The Freedom From Religion Foundation is at it again, completely misunderstanding and abusing the Bill of Rights’ “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” They are using intimidation, bullying, and financial resources to shut down any expression of religion in the public square, which was not the intention of the Founding Fathers. They somehow have interpreted the law to mean “Freedom From Religion” rather than Congress making laws to establish religion.
This time (and there are hundreds more of these examples), the FFRF threatened legal action against the Springfield (Pennsylvania) School District. What was happening is that the children, after reciting the Pledge of Allegiance, would say “God bless America.” No one was forced to say it. Congress had not made a law to require this behavior. There was no mention of which “god” or even which religion. And yet the FFRF claimed that this daily, voluntary recital violated the establishment clause (“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”)
It was one parent who brought the complaint. One. The FFRF claimed that “The repeated recitation of a religious message in the school setting violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment, which prohibits public schools from advancing, supporting, or promoting religion,” Any sane observer can readily see that the establishment clause doesn’t prohibit public schools from advancing, supporting, or promoting religion. What it prohibits is Congress making laws that establish a particular religion or prevent the free exercise thereof. In other words, FFRF is breaking the law by prohibiting the free exercise of religion.
The school immediately capitulated to FFRF’s bullying, not wanting to engage in a lengthy legal battle. What we all need to do, as people who honor the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, is to stand against such illegal bullying. It’s high time that one parent out of thousands, supported by an organization shutting down legal practices, should stop succeeding against the silent legal majority and a school district that wasn’t doing anything illegal.
We just get tired of the games and machinations removing legal religious expression from our lives, schools, businesses, and communities.