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It’s The Norm — Why Now?
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It’s The Norm

The Pensacola News Journal reports Judge: Prayer ban OK

A federal judge on Friday approved a consent decree that calls for Santa Rosa County School District officials to stop promoting their religious beliefs in schools.

School officials now are prohibited from promoting or endorsing prayers during school functions and from organizing school functions at religious venues. The consent decree must be distributed to all employees.

District officials admitted the allegations. Board members signed a consent decree in March that listed steps the district will take to end the violations.

School Board Chairman Ed Gray said they intend to abide by the judge’s order.

The Rev. Matt Cotten, minister of education and outreach at Pine Terrace Baptist Church in Milton, said he is not surprised a judge would sign the order.

“The representation for the county failed to defend our rights well,” he said. “The wording is sufficiently convoluted to distract from the intent of the Constitution while appearing not to infringe upon our rights.”

Today, Cotten plans to have the OK2Pray.org Rally for Education at Milton High School.

Excuse me, Mr. Cotten, but they admitted they violated the First Amendment of the Constitution by endorsing a particular religion. You have no right to impose your religious beliefs on anyone.

Steve Bates noted that a National Day of Prayer was called for on last Thursday. I winced when I heard about it from a commenter. I was brought up in a conservative tradition that views such displays as sacrilegious. Religion is a private matter in my tradition, and while anyone is welcome to join the congregation, it is something they must decide to do.

Mr. Cotten should be free to believe what he wants, but there are a whole bunch of people who think what he does is associated with the actions of the Pharisees, and is the path to damnation. There are a lot of Christian churches that really like the separation of state and church, because they know that the people trying to tear down the wall are doing it for selfish reasons.


1 Kryten42 { 05.10.09 at 10:10 am }

Awww… C’mon… I LOVE the howls and screams of tortured wingnuts!! 😀 😀

I vaguely remember a song from the 80’s (I think) that went:
“More, more more… how do you like it, how do you like it? ”

The only truly sad thing is the the crazies heads don’t actually explode! *sigh* Wonder if we can invent something to put in the water to make that happen? 😉 😆

I hope that Judge has bodyguards.

2 Bryan { 05.10.09 at 1:26 pm }

The judge doesn’t live in the county, and couldn’t care less. He’s a Federal judge, so he has lifetime tenure. The good ol’ boys in Santa Rose county have been living well on an influx of new people, and have just discovered that the new people are different.

We have small rural counties in the state where no one would care, but you can’t go out of your way to promote growth, and then complain that all of the new people are changing things. If people don’t like it, they can move to one of the poor, undeveloped counties with no infrastructure or jobs. No one would care if they spent the entire school day praying, because the schools aren’t very good and they lack a tax base to make them better. I don’t doubt that entire school systems pray for money to at least repair the buildings and buy some new books.