Faithandthelaw's Blog

The law as it relates to Christians and their free exercise of religion

Prayer ‘settlement’ doesn’t set well

Posted by faithandthelaw on March 9, 2010

A school board in Tennessee has settled a lawsuit with the ACLU which had claimed the school district promoted religion. But some local citizens believe the settlement goes too far.  

Under terms of the agreement between the Cheatham County School Board and the American Civil Liberties Union, school officials will no longer “promote, advance, endorse, participate in, or cause prayers during or in conjunction with school events for any school within the school district.” In addition, officials shall not “orally express personal religious beliefs to students during or in conjunction with instructional time or in conjunction with a school event.” (See earlier article)
 
But some believe the March 1 agreement forces people to give up rights that should not be surrendered. Greg Horton, the lone dissenting vote on the six-member board, argued exactly that — adding somewhat sarcastically that under the “settlement,” schools would have to black-out school bus windows so children would not be “evilly influenced” by seeing churches along the route.
 
Sam Creed, a local pastor and president of the Cheatham County Ministerial Alliance, urged the board to delay a vote for a couple of weeks to have a public hearing. “Let the public know what you’re committing them to; let them look at it,” he says he told them. “It could be the public says ‘you got to do this.’  But at least put it out [there].”
 
TennesseeBut Creed’s plea fell on deaf ears. “They settled without hearing any other voices other than the attorney for the liability insurance company,” he laments.
 
The local pastor says the attorney warned the school board that fighting it would get expensive and messy. Creed believes intimidation is in the ACLU’s playbook.
 
“I think they’re pushing Christianity over into the corner as best they can, and I think we need to stand up against that.”
 
According to Creed, some members of the community are looking into how they might be able to legally challenge the settlement.

Courtesy of One News Now at http://www.onenewsnow.com/Legal/Default.aspx?id=925582

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