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Published:August 15th, 2009 13:02 EST
Principal Facing Jail Over School Prayer

Principal Facing Jail Over School Prayer

By Robert Paul Reyes


"Students, teachers and local pastors are protesting over a court case involving a northern Florida school principal and an athletic director who are facing criminal charges and up to six months in jail over their offer of a mealtime prayer.

There have been yard signs, T-shirts and a mass student protest during graduation ceremonies this spring on behalf of Pace High School Principal Frank Lay and school athletic director Robert Freeman, who will go on trial Sept. 17 at a federal district court in Pensacola for breaching the conditions of a lawsuit settlement reached last year with the American Civil Liberties Union.

Evangelicals are outraged that the principal and the athletic director are facing criminal charges over their offer of a mealtime prayer. But it`s nothing short of emotional abuse to subject atheist and non-Christian students to a Christian prayer. There should be a harsh penalty for any school official who disregards the separation of church and state.

These same Christians who are up in arms because school officials are facing jail time over a Christian prayer would be furious if a teacher lead a prayer to Mother Earth.

In January the school district settled out of court with the ACLU, agreeing to a provision to bar all school employees from reciting any prayers during school-sponsored events. The settlement was the culmination of several complaints from students and parents about school employees praying in the name of Christ.

Some evangelicals think they are above the law, they conveniently overlook the many Biblical admonitions to obey the laws of men. Regardless of the outcome of the legal proceedings, the school district should immediately fire the transgressors for disobeying school district policy.

Evangelicals should face the reality that this ain`t the 50`s, and the rotting corpse of prayer in schools ain`t gonna be revived.

The America of the new millennium is a multi-cultural and pluralistic democracy where we worship many gods, and some of us no gods. The principal and the athletic director should be given the maximum penalty; subjecting atheist, Muslim, and Jewish students to a Christian prayer is a serious crime.