The FFRF gets an Ohio public school to stop singing “The Lord’s Prayer” at graduation.

The FFRF gets an Ohio public school to stop singing “The Lord’s Prayer” at graduation. May 23, 2016

I read the Christian Post, and most of the time it’s just an eye-rolling waste of my time.  But every now and again they post something about church/state separation where they try so, so hard to paint the offenders as the victims and then it’s all worth it.

The Freedom From Religion Foundation has gotten an Ohio public school to stop having their official school choir sing “The Lord’s Prayer” at graduation.  Jonah Hicap covers it for the Christian Post:

A high school in Ohio has stopped its 70-year-old tradition of singing “The Lord’s Prayer” during graduation after a group of atheists complained that it promotes religion.

The East Liverpool High School in East Liverpool, Ohio, has decided to ban the song during graduation after receiving a letter from the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF), which told the school that the singing of the song violates the law and requested that no religious song be performed in future ceremonies.

Awesome.  If they want to hear the Lord’s prayer or any pro-Christian message, they can go to church.  That’s what neither school or government is for.

Choir director Lisa Ensinger appealed to the city school board to allow the song to be performed. She remembered singing the song at her own graduation, according to the Morning Journal News.

Pointing out how the law was broken one time without repercussion doesn’t mean the law should never be applied.  I sped the other day and got away with it, but what fair person would use that fact to say I shouldn’t get away with it when Officer Friendly spots me?

When asked what would happen if she was told that her students could no longer sing it, she said, “I said, ‘That’s the day I resign,’ and now it’s happened and my heart is broken.”

If you think school can’t function if a captive audience of students (and your choir) isn’t made to pay lip service to your god (or listen to that lip service being paid), then public school probably isn’t for you and you should resign.

“I hate to see that go. When we stop having traditions what do we have left?” she asked.

You still have plenty of traditions at the school.  But when it’s revealed that a tradition is both illegal and unfair to some students, we shouldn’t overlook the illegality and the unfairness to preserve tradition.

Ensinger told the board that one of her students who is an atheist wants to sing the song.

Good news: they can.  On their own time, in church, at home, in the hallways.  But the school can’t make them sing the song.

“My students are devastated,” she told the board.

Oh, (some) of your students are devastated?  Oh damn, I guess we’ll suspend the law then.

No, that’s not how it works.

But school board president Larry Walton said it could cost thousands in dollars in litigation costs.

Not to mention the hefty sum the school would get to hand over upon losing a foredoomed lawsuit.

“The Supreme Court says we can’t do it,” he said, adding that other districts have tried to fight it and it cost them more than $850,000.

Smart guy.

“I’m not going to risk this school by trying to fight the Supreme Court. I’m as sorry as you are,” he said, adding that since the Supreme Court decision, the district allowed the “Lord’s Prayer” to be sung and “just didn’t get caught.”

Board member Richard Wolf said, “I don’t know when we voted on this. Did we vote on this? If it’s student initiated, it’s like prayer at the flag pole. If those people want to institute a lawsuit, let them.”

Richard Wolf, you are the reason the district has legal advisers on retainer.  Left to your legal acumen, the school would be handing the FFRF six figures to do what it could have done (and should have done) for free.

And it’s not student initiated: it’s organized through the official school choir and promoted by the school.  Trying to skirt the law by lying just makes you look like having Jesus in your heart doesn’t do anything for making you an ethical person.

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