Sunday, June 16, 2013

Maine Church Leaders Agree with Atheists on Prayer

After Americans United for Separation of Church and State threatened to sue South Bristol School (Central Lincoln County School System) if the usual blessing is said at the annual launch of student-built boats, local church leaders ignorantly agreed with the atheists that such a blessing is unconstitutional and said the school was right to cancel any activity resembling prayer.
“This is the essence of the tradition. The particulars may change with time. Five thousand years ago, part of the tradition was to sacrifice an ox … we don’t do that anymore . . . we acknowledge that time and political pressures cause change.”
-- Peggy Davis, pastor of the Union Congregational Church
Because of the intimidation tactics of atheist lawyer organizations, state governments across America are educating its citizens on constitutional religious liberty by passing laws in Texas, and Louisiana, and North Carolina, and South Carolina, and Missouri, and Mississippi, and Florida, and Tennessee.

-- From "On a sneeze, not a prayer, South Bristol eighth-graders launch skiffs" by Beth Brogan, Bangor Daily News Staff 6/14/13

In December, South Bristol School Principal Scott White received a letter from Americans United for Separation of Church and State claiming that the traditional blessing of the fleet, held each summer for boats built by eighth-grade students at the Maine Maritime Museum, was unconstitutional because the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution prohibits public schools from sponsoring prayers at events.

The letter was prompted by a complaint from an anonymous community member.

Eighth-grader Jordan Farrin said Friday’s crowd was larger than in previous years. Those gathered for the event — many wearing bright red T-shirts announcing “It is Tradition,” were angry and still shocked that the school had been told to change its ceremony.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Maine skiffs to be launched with hope but no prayer" by Dennis Hoey, Staff Writer, Maine Sunday Telegram 5/15/13

"Whether the boat launch ceremony is a mandatory classroom exercise or an optional extracurricular add-on, the school district may not include prayer whether delivered by an invited pastor or anyone else," the [threatening Americans United] letter states.

Steven Bailey, superintendent of the Central Lincoln County School System, said [May 14th] that the South Bristol School Board . . . reached agreement -- no formal vote was taken -- to exclude prayers from the launch ceremony.

Bailey said that traditionally a pastor has recited a blessing, asking for safe passage of the boats that were built by the students. That will not be the case when the boats are launched from the Bittersweet Landing boatyard in South Bristol.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Elementary school’s ‘blessing of the fleet’ canceled for violating First Amendment" by Beth Brogan, Bangor Daily News Staff 5/17/13

The school’s law firm, Drummond Woodsum, and the Maine School Management Association determined that the blessing “could be construed as a prayer. A pastor gives it, and passages in the blessing mention God and ‘Amen,’ and she does ask people to bow their heads, but it is certainly very nonsecular,” White said.

Carroll Conley of the Christian Civic League of Maine [said,] “We feel that the school’s decision is unfortunate, but it’s certainly in line with recent court decisions.  We see this as another example of the erosion of what were longtime accepted expressions of religious sentiment.”

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

For background, read Humanists Threaten Missouri School over Prayer and also read Atheists Threaten to Sue Every School in Mississippi and read about myriad attacks on Christians via public schools (see article list at bottom).