Another Massacre in Texas
Things are getting ugly in Texas. A massacre of free speech is underway.
The subject of prayer in public schools has been source of controversy since the United States Supreme Court rulings of 1962-63 banning compulsory prayer and Bible reading to begin the school day. In recent years prayer at public events like football games and graduation has been the target. This graduation season in Texas, one federal judge moved from a ban on prayer at graduation to outright censorship – just one final lesson in Social Studies before these graduates walk out the door.
The case involved the Medina Valley Independent School District in Texas and, as always, originated with one offended student. Actually the student was not dealing with any real offense, just a potential offense should a public prayer be offered at graduation. Federal Judge Fred Biery ruled that the potentially offended young man would “suffer irreparable harm” should anyone pray at graduation. I wonder if this judge actually believes what he ruled on. Has anyone ever been irreparably harmed by prayer?
But the Judge Biery went even further crossing into the realm of censorship. In his ruling he banned the following words and phrases from being uttered at graduation:
- Join in prayer
- Bow your heads
He went on to order that the terms “opening remarks” and “closing remarks” had to be used on the program.
Wow. Is this really what things have degenerated to in the People’s Republic? We now must pass all public terminology through the federal filter police in order to avoid inflicting irreparable harm on students who single themselves out? Really? This is beyond ugly. It is censorship, it is offensive, it is scary, it is un-American, it is Unconstitutional, it is ridiculous, it is social engineering, it is Big Brother, it is tyranny of the minority, and a few other words I can think of. This should give every American, not just Christians, a chill. What Judge Biery did was freeze out free speech.
Thankfully, reason ruled at the end of the day. Texas Governor Rick Perry along with various other groups rallied to the school’s defense forcing the hand of Judge Biery. The U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals granted an emergency appeal overturning Judge Biery’s ugly ruling and restoring sanity to Medina’s graduation ceremony.
Good news: A student can still pray in Texas and extreme words like “invocation” can still be used on programs.
But where this attack on anything smacking of faith in the public square ends is anyone’s guess…