By Scott Tibbs, May 7, 2010
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances. -- The First Amendment
"Judge" Sarah Barker ruled that a Greenwood high school had violated the Constitution because it allowed students to choose to pray at their graduation.
Think about that for a minute. The school is in violation of the law because it allowed students to pray. This flies directly in the face of the First Amendment's clear prohibition against laws that prohibit the free exercise of religion.
This is shameful. We're not talking about a prayer that would be officially endorsed by the school district, which is a government entity. If it were, I would agree with the judge and support banning the prayer. This was approved b the students and would be led by students. This was in no way an action of government "respecting an establishment of religion."
The First Amendment has been perverted. It was never intended to infringe on the rights of individuals to pray or engage in religious speech. There is nothing in the literal, word-for-word text of the First Amendment that makes it illegal for a unit of government to simply allow students to pray at their own graduation ceremony. As little as 50 years ago, it would have been unthinkable for a "judge" to command a school to prevent students from praying publicly.
I think the students should engage in civil disobedience. They should agree on a time where they will stand and either silently bow their heads or cite a short memorized prayer. Tell the "judge" that she can take her ruling and her precedent and shove it. Dare the authorities to arrest them. In Acts 5:29, the Apostle Peter told the Pharisees that "we ought to obey God rather than men" when the Apostles were ordered not to preach Jesus Christ. The students would do well to follow that example.