Find out more →

Get unlimited access. Become a digital member!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

East Poinsett schools end pre-game prayer after protest

Posted By on Thu, Jan 10, 2013 at 6:55 AM

eastp.jpg
The Jonesboro Sun, behind a solid pay wall sorry to say, reports that the East Poinsett School District in Lepanto has finally acknowledged, grudgingly, the concept of separation of church and state.

It is going to stop pre-game loudspeaker prayers because of a letter fron the Freedom From Religion Foundation, which said a resident had complained about football game prayers.

The Sun leads with the unhappiness of the pastor of First Baptist in Lepanto, Anthony Langley.

The Foundation reminded the Arkansas school district of ample Supreme Court guidance on the issue, dating back 50 years. At a school-sponsored event, you can't cure the improper practice of forcing one form of religion on an audience merely by using a student or outsider to do the job.

Superintendent Mickey Pierce, a former coach and principal, told the Sun:

“We spoke to our attorney, and he said we didn’t have a leg to stand on.”

Uh, yup. And what do you bet Lepanto wasn't the last holdout of public school football PA praying in Arkansas?

Pierce's honesty on the one hand gave way to something less flattering, sorry to say.

“As religious as people are, people are infuriated,” Pierce told the Sun.

In Lepanto, of course, religion means Baptist. Or maybe Church of Christ. Many religious people, as well as non-religious, might be equally furious at being subjected to being forcefed religion as recited by someone of a different point of view.

The letter from the Freedom From Religion Foundation said:

“Public high school events must be secular to protect the freedom of conscience of all students. East Poinsett County School District must take immediate action to ensure that prayers are not part of any school-sponsored events,” Elliott wrote. “These religious messages delivered and displayed at football games constitute an unconstitutional government endorsement of religion.”

Baptist pastor Langley unwittingly revealed what is so wrong and exclusionary about publicly financed and organized prayer practices in defending them:

“It will pull the community of Christians together to pray.”

And those in the community who are not Christians, or perhaps merely hew to the Biblical admonition of doing praying in private?

Langley said — I'm sure he believed defiantly — that the ban would not stop him from praying alone in the stands before a game.

Of course not. Nobody has ever tried to stop personal prayer. As many have said, there will always be prayer in school as long as calculus exists.

Tags: , , ,

Comments (26)

Showing 1-26 of 26

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-26 of 26

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • Apple CEO Tim Cook is gay

    Apple CEO Tim Cook has announced that he is gay. We still live in a world where this will matter to some people.
    • Oct 30, 2014
  • UA's Arkansas Poll shows broad Republican sweep at polls

    The University of Arkansas's Arkansas Poll was released early today and it showed broad Republican preferences among likely voters in major election contests, including Tom Cotton over Mark Pryor for Senate, Asa Hutchinson over Mike Ross for governor and generic Republican preferences in congressional races.
    • Oct 30, 2014
  • More »

Most Shared

  • Koch mailer: We know who you are, we know if you vote

    Still more complaints rolling in — including from Republicans — about the mail campaign of the Koch-brothers-funded Americans for Prosperity to scare people into voting.
  • Pat Hays' NRA membership riles Republicans

    Democratic 2nd District Congress candidate Pat Hays is causing conniption fits among Republicans because a new TV ad shows him with his guns and mentions his long-time membership in the National Rifle Association.
  • Talk is cheap; state government isn't: Preparing for the new GOP order

    The state looks at rising prison and school costs in a world where the theme of Republican political campaigns is reducing government and cutting taxes. Does anybody in that party know arithmetic?
  • Live Review: Nahko and Medicine for the People at Rev Room

    Thursday night, Portland, Oregon’s Nahko and Medicine for the People brought their “musical medicine” to Little Rock’s Revolution Music Room, a fitting venue for the socially-conscious music collective. Their uplifting medley of folk, urban and world music, as well as hypnotizing videos featuring their music have enchanted activist-minded music fans across the world in the relatively short time they have been creating music together.
  • What about the Arkansas ballot issues?

    To give the legislature more power, the people less, a wetter state, longer term limits and a bump in the minimum wage.

Most Viewed

  • UA's Arkansas Poll shows broad Republican sweep at polls

    The University of Arkansas's Arkansas Poll was released early today and it showed broad Republican preferences among likely voters in major election contests, including Tom Cotton over Mark Pryor for Senate, Asa Hutchinson over Mike Ross for governor and generic Republican preferences in congressional races.

Most Recent Comments

Blogroll

 

© 2014 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation