Old news: Judge orders school district to apologize to agnostics

I was off blogging for a while and not really in the mood to keep up with what others found to write about, either. If you know of anything that’s gone on in the past few months that you think I should be aware of, or might interest me in general, add a link to the comments and I’ll check it out.

When I did feel like poking around for potential blog fodder (which wasn’t often, admittedly), I saved links in a draft post. That’s where this story was. From March 20th via the Christian Post:

The situation began in May of last year, when Americans United for Separation of Church and State filed a suit against Medina Valley on behalf of the Schultz family who took issue with various religious activities at a high school Schultz’s two sons attended. These included student-led prayers and other alleged promotions of Christianity.

Judge Biery ruled in favor of the Schultz family. But Texas Governor Rick Perry denounced the decision and State Attorney General Greg Abbot filed an appeal on behalf of Medina Valley.

The ruling was soon overturned by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals and the school was allowed to continue with its religious habits. Just in time for student graduation prayers, too.

“We are not persuaded that plaintiffs have shown that they are substantially likely to prevail on the merits, particularly on the issue that the individual prayers or other remarks to be given by students at graduation are, in fact, school sponsored,” wrote the appeals court.

In protest, the Schultz family refused to attend.

The legal battles continued, however, with Medina Valley and the Schultz family reaching a settlement in February. The agreement stated that faculty and staff could not be involved in prayers or other promotions of Christianity, yet at the same they could wear religious jewelry and student remarks at graduation could include prayers.

That’s fair. The school can no longer promote a religion but will not curtail the religious expression of individual students. That is how it should be and that’s how it always should have been. That would have saved the Shultz family and the district and the state so much money. Unfortunate it took lawsuits and publicity to get to this point, but that does seem to be the way these things roll. The obvious answer is rarely obvious to those used to being immersed in a faith. Saskatoon is seeing that now with this whole Solo thing.

Letters from eight people commenting on the prayer were included in the agenda for Monday’s city council meeting.

Clark Bymoen of Saskatoon was among those saying they support Donauer.

“I would encourage councillor Donauer and his worship the mayor to let Mr. Solo take his concerns to Human Rights if he wishes. Christians have rights, too.”

Shirley Young from Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, also urged council to stick up for prayer.

“Soon we will have to hide in caves or have 666 printed on our foreheads,” she wrote.

Way to sound sane, Shirley. Taking it to extremes. Heaven forbid people don’t pray out loud before civic dinners. It’s the end of the world as we know it…

Christianity and all its trappings became the default setting for communities because for the longest time the church was the center of the community. That can’t be said anymore. Now communities have grown and changed and made more room for other cultures and viewpoints and experiences. Christianity can’t be considered the default position anymore. It doesn’t matter how much people might still want it to be, how many Christians might be in the audience. The real default has to be secularism. That truly is the only way to keep things fair and inoffensive. Intelligent Christians should be willing to accept that. It’s not denying the right for Christians to be Christian. Be Christian. Go to church. Pray with your family and friends. Just please stop assuming everybody in the entire universe wants to do things your way or should. I know that’s hard, but try. Quit hogging. Make room at the table for everyone else, okay?

Advertisements

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: