Say Grace, Go to Jail?

By David Waters A Florida high school principal should find out today if he will have to go to jail … Continued

By David Waters

A Florida high school principal should find out today if he will have to go to jail or pay a fine for asking his athletic director to say grace before a school luncheon in January.

(Update: Late Thursday, the judge ruled that principal Frank Lay did not violate hisher court order. More below.)

It’s not as ridiculous as it sounds. Or maybe it is.

The case has incited the usual Government Vs. God rhetoric from the likes of Bill O’Reilly, Mike Huckabee, the Congressional Prayer Caucus and other culture warriors on the right. “This is a spiritual battle we’re in for the very cause of freedom in this nation,” Rev. Joey Rogers of Santa Rosa, Fla., declared.

Well, not quite. But the case does illustrate the mess we make when we confuse freedom of religion and freedom from religion.

It seems that Principal Frank Lay has been trying to use his freedom of religion to turn Pace High School into a sort of Sunday school. According to court documents, the Pace High Teacher Handbook required school personnel to “embrace every opportunity to inculcate, by precept and example, the practice of every Christian virtue.” School and district officials “often led or directed students in prayer at extracurricular and athletic events, arranged for prayer during graduation ceremonies, proselytized students during and outside of class, and sponsored religious baccalaureate services. One teacher displayed a waist-high white cross in her classroom.”

Pace hasn’t tried to hide his evangelical tendencies. “This country is founded on Judeo-Christian principles, there is no doubt about that,” he told a congregation last year. “I walk up and down the halls everyday and I see tons of kids that aren’t saved. They have hollow eyes. They are void of a spirit. They need Jesus.”

Last year, the ACLU represented two students who filed suit against the school board, claiming that school officials were violating their freedom from religion. Lay and district officials admitted liability. Last January, the federal judge ordered Lay and district officials to stop promoting, advancing, aiding, facilitating, endorsing, or causing religious prayers or devotionals during school-sponsored events.”

Nine days later, Principal Lay asked athletic director Robert Freeman to lead a prayer at the beginning of a luncheon at Pace High School. “I did it primarily out of habit. It’s just something we’ve always done,” Lay told the Florida Baptist Witness. “I have been painted here as somewhat of a rebel. I don’t consider myself that, nor do I want to be. I am a Christian. I am not ashamed of my faith.”

Unfortunately for Lay, the federal judge didn’t accuse him of being ashamed of his faith. She accused him of violating a court order not to promote his personal faith as a government official at a government function.

As the ACLU explained, “By directing, promoting, sponsoring, or otherwise endorsing prayer or religious activity, public schools infringe on the constitutional right of students, parents, teachers, and other staff to determine for themselves their religious beliefs and practices.”

Surely the principal and other leaders of a school that teaches civics and American history get that the same constitution that guarantees them freedom of religion also guarantees others (especially those they have power over) freedom from religion.

Surely they understand that they should remain neutral on religious matters while they are serving in their professional roles as public school officials and therefore as government representatives.

Surely they would be the first to complain if another principal asked another school official to bless a school meal in the name of Allah, or the Hindu goddess Annapurnu, or the Wiccan goddess of Demeter.

No one should go to jail for saying grace before a meal. But God isn’t hard of hearing. If public school officials or anyone else wants to say grace before meals at government-sponsored events, they have every right to do so — privately and silently, in their own heads and hearts.

I’ll update the post when today’s hearing is over. Meanwhile, what would you do if you were the judge in this case? What would you tell Principal Lay?

———————-

The Pensacola News Journal
reported late Thursday that after a full day of testimony, Judge M. Case Rodgers said the prayer at a field house dedication during the school day that was held on church property was spontaneous, and there was seemingly no intent to violate the order. Lay could have faced up to six months in jail and $5,000 each in fines if the judge had ruled differently.

About

  • candyzky

    I really hate the fact that these students and their laymo parents can’t find something else in this world to fight about. The ACLU is neither American, Civil, for liberty, or for a “more perfect” union. Until tax payers stop giving them money and the courts stop awarding them ridiculous sums of money, this is never going to stop. The only way it will end incrimentally is when these retards are in hell.

  • Fate1

    pdogglimhotmailcom,

  • cmarshdtihqcom

    Florida? 150 years ago the Southern Baptists brought America slavery. I’ve attended SBC churches and I’m worried they’re doing it right. We’ve done much to display and preach proper ethnic relations behavior in Christ, sure. How about the women preachers? I think Paul asked women to make a concession to the first century A.D. hard up male chauvanist pigs. Paul suggested Christians make concessions to one another if the other’s faith was weak (the eating of meat, for example, around vegetarians, such as SDAs). 20 centuries later it is time for the SBC to make a concession, too.Until recently my church in Arlington had a female lead pastor. The couple recently left for New York state.Christopher Marsh

  • tgoglia

    fate1 wrote:I can understand why you might be concerned about our president being a radical, or a socialist. I might even understand why you think he might be a muslim based on the numerous lies being spread. But why is the fact that he is black part of your description? Is that as much a danger as being a radical, socialist or muslim to you?I think you missed the sarcasm.

  • MrZ2

    Say Grace? But to who’s God and what is the proper ritual to use to say grace to these diverse deities?Say one is a Satanist. Is his grace appropriate to a person who is a Satanist?Let the grace-sayer rot his life away in jail. This will give him time to contemplate his soul.

  • tgoglia

    dolph924:Actually, it is a criminal matter. He ignored a court order to stop proselytizing. So the criminal offense is contempt of court.

  • lepidopteryx

    If you want to pray over your own vittles, go for it – silently.

  • Kathy5

    Cody8 – here’s the problem.I’m not a believer (call me a science junkie) but I live/work in the South and here every event requires a prayer. What am I to do? Quitly hold my head down, close my eyes, listen in order to keep from ostercizing myself from the crowd who will “feel bad, pray, try to pursuade and convince me I’m wrong and going to hell if I don’t accept”. It is an uncomfortable position to be in. I feel I should not be placed in this position but fear expressing any such feelings as I would then be subjected to all sorts of possibilities.I would bet there are some students who feel very much the same as I.Pray in Church or at home if you want to – I’ve got no problem with your beliefs, just don’t infringe upon mine.

  • cmarshdtihqcom

    On the other hand Fate1 we can’t say nothing about our faith. If we would be ashamed to say anything Jesus would be ashamed of us on the Day of Judgment. We have to take the risk of whatever. I know it is officially illegal to be fired for religious beliefs but you can still lose friends, family, and romantic attachments over Jesus. I have lost most of the relationship with my brother and late father because I am saved, and I have taken no action on at least two very likable women friends who later married because a) she never so much as said the name of God and b) she claimed the label of Christian but I did not see her evangelize (but instead shared a non-Christian human rights concern of mine). Strangely also, I don’t know where any of my non-Christian friends live any more.Christians are expected to make sacrifices in their human connections.

  • cody8

    “I see that some of the hatred-filled rightwingnuts are posting here. Always good to see what the inbred think about things.”"laymo parents”Those are two readers calling ppl names. Now that that has been accomplished, I will try to continue to discuss the logic of the things mentioned here.Regarding my previous argument, I did not defend Lay, or make any excuses for taxpayer dollars being used to proselytize. What I did do was show how, in my opinion, the ACLU’s argument was deeply flawed.Here another recurring theme is “what if he were a Muslim?” (I guess Muslims are considered by many to be the arch-rivals of Christians.) Now for a personal example. I live in a catholic country where there are many catholic holidays, there are religious shrines and statues in thousands and thousands of government sponsored parks, and young children are regularly “indoctrinated” in catholic beliefs in public schools.What is the result? Are the Jehovah’s witness or the Mormons up in arms against the government? Are the Protestants and the Muslims and the Jews attacking the goverment for this? No. Not even the atheists and agnostics.Of course the aforementioned groups don’t like the situation as is, but they aren’t trying to take people to jail over asking a person to pray. (There are a lot bigger issues here, and I think there are more serious threats to individual liberty in the US than Principal Lay, even if he were a Muslim.)

  • lufrank1

    “I walk up and down the halls everyday and I see tons of kids that aren’t saved. They have hollow eyes. They are void of a spirit. They need Jesus.”What religious fundamentalists don’t realize was that Jefferson, Franklin and others went to great pains to frame a Constitution that protects us from any particular state sponsored religion.It’s the old proverb that should be applied in this case, The coach’s ‘freedom’ should end where his public school students’ noses begin. Who the H___ is he to be “saving students’ souls?

  • cody8

    tgoglia: kthhken is not mentioning prayer in schools to argue that it is OK simply because it happened in the past. He/she introduced with that statement because he/she was presenting evidence leading to the conclusion that prayer and christianity were foundational values in the US government.

  • TheProFromDover

    As a previous poster observed, the principal and others previously admitted to wrongdoing and agreed to comply with the law. They have now violated both the law and their own words. “Render unto Caeser that which is Caesar’s,” I seem to recall someone saying. Now, who was that again … ?

  • coloradodog

    Principal Lay needs to go back to school and learn the First Amendment this time. This is another example of Huckabees trying to turn America into their private theocracy based on their twisted, Leviticus cherry-picked idea of “God’s Standards” We vote these cretins out last November but they just won’t accept it.

  • tgoglia

    Cody8 wrote:kthhken is not mentioning prayer in schools to argue that it is OK simply because it happened in the past. He/she introduced with that statement because he/she was presenting evidence leading to the conclusion that prayer and christianity were foundational values in the US government.It amounts to the same argument. And its one based on a complete misreading of history, one that takes limited quotes out of context and ignores the reality of who the framers of our Constitution were and the philosophical traditions that formed the core of their beliefs. The framers were children of the enlightenment and deists. Their view of God and Christianity is a far cry from that of the Bible thumpers. Ever read about Jefferson’s Bible?

  • Fate1

    cmarshdtihqcom wrote: “On the other hand Fate1 we can’t say nothing about our faith. If we would be ashamed to say anything Jesus would be ashamed of us on the Day of Judgment.”Really? You must express your belief, and require it of others? And you must do this to those you have a position of power over? Would you have an issue with this if you had a Muslim boss who held this position? Or would you understand and quit, like it was your duty to avoid a Muslim boss?cmarshdtihqcom wrote: “We have to take the risk of whatever. I know it is officially illegal to be fired for religious beliefs but you can still lose friends, family, and romantic attachments over Jesus…”This happens with other religions as well. I know jews who have been ostricized by their families for marrying outside the religion, christians too. This is not a uniquely christian issue but it is an issue for all of those whose world does not allow those outside their religion to be part of their world. If you look at the life of Christ, He did not live this way. He did not exclude people nor make others uncomfortable to the point of them avoiding Him. He lived his values through example, not evangelizing everyone He met and requiring they agree in order to be part of His life.cmarshdtihqcom wrote: “Christians are expected to make sacrifices in their human connections.”Why? I don’t know where this is written. Who did Christ say to avoid? Who did Christ say to stop seeing? When did Christ say the emperor should be sayng grace before meals? When did Christ say Ceasar’s image should not be on coins? When did Christ say to avoid contact with Romans? To understand Christ learn what He did, not just what He said.

  • cody8

    Kathy5:Kudos to Fate1 for calling racist remarks on the carpet.

  • cody8

    Fate1:

  • Freestinker

    Come on. Everybody knows exactly what’s going on here … the coach, an arrogant believer who does not respect other people’s religious liberty, lied to the kids in order to proselytize and convert them without their parents’ permission.The coach clearly violated the law, lied to the students and parents, and even violated one the most important tenets of his own faith (bearing false witness) in order to push his own personal religious agenda on other people’s children. Rude, unlawful, deceitful, disrespectful, and hypocritical … I guess if you’re a Christian, you can do just about anything you like as long as it’s done “in the name of the Lord”.Good grief.

  • coloradodog

    candyzky ranted:The ACLU is neither American, Civil, for liberty, or for a “more perfect” union. Until tax payers stop giving them money and the courts stop awarding them ridiculous sums of money, this is never going to stop. The only way it will end incrimentally is when these retards are in hell.Real “Christian” of you lady, especially your illiterate, ignorant last sentence. You’re the reason we the rest of us are alarmed about you gun-totin’, Bible-banging theocratic Huckabee bullies.Taxpayers don’t give the ACLU money. Awards go to their clients not the ACLU.If you had half a brain to use Google, you would find that the ACLU clients just aren’t the “retarded liberals” but included defense of neo-Nazi’s right to march in Skokie, Illinois, and in Buckley v. Valeo, for example, the ACLU successfully promoted constitutional limits on campaign finance reform law. The ACLU is now defending your lovely “Christian” Westboro Baptist Church and its right to protest the funerals of American service members killed in action. You’re haplessly mesmerized by your Huckabee pastor or O’Reilly Catholic priest and have watched way too much RNC Fox News and have listened to way too much Limbaugh and hate radio. Before you run your mouth next time, lady, check the facts.

  • coloradodog

    Principal Lay broke the rules just like Joe Wilson did. He defied a court order. Lay and Wilson both think they can “get around the law” as their Lord Cheney taught them so well – a special entitlement for “Christian Conservatives” everywhere.

  • tgoglia

    kthhken wrote:And of course it presupposes that this common MUST be based on Christianity. It couldn’t be secular, or Buddhist, or anything else. And not just Christianity- it must be the authors own particular form of Christianity. Not Unitarian, or- god forbid- papist.

  • JKJ88

    I do not believe that this principal deserves jail time, but he was way out of line and should probably not be a principal in a public school system any longer. If he truly wants to bring people to Jesus than he should get out of the public school system and into a vocation that fulfills his desire to minister. I just wish people could understand that freedom of religion also includes freedom from it as well. What is so hard about understanding that? The founders of this country were very clear about this important separation. No one is going to stop you from believing what you want and practicing your beliefs as long as you do not impose them on others. Pretty basic concept here. I say this as a person who is devout in my own personal belief in God.

  • Fate1

    cody8 wrote: “Fate1: When you talk about when did Christ say this and when did Christ say that I think your missing the point that a Bible-believing Christian has probably read many passages in which God says that he will eventually crush all the goverments of this world in one bloody battle and set up a throne in Jerusalem. Biblical Christianity is not quite as democratic as some might perceive it to be.”And you probably missed the timeline Christ said that would happen in: within his generation. Many believe it happened in 70AD as Christ predicted. I don’t remember Christ mentioning anything like 100 generations.

  • kjohnson3

    “If the accused were FORCING the students to participate we could affirm that the students are being deprived of the freedom to choose against certain religious practices.”Cody8,You’re completely, utterly wrong here.Anytime there is an imbalance of power, one party exercises far greater influence over the other than would be the case in a situation of power equality. That’s the basis, for instance, of sexual harrassment laws. A woman doesn’t have to be forced by her boss to have sex with him in order for him to be charged with a crime. Because he holds control in the situation — the power to fire her, give her bad performance reviews, refuse to give her a pay increase — he exerts pressure and influence disproportionate to his legal role in her life.The same concept applies here. Kids who are told to do something by people who hold control over them — and can influence various aspects of their lives for many years to come (grades, recommendations, etc.) — generally do it because the alternative appears more painful.So yes, these children are being deprived of their freedom when coerced by powerful adults to participate in religious rituals against their will.

  • morphex

    While I do not respect Christian beliefs, I do respect the believers. I therefore find it awkward when a believer starts one of his religious rituals — prayer, for example — in my company, unless I have put myself in the position of being there — in one of their churches, for example, or in the home of a person who says grace before a meal. It is intolerable, intolerant, insulting, and offensive to pull that stuff in a public way at a public event that is publicly sponsored.The principal is also wrong when he says this country is founded on Judeo-Christsian principles. No living at the time the Constitution was written and adopted would even have understood the expression, which was not coined until another century had passed. Helleno-Hebraic, however, would have made sense to them. But I doubt that this ignorant Principal can understand that. The guy belongs in another profession, one where truth and tolerance count for nothing. He could become some kind of clergyman, for example. But I am not sure that he has committed a “crime.” He’s just an incorrigible boor.

  • Alex511

    fr candyzky:>…The ACLU is neither American, Civil, for liberty, or for a “more perfect” union. Until tax payers stop giving them money and the courts stop awarding them ridiculous sums of money, this is never going to stop. The only way it will end incrimentally is when these retards are in hell….Entirely incorrect.

  • cmarshdtihqcom

    Fate1, let me give two examples of one extreme. We cannot be silent for a lifetime. If we were, we would be disobedient to the requirement to spread the message. Being ashamed for a lifetime also means Jesus would deny us later. Luke 12:8-9It was Paul’s suggestion, not a requirement, to avoid an unbeliever for marriage. My female pastor recommended the same, as her son married a Chinese woman non-Christian (and presumably she is familiar with the ill effects, she said “I don’t want to see you hurt”). Jesus said families and friends would be divided by His ministry.Those women are dammed intelligent, educated, politically active (Democrats too), socially conscious, pro-choice in the case of one (at least she’s thinking about women’s rights), and in her case, childless by choice, I’d consider a plus. It’s just that Jesus isn’t worth mentioning or telling to friends.What would it profit if someone saved (gained) the world and lost one’s own soul?Near miss? Missed the whole point.What a shame. I wonder if being a Christian your whole life kills the positive non-sinful qualities those non-Christian women have. Maybe a recent convert to the faith from a secular humanist background, if I am required to for my own good?

  • cmarshdtihqcom

    With the first human lifespan coming to a close after the establishment of the modern Jewish state, Fate1, now I and others wonder if it is time for God to have a bloody battle with the Antichrist over the Holy Land. Satan presently owns the entire planet in our mythology, and all who are born into it, save those who turn over to Jesus. Those who turn over to Jesus seem to be spared from the war between God and Satan, perhaps like UN Coalition kindly treated the Iraqi POWs in Desert Storm. Thinking about the Iraqi POWs being fed, given medical attention, and asylum in the West made me finally emotionally love Jesus. When God is done, the whole planet is His to manage as He sees fit. No, it probably won’t be a democracy, but yes, you will notice a drastic change in culture (bye bye pornography, for starters). Satan comes back after a thousand years for a bit, but after a short parole, in for life imprisonment in the lake of fire.

  • thebobbob

    The Boss says:You may think I’m a nutcase for believing in this stuff but I don’t care. I believe it and you have to listen to it even if the law says I can’t force you to listen to it. I believe (and my belief trumps all) that it’s not only true but that those who don’t believe it will burn in hell forever.Book him and get him help.

  • cmarshdtihqcom

    Satan presently owns the entire planet in our mythology, and all who are born into it, save those who turn over to Jesus. Minus those who are too young or otherwise incapable of making decisions. We regard them as saved by default. My mother had four miscarriages. They are saved. A miscarriage is a human life (very immature, but a life, and certainly nowhere near able to decide on eternal destiny). So of six pregnancies total, five are saved, one is age 36 and in question.Mom seems to have rededicated herself in her last 48 hours. Dad, might have. I digress. We certainly do not believe in babies going to H*ll. If there is a Rapture, babies go no questions asked, even if they are in utero, even if they are in the process of delivery (love that scene in the book Left Behind when the maternity nurse and fetus disappear at once). They can’t refuse.

  • cody8

    kjohnson3

  • persiflage

    A substantial fine with guaranteed termination for the next offense would send the appropriate message. The true believers here make it very obvious why promoting religion or religious ritual of any kind is expressly forbidden in a public school setting. There is seldom anything reasonable or innocuous to be found in the tendency to evangelize and/or proselytize. The idea is a forced capture of hearts and minds. You want religion? Go to the church of your choice…..

  • briannholli

    —But that is not the most pernicious deception here. The flagrant lie of the ACLU is that these students are somehow being deprived of their ability to choose their own “religious beliefs.” Must the students believe whatever they hear? Is hearing a prayer before a meal a form of brainwashing? If not, we cannot say that these students’ rights to choose their own religion are being infringed. Hopefully by now you realize, dear reader, that having to hear a prayer is a far cry fom having your religious beliefs chosen for you (as the ACLU accuses Lay of doing to the students). —So… let us change that to ‘listen to evolution in school’ – it isn’t something you have to believe in, it won’t be brainwashing to listen to it. Or sex education. I bet the same people who say it is ‘just a prayer’ and can’t do harm are the same as those who think other things taught in school CAN do harm. You can’t have it both ways. Let’s teach the kids to THINK. Then what is said in school can be filtered by the ‘hollow eyed’ kids themselves.

  • Riograd

    This is directed to cmarshdtihqcom.Actually, the numbers are even better for those that go straight to heaven and don’t even have to stop at purgatory. About 1 of 3 human conceptions are spontaneously aborted. Human reproduction is very inefficient — it isn’t easy for the fertilized egg to develop properly. So about 1/3 humans, if one believes life starts at conception, go straight to heaven.I digress, but this proves the wisdom of intelligent design over evolution — 1/3 of humans get a free pass to heaven.

  • cody8

    Fate1:

  • bpai_99

    This principal clearly doesn’t believe he needs to follow the law. I would demand he be fired or I would withdraw my child from that school. Tell him to go speak about his faith in church and not in school.“The notion that faith in Christ is to be rewarded by an eternity of bliss, while a dependence upon reason, observation, and experience merits everlasting pain, is too absurd for refutation, and can be relieved only by that unhappy mixture of insanity and ignorance called ‘faith.’” – Robert Green Ingersoll

  • OMGalmost53

    Gosh, I don’t know where to start. First I’d tell a public high school principal who is focused on “bringing kids to Jesus” that he’s just in the wrong job. Be a youth minister, do outreach work, something else.

  • cody8

    briannholli:

  • briannholli

    Ok, Lay may have a pretty awesome ability here. He says he can see the ‘hollow eyes’ of the unsaved. Really? Wow. Let’s give this a real try, shall we? Find 30 or so kids not in his school, line ‘em up and let Lay look into their eyes. If he can tell which are ‘saved’ and which not he could make quite a bit of money with that ability!

  • Fate1

    cmarshdtihqcom wrote: “When God is done, the whole planet is His to manage as He sees fit. No, it probably won’t be a democracy, but yes, you will notice a drastic change in culture (bye bye pornography, for starters). Satan comes back after a thousand years for a bit, but after a short parole, in for life imprisonment in the lake of fire.”If your religion is that much a part of your life then I don’t think anyone would suggest you marry outside that tradition. I have a friend who due to genetics would be dead by now had medicine not traced why every male in his family as far back as they could remember died before age 50. The heart issue is now treated with drugs but he also must exercise. He only looks for women who also include exercise in their lives. Since he needs to exercise about two hours every day, and has chosen biking and tennis as his methods, he found a lovely women who shares his lifestyle. My point was more one of understanding. My friend understands why I hate cycling, including the packs of 50 that clog my neighborhood roads each weekend and the inherent danger (I know people physically disabled due to cycling accidents). He does not avoid me because I rarely play tennis or cycle. My game is golf, which he finds boring. He chides me for not exercising more and we both agree my life will likely be shorter than if I assumed his lifestyle. I chide him for having a stressful job and should take up golf to relax. But we are good friends and though we’ve talked about sports and exercising any chiding is all in fun, our friendship being much more important than trying to save the other’s life. There is a reason we call people whose lives completely revolve around some sport, such as football, to be “religious” about it. Once it defines you to the point of excluding others, it becomes an impediment in life. Just remember that Christ found actions were more important than words, and he angered many a rabbi, but he never excluded anyone because they would not live within His world. Which makes me wonder why He would send unbelievers to hell now. As for the second coming, it already happened if you believe Christ’s own words, in 70AD when the temple fell. And what I have always questioned was why there was no mention by Christ of democracy, just kingdoms. People have moved beyond Christ’s own method of governance, to where the leaders now are directly responsible to those they lead. One wonders why Christ never mentioned it.

  • persiflage

    I see the inevitable fundamentalist conflation of teaching evolutionary theory in biology class, as opposed to the mythologies of Christianity, Genesis, and creationism.This is the classic apples and oranges dichotomy – one is based on a large assemblage of scientific facts, and the other is based on a collection of written chronicles and unconfirmed hearsay over a couple of millenia. In other words, there is no comparison betwixt the two. I will leave it to our participating believers to sort out which is which……

  • demostheneswashdc

    In 1785, James Madison opposed a bill in the Virginia legislator that would establish a a provision (i.e., funding) for teachers of the Christian faith. In his Memorial and Remonstrance against Religious Assessments, the man who would later author the Bill of Rights wrote: “Because the proposed establishment is a departure from the generous policy, which, offering an Asylum to the persecuted and oppressed of every Nation and Religion, promised a lustre to our country, and an accession to the number of its citizens. What a melancholy mark is the Bill of sudden degeneracy? Instead of holding forth an Asylum to the persecuted, it is itself a signal of persecution. It degrades from the equal rank of Citizens all those whose opinions in Religion do not bend to those of the Legislative authority. Distant as it may be in its present form from the Inquisition, it differs from it only in degree. The one is the first step, the other the last in the career of intolerance. The maganimous sufferer under this cruel scourge in foreign Regions, must view the Bill as a Beacon on our Coast, warning him to seek some other haven, where liberty and philanthrophy in their due extent, may offer a more certain respose from his Troubles.”If supporters of the school officials’ actions want to defend their illegal actions, they should feel free to do so. Mr. Madison’s argument from more than 200 years ago still holds sway in this nation. These supporters must not, however, be permitted to claim that they are doing the work of the Founding Fathers. They are entitled to their opinion, but not to their own facts. What a pity that those charged with educating the children of Pace High School have such a flawed concept of American history.

  • cody8

    What Mr. David Waters and ACLU don’t want you to know:”Nine days after Rodgers’ order, Lay asked Freeman to bless the food at a luncheon at Pace High for school personnel and booster club members instrumental in helping to get a new fieldhouse. Some students were present.” -See the news article linked to in the first paragraph.A Sunday afternoon (Jan. 18) meal, probably not even at the school, with some students present. Now I feel like joining in the name calling. ACLU, David, et al, maybe you should let the guys pray at their southern Sunday dinners, or would that be too much freedom?

  • oldfoxbob

    The problem is NOT that they said a prayer in school. It was that they violated the law. To put one religion in front of others is wrong, especially since there are more then one religion represented in that school. I am from Florida and familiar with the school and students. There are Buddhists, Muslims, Christians, Jewish students as well as other religions who attend school there. The problem is that to force, which this did, a non Christian to listen to and pray to a God they do not worship is wrong. That is the whole basis of NO prayer in schools. How would you like it if your child in school had to pray to Allah or to Buddha every day. Heaven forbid that a Satin-est were to have to offer prayer and your child HAD to listen to it. What if some Principal were to offer up a sacrifice to his God in front of your student child, would you like that? Of course not! That is why these men should be punished to the full extent of the law that they violated AGAIN!!! They had been warned not to do this once after being found guilty of Offering prayer in this school. So they turn around and did it all over again. WRONG now they go to jail, and look for work along with the rest of us.

  • Fate1

    cody8 asked: “When did Jesus say that this would happen in his generation? By the way, it might help you to know I was refering not to the Gospel of Matthew but rather to John’s Revelation.”I assume you know it was Matthew 24:34 – As for Revelation, just who was its author anyway? When did he live? Where did he come from? I assume you know he’s most likely not the apostle John.

  • ndygrl

    If I were the Judge in this case, in my professional capacity I would send the man to jail. Personally and privately, I would pray for him, that he learn to respect and be tolerant of the wonderful diversity God has blessed us with. And I’d pray for myself, that God would soften the anger in my heart toward the right-wing religious bigots that are ruining my country. And I would be happy knowing, like you say, that God is not hard of hearing!

  • cody8

    Fate1:

  • cody8

    Score one for the left! Thank you both for such well-thought insights which help us all to learn more about the issue.

  • MarkDaniel

    Why are the people who support Principal Lay’s saying of Grace in school the same people who were up in arms about Obama’s speech to schoolkids?

  • fredfawcett

    In Mathew 5:17, it says, “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.Anyone who breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of Heaven.It seems like both the law and the Bible are at odds with the gentleman in the article. Stone him.

  • EnemyOfTheState

    Apparently, the principal wants to teach Sunday school or lead a congregation. Good for him – he just needs to do it in a church, where it’s appropriate, and not in a public school.

  • LiberalBasher

    Why are the people who support Principal Lay’s saying of Grace in school the same people who were up in arms about Obama’s speech to schoolkids? —they wernt upset with the speech in the school, they were upset about the followup homework that was going to be issued.Get your facts straight.

  • EdSantaFe

    Prayer does not belong in public schools…. PERIOD…. I don’t care if they got a new field house. NO PRAYERS IN PUBLIC SCHOOLS. These school personnel need to keep their religious beliefs to themselves. PERIOD.

  • Fate1

    cody8 dodged: “Perhaps you should study a little more in-depth.No but the translaters certainly knew the word genera. Its used about 18 other times. It refers to the time period, not a race. That silly contrivance was made by Scofield. Just another attempt to make the mess called the bible seem coherent. Tell me, where else in the bible does the word “generation” refer to the jews?And why would he be warning his diciples anyway? I mean, he tells them to keep an eye out for the signs. Why so if its not soon?

  • chaff13

    The following are the principles upon which this country is founded. Thomas Jefferson: “In every country and in every age, the priest has been hostile to liberty. He is always in alliance with the despot, abetting his abuses in return for protection to his own.”And finally, his last letter:

  • screwjob1

    The problem is not religion in school, its government. Every time a school makes a choice about courses, curriculum, or whether to emphasize or ignore, say, the cold war or the protestant reformation, they make value judgments that impact our children’s view of the world. Are most teachers liberal? Of course they are (How much money does the NEA contribute to the Republican Party?). Does that mean that liberal bias is creeps into the curriculum? Of course it does! Give parents vouchers and the choice that goes with them.

  • revbookburn

    This should be good for roughly ten martyr points. Nobody is going to jail for saying grace. But don’t let that stop anyone from manipulating gullible people from joining a cult and believing their marytr stories.Religion does not belong in public schools or government. The Taliban wannabees who advocate such nonsense are clueless about democracy and the Constitution. Rev. Bookburn – Radio Volta

  • GeneGuffey

    America will play a heavy price for turning it’s back on God and that is not very far away.

  • sensible2001

    Those who argue that children in public schools can choose to believe what they hear and so holding public prayers etc does not infringe on their rights are missing the point. Regardless of what you believe, being forced to participate in a religious ceremony or even a prayer is an abuse of individual liberty. I ask these same poeple how they would feel about being forced to face east and pray to mecca three times a day (which they may well be forced to do if they lived in some of the more extreme muslim countries in this world). Would they just shrug that off and do it even though they do not belive in what they are doing? Me thinks not! The hypocrisy and attitude of these people is astonishing in its ignorance and small mindedness. They really are no better than the Taliban.

  • cinturley

    If they don’t want to pray don’t if they do, do. It is so stupid we are losing everything that made us great one tiny thing at a time. Soon we will not see the America we once were. Once lost we can not get it back. God bless those of you which ever way you feel. God loves you whether you want it or not. In that, you have no say..

  • bob2davis

    I hope he gets jail time although the likelihood is that he’ll get a fine. But it’s past time that these moronic believers realized that it is illegal to push their religion in a secular government institution. It is also illegal to ignore a judge’s order to stop promoting religion and prayer rituals. As mentioned above this is contempt of court which often mandates a jail sentence. This man needs to learn to keep his religion out of the schools. Obviously, he is not very bright – both for believing in religion and for ignoring a court order. Fire him!!!

  • grashnak

    Those of you defending the principal should ask yourself this – suppose your kids were called into an assembly to dedicate a new gym at their school and the principal asked them to bow their heads and listen to him recite an Islamic blessing – would you be okay with that?Somehow I doubt it.

  • Farnaz1Mansouri1

    Clearly, the man has not yet found his calling. Fortunate for Florida if it recognizes this.I don’t know that he deserves to go to jail. He should certainly be removed from his current position. If I had a say, I’d require him to go for training, allow him to return to the classroom if he wished to, putting him under close supervision.I’d also get a Judaism scholar to explain to him that there is almost no “Judeo” in Chritianity.

  • EdgewoodVA

    There’s something in this article that folks seem to have overlooked: “According to court documents, the Pace High Teacher Handbook required school personnel to “embrace every opportunity to inculcate, by precept and example, the practice of every Christian virtue.” The freakin’ personnel handbook?! I’d be worried for the well-being of the students AND the teachers’ actual jobs! For the sake of convenience, let’s say that all the teachers in this school are Christian. What kind of discipline might a teacher face if this over-zealous principal deemed his or her work to be less than Christian “enough?” If an employee’s interpretation of the Bible fell short in this principal’s eyes, would that qualify them as somehow unprofessional or insubordinate? (Before the fundamentalists out there pounce on me for suggesting that there’s more than one reasonable interpretation of scripture, let me just say that I’ve heard all your retorts before, and I’m not going to waste my time responding to your narrow opinions or your endless but carefully-selected quotations of the Bible. Some people disagree with you, and some people always will. Get over it if you can, please. All that stress and anger is not good for your health.)The reason that freedom of religion was written into the Constitution was because the colonists were wary (and weary) of monarchs who demanded unwavering supplication to their own spin on Christianity…obviously, Principal Lay fancies himself as some sort of royal holding court over the numerous teenagers and educators within his “kingdom.”I agree: he should stop by the guidance counselor’s office and look into a career in some sort of ministry. He might make a real difference there, and it’d be far more productive than what he’s doing now.

  • Alex511

    fr farnaz1mansouri1:>…If I had a say, I’d require him to go for training, allow him to return to the classroom if he wished to, putting him under close supervision….Not the classroom. Janitor, MAYBE, but he does NOT need to be “teaching” (preaching) to kids.

  • rlholloway

    He should not be fired or disciplined in any manner. We are a nation that was founded upon Judeo-Christian values. Saying that we were not does not make it false. On whether he sinned by not obeying a law of man we can look to people such as Daniel being thrown in the lions den, Peter being thrown in prison, and countless others.It all boils down to do you accept Jesus as the only way as He said He was.”I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one can come to the Father excet through me” (John 14:6)If you do you must stand up and acknowledge Him as He states, “If anyone acknowledges me publicly here on earth, I, the Son of Man, will openly acknowledge that person in the presence of God’s angels. But if anyone denies me here on earth, I will deny that person before God’s angels… And when you are brought to trial in the synagogues and before rulers and authorities, don’t worry about what to say in your defense for the Holy Spirit will teach you what needs to be said even as you are standing there” (Luke 12)Christ is the only way, jail time is meaningless in the realm of eternity if a soul is saved from the destruction. He should not be punished but if he is God will be with him. If more Christians would take a stand our country might still have a chance to recover from the secularistic “paradise” some many have tried to create by attempting to remove God from all aspects of society. May God Bless each and every one.

  • FYIColumbiaMD

    “He should not be fired or disciplined in any manner.”If he lived in Iran or Saudi Arabia where public officials routinely apply theocratic teachings consistent with the majority of the population, he would certainly not be fired or disciplined.Unfortunately, he is teaching in a country in which the secular rule of law prevails. In such a country, a punishment is certainly the appropriate response.

  • grashnak

    @RLHOLLOWAYIt is ironic that you close your message with “May god bless each and every one” when you yourself are more concerned with imposing your religion on people who may or may not want it.People in the US are not required to be christians, and they are all entitled to not have their noses rubbed in it at publicly funded institutions.In the same way that I have no doubt you don’t want a govt funded institution reading the koran to your kids, many people don’t want them reading the bible to them either.If you want that, feel free to send your kids to a private christian school and pray to your heart’s content.

  • cmarshdtihqcom

    bob2davis wrote:Obviously, he is not very bright – both for believing in religion What am I doing as a Christian then with a Master’s in sociology then? Wouldn’t you think the M.A. rips religion apart? My adviser did.People who don’t believe in religion because they believe in science instead probably don’t want to believe anyway.I am the sort who revels in possibilities…1. I believe inherently in unseen forces of good and evil and a coming wara. The human race (Neanderthal) has been around 150,000+ years, Cro-Magnon to 30,000. History goes back 6,000 years. Where were we for the rest of that time?b. Were Adam and Eve survivors of a world disaster that erased knowledge of ancient technology, including nuclear technology?Obviously none of these things are related to knowledge or intelligence.Sometimes the heart sells out the mind.

  • Riograd

    The coach should not have done the crime if he wasn’t willing to do the time. Now he needs to pray that the courts will have mercy on him for this dastardly deed. Let’s have all children in public schools pray for him.

  • Alex511

    fr the article:>…What would you tell Principal Lay?I’d be telling it to find a different job, as he’s being escorted out of the building by security.

  • cody8

    There is a serious problem with the ACLU’s reasoning in paragraph 10 which any intelligent writer should immediately notice and call attention to.The ACLU claims that by directing, promoting, and otherwise endorsing religous activities and prayer these teachers are infringing on the right to choose one’s religious beliefs and practices.This statement is almost a half-truth, but actually a total lie. If the accused were FORCING the students to participate we could affirm that the students are being deprived of the freedom to choose against certain religious practices. (I guess that would actually be a 1/4 truth because the students would still have the right to choose to participate in religious activities of their choice.)But that is not the most pernicious deception here. The flagrant lie of the ACLU is that these students are somehow being deprived of their ability to choose their own “religious beliefs.” Must the students believe whatever they hear? Is hearing a prayer before a meal a form of brainwashing? If not, we cannot say that these students’ rights to choose their own religion are being infringed. Hopefully by now you realize, dear reader, that having to hear a prayer is a far cry fom having your religious beliefs chosen for you (as the ACLU accuses Lay of doing to the students). My conclusion is that the ACLU, Mr. Waters, or both believe that the readers of the Washington Post do not know how to see through utterly illogical arguments.

  • greenstheman

    What happened to freedom of religion that this nation was founded on?? I guess it only applies to atheist,agnostics.

  • crete

    “Lay and district officials admitted liability.” By agreeing to the court order this isn’t a dispute about religion it is about following the law. Which if I remember correctly is also a Christian precept. Principle Lay admitted what he was doing was wrong, this isn’t about him saying or asking someone else to say a prayer. It is about him following a legal commitment he freely made. Neither the school nor Mr. lay appealed the original finding.

  • Carstonio

    Waters has it exactly right. If I were the judge, a fine would be sufficient. Sending Lay to prison would simply reinforce his image of himself as a martyr. I would tell Lay that he wasn’t hired to decide whether kids “need Jesus” or need any other religion. Lay needs to understand that the separation between personal religious belief and professional role does NOT equate to religious belief being shameful. That is simply how he chooses to interpret it. Frankly, I resent anyone from any religion who believes that I or my children should join that religion. That has nothing to do with the merits or faults of any religion. Instead, it’s simply about the principle of individual self-determination. Whatever religions that I or my children choose to believe is not anyone else’s choice to make.

  • tgoglia

    Anyone who would defend this principal needs to stop and think for a second. How you react if school officials were trying to inculcate you or your children with Muslim beliefs? What if they had all students stop their studies and pray towards Mecca? What if school assemblies began with prayers to Allah? Or with Buddhist chants? Or pagan prayers to the Goddess?School officials- as agents of the government- are abusing their authority when they try to impose their beliefs on students.

  • bflorhodes

    Once again, those arguing for their totalitarian christian state are too stupid to understand the issue. The ACLU doesn’t infringe on your beliefs, they infringe on stealing of taxpayers money to spread the pernicious lies these ridiculous religions are founded on. 2000 years of bloodshed is enough. This isn’t a christian country. Or how do you explain the murder and torture? Oh, that’s right, it was the christians who voted for it.

  • financepirate

    Looks like some people need a basic lesson in how the first amendment works. Sad.It’s very simple kids, so listen up. The government cannot express a preference for one religion over another. “The government” includes anyone speaking in their role as a government official, among many other things. The principal of a public school is a government official. He is perfectly free to believe in the Tooth Fairy if he so wishes, but on school time, in his official capacity as principal, he may not express a preference for worshipping the Tooth Fairy. Asking students to bow their heads in prayer is expressing a preference for Tooth Fairyism, so he is not allowed to do it.Period. Now can we stop being deliberately obtuse about this? I’m looking at you, CODY8, and you, GREENSTHEMAN. It’s the constitution. Respect it.

  • kthhken

    Mr. Waters you are aware that until 1962 it was common in fact almost standard throughout all public high schools that there was a moment of prayer to start the dy, and the morals (how to distinguish right form wrong) was taught in the classroom using the Bible as the basis. And this is for a very simple reason, this country was founded as a Christian nations. Now the govt. didn’t force anyone to pick a denomination, or even force one to attend services.But in order for the society to be ordered properly, and for it’s people to have a common good, and there is morals better than the decalogue, the founders found it appropriate to give thanks to our creator for life each day, and to teach moral principles that would be common throughout society, after all even the ancient Greeks understood for a society to survive it needs a common good. Let John Adams state it himself:He concludes by stating;You know why he is right, if you take away the common morality and good that we all agree to, then the only way society can be held together is by force and coercion. Isn’t that the dilemma we face today? We no longer believe in a common good or a common morality. Well, at least many people don’t especially those in power.

  • mammyyel

    Hallelujah! Get the principal out of there, and maybe the Holy Spirit can work. Else-wise, look’s like it’s time to promise federalizing if these locals can’t do right according to the law.

  • Carstonio

    Cody, Lay and his faculty are in positions of authority over students, and they were misusing that authority to proselytize. That’s not quite the same as forcing a religious belief, but it does qualify as abuse of power. It would be reasonable for Pace students (and their parents) to wonder if they may be graded based on their religious affiliation, or if students from other religions may be disciplined more stringently.

  • Fate1

    Cody8 wrote: “But that is not the most pernicious deception here. The flagrant lie of the ACLU is that these students are somehow being deprived of their ability to choose their own “religious beliefs.” Must the students believe whatever they hear?”That is not the issue. The issue is that as a government official, in official capacity where he has power over subordinates and students, he is working to establish religious tenents within the personnel and students of the school. The test for you is whether this would be ok had Principal Lay been a Muslim who using the same techniques wanted to save the infidels in the school? If you have a problem with that then you should have a problem with what actually happened. If you feel the two situations are different then you are biased.Cody8 wrote: “Is hearing a prayer before a meal a form of brainwashing? If not, we cannot say that these students’ rights to choose their own religion are being infringed.”Is it an infringement if the police break down every door in a neighborhood looking for a criminal if the police fix all the doors? No harm done, right? Is it an infringement for the government to spy on you in the bedroom? Why not if you’re doing nothing wrong? Be careful allowing government personnal to force personal views on you and your children. Yes you have the right to ignore them but that does not give them the right to use their positions to preach their values to anyone.Cody8 wrote: “Hopefully by now you realize, dear reader, that having to hear a prayer is a far cry fom having your religious beliefs chosen for you (as the ACLU accuses Lay of doing to the students).”Students are most impressionable. Again, had the principal been Muslim, would these words in the Teacher’s Handbook bother you:

  • tgoglia

    kthhken wrote:This is a nonsensical argument. You do know that for the first 80 years of our republic, it was legal to own slaves? You do know that until the 1950′s, Jim Crow laws and segregation were allowed?Just because it happened in the past doesn’t mean it should have been allowed.Do you really want the government to be deciding what our “shared morals” are? With a black radical socialist muslim running the show?

  • cmarshdtihqcom

    Doesn’t Lay know he’d have a heart attack if another principal used his (or her) “religious freedom” to do the same thing under Allah?Aside from the fact that Christianity was here first, we ought to live in a marketplace of religious ideas. Except I am hoping Christianity wins fair and square, not by indoctrination.I don’t know. I didn’t need indoctrination to get saved. My parents were not the kind to even try, they supported my choices. But the odds of freely getting saved at 23, after college, majoring in sociology, with a personal grudge against Christian peers are less than 1 in 100. Out west at Marshall University they said if you can’t save the kids by 18 you lose them. Is that why you have to indoctrinate them by any means necessary? Mess with their heads? Tell them what they want in religion?A secret about faith: you believe in what you want to find. If you want good to triumph over evil but do not want to be in the middle of the war, if you believe if you aren’t perfect but yearn to be forgiven and ultimately pure before the LORD in Heaven, if you are looking for unconditional, maybe even sacrifical, love, Christianity appeals to you. If you feel like it, pray for my brother. He is 37 in November and he isn’t saved. I’d wonder what his odds are.

  • pdogglimhotmailcom

    Our Country is full of fools who stick their heads in the sand to ignore the truth of God. Athiests will be very very sorry when they die and come face to face with God. They will have an eternity in hell to regret and anguish over the ways they ignored God. When we removed prayer from our public schools we replaced them with metal detectors. As our Country has moved further away from God, we have moved steadily closer to the fall of our society. The value of life has greatly diminished, the news is full of increasingly horrific acts of human sinfulness; ie 35 yr old woman raping her son, a Illinois School Bus where two bullies violently beat an innocent boy, the Virginia Tech mass murders, the countless stories of parents murdering their children, husbands murdering their wives. We have become callous and numb to the horror, we need to return to righteousness and holiness.

  • Fate1

    tgoglia,

  • dolph924

    He was obviously wrong to ask the guy to pray. But, surely this isn’t a criminal matter. At most the issue should be whether he is suspended from his job for a short period of time — I don’t see it as even a reason to fire the guy, unless he does it again.I see that some of the hatred-filled rightwingnuts are posting here. Always good to see what the inbred think about things.

  • DCSteve1

    >…What would you tell Principal Lay?I’d be telling it to find a different job, as he’s being escorted out of the building by security.Posted by: Alex511 | September 17, 2009 12:09 PM Wonderful!

  • cmarshdtihqcom

    P.S. Saying what my father thought sounds harsh. He took a U.S. News and World Report cover with Ralph Reed and took a blue pen and penned in a Hitleresque moustache. Dad was born in 1930 and remembered the war. He wished Christians had done more to speak out against the Holocaust.At minimum, the Christian Coalition and the Nazis do have at least one thing in common: neither tolerate homosexuality. In practice, a good many self-identified Christians don’t tolerate the homosexuals either. Pink triangles either way…..But it is easy to say you are a Christian when you are not.

  • ThomasBaum

    cmarshdtihqcom You wrote, “If you feel like it, pray for my brother. He is 37 in November and he isn’t saved. I’d wonder what his odds are.”Are you God? How do you know if someone is “saved” or not? Didn’t Jesus say, “If I be lifted up, I WILL draw ALL MEN to Myself”?When Jesus was on the cross, He said, “It is finished” which translates as “Paid in Full”, if this “Paid in full” is not ultimately for everyone than it is not “Paid in full” at all, is it?The word Gospel means Good News and we are asked to Proclaim the Good News, are we not? If the Good News is not Good News for All but is only good enough news for some then it is not Good News but horrible news.God is a searcher of hearts and minds, just like it says, not of religious affiliations or lack thereof.It is important what one does and why one does it and what one knows.Jesus is either the Saviour of the world or He isn’t. I say that He Is and that He extended the invitation to us to be active participants in God’s Plan when He said, “Come follow Me” and “Take My yoke upon you…” among other things.I look past heaven to the Kingdom, the new heavens and the new earth, which will arrive at the dawning of the seventh day, of course the night of the sixth day shall precede this.Take care, be ready.Sincerely, Thomas Paul Moses Baum.

  • ThomasBaum

    pdogglimhotmailcomYou wrote, ” Athiests will be very very sorry when they die and come face to face with God. They will have an eternity in hell to regret and anguish over the ways they ignored God.”Do you know anything about “hell”? Do you realize that Jesus, Himself, went to hell?Do you think that when Jesus was on the cross and said, “My God, My God why have Thou forsaken Me?” that there may have been a “reason” for Him saying this?Do you think and/or believe that Jesus took All of the sins of humanity upon Himself on the cross or just some or none at all?Do you think and/or believe that “Christianity” is nothing more than some receiving a “get out of hell” card rather than part of God’s Plan for the Salvation of All which God has had since before creation and is unfolding before our very eyes?You also wrote, ” We have become callous and numb to the horror, we need to return to righteousness and holiness.”How can “we” return to something that hasn’t been? Check out history.Didn’t Jesus say something about the “human heart”?Seems as if there are some that believe as long as they get to the “good place” than that is Good News, mighty “Christian” of them, don’t you think? Considering that when Jesus was on the cross He said, “Father forgive them”, He did not say some of them, those that repent, … or anything of the sort, He said “THEM”, did He not?See you and the rest of humanity in the Kingdom, the new heavens and the new earth.Take care, be ready.Sincerely, Thomas Paul Moses Baum.

  • Pamsm

    “God loves you whether you want it or not. In that, you have no say..”Right. That’s why he prepared a “lake of fire” for me. Tough love.

  • ThomasBaum

    Farnaz1Mansouri1 You wrote, “I’d also get a Judaism scholar to explain to him that there is almost no “Judeo” in Chritianity.”Jesus was a Jew.Take care, be ready.Sincerely, Thomas Paul Moses Baum.

  • ThomasBaum

    rlholloway You wrote that Jesus said, “”I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one can come to the Father excet through me” (John 14:6)”Yes, He said to the Father, He did not say that there was only one way to Him, did He?You then wrote, “If more Christians would take a stand our country might still have a chance to recover from the secularistic “paradise” some many have tried to create by attempting to remove God from all aspects of society.”Didn’t Jesus say, “My Kingdom is not of this world”? Lots of people seem to know God’s Name and yet for some that seem to be all that they know about God.And many said, “Lord, Lord and Jesus replied, I do not know you”, there is more to being a Christian than knowing God-Incarnate’s Name.Christianity is part of God’s Plan and God’s Plan will come to Fruition.It is God’s Will that all be saved and as Jesus taught us to pray, “… Thy Will be done …”, we should pray for God’s Will but that is for each and everyone to make a choice about.God wins, satan loses, a tie is unacceptable.See you and the rest of humanity in the Kingdom, the new heavens and the new earth.Take care, be ready.Sincerely, Thomas Paul Moses Baum.

  • ThomasBaum

    FYIColumbiaMD You wrote, “If he lived in Iran or Saudi Arabia where public officials routinely apply theocratic teachings consistent with the majority of the population, he would certainly not be fired or disciplined.”It may or not be the majority of the population in these countries but it would probably be by sharia law and he would most likely be stoned to death.You then wrote, “Unfortunately, he is teaching in a country in which the secular rule of law prevails. In such a country, a punishment is certainly the appropriate response.”So, are you implying that unfortunately his punishment might be less than stoning to death?Take care, be ready.Sincerely, Thomas Paul Moses Baum.

  • innocentbystander1

    There are several types of Christians in the world, including those who believe Christ sanctions killing thousands of innocent kids in Iraq under the false pretense that it will prevent terrorists hiding in Pakistan from killing a few of Gods chosen people here in America, and believe Christ would sanction torture so long as it is done by Americans to others, and believe that God will intercede on behalf of high football players when he could be interceding in Iraq to protect the troops and civilians from getting ripped apart by bombs. Any other Christian or non-Christian must have hollow eyes and must be devoid of spirit according to Pace. Some Christians believe that Christ teaches against war, killing kids in other countries for the sake of US security, torture, etc. The sad thing is, the first type of Christians express a hatred of the other, though veiled in concern for salvation of the other. Neither type of Christian wants their kids proselytized by the other, which is why we have rules against principals pushing their own religion on the students. I certainly would not want my kids looking at Pace as a source of religious doctrine. For KTHHKEN, prayer might have been routine in schools long ago, but perhaps you might understand that prayer in public schools was the impetus for the development of Catholic schools, when long ago Catholics feared that their children were being indoctrinated in anti-catholic doctrine by the Protestant practices in public schools. Just a historical illustration that one man’s Christianity is not another’s, and that school prayer was not universally seen as benign, and Pace’s injection of his style of Christianity should not be seen a benign.

  • innocentbystander1

    A challenge for cody8 and KTHHKEN: In support of the proposition that the Bible is the source of our laws, can you identify in the bible (1) any mention of a preference for democracy over monarchy (remembering that democracy was one big central part of the constitution), (2) any teaching for or against the death penalty or (3) any rule or law whatsoever that persists in American jurisprudence and is uniquely supported by the Bible and not also found in numerous non-Christian cultures (the rule against murder, for example, is universal regardless of religion, so it is not fair to say that the Bible is the source of laws against murder) or (4) any underlying principles of American government or law that are uniquely supported by the Bible and not also found in numerous non-Christian cultures. This question came up when my kid came home from school and explained that he had learned that the bible was the source of all of our laws. I was floored, because as a constitutional scholar of little note, I thought firstly that the proposition has no support in the bible or the constitution, and secondly, it seemed odd that this would be taught in public school. What next, I thought, a lesson questioning heliocentricity? elimination of the jazz band? girls softball? a ban on Halloween? coercing Hindus to sing Christmas carols at the winter concert (participation is a major component of grading)? So I challenged him to find support for the proposition. I would have fun challenging his teacher as well, but that would illuminate the fact that he and I are of different Christian sects and this may have a negative effect on his grading. Perhaps another reason to keep religion out of the classroom. (By the way, re (2), my limited insights indicate that Christians are split at to whether the Bible enthusiastically endorses the death penalty or straightforwardly outlaws it or is non-committal. Do you want your kids indoctrinated by someone on the other side of this issue?)

  • coloradodog

    cmarshdtihqcom pontificates:”….something in the nature of God abhors sin that isn’t “made right” or “paid for”.The original definition of “sin” was “missing the mark” as in archery – something we all do.You should change your quote to:”….something only in the nature of the small and shallow God of Abraham abhors sin that isn’t “made right” or “paid for”As for hell, if I believed in it, it would be spending eternity with the likes of you and your ignorant, racist, unwashed Huckabee ilk constantly and hypocritically harping at, bullying, judging and condemning others while ignoring the love and inclusion of Jesus’ words.

  • tojby_2000

    The Article: “What would you tell Principal Lay?” ___________________________________________ I’d congratulate him on his media triumph and then quietly remind him that Jesus explicitly recommended Roman law be respected and that his grandstanding piety lacked Christian humility. “Perhaps a rereading of Matthew’s 6:6 guidance might be lead you back to Jesus, Frank?”

  • ThomasBaum

    ccnl1 You wrote, “Thomas, “talker to god” and “the Moses of the NT” Baum is obviously in “thump” mode this afternoon.”What’s a “thump mode”?You also wrote, “Had he bothered to check with some of the NT experts on the On Faith panel,”Is an expert an expert because the expert has decided that they are an expert or is there some other reason?There are many “experts” out there and as it says, “I will reveal to the simple what is hidden from the learned”, or something to that effect.It doesn’t matter what people believe because Truth is Truth whether anyone believes it or not. Take care, be ready.Sincerely, Thomas Paul Moses Baum.

  • ThomasBaum

    cmarshdtihqcomYou wrote, “she claimed the label of Christian but I did not see her evangelize”Does someone have to “evangelize” in a way that is pleasing to you or to God?Some of the most effective “evangelizing” is done without a word being said.You also wrote, “(but instead shared a non-Christian human rights concern of mine).”How could a “human rights concern” not be Christian?God created All of us and God cares for All of us and we are All created in the Image and Likeness of God, so how could a “human rights concern” not be a “concern” of God.You also wrote, “Christians are expected to make sacrifices in their human connections.”Christians are called to LOVE. “Love one another as I have loved you”, is this not what Jesus said? Did Jesus say, love those that call themself Christian? NO, did Jesus say love those that repent? NO, did Jesus say love some? NO, Jesus said, “Love one another as I have loved you”, Jesus’s message of LOVE was and is for All.”Christianity” is just part of God’s unfolding Plan which God has had since before creation and God’s Plan will come to Fruition.Take care, be ready.Sincerely, Thomas Paul Moses Baum.

  • ThomasBaum

    cody8You wrote, “Biblical Christianity is not quite as democratic as some might perceive it to be.”"Christianity” is just part of God’s unfolding Plan.Contrary to what some now and in the past have tried to do, Christianity has absolutely nothing to do with setting up a theocracy on earth.God’s Kingdom is anything but a “democracy”, and if God was even remotely like what some “conceive” God to be than I would not want anything to do with God but God is a Being of Pure Love, as in Love being God’s Very Being rather than an attribute.God’s Plan is for All, ultimately, to be in God’s Kingdom, the new heavens and the new earth. We have free will and we are responsible for what we do whether or not we accept that responsibility is our choice.Have you ever thought about what a pure democracy is? It is mob rule, the “will” of the majority, is it not?As I have said before and I repeat: God is a searcher of hearts and minds, not of religious affiliations or lack thereof and It is important what one does and why one does it and what one knows.Take care, be ready.Sincerely, Thomas Paul Moses Baum.

  • ThomasBaum

    JKJ88You wrote, ” If he truly wants to bring people to Jesus than he should get out of the public school system and into a vocation that fulfills his desire to minister.”I happen to disagree with this and the reason is that if someone were truly following Jesus, they would not be trying to cram Jesus down other people’s throats but actually trying to live up to humanly impossible standards and that God can use a person where they are, so to speak.You also wrote, “The founders of this country were very clear about this important separation.”I happen to believe that the “founders of this country” were divinely inspired in doing this.There is nothing even remotely about Jesus wanting to set up a theocracy here on earth.You also wrote, “No one is going to stop you from believing what you want and practicing your beliefs as long as you do not impose them on others.”This is why the “freedom of religion” thing is in there to begin with because there were and are some that would like to do just what you said “no one is going” to do.People may not be able to stop someone from believing something but they can and have stopped them from “practicing their faith” openly many times in the past and also presently, have they not?You wrote, “Pretty basic concept here.”Some may think that it is “basic” but there are many in the world even today where this “basic” is not practiced at all, is this not a fact.And if one were to “believe” what some write on these posts, there are many, both “believers” and “non-believers”, that would like to shove their “beliefs” down other people’s throats.And by “beliefs”, I mean both those that believe in God and those that do not believe in God.Then you wrote, ” I say this as a person who is devout in my own personal belief in God.”I wish you well, we are all in this together.Take care, be ready.Sincerely, Thomas Paul Moses Baum.

  • ThomasBaum

    cmarshdtihqcomYou wrote, “Those who turn over to Jesus seem to be spared from the war between God and Satan,”You seem to have it backwards, did not Jesus say that there was “work to be done”?You then wrote, “When God is done, the whole planet is His to manage as He sees fit.”Isn’t there something in there about “new heavens and a new earth”?Jesus said, “If I be lifted up, I WILL draw ALL men to Myself”, maybe we should believe Him, even if we don’t know all of the details.See you and the rest of humanity in the Kingdom.Take care, be ready.Sincerely, Thomas Paul Moses Baum.

  • ChimericSoul

    It is my belief that those who insist on public prayer rather than praying silently to themselves do so because they feel it doesn’t “count” unless others see and hear. Part of this is to display “I’m holier than thou.” Another part is that perhaps, they really do believe deep in their hearts that their prayer will not be heard unless expressed around other humans– meaning that they think there is no deity to hear them. I believe it is a greater act of faith to pray in silence rather than to attract attention.

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