Sunday, February 21, 2016

Judge Jesus Says 'Stop Praying' to Calif. School

On Thursday, U.S. District Judge Jesus G. Bernal ruled in favor of the Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF), which sued the Chino Valley Unified School District in San Bernardino County, California, for praying at school board meetings.  In a summary judgment, Bernal prohibited such prayers going forward and awarded the FFRF “costs including reasonable attorney’s fees.”
“The court declares that the resolution permitting religious prayer in board meetings, and the policy and custom of reciting prayers, Bible readings and proselytizing at board meetings, constitute unconstitutional endorsements of religion in violation of plaintiffs’ First Amendment rights.”
-- Judge Jesus Bernal
For background, click headlines below to read previous articles:

Ohio School Board Wants Prayer, Ignoring Atheists

North Carolina Citizens Demand Prayer in Public School

Let us Pray in School: It's the Law in Missouri

Prayer Stays in Florida School, Opposing Atheists

Wyoming School Allows Prayer Under Lawsuit Threat

Arizona Town Council Prays to Jesus

Texas School Supt. Tells Anti-prayer Atheists to Go Fly a Kite

-- From "Judge enjoins school board from prayer" by Mel Ewald, Chino Champion 2/20/16

God and Jesus Christ were conspicuously absent from Thursday’s meeting of the Chino Valley school board.

No mention of the ruling was made during Thursday’s meeting, which was conducted by board vice president Sylvia Orozco in the absence of president Andrew Cruz. Mrs. Orozco said Mr. Cruz was present during the afternoon closed session of the board, when the lawsuit was discussed, but then went home sick.

Mrs. Orozco and Mr. Cruz were defendants in the suit, along with fellow board members Irene Hernandez-Blair and James Na.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Judge tells Chino Valley school board to stop prayers in meetings" by Beau Yarbrough, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin 2/19/16

Mr. Na is an active member of the Watchmen Ministry at Calvary Chapel Chino Hills, according to a biography on the district website. Board President Cruz is also a church member there, according to his biography.

The church has cheered Na’s advocacy of church-friendly views on the board.

“Our own James Na, Chino Unified school board member, successfully spearheaded a campaign to reintroduce the Bible back into the public schools as history and literature,” a June 2010 post on the church’s Facebook page reads in part.

Chino Valley Unified’s attorneys from Sacramento-based Pacific Justice Institute, a nonprofit conservative legal defense organization that specializes in religious freedom, could not be reached for comment Friday.

It’s unclear whether the district will appeal Bernal’s ruling.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Chino Valley Unified School District Target Of Suit Over Prayer At Board Meetings" posted at CBS News Los Angeles 11/20/14

The suit filed on behalf of some parents, students and employees claims they, “feel alienated from board meetings because of these prayers, Bible readings, and proselytizing, and therefore feel excluded from the political process that controls their education, their children’s education, and their jobs.”

Many at the [school board] meeting supported the board’s alleged behavior, including the outgoing Chino police chief.

“All of the qualities you see in me came from my faith. They came from my belief in God,” Chief Miles Pruitt said.

“Prayer works. God hears prayer,” one meeting attendee said.

Another stated: “I’ve never met anyone who was offended when I asked if I could pray for them so please keep up this good example.”

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

Also read U.S. Supreme Court Ruling Allows Christian Prayer in Government Meetings, in fact Supreme Court Justice Scalia Said Government Should Favor God of the Bible

And read Loud Muslim Prayer Takes Over Michigan Town