Hemant has a post up about Mountain View Elementary School in South Carolina, which recently held its graduation at a church, replete with Christian prayers. Hemant has the administrators of the school dead to rights on lying to protect their violation of the law in order to use their position to hammer Christian faith into the heads of children. It’s despicable in itself, but I think some more needs to be said about how this situation is even more sinister than Hemant portrayed.
Hearken back to the Jessica Ahlquist story. You know the board of education that elected to go to court and all the administrators that pushed for a costly appeal? They’re still in their roles. They cost the school district a tremendous amount of money, and some were willing to cost it even more. This is money that has been collected through taxes and was earmarked for education – lost in the interest of using their positions as stewards of education to spread the Christian faith. It was the students, their futures, that suffered for it all, not the adults.
And so it will be here. The AHA, after telling the school to stop breaking the law (essentially giving them an easy out, which the school declined), has launched a lawsuit to force them to stop treating their school like a church. This means the AHA has a plaintiff and the school will likely be on the hook for attorney’s fees when they lose a foredoomed legal battle. When that happens, the administrators and other Christians will all-but-certainly lament the loss of education dollars, wondering and weeping at how the evil atheists and the AHA could do such a thing to these kids. It will be a complete inversion of reality, since it was the administrators who misused their capacities who forced the AHA’s hand. If the administrators cared more about the futures of the kids in their charge than they did about filling their heads with Jesus, they’d have stopped.
But they didn’t. They are now counting on the AHA to be willing to silently consent to the school’s illegal activities rather than injure the school’s young political hostages. The irony is that those administrators are there to protect those kids, not to use them as pawns in the service of their faith. This is what I think every time I see this exact same script play out. How dare those administrators? And it’s incredibly sad that the students, not those responsible, will be the ones hurt.
If this isn’t a rock solid case for the necessity of the Secular Safe Zone project, I don’t know what is.