Religious freedom is being challenged again. The Birdville School District is currently being sued by the Appignani Humanist Legal Center that seeks to prevent students from their first amendment right of praying before school board meetings. The suit, filed on behalf of a former student, states that by starting meetings out with prayer, a message is sent to people of no religious faith that they are not welcome. Students are given an opportunity for a moment of “Student Expression” where they can pray, sing, or recite a poem at the beginning of each school board meeting. In addition, the lawsuit alleges that Birdville School District is a repeat offender of religious freedom.
Religious freedom is an important issue for contemporary Americans and the first amendment is being bombarded by those who wish to silence religious expression. We live in a day when people wish to scrub the public square clean of any religious values or religious speech. In an attempt to be tolerant of all, we have elevated atheism to a vaunted position within the public square. Numerous efforts throughout our nation seek to vacuum any scrap of religious expression from the public view. Again, religious freedom is an important and vital issue for our nation and it is constantly challenged.
We need to pray for our school board, the superintendent’s office, and our school district as they seek to defend the first amendment rights of students to pray. I am grateful for our leadership and for their desire to defend our students’ freedoms of religious expression. Please take time to write, call, or personally tell these men and women of your appreciation for their courageous stance.
And join with me this Sunday with special guest, Kelly Shackleford, speaks on Restoring Religious Liberty. Evangelical Christians need to be reminded that Daniel opened up the windows to his home to pray even when it was illegal (Daniel 6:10). This is our Daniel moment to show courage in the face of opposition. Those who are atheists should not be bullied but Christians should neither retreat into our respective corners of society.
Note: Kelly Shackleford is a frequent guest on national TV news and talk show programs including The O’Reilly Factor, Fox and Friends, Hannity, Good Morning America, NBC’s Today Show, CNN, and MSNBC. He also has been featured in the National Law Journal, Associated Press, The New York Times, The Washington Times, The Washington Post, and The L.A. Times, among many others. Kelly will be speaking at 8, 9:30, and 11 a.m. at our North Richland Hills campus and at 11 am via video at Cross Church.