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Crowd sings “How Great Thou Art” after high school band banned

Crowd sings “How Great Thou Art” after high school band banned

“A lone voice began to sing the forbidden song”

The progressive war on faith isn’t limited to the condemnation of bakers who stand for their religious principles; indeed, that’s a relatively new development.  Before bakers, high schools were (and still are) the target of these attacks on faith in America.  From Texas cheerleaders banned from using Bible verses on their banners to schools banning Christian clubs to schools banning religious Christmas music at “winter”—or sometimes “holiday”—concerts, we repeatedly see this war on faith play out across the nation.

One such incident occurred in Brandon, Mississippi, where the high school band was benched and unable to play their half-time show for a Friday night football game because it had been banned from playing the hymn, “How Great Thou Art.”

Todd Starnes reports:

There was no halftime show under the Friday night lights at Mississippi’s Brandon High School — the marching band had been benched.

The band was ordered off the field because the Christian hymn “How Great Thou Art” was a part of their halftime show — in violation of a federal court order.

“The Rankin County School Board and District Office are very saddened students will not be able to perform their halftime show they have worked so hard on this summer,” the district wrote in a statement to the Clarion Ledger newspaper.

In 2013 a student sued the district over a series of Christian meetings that had been held on school property, the newspaper reported. The district later settled the lawsuit and acknowledged they had violated the student’s First Amendment rights.

In July, U.S. District Court Judge Carlton Reeves ruled the district had violated the agreement after a Christian minister delivered a prayer at an awards ceremony.

Judge Reeves, who was appointed to the bench by President Obama, came down hard on the school district — ordering them to pay thousands of dollars in fines. He also warned the district that future violations would cost them $10,000.

“Defendants are permanently enjoined from including prayer, religious sermons or activities in any school sponsored event including but not limited to assemblies, graduations, award ceremonies, athletic events and any other school event,” the order reads.

Note that the banned hymn would be an instrumental rendition of the song, no “offensive” lyrics included, but the band was still not allowed to perform their half-time show.

This looked like a win for the progressive left.  Until . . .

Word about the band getting benched spread across the town quicker than kudzu. I must have received emails and Facebook messages from nearly the entire state – from Desoto County to Yazoo City.

Something must be done to right this wrong, people said. A message had to be sent to the likes of Judge Reeves. Locals  gathered in coffee shops and garages to devise their plan.

And what they did — would become known as the musical shot heard around the world.

During halftime of Friday night’s game – a lone voice began to sing the forbidden song.

“Then sings my soul, my Savior God to Thee,” the singer sang.

Brittany Mann was there and she witnessed the entire moment of defiance.

“We were just sitting there and then one by one people started to stand,” she told me. “At first, it started out as a hum but the sound got louder and louder.”

What followed was amazing and heart-warming:

[Featured image via the Brandon Bulldog Band home page]

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Comments

holdingmynose | August 23, 2015 at 12:18 pm

Will the Federal judge fine the school district for the actions of the people at the game? Will he site each person individually for “contempt of court” for failing to be cowed by his un-Constitutional order?

    Milhouse in reply to holdingmynose. | August 23, 2015 at 9:45 pm

    Why would he do that? The band represents the school; the people don’t. His order was constitutional and correct; the people did not defy it. He never ordered them not to sing, and he wouldn’t, because they are not the government.

      orthohawk in reply to Milhouse. | August 24, 2015 at 10:06 am

      Actually his order was NOT constitutional, not the way it was written. It included a ban on any staff member of the district participating in any religious activity at school. With that verbiage, they are forbidden from praying over their food at lunch, and no judge can prevent them from doing that (1st amendment)

        Milhouse in reply to orthohawk. | August 24, 2015 at 12:45 pm

        Not true. Here is the order; I challenge you to find anything in it preventing a staff member, when acting strictly and clearly in a private capacity, from exercising his own religion as he wishes. I further challenge you to find anything in this order that is not squarely in line with established law.

        The fact is that Rankin County School District has repeatedly, blatantly, and knowingly violated the law, in fact seems to have gone out of its way to spit in the judge’s face and to defy the law, in a way that cannot be allowed to go unpunished. This is not a case of an overbearing judge coming down hard on a well-meaning school board, it’s a school board and staff who are literally on a mission, and that is intolerable in America.

      I am an outsider and I believe that the judge’s order is not constitutional.

      According to the First Amendment everyone has the freedom of religion, not the freedom from religion.

      The banning of any Christian activity in the schools is in fact a violation of the first ammendment rights of all Christians. If atheists do not want to participate then that is their business.

      To prevent a Christian minister from giving an address to the school is also a violation of the first amendment rights of that particular minister be he a Catholic, Baptists or some other type of Christian Minister.

      If Muslims are allowed to set up prayer rooms on school property then under the current judgement those muslims are violating the first amendment rights of all other Christians.

      The judge has a very lopsided view of what it means to have freedom of religion because under the first amendment you cannot prevent Scientology from spreading due to the fact that there is freedom of religion, that is the freedom to practise any religion or no religion at all.

        Milhouse in reply to Aussie. | August 25, 2015 at 3:21 am

        Sorry, Aussie, you’re forgetting the first clause of the first amendment, the one that prohibits the government from adopting any religion as its own. Individuals have the right to the free exercise of their own religion, whatever it happens to be; government agencies, including state schools, are not allowed to have a religion, let alone exercise it. And that means anyone who is acting in an official capacity, speaking for the school rather than for himself, may not say or do anything that endorses a religion.

        The banning of any Christian activity in the schools is in fact a violation of the first ammendment rights of all Christians.

        Students may engage in Christian activity, during their free time, not during class. The school may not organise, endorse, or encourage such activity. The most it may do is accommodate it, by providing it with facilities on the same basis that it does any other extracurricular activities. It may not give Christian activities any preference over those of other religions, or over non-religious activities.

        If atheists do not want to participate then that is their business.

        That’s precisely the problem: non-Christians are not given the choice not to participate. They are either literally forced to sit and be preached at, as at an assembly, or they are pressured to sit and be preached at, as at a football game or awards ceremony.

        To prevent a Christian minister from giving an address to the school is also a violation of the first amendment rights of that particular minister be he a Catholic, Baptists or some other type of Christian Minister.

        That is nonsense. No outside person has a right to give an address to the school. Do you think a Moslem or a Wiccan can just come up to a school and demand the “right” to speak to the assembled about how terrible Xianity is, and how they should all bow down to Allah or to the Great Mother?! What about a communinst? Does he have the right to speak to a captive audience about Marx and the triumph of the proletariat?! No, anyone the school invites to speak does so as the school’s representative, and if it’s at a mandatory assembly then the school is coercing students to listen to that person’s message. Even if it’s at a voluntary event, the school is not entitled to put students in a position where they must choose between being preached at and missing the event.

        If Muslims are allowed to set up prayer rooms on school property then under the current judgement those muslims are violating the first amendment rights of all other Christians.

        No, they’re not, because nobody is being forced, or even encouraged, to attend those rooms, while everyone is forced, or at least encouraged, to attend school assemblies.

        Milhouse in reply to Aussie. | August 25, 2015 at 3:24 am

        By the way, the Australian constitution has the same provision, but it only applies to the federal government, not to the states. If the federal government ran schools then they would not be allowed to promote Christianty in any official way.

This is civil disobedience. It works.

We have to learn to use this tool very, very effectively.

    Thumbs up!

    It is imperative for those with faith in God to stand against the culture of nihilism, atheism, LGBTism and the ideology of Marxism, all of which are intertwined, whether people like to think so or not. Marxism must silence the few and coerce the many. Marxism breeds contempt for anything apart from its own self-worship including Christians.

    Christian civil disobedience will most often be second nature and spontaneous, just like the trio of Americans, two military, who saved lives on a Paris train recently.

    “In Man Does Not Live by Reason Alone” Leszek Kolakowski argues that “mankind can never get rid of the need for religious self-identification: who I am, where did I come from, where do I fit in, why am I responsible, what does life mean, how will I face death? Religion is a paramount aspect of human culture. Religious need cannot be ex-communicated from culture by rationalist incantation. Man does not live by reason alone.”

    We are NOT just atoms thrown together haphazardly figuring things out, creating society through trial and error. We are created in God’s image and we are hard-wired with a BIOS that tells us right from wrong-that is until we disable that BIOS with denial and lies and seemingly rational thought.

    “How Great Thou Art” my Lord and my God.

    topcat69 in reply to Ragspierre. | August 23, 2015 at 3:51 pm

    Friends, we have to fight back. And this is the way to do it. We cannot let the left walk all over us; we need to walk all over them and we have the numbers to do it. We are often lacking in the will, but these folks are showing us just how to do it.

    Shameless plug time: Check out my church group’s website at http://www.unshackledaction.com/ and if you have any good ideas on how to fight back, let us know (see ‘contact us’ page).

      Juba Doobai! in reply to topcat69. | August 23, 2015 at 5:43 pm

      Here is the litmus test the response to which is fight back: Is the government asking us to do something that is contrary to the Word? If no, assent; if yes, fight back and reck not the cost.

      The government is asking us to not speak of the things of faith in public. Our response: you will have to kill us to make us stop, and even then our blood will cry out to the heavens. Sue us and bankrupt us; we will speak. The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof; the cattle on a thousand hills are His; they can levy no fine that is greater than He can provide for us. Jail us, and we will cry out to the very heavens. Put us in solitary and we will preach to so great a crowd of witnesses that the very prison walls will come down.

      So, my friend, tc, no need to strategize. Take it as it comes.

        Milhouse in reply to Juba Doobai!. | August 23, 2015 at 10:20 pm

        The government is not asking you not to speak of your faith in public. On the contrary, it protects your right to do so, so long as it’s clear that you speak only for yourself and not for it. But you are asking the government to speak of your faith, and it may not do so. You have no right to demand that it do so, and when you are in a position to speak for it you must refrain from doing so in that capacity.

        Because it’s my government just as much as yours, and I refuse to have you speak of your false faith in my name. Your lord was a false prophet and I reject him utterly, and you may not use the majesty and power of our shared government to endorse your view any more than I may use it to endorse mine.

          You are wrong Milhouse because you do not understand the meaning of the first amendment.

          The real meaning of the first amendment in your country is that the government is not allowed to establish a religion.

          In other words the demand of Muslims to enforce their religious code on America is in breach of the first amendment. On the other hand, if someone says a prayer that is not a breach of the first amendment. Neither is it a breach to speak about one’s religious beliefs, to have a nativity play or sing Christian hymns. You cannot stop the Muslim call to prayer under the first amendment. You cannot stop Hindus and Buddhists from doing their rites either.

          The atheists of your nation have been very busy twisting the meaning of the first amendment to suit their political purposes. This has also happened in my country. Every single person who objects to having religious lessons in a state school is wrong because to complain is breaching the rights of those other citizens. They do not have to participate so they simply should shut up and go about their business.

          Milhouse in reply to Milhouse. | August 25, 2015 at 3:37 am

          Aussie, what do you imagine “establish a religion” means? It means the government adopting any religious position as its own.

          There is no “demand of Muslims to enforce their religious code on America”. The fact that you claim there is such a thing proves that you are deluded. But if someone says a prayer as a government representative, to a captive audience, that is the government endorsing his religion and making it the state’s official position. No, it is not a breach for an individual “to speak about one’s religious beliefs, to have a nativity play or sing Christian hymns”, on his own time and in his own capacity. It is certainly a breach for a government official, such as a teacher or principal, to do these things in his official capacity.

          You cannot stop the Muslim call to prayer under the first amendment. You cannot stop Hindus and Buddhists from doing their rites either.

          You certainly can, if they are acting for the government. But they never try to do so, because they never have the chance. All they ever ask is to be allowed to do these things privately, off in a room by themselves. And if all Xians ever wanted was the same thing, nobody would object. But it’s only Xians who want the official school megaphone, who want to preach their false god to a captive audience who did not come there for that purpose, and who want the school to endorse their message.

          You don’t get that in Aussie state schools. You get RI once a week, and that’s it. You never get the school itself telling you that you should be a Xian. But that is exactly what the school district in this story has been doing, brazenly and for a long time. Thank goodness a judge has finally and forcefully put an end to it.

    Milhouse in reply to Ragspierre. | August 23, 2015 at 10:13 pm

    No, this is not civil disobedience. This is proper obedience. The order was correct, and it was obeyed, and that is good; the constitution forbids the school from endorsing Christianity in any way. The same constitution guaranteed the right of each audience member, speaking for nobody but him or herself, to exercise whichever religion he or she prefers, and those who chose did so. Any anti-Christians in the audience would have been equally free and right to sing an anti-Christian song, without fear of molestation.

      Milhouse, problem solved! You have provided us with the perfect justification and rationalization for abolishing public education and cutting off all of its tentacles-exponentially increasing freedom.

      The overreaching tentacles include the Dept. of Education, the local school boards, the teacher’s unions, etc.
      The same rationale applies for downsizing government to a bare minimum- again, exponentially increasing freedom.

      Such a house cleaning would vastly increase Free Speech and Freedom of Religion. And, then there would be no government intrusion into our children’s lives or their education, intrusion that is totalitarian in its relentless coercion, commanding what is or isn’t OK to say, think, sing, play or pray?

      Imagine the freedom. Without the tyranny of politics-driven public education our children would be free to learn about actual U.S. history instead of Queer history or “White Privilege” or any other identity politics topic, all of which are of zero value.

      Our children could play… on playgrounds, they could pray silently or out loud. They could sing praise to God and no atheist would feel put-upon to listen to “How Great Thou Art.” (Did you know that Christian music is in the airwaves all around you, anyway?)

      Government should be a silent bystander and not a home invader.

      You are for freedom aren’t you, Milhouse?

      While you think about it you can sing that oft sung atheist hymn, “How Great I Really Really AM” without fear of molestation.

        Yes, exactly. There is no more reason why the government should be running schools than why it should be publishing newspapers or running churches. Private schools can teach whatever they like, whether it’s Christianity, US history, Queer theory, or Environmentalism, they can have children pray to Jesus or Satan or Gaia, and it’s nobody else’s business. If the government for some reason feels the need to subsidize education, it can do it the same way it subsidizes groceries or health care — by giving poor people the means to buy it from whichever private providers they choose.

PC is killing us but We the People are starting to stand up and fight back!

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or PROHIBITING THE FREE EXERCISE THEREOF

    Milhouse in reply to DaMav. | August 23, 2015 at 10:25 pm

    Nobody is prohibiting you from freely exercizing your religion, when you are speaking for yourself. But the first part of that sentence, that you did not capitalize, forbids you from doing so when you represent a government entity, including a public school.

      9thDistrictNeighbor in reply to Milhouse. | August 24, 2015 at 9:06 am

      So when children enter a government school, they become mouthpieces for the government? How very 1984.

        This is exactly why faux-Libertarian Milhouse, and other Statist lefties, are so much in support of things like Federal government takeover of the education system: there’s no such thing as a “public school” anymore, they’ve all been turned into “government schools,” and any child attending them is a ward of the government and subject to government restrictions on such things as free speech and freedom of religion, even in extracurricular activities which take place outside of school hours, such as a Friday night football game.

        200 years ago, if someone had mooted the idea that the Federal government could control what songs a kids’ marching band could play during halftime at a kids’ Friday night football game, they would have been laughed at. But here we are.

          Milhouse in reply to Amy in FL. | August 24, 2015 at 10:32 am

          You are a blatant liar, and I demand an immediate apology. You have no basis for calling me a “faux libertarian” or a “statist lefty”, or for your slanderous claim that I support a Federal government takeover of the education system.

          Public schools are government schools. That’s what the term means in the USA, and always has. The English usage has never had any currency here. Any attending them is a ward of the government while doing so; schools are in loco parentis. And of course that includes extracurricular activities run by the school, just as it includes activities run by any other government agency. If a child attends an arts-and-crafts session at the town hall or the public library, is he not in the government’s care? Is the teacher not a government agent, subject to all the rules with which we restrict such agents?

        Nobody has suggested that students at a school are its mouthpieces. Where did you get such an idea? Students at government schools are perfectly free to pray, or to sing religious songs, so long as they are doing so on their own initiative, and in their own capacity. But a school band is a mouthpiece for the school. It represents the school, not its members. That’s why it’s the school band, not a private band. Students can form private bands and sing whatever they like, but the school band speaks for the school, which (as a government agency) may not espouse certain opinions.

First Amendment – Religion and Expression. 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.

INAL, so I’ll ask the lawyers in the crowd.

The district later settled the lawsuit and acknowledged they had violated the student’s First Amendment rights.

What “First Amendment rights” did the school violate? Is there a “freedom from religion” in the 1st Amendment?

    Ragspierre in reply to rinardman. | August 23, 2015 at 1:03 pm

    Nope. Not under my reading.

    HOWEVER, you can cravenly consent to any damn imposition under a settlement, which most school districts mistakenly think is the smart play.

    Generally speaking…fight. Always and hard.

      CloseTheFed in reply to Ragspierre. | August 23, 2015 at 1:25 pm

      One of the problems is Sec. 1983 actions permit attorneys’ fees to the prevailing party.

      Congress really needs to carve this whole religion thing out of the federal courts’ jurisdiction. Like 60 years ago.

        NC Mountain Girl in reply to CloseTheFed. | August 23, 2015 at 1:55 pm

        Absolutely. Most school districts are now terrified that they will be sued over any mention of Christianity and that the costs of such suits will break their budgets, so they conceded to ludicrous demands.

        While most of those demands come from the anti-religious left, occasionally they also come from the fanatics on the religious fringes of Christianity itself. A friend who worked in a rural school district in the upper Midwest told me that Christmas was removed from their schools largely because of a small sect of fundamentalist parents. They hold that since the Bible doesn’t mention what time of year Christ was born and since early Christians didn’t celebrate Christ’s birth, Christmas celebrations are irreligious.

          Juba Doobai! in reply to NC Mountain Girl. | August 23, 2015 at 5:47 pm

          On general principle, shoot the bastards. Judaeo-Christianity is a joyful faith. Anybody who does not celebrate the birth of the Baby born to die for us should be shot on sight cuz if you can’t celebrate the birth, you have no standing to celebrate the death and resurrection. Round them up, give them a chance to repent of their joylessness. If they will not repent, shoot them and let God sort them out.

          rinardman in reply to NC Mountain Girl. | August 23, 2015 at 8:28 pm

          You forgot the sarc tags, Juba.

          I hope.

          Most school districts are now terrified that they will be sued over any mention of Christianity

          There is some truth to that, and it’s unfortunate. But don’t forget that there’s a reason things have come to this: because before these lawsuits started, too many school districts did not merely mention Christianity in a neutral fashion, but openly and officially endorsed and adopted it. I never attended a public school, but I have heard enough stories from those who did, of teacher-led Christian prayer, with non-Christian students forced to choose between participating or setting themselves apart as defying the teacher and the school, and making themselves pariahs. I’ve heard of school choirs singing Christian hymns when representing the school, and, even worse, of non-Christian members forced to sing along. I’ve heard of Christian prayers delivered at official school functions, in the school’s name, and of school officials asking audience members at these functions to participate in such prayers. That is why there are lawsuits, and despite them such practices continue to this day, so they’re clearly still necessary.

          This doesn’t justify the backlash, which has made many school districts afraid even of truly neutral mentions of Christianity, or of any religion, in contexts where no endorsement could be inferred. Students have been prevented from praying, even in contexts where it was clear they were speaking purely for themselves. Religious groups have been denied the same right to meet on school property that has been granted to non-religious groups. The pendulum has swung, in many districts, from endorsement to hostility, and that needs to be corrected. But you must understand that there’s a reason why this has happened, and that without the threat of lawsuits many districts would quickly return to the bad old days.

          Juba, Judaeo-Christianity does not consider that baby’s birth a reason to celebrate. The moment you celebrate his birth, or treat him as in any way special, you’re not longer within the common ground between Judaism and Christianity.

    Milhouse in reply to rinardman. | August 23, 2015 at 10:42 pm

    The school violated the first clause you quoted. By officially holding Christian meetings on its property, and having a minister deliver a Christian prayer in its name, it gave the appearance of endorsing Christianity as the school’s official opinion. If it had merely allowed Christians to use its property for their own meetings, while making it clear that it had nothing to do with them, or if it had thrown open the mike to all comers and the minister had come up and prayed in his own name, all would have been well.

We should seize every opportunity to oppose the progressive fascist with actions such as this. The people attending every sports event should sing religious songs such as this in defiance of the progressive fascists.

    stevewhitemd in reply to [email protected]. | August 23, 2015 at 3:00 pm

    His race is immaterial. His judicial philosophy and beliefs are what matters.

    You’re a moby, right? Just here so that progressives can label us all as racists?

    Get thee away.

      snopercod in reply to stevewhitemd. | August 23, 2015 at 3:25 pm

      His race is immaterial

      Just like in Ferguson and Baltimore, right?

        Juba Doobai! in reply to snopercod. | August 23, 2015 at 5:58 pm

        I agree with SteveWhiteMD, to an extent, but you also have a point. Here is the point: the color of the judge’s skip can result in people giving his anti-Christian bigotry a pass (the same way the riots in Baltimore and Ferguson are spoken of in measured tones without reference to race because nobody wants to be called racist, doncherknow!) when he may be handing down judgments that are rooted in allegiance to another ideology—Marxism, Islamism, atheism, agnosticism, obamaism, or some other pernicious nonsense.

        So, we use the man’s race as a dot to be connected to who appointed him and why. We find it is Obama who has a record of appoint atheist, anti-Christian, Islamic bigots to positions of power in order to suppress Judaeo-Christianity in this country, even as he is importing hosts of murderous Muslims.

        So, on the one hand SteveWhiteMD, don’t rush to daub the guy with the bigot brush for pointing out color. Let’s not do that. Let’s talk openly about race and who does what and gets away with it because of race.

          stevewhitemd in reply to Juba Doobai!. | August 23, 2015 at 6:36 pm

          No, let’s not.

          Paul whatever-his-face points to the judge’s race as some sort of evidence that it is his race that made this ruling.

          Horse-hockey.

          The judge’s race does not matter. His beliefs and ideology matter. Now he may have just been enforcing a consent, and he may legitimately believe that a high school band playing a piece of religious music is tantamount to illegal furthering of religion, but may also be a social justice warrior wearing a robe.

          But his race is irrelevant, and I won’t play the race game.

A clash of civilizations. The Left is competing to establish its standards of faith, religion/morality, and traditions. The process obviously requires marginalization and even evisceration of its competitors.

The death of freedom by a million cuts.

DINORightMarie | August 23, 2015 at 1:26 pm

Why in the WORLD did the school district settle?!

This banning of music and speech is UNCONSTITUTIONAL and they would have been overturned on appeal……wouldn’t they?!

That is the precarious place we live in, in the once-free USA.

    jayjerome66 in reply to DINORightMarie. | August 23, 2015 at 3:12 pm

    The banning of religious content like sponsored prayer and bible reading in public school IS unconstitutional, and was found to be in violation of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment in 3 sequential Supreme court decisions: Engel v. Vitale, 370 U.S. 421 (1962); Reaffirmed in Murray v. Curlett(1963); and again in the same year in Abington Township School District v. Schempp. The decisions were all 8 to 1.

    There’s no difference between reading prayers or singing them or playing them musically. In a public school environment it’s unconstitutional.

      jayjerome66 in reply to jayjerome66. | August 23, 2015 at 11:13 pm

      Correction: The banning of religious content like sponsored prayer and bible reading in public school IS constitutional ….

    Milhouse in reply to DINORightMarie. | August 24, 2015 at 5:00 pm

    It’s very easy wto understand why the district settled: because there was simply no way to defend what they had done. They had brazenly defied the law, and they knew it. No lawyer would take their case.

    They had been holding mandatory Xian assemblies, at which Xian clergymen had exhorted students to accept Jesus. Students who tried to leave were told by the principal to stay and listen. Seriously, how do you defend something like that?

    Then, having consented not to break the law again, they had the Gideons come to the school to distribute bibles, with all teachers instructed by the principal to bring their classes to the lobby to receive this propaganda. Again, how can any lawyer defend that?

Push-back is no so hard.

It’s no more difficult than telling someone yapping in a movie theater to keep it down. But the stakes here are your ability to even go to a movie theater.

I am taken aback by the comments above. Public schools are prohibited feom teaching religion (not ABOUT religion, but teaching the religion in a form that advocates it or proselytizes) and for creating group practice of religion at school functions. This is how it should be, and true conservatives should be very proud that our judicial system is upholding the Constitutional protection of all students’ and citizens’ First Amendment rights.

This is a song that praises a deity of one particular religion. Such a song, by its nature, can be exclusionary to students who are equal citizens with equal rights in the district. If the star quarterback was atheist or Buddhist or Jewish or Sikh, would it be appropriate to make him feel like an oustider as the crowd sings praises for Jesus and a divinity in which he doesn’t believe–the same crowd that is there cheering him while he triumphs on the field? Or what if one of the band performers was religiously opposed to playing it? Should that band member be forced to take an active stance in public at 14 years old simply because everyone else supposedly wants to hear a religious song? Even if performance of the song was not unconstitutional, it would still be wrong.

This is not a song that is of any American historical significance. It is of entirely European origin. So there is no argument that it is important to our heritage like “Battle Hymn of the Republic,” which, while praising sacrifice by Jesus, is part of to our national identity.

A wise religious Christian wrote in my local newspaper a couple Decembers ago that if parents want their children to learn Christmas songs and have a chance to celebrate Christmas, he hopes they take the kids to church instead of expecting such lessons from the public school. He invited everyone to his church or told them to find their own church, where he said they could learn correctly. But, he said, leave the schools to teach what they’re supposed to teach, not religion.

Finally, Paul Aberge’s comment about the judge’s race is invidious. It is despicable. The judge’s race is irrelevant. I do not understand why such comments have become somewhat frequent here at Legal Insurrection. The rest of us readers need to take a more aggresive stand against them. None of us should care what color skin the judge has or anything else about the judge. Stop causing hate. It’s nasty and only speaks to your small minded divisiveness. People who cause racial division–Sharpton, the president, Holder, commenters like you–are very detrimental to our country.

    Ragspierre in reply to WTell. | August 23, 2015 at 2:05 pm

    I agree with your last paragraph.

    Also, it isn’t apparent that the judge had any really active role in this. He could have just been saying grace (so to speak) over a consent decree the sides had come to, which is none of his doing.

    stevewhitemd in reply to WTell. | August 23, 2015 at 3:07 pm

    First, the race comment indeed is irrelevant. The person who wrote that is a moby.

    Second, school districts indeed cannot sponsor religion, religious activities, etc. If what the school did in 2013 crossed the line, then it can’t do that again. Notice the article doesn’t tell us what happened then.

    However (here it comes): the performance of an instrumental version of an old religious hymn during the halftime show doesn’t necessarily cross a line. It WOULD cross the line if it was meant to elevate one religion above another. It would NOT cross the line if it was part of a celebration of heritage, or of different beliefs, etc. There is no doubt that the band could have performed “If I Were a Rich Man” from Fiddler on the Roof without crossing the line.

    Your claim that the hymn is culturally insignificant is your opinion — others would disagree. You are introducing a content judgement, and that isn’t permitted by the same sorts of court orders that you appear to favor.

    The hymn doesn’t cross the line unless the context, the content, makes it religious. It’s not clear here that it was. The music might have been appropriately challenging (from a technical, musical standpoint) for the band. It might have cultural significance (permissible). It just might something that the band had fun playing and wanted to share (also permissible).

    Kids shouldn’t be taught Christmas carols in school as part of any religious indoctrination. But they also shouldn’t be taught that the carols are evil.

      jayjerome66 in reply to stevewhitemd. | August 23, 2015 at 3:18 pm

      “The hymn doesn’t cross the line unless the context, the content, makes it religious.”

      I don’t agree.

      That’s like saying if you just play the music of Jingle Bells, it’s not a Christmas song. Or if you just play the music to the Star Spangled Banner, it’s not a patriotic nationalistic song.

        MikeInCA in reply to jayjerome66. | August 23, 2015 at 11:17 pm

        Actually, Jingle Bells is a Thanksgiving song.

        And yes, I’m being pedantic.

        Milhouse in reply to jayjerome66. | August 23, 2015 at 11:35 pm

        Um, Jingle Bells, with or without the words, is not a Christmas song. It’s a Thanksgiving song. It’s also completely secular, so nobody should have any religious objection to singing it.

        And the music of To Anacreon in Heaven is not patriotic, nationalistic, or even American!

      Milhouse in reply to stevewhitemd. | August 23, 2015 at 11:29 pm

      The music might have been appropriately challenging (from a technical, musical standpoint) for the band. It might have cultural significance (permissible). It just might something that the band had fun playing and wanted to share (also permissible).

      No matter how challenging, culturally significant, or fun, an official school band, playing at an official school function, is speaking for the government. If you doubt this, consider the opposite case: Suppose the band had played a Moslem hymn denouncing Christianity as a fraud, and proclaiming the sacred duty of waging jihad and destroying it; would you accept the excuse that “it’s just a song”, or that it’s musically challenging, or fun? Would you think it acceptable for the band’s teacher to have taught it this song in the first place?

    Insufficiently Sensitive in reply to WTell. | August 23, 2015 at 4:30 pm

    If the star quarterback was atheist or Buddhist or Jewish or Sikh, would it be appropriate to make him feel like an oustider as the crowd sings praises for Jesus

    If the star quarterback was an honest liberal, and supported diversity of opinion and religion, is it appropriate to make him feel like an outsider by force-feeding him new mandated opinions – well, religions – such as global warming and the demands of LGBT activists?

    A liberal Buddhist quarterback would take off his hat in respect to those who sang praises Christian belief. They’re humans like him, they are not demanding that he renounce his religion to take up theirs, as the global warmists and LGBT activists do.

    The warmists and LGBT activists are far from being liberals, they’re totalitarians-in-waiting.

      Would a Christain quarterback take off his hat in respect in a stadium in Dearborn Michigan (The city’s population includes 40,000 to 50,000 Muslims, and in many public schools they are a significent majority) if the band was playing Arabic music and the opposing players were prostate on the field shouting “Praise Be To Allah?”

        By and large, Americans are respectful of Islam . . . in the Middle East where it is prevalent and often the law that we are so. In the Middle East, Americans hear the call to prayer blasted over loud speakers several times a day, but it’s not something we would complain about or sue over (of course that would get us nowhere there, but you may take my point?). They have their proud culture and religious traditions, and we have ours. Ours are under siege in our own land.

        But that gets back to that contentious question of whether or not America is (as Obama earnestly stated we are not) a Judeo-Christian nation or not. We’re moving away from that, and it’s understandably a problem for many people (myself included).

          Juba Doobai! in reply to Fuzzy Slippers. | August 23, 2015 at 6:02 pm

          You might be respectful of Islam. A lot of Americans like me are not, recognizing it for what it is a nasty gutter religion whose core principle is the slaughter of those who will not accept their insanity.

          I said, very pointedly, that Americans are respectful of Islam when they are in the Middle East: they have no choice. I would imagine that you have no desire to visit the Middle East. Nor do I. But I do expect those who come here to be as respectful of my religion in my country as I would be of their religion in their country.

          Juba Doobai! in reply to Fuzzy Slippers. | August 23, 2015 at 6:04 pm

          One last thing, if I hear the muezzin, the call to prayer in my neighborhood, betcha by golly wow I will sue: noise pollution, anti-Christian bigotry, and any thing else that I can think of.

          9thDistrictNeighbor in reply to Fuzzy Slippers. | August 24, 2015 at 8:58 am

          There was a time when Christian churches were taken to court over ringing churchbells. That changed when large numbers of muslims moved into areas and wanted the call to prayer broadcast over loudspeakers. Trouble is, the churches were cowed into not ranging the churchbells, so for muslims to compare the call to prayer to ringing churchbells (viz. Hamtramck, Michigan) is pretty disingenuous.

          It is absolutely shocking to me that Fuzzy Slippers, a LI writer, seems to be implying that this is her country but it is not also and equally the country of an American citizen Muslim or American citizen of any religion. There is no religious test in this country at all.

          She wrote,
          “Americans are respectful of Islam when they are in the Middle East: they have no choice. I would imagine that you have no desire to visit the Middle East. Nor do I. But I do expect those who come here to be as respectful of my religion in my country as I would be of their religion in their country.”

          Why in the world would she think that the others have “come here” and are not OF HERE? This isn’t about illegal immigration or about fear of terrorism. This can’t even be couched in terms of reacting to intolerance in the Middle East. Americans are Americans and unless we know they have ill intentions, we have no reason to treat them otherwise.

          Fuzzy Slippers is right that non-Muslims in the Middle East are generally respectful, and they have to be. But just as Islam is not the only religion in the Middle East, Fuzzy Slippers’ religion is not the only one in the U.S.

          Her statements stink of xenophobia and downright bigotry. She should talk about ideas, not people. What she wrote is shameful for LI.

    Milhouse in reply to WTell. | August 23, 2015 at 11:38 pm

    true conservatives should be very proud that our judicial system is upholding the Constitutional protection of all students’ and citizens’ First Amendment rights.

    Yes, but we should also be proud that our citizens stood up for their first amendment rights, and sang the song in their own names. Even if we don’t agree with the song’s content at all.

    so why is it ok to get children to dress up as Muslims and have them participate in Ramadam etc. etc.? If Christianity is banned then Islam should be banned as well. The ideology of those who push for the banning of Christianity in public schools is lopsided when they allow things like Muslim prayer rooms and advocate other Muslim practices at the same time.

      Milhouse in reply to Aussie. | August 25, 2015 at 3:49 am

      No public school advocates Moslem practices, nor does any public school have children participate in them, except as an anthropological exercise. If it ever happens, they are immediately sued, just as they are if they do it with Christian practises, and the courts are just as strict about it.

      But there is an important difference between the majority religion and minority ones: public schools don’t have to worry that teaching about a minority religion’s practices will be understood as endorsing that religion. It’s impossible that anyone will draw such a conclusion, because the very idea is absurd; they know that the teachers and school administrators are not themselves members of that religion. But when a school teaches about the majority religion it has to be very careful not to give students the impression that it is endorsing that religion, because it’s easy for students to draw that conclusion. That doesn’t mean it can’t teach about it, just that it has to be more careful than when it teaches about other religions.

      Setting aside facilities for members of a religion to use or not use at their own discretion is certainly not endorsement, and is not a problem, even if it’s the majority religion. No court has ever objected to a school setting aside a room for Christian students to pray during play time or lunch time or after school, if they choose.

So, another example of where a judge knows better, that what the written law says is irrelevant, and ignores that the First Amendment religion restriction is a prohibition regarding Congress, not on other entities. SCOTUS has set many such examples for judges, as it did regarding the ACA law, that the written law means nothing, that judges in fact define a law and its meaning, irrespective of the plain meaning of the wording of a law.

We’ve gone, as a nation, from being ruled by law to a nation being ruled by men. And, that was one of the primary reasons for our Glorious War of Independence, our Revolutionary War of 1775.

A question remaining is whether there will be an event like that of Lexington Green or Concord’s North Bridge or like that of Battle Road going back towards Lexington? If so, what will the result look like? What kind of nation would we have left or would we have a nation at all. Of course, judges, including SCOTUS, could begin issue legal rulings based on the written law, that their political leanings and preferences would not effect legal rulings, plus maybe pigs would fly too

    the First Amendment religion restriction is a prohibition regarding Congress, not on other entities.

    Are you happy saying the same about the freedom of speech, or the right to keep and bear arms, or the right to due process? You’re happy having none of those apply to states, cities, counties, etc (as they indeed didn’t until after the Civil War)?

      Yes, it’s supposedly true that until the 14th Amendment was passed, states could have said, and may well have said, that the Bill of Rights applied only to the federal government; at least so some histories have said. Universally so, don’t know?

      Yet, you are ignoring what the First Amendment is saying, it’s restriction applies to Congress, which creates federal legal statutes. Also, some states had designated religious denominations for their state, which back then was a well accepted practice of some states; I believe Virginia declared that its state denomination was the Episcopalian Church; God only knows what Rhode Island designated!

      So, are you saying that because chicken, ducks, geese, and turkeys can fly, all birds must fly? Or, are there differences? What about between the various amendments, 1 to 27? Does the wording of an amendment make a difference, to you, in meaning or substance?

        Milhouse in reply to Doug Wright. | August 24, 2015 at 3:46 am

        Yet, you are ignoring what the First Amendment is saying, it’s restriction applies to Congress, which creates federal legal statutes.

        So did the rest of the Bill of Rights. But the 14th amendment applies these rights to the states too. So to claim that because the first amendment says “congress” it doesn’t apply to Brandon High School, which is a state creation, you must also claim that the rest of the Bill of Rights doesn’t apply to the states either. Not in 1800, but today. Are you OK with saying that? I doubt it. So long as you insist (as I’m sure you do) that states must comply with the free speech clause, the free exercise clause, and the 2nd, 4th, 5th, and 6th amendments, you can’t get out of it here by claiming that Brandon High School is not “congrefs”.

          What an idiotic conclusion, regarding the Bill of Rights. Get a good night’s sleep and take a two breaths in the morning.

          Milhouse in reply to Milhouse. | August 24, 2015 at 11:11 am

          What exactly are you denying? That the Bill of Rights did not originally apply to the states, or that it does now? You seem to want all of it to apply to the states, even the first amendment, except the establishment clause. Now there is in fact a good argument for that proposition, but you’re not making it. The fact that the first amendment refers to “Congrefs” is not it.

May God bless every singer!

We are a Judeo-Christian country, no matter how much the Left hates that. These songs are part of our heritage and culture. The playing/singing of these songs hurts no one except those who live to be offended.

Sing loud, sing proud!

    Milhouse in reply to MikeInCA. | August 23, 2015 at 11:45 pm

    This song is not part of any Judaeo-Christian heritage or culture. And while we may be a Judaeo-Christian people, our government is expressly forbidden from being a Judaeo-Christian one. Individuals acting in their own capacity are entitled to sing this song in public; people acting in their capacity as representatives of a government entity are not.

      Our government is not prohibited from doing anything but establishing a state religion. Referencing a Christian or Jewish or whatever God is not “banned” by or forbidden, expressly or otherwise, by the Constitution for anyone, including government officials. For goodness’ sake, early presidents and legislators referred to each year as this “year of our Lord” and often in “the year of our Lord Christ.” Try that today, and they’d get you claiming they have no right to say that as a government official or to write in a major document like, oh, I don’t know, the Emancipation Proclamation. Our government officials are still sworn into their government office by placing a hand on the Bible and swearing to God that they will uphold their oaths of office. That’s not a mistake or an oversight.

      The founders did not ban religion from government and they never acted as if there was such a ban. That is very very new in our nation’s relatively short history. There is a difference between saying “in the year of our Lord Christ” and “you will now pray in this way, to this God, and if you don’t, we’ll burn you at the stake or lop off your head” (as was done during the Reformation . . . and is being done now by ISIS).

      We are not, ever, guaranteed freedom from religion, only freedom of religion, and that does translate to schools and government . . . even if courts are not currently ruling that way often enough.

        snopercod in reply to Fuzzy Slippers. | August 24, 2015 at 7:49 am

        Our government is not prohibited from doing anything but establishing a state religion.

        While you are correct that the Constitution forbids the government from establishing a state religion, the rest of that sentence is just wrong. The federal government can’t do anything it wants; It’s powers are limited and specifically enumerated. I’m sure you know that.

          It seems you need a lesson about what is meant by a State religion because it is not what you and Milhouse are claiming.

          An example of a State religion is Islam. Under Islam no other religion is allowed. In Saudi Arabia for example Bibles are banned.

          An ancient example of a State religion is that which existed in Rome where people had to make sacrifices to the Emperor who was considered to be a god.

          Yet another example of the same thing but in modern times is that of pre-second world war Japan where the Emperor was worshipped as though he was a god. Ditto for China.

          Under the first Amendment in your country, the State may not establish a religion, that is a Christian sect such as the Episcopalians, the Catholics, the Baptists, the Jews, the Hindus, the Buddhists or Muslims as the RELIGION OF THE STATE. In other words they are prohibited from stating that everyone must follow the same religion.

          The founding fathers, who came from England were well aware of what it is like to have a Christian sect being the established religion of the State. People were killed because they were Catholic, then they were killed because they were Protestant and so on it went. Even today England has a relgion of State and that is the Anglican Church.

          Maybe you need to do some research on the subject.

          Milhouse in reply to snopercod. | August 25, 2015 at 3:55 am

          Aussie, you have no idea what you’re talking about. The establishment clause and the free exercise clause are not the same. The establishment of a state religion does not have to include any sort of coercion. England has complete freedom of religion, but it has an established church. Nobody has to belong to that church, nobody has to follow it, nobody has to set foot in its buildings or give a penny to its clergy, but it is the country’s official religion, and that is what the constitution forbids. The government may not adopt any religious doctrine as its own, it may not endorse or encourage any religious doctrine, because it must be equally the government of all its people, including those who don’t subscribe to that doctrine.

        You contradict yourself. A Judaeo-Christian government is one that has Judaeo-Christianity as its religion. That’s what the words mean. And that is precisely what the establishment clause forbids.

        Nobody suggests that the government may not refer to various religions in neutral ways that do not give the appearance of endorsing them. But it may not adopt any of them as its own, or any of their doctrines.

        There is a difference between saying “in the year of our Lord Christ” and “you will now pray in this way, to this God, and if you don’t, we’ll burn you at the stake or lop off your head”

        There certainly is a difference, but the first amendment prohibits both. The establishment clause and the free exercise clause are separate clauses. The free exercise clause prohibits coerced prayer; the establishment clause prohibits the government from declaring that Jesus is its lord. He isn’t and must never be.

Richard Aubrey | August 24, 2015 at 7:26 am

That started my day right. Could have used more bass/baritone, though.
In order to avoid being hammered by the PC pests, the high school where I used to live always had a non-Christmas song in their Christmas concert. One year, it was “Kung Fu Fighting”, to make the whole thing so obvious and absurd.
There was a case in Utah some years ago where a Jewish girl joined the choir in a high school and pretended to be shocked that they were singing Christmas songs. Surprised her, I can tell you. That one went to the Supremes.
Problem is, lots of baroque and classical music is religious in its foundation. See Bach. Now what?

The thing that gets me the most is that Judge Reeves (Mr Liberal) took his oath of office and guess what he placed his left hand on, YES, the Holy Bible!! So why can’t these kids play How Great Thou Art?? I guess it’s fair he can place his hand on the Bible to be sworn in but he did this as a show because he does not know what’s on the inside of it. If he had read the Bible he would have not ruled like he did!!

    Milhouse in reply to cstuartsr. | August 24, 2015 at 10:54 am

    If he swore on a bible, he did so in his private capacity, speaking only for himself. But what makes you think he did so in the first place? There is certainly no law requiring him to do so, and there can’t be. The constitution strictly and expressly prohibits any such requirement.

    He never said these kids couldn’t form their own band and play whatever they liked. But when acting as the school band they are not free to express opinions that the school is not free to hold.

    Finally, how should reading the bible, or knowing what it contains, affect his ruling? Judges are expressly forbidden from basing their rulings on anything but the law. Any judge who rules based on what the bible says is violating his oath and needs to be impeached immediately.

Here is a link to an organization that may be able to help you.

http://www.wallbuilders.com/default.asp

Look, people, remember where you are. THIS IS NOT A CHRISTIAN BLOG.

    9thDistrictNeighbor in reply to Milhouse. | August 24, 2015 at 5:50 pm

    Oh Milhouse, your high dudgeon is wearying. Please don’t make it worse by yelling.

      It seems that many Xians need the reminder. They speak as if this is a Xian site, as if they are at home here rather than guests of someone who rejects your false saviour. Have some respect for his beliefs, if not mine and all the other non-Xians here, by toning down your triumphalism.

Richard Aubrey | August 24, 2015 at 11:53 am

Yielding to the prospect of unsupportable legal fees is not the same as acceding to a principle.
Is this a war against Christianity?
Well, if the SJW were really concerned about gays, they wouldn’t be going after Chik Fil A. They’d be boycotting every Muslim-owned business in the country. They’d be having their puppet SSM couples trying to get Muslim bakers, florists, photographers to do their Big Day/make a point. An ACLU guy told me that a public HS team which prayed before a game should be stopped. The coach isn’t supposed to condone…. Couple of these guys were pretty hard cases. I’d coached them when they were younger.
But then, Mr. ACLU said how proud he was they’d gotten a Muslim prayer room in a local public high school.
So, no, don’t take these clowns at their word.

    Milhouse in reply to Richard Aubrey. | August 24, 2015 at 2:10 pm

    An ACLU guy told me that a public HS team which prayed before a game should be stopped. The coach isn’t supposed to condone…. Couple of these guys were pretty hard cases. I’d coached them when they were younger.

    It depends on whether they’re praying entirely on their own initiative, or the coach has encouraged it. The coach doesn’t have to prevent private prayer by students, so long as it’s clear that it is private, and they’re not praying as representatives of the school. But it’s black letter law that the coach may not say or do anything that implies the school wants them to pray.

    But then, Mr. ACLU said how proud he was they’d gotten a Muslim prayer room in a local public high school.

    What’s your problem with this? The school may not and does not tell anyone to pray there; it merely makes the facility available for those who choose, entirely of their own accord, to use it. Xian students generally have no need for such a room, since they can just as easily and conveniently pray anywhere; but if they request one the school ought to do its best to accommodate them on the same terms.

    Remember that there is a big difference between the majority religion and minority ones. When a school accommodates minority religions, nobody is going to conclude that it has adopted those religions or is promoting them. No student who is not interested in those religions is going to feel pressured to participate in them. The thought is impossible. But it’s very easy for a student to conclude that the school is promoting and encouraging the majority religion, especially in a district such as this one, where the school has a long and ugly history of repeatedly doing just that. Therefore the school must take care not to do anything that gives such an impression.

Good for the folks. To hell with the commie cowards that tried to shut the band down.

    Milhouse in reply to John. | August 24, 2015 at 2:14 pm

    It’s the criminal school board that shut the band down in order to create sympathy for its brazen mission to Christianize its students. Remember, this board is a repeat offender, and is therefore not entitled to the benefit of any doubt. Its goal is to bring its students to Jesus, and in America that is simply not tolerable.

Richard Aubrey | August 24, 2015 at 6:00 pm

Milhouse.
My problem with the Muslim prayer room is the double standard. Among other things, I talked to the coach who said he leaves the room before the kids pray.
From time to time, a Christian group tries to use a school room after hours and there is trouble. The school refuses, or the school agrees and is sued. “ought to” provide is nice, but not connected to the real world.
My fave, among many, is the kid whose art task was to draw something for which he was thankful for Thanksgiving, the drawings to be posted in the hall. He drew Jesus. A substitute teacher saw it and complained. After various negotiations, it was posted where few could see it. The negotiations were between staff factions. I’ve been a substitute teacher. You really have to have your hockey together to have time to complain about such things, or be a complete anal fistula. My money’s on the latter. When the kid’s mother complained, the prin said perhaps he’d be happier elsewhere. By the time the Supremes got hold of it the kid had graduated so it was moot. But the point was made. “ought to” is dependent on the whims of the staff and not on any “nor prohibit the free exercise thereof” thingy nobody really wants to allow.
Come on.

    Milhouse in reply to Richard Aubrey. | August 25, 2015 at 4:13 am

    Among other things, I talked to the coach who said he leaves the room before the kids pray.

    That doesn’t matter if he told them to pray in the first place, or if kids who don’t want to pray feel pressured by their peers to join them. If he were to say that we’re taking a break now, anyone who wants to leave with me can do so, and what you do during the break is entirely up to you, that would be 100% legal, and if the school administration tried to stop it the students can sue.

    From time to time, a Christian group tries to use a school room after hours and there is trouble. The school refuses, or the school agrees and is sued.

    That is not true. Whoever told you such a thing was misinformed or lying. On the contrary, if the school refuses such a request it is sued, and properly so. Christians know how to sue just as well as anyone else, and they have well-funded legal funds to help them do so.

    My fave, among many, is the kid whose art task was to draw something for which he was thankful for Thanksgiving, the drawings to be posted in the hall. He drew Jesus. A substitute teacher saw it and complained.

    Anyone can complain about anything, but if it ever got to court there is no question that the school would have prevailed. Such a display of a single religious picture in the context of a secular display of children’s art is clearly legal. But it wouldn’t get to court, because the complaining teacher would never find a lawyer willing to take up his case.

    After various negotiations, it was posted where few could see it.

    That’s a pity, but it’s not the law’s fault.

This song, like *thousands* of other hymns, is set to a folk tune – this one happens to be Swedish.

I guess we should ban all folk tunes since somebody, somewhere, probably wrote a hymn to it.

    Milhouse in reply to LibertyJane. | August 25, 2015 at 4:18 am

    You are being disingenuous. If the band had been taught the tune as a Swedish folk song, and it had been advertised as a Swedish folk song, and nobody realized until the day that it was also a Christian hymn, then there would have been no legal problem with it. But the fact that when the crowd sang it they did so with the words proves that they all knew it was intended as the hymn and not as the folk song.

    Along the same lines, if a school band were to announce that it is going to play To Anacreon In Heaven, and nobody should stand up, then it wouldn’t matter that it’s the same tune as the national anthem. But if they play it without any such announcement, and everyone stands up, then only a dishonest person would deny that what they are playing is The Star Spangled Banner.

Richard Aubrey | August 24, 2015 at 9:51 pm

Liberty Jane. Yeah. See “Be Still My Soul”. There goes “Finlandia”.

Richard Aubrey | August 25, 2015 at 6:55 am

milhouse. “Whoever told me such a thing was lying or misinformed” Pay attention. It happens frequently. If the school provides a venue after hours for a Christian club, it has been sued. I recall a lawsuit by Americans United for The Separation of Church and State. Claimed the club was proselytizing by providing candy. The principal, who had tried to stop them, was not so far in the tank. He told reporters that Rev. Lynn–who is further out than the ACLU–was lying.
Couple of cases here. Plese remember that we know this stuff even if you prefer we not.
https://books.google.com/books?id=eeWbkzZR4nIC&pg=PA124&lpg=PA124&dq=%22picture+of+jesus%22+school+thanksgiving+student&source=bl&ots=qqMXEJd3CM&sig=ojrmMx4ucYiA0VIATpetnTXZ5Yo&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0CB4Q6AEwAGoVChMIoYa474jExwIVwjQ-Ch01HgTM#v=onepage&q=%22picture%20of%20jesus%22%20school%20thanksgiving%20student&f=false

    Milhouse in reply to Richard Aubrey. | August 25, 2015 at 9:03 pm

    I recall a lawsuit by Americans United for The Separation of Church and State. Claimed the club was proselytizing by providing candy.

    This was not a “claim”; the club was explicitly prosyletizing. You conveniently “forgot” to mention that the club was doing this during school hours, which is why it was illegal. They were allowed to distribute whatever they liked before or after school.

    In the case in the book you linked to, which is the same case you alluded to earlier, of the child’s picture that was removed from display and then rehung in a less prominent place, nobody claimed that this was required by the law. Every lawyer and judge involved in the case agreed that the anonymous school employees who removed the picture were motivated by their own personal objections, not by the law. The only question before the court was whether the principal, the superintendent, the school board, the state commissioner, and the state department of education could be held legally responsible for this act of censorship, which they did not order and were not aware of. Had they ordered it there was no question they would be responsible (except for the state department, which is immune from suit in federal court). Note that the teacher who rehung the picture in a less prominent place was not a defendant.

It’s time for common sense and not for the nitpicking parsing of religion out of people’s lives…

In this matter the high should have just provided a pre-game disclaimer on their website and within the football program itself and signage both outside and inside the field, clearly stating,

“As a public high school we cannot promote any religion.

“We can and will support the right to Free Speech and Freedom of Religion. Therefore Brandon High School is announcing that at half time today an instrumental rendition of the song “How Great Thou Art” will be played by the marching band.”

“Let it be known that each member of the marching band and the band director has freely offered to donate their time and talent to playing the song during half time. Any tax dollars used were used to provide common use musical instruction. Secular music will also be played by the marching band tonight.”

“Have a great time.” “Go Brandon High!”

    A “disclaimer” like that would clearly be disingenuous, just like the “disclaimer” they put up when they had the Gideons distribute bibles to the students.

    But if the band had simply included this piece in a program of mostly secular music, with no publicity at all, there’d have been no problem. But this was the only song they’d been planning to do.

    Nor would there have been a problem if, instead of the school band, a privately organized student band had been invited to play; or, even better, several student bands, one after another, each choosing for itself what it planned to play, subject only to a “no obscenity or drugs” rule. It wouldn’t even matter if one of the invited bands happened to have substantially the same membership as the school band, so long as it was made clear that this was not the school band, and it was not led by the school band teacher. (All invited bands could be allowed to use the school’s instruments.)

      Telling the truth is never “disingenuous”.

      Keep reading between the lines of your OCD ‘untainted’ liberty. You will find Christianity.

      And, you will certainly meet Christ someday. Then you can explain your objections to Him.

        A disclaimer such as you suggest would not have been the truth. It would have been a damned lie, just like the one they used with the Gideons, which the judge saw right through.

        I will certainly not find Xianity in any untainted source. And I hope never to meet your false god, because he’s not likely to be in a good place.

Phillep Harding | August 25, 2015 at 12:52 pm

By my religion, the existance or absence of gods is simply not relevant, so “no dog in this fight”.

I like the way the fans stuck a thumb in the Judge’s eye, though.

I wonder if the school could be in trouble for not ordering the stands cleared after the crowd turned into an impromptu religious assembly?

    The fans did not stick a thumb in the judge’s eye. I’m sure there were some who thought they were doing so, because they’re idiots. The judge was simply enforcing the law, and the law has no objection at all to the fans singing whatever they like.

Richard Aubrey | August 25, 2015 at 1:05 pm

milhouse. About the Muslim thing in school:
http://www.wnd.com/2002/01/12325/
There are other examples.
I haven’t found they’ve been sued. Nor have I found equal treatment of Buddhists, Sikhs, or Hindus.

WND?! You’re citing WND like it’s a news source?! ROTFL. The Onion would be more credible.

Richard Aubrey | August 25, 2015 at 7:51 pm

Milhouse
KaCHING! Thankyouthankyouthankyou. I knew, absolutely knew, that would be your response. A fact inconvenient to the narrative is discredited by sneering at the means of transmission. Thankyouthankyouthankyou.
You know, of course, that this is a transparent, last-ditch effort? Right? And availeth nothing.

    National Report. Seriously? When I wrote that The Onion would be more credible than WND, I didn’t mean for you to actually cite it, or any of its hundred clones. You’ve really discredited yourself this time. At least WND pretends to be reporting the truth; Farrah used to actually be a journalist, once upon a time. But National Report?!

    As for the Campus Watch story, I don’t understand what your point is. The school either is or isn’t pushing Islam. The ACLU says it is, so it’s suing, contrary to the paranoid claims we constantly hear that the ACLU supports Islam. The school doesn’t pretend it has the right to push Islam, it just claims the ACLU has its facts wrong. I suppose the facts will come out at trial.

    But note one thing on the side: this is a charter school, where every single student is Moslem, and their parents chose to send them there specifically because they want them exposed to the Moslem environment. In my opinion such schools should be allowed to be openly religious; there isn’t anyone there who would be in any way offended by it. The courts currently don’t agree with me, and say even these schools must be officially secular. But you can’t compare that to a general public school, whose students include non-Christians who don’t attend in order to be turned into Christians.

Richard Aubrey | August 26, 2015 at 8:05 am

milhouse
One reason to start out with WND is to get….certain people to snork at the source. “only source” That sort of thing. Then you bring in other sources. Kind of fun. WRT the CA school, even Snopes thinks they went over the line.
The ACLU is suing because the appearance of pushing a religion is so gross as to get the ACLU’s attention. I should say that my experience with the ACLU–watching them–is that they are not as extreme as Americans United for The Separation of Church and State (Rev. Barry Lynn).
The all-Muslim school uses public money so they fall under the same rules–such as they are–as public schools.

The question of whether Islamizing a lesson or a week or the students’ dress is overdone is the wrong question. If we use the standards applied to Christianity, the acceptable amount is a big effing zero plus a lengthy list of Christian excesses in the past.

As a kid, I went to an el ed school in a highly Jewish area. We were not required to learn, much less recite, any Jewish prayers, nor were the Jewish kids required to learn Christian prayers. The only accomodation was that so many Jewish kids were out for Jewish holidays that the admin asked how many would be gone for the next one. We Christians, always wanting to support our buddies,raised our hands and….no school on The Day.

Today, though. You will find a kid sent home because he’s handing out pencils to his buddies with a Bible verse. Or candy with some reference to Jesus. Don’t even think of a tee shirt….

The point is not whether milhouse can be brought to admit that the Islamization of public schools, or lessons, or students’ dress is overdone. The point is the degree of Islamization versus the Christianization, Hinduization, Buddhistization, etc.

IOW, is Islam getting a break, a hand up, support, that other religions are not getting.

    Milhouse in reply to Richard Aubrey. | August 26, 2015 at 8:41 am

    One reason to start out with WND is to get….certain people to snork at the source. “only source” That sort of thing. Then you bring in other sources. Kind of fun.

    That makes no sense. It’s like deliberately committing an obvious fallacy in order to invite attacks on your position, and then making good arguments. But in any case, if that was your plan you really screwed the pooch by doubling down with National Report, didn’t you? BTW, if you were honest you would have acknowledged your error and apologised.

    WRT the CA school, even Snopes thinks they went over the line.

    What CA school? When did you reference any CA school?

    The ACLU is suing because the appearance of pushing a religion is so gross as to get the ACLU’s attention.

    What are you talking about? The ACLU is suing because that’s what they do. This idea that they treat Islam differently from Xianity is paranoid nonsense. The ACLU is behaving exactly as it does to Xian charter schools that do the same thing. I think they should leave charter schools of all kinds alone because nobody is being harmed, but the law is currently with them, assuming they have their facts right. The school says they don’t.

    The all-Muslim school uses public money so they fall under the same rules–such as they are–as public schools.

    That is what the courts are currently saying, and it’s the ACLU’s position. I disagree.

    The question of whether Islamizing a lesson or a week or the students’ dress is overdone is the wrong question.

    No, the first question is who has done that? As far as I can tell, nobody. First cite an actual case, then we can discuss it. A story from National Report doesn’t count!

    If we use the standards applied to Christianity, the acceptable amount is a big effing zero plus a lengthy list of Christian excesses in the past.

    Everyone does use the standards applied to Xianity, and those Xian excesses are not in the past, as evidenced by the school we are discussing, where the excesses continued right into this year, until the judge was left with no choice but to crack down hard.

    We were not required to learn, much less recite, any Jewish prayers, nor were the Jewish kids required to learn Christian prayers.

    Nor are any non-Moslem students at any public school required to learn or recite any Moslem prayers. But at Brandon High School non-Xian students are regularly required to be proselytized by Xians, and that is blatantly illegal.

    Today, though. You will find a kid sent home because he’s handing out pencils to his buddies with a Bible verse. Or candy with some reference to Jesus. Don’t even think of a tee shirt

    Nobody is being prevented from wearing a Xian T-shirt; any time a school crosses that line it gets sued and sued hard, and so it should be. But nobody is allowed to hand out propaganda during school hours, to a captive audience. You wouldn’t have been allowed to do that at your school either. If you want to missionize your fellow students, do it before or after school, so they are free to leave, and so it’s clear that the school is not endorsing your message.

    the Islamization of public schools, or lessons, or students’ dress is overdone.

    What “Islamization of public schools, or lessons, or students’ dress”? So far you have not shown that any such thing is happening. I mean, seriously, National Report?!

      forksdad in reply to Milhouse. | August 27, 2015 at 7:11 pm

      Question for Milhouse. Why do you denigrate the name of Christians but not Mooslims, Sicks, or other religions? Is it because you view only one as your real enemy or are you one of those atheist cowards who denigrates Christianity because you know that Christians turn the other cheek.

      You denigrate the practice and teaching of the only thing that separates you from getting thrown off a roof for being homosexual or beaten to a pulp for using an indoor toilet.

      If it were not for Christianity, you’d be bowing to Mohammed five times a day and no question about it. Or you’d be a taxed Dhimmi likely to lose his son to the Janissary corps.

      You want the civility of a Christian society but none of that icky Christianity. I’m sorry to say you’re likely to get your wish good and hard when Christians are gone who is going to protect your liberties? Who will believe they have a duty to protect you just because you’re human?

        Milhouse in reply to forksdad. | August 30, 2015 at 12:49 pm

        I do not denigrate the name of Xians; I merely insist that they obey the law, and not abuse positions of governent power to prosyletize for their false god. I have no problem with their prosyletizing on their own time, and speaking only in their own names, in a setting where no child not of their own sect is under any pressure to stay and listen to them.

        If it were not for Christianity, you’d be bowing to Mohammed five times a day and no question about it.

        That is complete bull***t. When Xianity ruled, it was every bit as bloodthirsty and dictatorial as Islam. The reason we are free today is that people threw off the chains of Xianity, and somehow magically did not immediately fall prey to the chains of Islam. We are free because the 18th century enlightenment rejected religious dictatorship, and specifically because the USA was founded by a band of people who rejected Xianity and all it stood for.

        Washington, Adams, Jefferson, Franklin, Madison, etc., all denied Jesus’s divinity and virgin birth, and having had the experience with the established church supporting the Tories during the revolution they insisted that the new government they were establishing would treat all religious beliefs equally, not giving preference to any of them. The only orthodox Xian among the lot of them was Patrick Henry, and he got stick from his fellow Xians for hanging around with a pack of heretics.

        I’m sorry to say you’re likely to get your wish good and hard when Christians are gone who is going to protect your liberties?

        The same people who do so now; they are not all Xian, and those who are do not defend liberty because of their Xianity but in spite of it.

WRT the CA school, even Snopes thinks they went over the line.

OK, I found what you must have been talking about. I don’t know what you mean by “even Snopes”, as if you expected Snopes to take a different position.

Note that the schools were not Islamizing students at all; the WND story was out and out lying about that. The schools were teaching about Islam, which is indeed an important thing to know about. Most American schools don’t need to teach about Xianity the same way, because students are exposed to it all the time, but in some parts of CA that isn’t true, and they probably should teach the kids what Xianity is, and its place in history. Even in most of America they should teach a bit about Catholicism, so kids grow up knowing more about it than “Galileo!” and “Inquisition”.

In any case, while Snopes says that if a public school were to teach students about “the life of Jesus and his teachings”, without in any way appearing to endorse those teachings, “many parents would be up in arms” and “there’d have been hell to pay”, I don’t believe there would be any legal trouble. If you think otherwise, please cite an example of that happening.

Richard Aubrey | August 26, 2015 at 9:27 am

milhouse. The reason to start with, say, WND is to allow the other party to demonstrate they have jacksquatall going for them.
WRT CA school
http://www.snopes.com/politics/religion/islam.asp

The excesses of Christianity to be taught in schools are not hymns at half time. It’s the Crusades, the Inquisition, burning witches. As you know. Nobody is going to point out that the religion of many people where the Crusades went was Christian before the Muslims conquered it. Nope. The Crusades were sui generis evil. You apparently think nobody knows this….
As it happens, the candy issue and the pencil issue were settled by lawsuits. The point is not to duck the issue. It’s that schools HAVE to be sued.

Note, under graf 6, the “compromise” in the most favorable view of the issue was still about the religious subject.
candhttp://www2.ca3.uscourts.gov/opinarch/985061.txty

http://www.cnn.com/2012/06/11/us/scotus-religion-students/ Facts are not in dispute. It’s a matter of qualified immunity. See black armband issue back in the day, substantial chance of disruption, so forth, according to SCOTUS.

milhouse. The reason to start with, say, WND is to allow the other party to demonstrate they have jacksquatall going for them.

How can it possibly demonstrate that? A claim supported by a worthless source is worthless. And how does citing National Report play into that “strategy”? I’m still waiting for an acknoledgement that you badly copulated with the doggy on that one.

The Crusades were sui generis evil.

Not sui generis, unfortunately, but they were unquestionably evil. (You do know what sui generis means, don’t you?) You will certainly get no traction on this blog by defending the crusaders! Remember whose blog it is, and how he’s likely to feel about them and anyone who defends them.

I have no idea what the rest of your post means.

Richard Aubrey | August 26, 2015 at 3:27 pm

milhouse. Let me try again. I start with, say, WND so you can snark at it as if that solves the problem. Then I bring out other sources.
Sort of like judo, I guess.
If the crusades were evil, so was the conquest of the Holy Land by the Muslims. But we don’t hear about that. In fact, mentioning it to the Right Sort of People brings a blank look. First, they never thought of it, and, once they get the idea, they don’t see the problem. Cause the Crusaders were CHRISTIAN and that makes the difference.
The rest of the post refers to several issues in which schools reacted incorrectly and even oppressively wrt Christian issues. The cases I cited did not dispute the facts, only that the defendants were not sue-able due to qualified immunity.
During the Clinton adminstration, the dept of ed, agreeing in principle with the ACLU, put out some guidelines for handling such things. The problem was that the schools were being particularly rotten about it and the feds told them to lighten up. Nevertheless, they continue until forced not to. And that was before Islam became everybody’s flavor of the week.
You can look up Union Grove, pretend to be a Muslim assignment. Fortunately for you, Fox noticed it so you can claim nothing about anybody else’s coverages counts, either.
You’ll note in the assignment that the teacher says they’ve been shown vids and documentaries so they’ll know what to regurgitate.
I wonder what would happen if one of the struggles for a girl pretending to be a Muslim was her fear her family would ship her to Pakistan to marry a cousin she’d never met. No, I don’t wonder.
I didn’t see where they asked kids to pretend to be a Christian in Saudi Arabia or Afghanistan.

    Milhouse in reply to Richard Aubrey. | August 27, 2015 at 1:42 am

    So long as WND is the only source you’ve brought for a claim, there is no problem. WND is not a reliable source.

    And then you double down with National Report! What was your thinking there, pray tell? Are you finally going to acknowledge that the story you claimed as fact did not happen?

    If the crusades were evil, so was the conquest of the Holy Land by the Muslims.

    How so? Why should the Moslems not have conquered it? What right did the Byzantines have to it?

    Cause the Crusaders were CHRISTIAN and that makes the difference.

    No, because the crusaders were bloodthirsty animals, ruthless murderers with not a single redeeming feature. Again, remember where you are. Whose blog this is. Do you really want to be defending the crusaders here?!

      President Not Sure in reply to Milhouse. | August 28, 2015 at 1:41 pm

      I cant follow your posts Millhouse. Are you saying that you think the Crusades were started because blood thirsty Christians just wanted to go out and kill Muslims in Jerusalem? You dont think it had anything to do with the fact that 300 years earlier Muslim invaders had crossed the Mediterranean Sea and conquered the Iberian peninsula taking over all of what today is Portugal and Spain and were trying to invade France where Christians finally managed to stop them and continued pushing the invaders out of Europe, then continuing on Christians wanted to remove the invaders from their most holy city?

        Are you saying that you think the Crusades were started because blood thirsty Christians just wanted to go out and kill Muslims in Jerusalem?

        No, they just wanted to go out and kill anyone who was not like them, anywhere in the world. They didn’t confine their carnage to Moslems, or to Jerusalem.

        Christians wanted to remove the invaders from their most holy city?

        The city did not belong to them.

        Again, remember whose blog you are on. How do you think he feels about the crusaders, and about anyone who would defend them on his blog? You are a guest in someone’s home; behave like it.

Richard Aubrey | August 27, 2015 at 8:16 am

milhouse.
I get it now. A little slow. This is a joke, right? Why was there any problem with the Muslims invading and conquering some place that didn’t belong to them? And defending this on a blog run by somebody who, apparently, isn’t supposed to like conquest by…one group or another. And to pretend I’m defending crusaders is one of those prog things: Lie about what somebody said and then give him a hard time about what he’s supposed to have said. I can’t remember the year, it was maybe 1995 or thereabouts, but that schtick wore out. I’m asking for a single standard. OF course, for progs, that’s the same thing.
“What right did the Byzantines have to it?” Another joke, right? If milhouse thinks you’re icky, Muslims get to invade you. ‘preciate the warning.
WND isn’t the only source for my points: That’s why I listed other sources. ‘nother misstatement on your part.
Going around on a feminist blog, I noted some stats on workplace deaths. “You got that from Warren Farrell,” I was told, as if that discredited my stats. I hadn’t heard of the guy at the time but I inferred he was in bad odor with feminists. I got it from work comp figures–I was in the insurance business–and so I figured that the women knew I was right but had to deep-six it somehow. So they sneered at my supposed source.
Sneering at the source is pretty clear evidence that the sneerer knows the facts presented are correct but would rather they go away. Otherwise he’d explain why the facts are incorrect. So I start out with sneer bait just for grins.
It’s like sneering at the National Enquirer’s work on John Edwards. They’re so lame…. Although he was acquitted, so I suppose that proves something.

    Milhouse in reply to Richard Aubrey. | August 27, 2015 at 1:43 pm

    No, this is not a joke. You have a hide coming onto this blog and defending the crusaders. Think about it. Who owns this blog, and how do you imagine he feels about them?

    Why is there a problem with the Moslems conquering a country to which they had no less right than the previous occupants? The Byzantines had no right to be there in the first place, so the Moslem conquest made no difference.

    WND isn’t the only source for my points:

    It was the only source you listed for that story.

    That’s why I listed other sources.

    Right, you went from WND to National Report. I’m still waiting for you to acknowledge what a boneheaded move that was.

    Sneering at the source is pretty clear evidence that the sneerer knows the facts presented are correct but would rather they go away. Otherwise he’d explain why the facts are incorrect.

    Wrong. If the source is not reliable there is no need to explain anything because there is nothing to explain. If I claim that Hillary Clinton’s college roommate was a member of the Gambino family, and I cite National Report as my source, there is no need to refute it, because the claim is without any foundation. It’s up to the person making a claim to present evidence, before the onus passes to anyone else to refute it.

      forksdad in reply to Milhouse. | August 27, 2015 at 7:14 pm

      Well it’s good you’re here to defend the blog owner. I am certain he cannot defend or speak for himself.

        Milhouse in reply to forksdad. | August 30, 2015 at 12:59 pm

        I’m sure he can. I doubt he has noticed this thread, or cares to get involved, but it should be obvious how he feels about the crusaders, so guests on his site ought to keep that in mind and not defend them here, whether he knows about it or not. You wouldn’t insult him here, would you, even if you knew he would never find out; how is this different?

        As for me, I don’t need his permission to stand up for what is right, and to protest your abuse of this site to defend the indefensible.

    Milhouse in reply to Richard Aubrey. | August 27, 2015 at 1:48 pm

    Oh, and National Enquirer got the Edwards story right, the way any liar stumbles on a truth once in a while, but what’s the next big story they broke? Sarah Palin’s divorce, wasn’t it? Of all the big stories they’ve broken, how many have been true? One?

Richard Aubrey | August 27, 2015 at 5:52 pm

milhouse.
I guess you’re the one who’s a little slow. Not only did I start out with sneer bait for the usual fun, I also cited Snopes on the thing. They dialed back the condemnation but admitted the school went over the line. But only for one religion.
I supplied court cases on other issues of schools vs. Christianity. I can get them back if you’d like. I mentioned the Union Grove issue just for grins.
You are lying about defending the crusaders. I am suggesting a single standard, which for progs is apparently the same thing. If the Byzantines had no right to the Holy Land, the Muslims didn’t either. So there’s no problem with the Christians trying to get it back, right? According to your standards, right?
I really don’t get one thing, though. I fully expect you to tell somebody who hasn’t seen our conversation and doesn’t know me that I defended the crusaders. It would be a lie, but there’s no way I would know. But who’s supposed to be confused when you lie TO ME about what I said? Am I supposed to believe you about what I said and get all mad at me?
I’m familiar with the tactic, but I never figured out what good it was supposed to do.

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