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Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Christians: Second Class Citizens?

"'Put that in your pipe and smoke it, ACLU,' said David Bennett, a preacher at the Dagsboro Church of Christ, when the announcement was made. "

Cheers of joy echoed through Sussex Central High School on Monday night when the Indian River School Board announced they would not pay a "six-figure" settlement to end prayer litigation.

The settlement could have ended litigation brought against the board in 2004 by Mona Dobrich, who complained about the inclusion of prayer at her daughter's graduation, and a second unnamed family, but board member Reggie Helms said he is willing to take a chance in court.

"My freedom of speech as a citizen is too important to compromise or risk its loss," he said. "Our court case, where we have been standing up to the ACLU, provides the opportunity for the federal government to permanently uphold my right not to be treated as a second class citizen, or to have to move to the back of the bus."

I thought that Mr. Helms made a great point for discussion. Are Christians being treated as second class citizens when it comes to their public expression of religion?

Crossposted with Stop the ACLU.

Thoughtful Readers Speak:
I <3 the Christian persecution complex.

You're being treated exactly like everybody else. Nobody gets to lead a prayer at a public, government funded function. This has nothing to do with freedom of speech or religions expression. If a Muslim tried to lead a prayer to Allah you'd be angry. So would I. What you're asking for is special treatment.
You mean like the Presidential Inauguration, the opening of each house of Congress everyday, the opening of the Supreme Court? Are those the government functions you're referring to?

In fact, Muslims have lead prayers in many State Houses including Indiana's (where the State courts just decided to refuse prayers that include "in Jesus' name").

While I'm not Muslim, if the community (be what it may) decides to let Muslim's pray--that's fine. I would hope their fair-minded approach would also permit me to pay in Jesus' name.
There should be no prayers allowed at those functions. But yes - if one group is allowed to pray then we have to allow every single other group that wants to pray do so. This includes Satanists, Scientologists, and Flying Spaghetti Monsterists.
"one group is allowed to pray then we have to allow every single other group that wants to pray do so"

according to the constitution, congress can't legislate who prays where and to whom.

However, if the people of the community decide they want someone to pray somewhere to a certain figure, then they should be allowed to (even if they decide, through voting directly or their representatives, the fringe groups).
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