Greenwood High School has a long-standing tradition, one that used to be part of many school commencement ceremonies. They begin their graduation ceremony with a student-led prayer. In September, the Senior Class met and voted to continue this tradition. Now, one student seeks to overthrow the will of his fellow students.
Eric Workman, the top-ranked student, filed a lawsuit seeking to forbid prayer during the ceremony. The ACLU, an organization that has supported many secular challenges to faith in public life, believes that the student has a strong case. They should; the ACLU has helped bully and intimidate school systems for decades into backing down when the vocal minority defies the will of the majority.
Engel V Vitale was the first case that addressed this issue. In 1962, the Court decided that public officials cannot compel prayer as part of public ceremonies. The majority, led by Hugo Black, used the mythical concept of the ‘wall of separation’ to justify this decision. In his well-founded and scholarly argument, Justice Potter’s minority opinion clearly illustrated the errors of the Court’s thinking on issues of Establishment and criticizing the loose constructionist interpretations of the majority. Nonetheless, the precedent had been set, and the secularists and the ACLU used this case to further advance their agenda.
In 1985, the Wallace V Jaffee decision forbade a ‘moment of silence’ for prayer and reflection. Why? Because civil authority was requiring people to be reflective, meditative, prayerful, or just quiet for a minute? Well, yes.
Lee V Weisman in 1992 ended the tradition of clergy-led prayers or benedictions at high school graduations. The Court continued to expand the flawed interpretation of the Establishment Clause as a wall of separation, and not as a protection against a state-sponsored denomination. This case would serve as the springboard for the next ‘logical’ step for the ACLU and the Secular agenda. Eight years later, the Santa FE ISD V Doe would extend this practice to forbidding student-led prayer at high school football games.
The campaign against the desire for the majority of Americans to follow a long-standing tradition in this country to gather and publicly thank God for the blessing He has bestowed upon us as a nation and as individual communities has been stripped from us by a minority. So much for the democratic principles the Left and the ACLU claims it it defending. For here,we are seeing a culmination of a five decade campaign against prayer and public life.
Students voted to include prayer as a part of their ceremony. Because a minority – perhaps a minority of one – objects, the will of the majority is to be discarded. This is the kind of benevolent tyranny of the current Administration, this blind insistence to ignore the will of the governed in favor of personal prejudices. In a change from precedence, the School Board is preparing to defend their student’s choice in court. The Greenwood School Board president, Joe Farley explained the situation well:
“I think one of the reasons why people go along with the flow is you’re dealing with a student and taxpayers’ money. Then the ACLU gets involved and they’re expecting the school to pay for everything, and you don’t want to put the funds at risk. But there just comes a time when you just have to stand up,”
Of course, the ACLU chapter is amazed that the Board is going to fight. They thought that they have beat down any possible resistance to their secular agenda.
I guess they were wrong.
Pray for the School Board and the people of Greenwood as they prepare for this lengthy fight.
Pray for the graduates who – despite the results of this decision – will not be allowed to pray at their own graduation.