Jacksonville, FL: Clay Hill Elementary School is now the place where a new battle of monumental proportions is taking place over the First Amendment rights of a Baptist Pastor to pray at the flagpole of the school and the separation of church and state.
Pastor Ron Baker has been holding prayer at the flagpole for the better part of a decade but now is being told by the school board that his actions are unconstitutional. This has drawn the attention of outside the atheist organization Freedom from Religion Foundation, who want to stop any and all Christian expression from taking place on public property. However, Baker says and Jacksonville.com is reporting:
“I think if I were to stop, it somehow sends the message that I think it must be wrong,” Baker said. “Why wouldn’t I want to pray for the safety and security of that school, pray for all those teachers and administration, pray for all those students.”
Baker said he isn’t violating any district policies and believes he isn’t violating the law with the prayer sessions.
According to the Christian Post:
The issue was raised when the attorney for the Clay County School Board, J. Bruce Bickner, submitted an opinion declaring that praying at the flagpole was against the law, “it is a violation of the United States Constitution for a teacher, school administrator or other school district employee to join in a prayer session during their work time.” Wrote Bickner.
Commentary: This one is an easy one. First Pastor Baker isn’t an employee of the district in any capacity and in the opinion of the districts own attorney he hasn’t violated the “Constitution”. I would argue that even the employees who are citizens of the United States of America have the RIGHT to freely express their faith even on campus.
When are we going to follow the Constitution?
A school isn’t Congress. “Congress shall make no law for the establishment of religion or to prohibit the free exercise thereof”.
Where does it say that a school represents Congress? It doesn’t and they are taking the rights of individuals away under the lie that is the separation clause.
Secondly, they aren’t after religion, they are targeting Christianity. Neither the ACLU nor the FFRF filed or threatened to file a lawsuit against a Massachusetts school who shut down the school in honor of a Muslim holy day when the students and staff stated clearly that a portion of their intent was to increase the awareness of their religion.
Again I’ll say it that the FFRF is an organization that boasts 1700 members nationwide but is dictating policy decisions that affect tens of thousands of free citizens and I ask you….how is that possible in a Republic?