul when her school invited evangelist Siran Stacy to give a presentation at their prom? Stacy took the opportunity to talk about how gays are terrible and how pre-marital sex makes baby Jesus cry (or makes your partner cry “baby Jesus” if you’re doing right).
It turns out some other schools had invited Stacy to give presentations on the dangers of drunk driving, as he was supposed to have done at Katy’s school. The FFRF caught onto this and contacted both schools. One of them was Haleyville Middle School in Alabama.
I emailed Andrew Seidel of the FFRF to get the details. In his letter to Haleyville he wrote:
A glance at his website would notify the diligent administrator of the religious bent of Stacy’s talks: his Welcome page says “Praise Be to Jesus Christ the Author and Finisher of Our Faith! Welcome and thank you for visiting my site.”2 According to the site, “Stacy’s message is centered upon the resurrection power and redeeming blood of Jesus Christ, and aimed towards making an impact on the broken hearted, the suffering teenager, and he has a passion for men and their role as leaders and mentors in the family.”3 This quite clearly states that his message is not the appropriate and secular message to avoid drunk driving, but a sermon meant to bring students to Stacy’s god.
His foundation, the Elliernae Shelly Foundation is intended to “reach the World for Jesus” and “is a vision given unto [Stacy], inspired by God.”4 Stacy “belíe[ves] that through fasting and praying that ElliernaeShelly will set the World on fire for Jesus Christ.”5 These are the words of proselytizer and preacher, not an educator with a place in our public schools.
Further evidence of Stacy’s religious message can be found in the sermon he delivered to students in Shelby County Schools. According to our complainant, he did not limit his talk to drinking and driving. He told students, “homosexuality is sinful and that a human’s self-Worth comes from God.” He “shamed Women who choose to have sex before marriage,” and denigrated women who exercise their constitutional right to choose. What possible connection do homosexuality, abortion, premarital sex, and converting to Christianity have to do with drunk driving? None. This was not a secular program but a religious sermon. A full list of the religious and moral issues presented in this sermon was compiled by our student and is enclosed.
I’m happy to report that of the two presentations that Stacy was scheduled to give at Haleyville Middle School, both were immediately canceled. I wish the administrator who scheduled Stacy had taken the 30 seconds required to look at his website so this letter would never have had to be sent (assuming that administrator values following the law on religious matters which, in Alabama, is a stretch). But, ah well. Happy ending.
However, the FFRF has yet to hear from the other school. I’ll keep you posted. If they decide to get dumb, perhaps we can give them a subtle hint that people across the world are watching them. It’s amazing how that can change a law-breaker’s mind…