Saturday, June 21, 2014

S.C. School Board Rejected Jesus, now Reconsiders

Last year, the Pickens County (South Carolina) Board of Trustees voted to bar students from praying at school board meetings in response to atheists' threats of lawsuits from the Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion Foundation, but after the recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling allowing prayer in Jesus' name at local government meetings, the Board is now deciding how to reinstate the Christian prayers demanded by its citizens.
“For us to have a prayer, according to our faith, or for us to have a legitimate prayer, it would have to be in Jesus' name.”
-- Pastor Jimmy Burrell, Gilead Baptist Church
For background, read South Carolina School Bans Jesus from Prayers after Atheists Threaten and also read Atheists Fret Supreme Court Ruling Favoring Prayers in Christian America

And read Prayer Never Stopped at Florence, SC School Board Meetings

In addition, read Democrats Want School Prayer Law in South Carolina

-- From "School board pushes for prayer after high court ruling" by Liz Lohuis, WYFF-TV4 (Greenville, SC) 6/20/14

An Upstate school district is one step closer to changing its prayer policy for the second time in less than 18 months and it all started with a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling.

Board members met with their attorney and area pastors to discuss making some changes.

Chairman Alex Saitta said threats of a lawsuit last year pressured the board to move away from its traditional student-led prayers.

Under the most recent policy, board members deliver non-sectarian prayers before meetings.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Prayer policy revisited by Pickens Co. School Board" by Casey Vaughn, WHNS-TV21 (Greenville, SC) 6/20/14

Many want a change to the type of prayers held before Pickens County School Board meetings and they spoke about it Thursday.

Ministers, school board members and concerned citizens spoke about the type of prayer spoken, saying the current non-religious prayer is not enough. The board changed its prayer policy to only allow non-sectarian prayers before meetings in 2013.

"But this gave us the opportunity with the Supreme Court ruling where you can actually invite a clergy in random from the community, give a prayer any way he feels is conscious," said Alex Saitta, Chairman of Pickens County School Board. "Any school board or town council or legislature that actually went to a moment of silence or to no prayer at all, I think they made a mistake."

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Pickens school board debates changes to prayer policy" by Sarah Freishtat, Anderson (South Carolina) Independent Mail 6/19/14

The Supreme Court ruling allows clergy to deliver religious prayers that reflect upon shared ideals, attorney William "Bick" Halligan told board members. According to the ruling, the prayers cannot denigrate other religions or proselytize, and are meant for the benefit of the board, not students or parents, Halligan said. The opportunity to deliver a prayer must be open to established clergy of any religion.

The policy committee planned to have another meeting before recommending changes to the prayer policy to the full board. The committee also decided to ask South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson for a legal opinion on the process to select the clergy.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Pickens School Board weighs prayer changes" by Amy Clarke Burns, The Greenville News 6/19/14

“Is God welcome in Pickens County?” asked Jimmy Burrell, pastor of Gilead Baptist Church in Pickens.

He was one of three area pastors who spoke to the board’s policy committee Thursday night in a preliminary meeting to consider whether to change the board’s prayer policy.

“I believe a prayer that’s prayed or offered should be reflective of the people that are being represented,” he said. “It really felt like we were being alienated because of our faith.”

Board chair Alex Saitta said he personally agrees with the pastors but is adamant about crafting a policy that will stand up to potential legal challenges.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

Also read FDR's D-Day Prayer is Un-American, Say Atheists

And read of the myriad atheist lawsuits against Christians and prayer nationwide.

However, in response, read of countless examples of citizens banding together to defy the atheists and pray in school and other local government bodies, and also read the long list of states enacting laws to bring prayer back to schools.