Apparently, prayer is no longer considered a part of our First Amendment right to freedom of speech.
Principal Frank Lay and athletic director Robert Freeman of Pace High School in Florida were charged with criminal contempt for praying over several students during an honorary luncheon for athletic achievements and during another lunch where several employees asked for a blessing over the meal.
After the first prayer, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) charged that both men were endorsing religion in a public school and thus breaking the law.
Rather than fight the ACLU, the high school agreed to a settlement that restricts prayer or religious activities of any kind on school grounds.
The men and their lawyers have stated that they believe the second prayer was legitimate because it did not involve any students, but a judge charged them with contempt of court anyway.
Meanwhile, Lay and Freeman will go to court in September. If convicted, they will face fines and imprisonment. Liberty Counsel founder Matt Staver will argue on their behalf, stating the judge’s ruling violates both men’s constitutional rights.
- Source: OneNewsNow, 08/11/09.