"I realize that some of you, now you may not feel comfortable. And I'm alright with that. I understand," Superintendent Rick McDaniel says in a video of the event before saying the prayer.
"For those of you who feel comfortable praying with me that's fine. At a minimum, we're going to have a moment of silence."
The video shows McDaniel — head bowed, eyes closed — leading a nearly one-minute prayer over a microphone behind a pulpit marked with a cross.
This isn't the first time the Freedom From Religion Foundation has raised concerns with McKinney ISD over its convocation. Foundation attorney Sam Grover said school officials agreed last year to change the assembly's location.
"We're looking for clear-cut actions by the district this time around," he said.
Pat Robertson is truly a disgusting person. Here is a woman asking why her son died, and he tells her, basically, that God took him IN CASE later in life he would do something that God wouldn't like. In other words, God killing people to hedge bets on actions not yet taken. IF instead, one believes that life is pre-ordained, then there isn't any free will so what's the point? Anyway, this is vile.
"We live in a world of wickedness. And God does not necessarily spare us from these things. He will teach us once we’re in the difficult situation, He will help us to overcome it. But not necessarily will He spare everybody from — you’ll say, 'Why does my Father allow this to happen?' The loss of a child is a terrible grief. But, you know, the thing about that child at 15, maybe he was, you know, living for the Lord at 15. I don’t know anything about him; I’m presuming he was," Robertson prattles on.
"So what would’ve happened maybe 10 years from now?" the octogenarian former Baptist minister continues. "Would he have started drinking? Would he have gone away from the Lord? What would’ve happened? So God, who sees the end from the beginning, knows what would happen to that child, and because He loves the child and loves him, He wants to bring him to Heaven forever, and He wants to spare him some of the bad things that would happen down the road."
What a terrible thing to tell a parent who has lost their child.
"So if I have this right," Mehta says, "God loves us so much that he would kill us, putting our loved ones through never-ending emotional pain, just to prevent us from questioning His existence."
Martin, who has condemned Falwell’s alignment with “the darkest contours of Trumpism,” Steve Bannon, and “the alt-right he represents,” said he was served with papers by armed police officers and told he’d be arrested if he ever stepped foot on the Liberty campus again.
His criticism seems fairly legitimate from one Christian to another. It shouldn’t be controversial to point out when you feel someone in your own tribe is straying off the path. But the comments were apparently too much for Falwell.
....The irony here is that the Right has criticized liberal, secular universities for mishandling speakers who hold different opinions from the majority of the student body. Yet here we see a conservative Christian college doing something much worse: banning someone on their own side because he criticizes their politics, even though he only wanted to attend a prayer meeting.
There is a modified version of the oath available for anyone who doesn’t want to say those words, but the default includes the phrase.
So why not take the modified version? Because it’s modified. It’s not the same thing everyone else takes. And that makes her a second class citizen before she’s ever a 1 citizen at all.
This is unfair, demeaning and improper. Plaintiff is unwilling to start her new life as an American citizen in some second-class status solely because she chooses to follow her religious precepts. Under the principles of equal protection, she demands the right to experience the elation, the pride, the sense of camaraderie, and the sense of belonging, which comes from joining her fellow new citizens as an equal participant in the naturalization oath ceremony.
Her argument isn’t all that outlandish. Why is a reference to God part of the basic package when it comes to obtaining citizenship? Why isn’t the religious oath the one you have to specially request?
“They advertise they don’t believe in hitting children, but the first thing you think about is, they’ll sacrifice them. It’s really alarming to me as a Christian because they’re being really bold about their beliefs and trying to lure in people from the outside.”
Silly. Do the churches teach the story of Abraham and Isaac? or Jeptha's daughter?
Actually, the Satanic Temple is an organization dedicated to church-state separation — and one whose leaders say they don’t really believe in the devil or Satan worship. Greaves has characterized the group, based in Salem, Mass., as “an atheistic religion.”
The corporal punishment policy enacted by the Three Rivers school board requires parental approval before a school official can paddle a child. Local church leaders interviewed by RNS distinguish between “hitting” and “disciplining” a child.
“Our religion causes us to love our children, and therefore we discipline them,” said Mackey, the Church of Christ minister. “Now, that discipline doesn’t have to be spanking. But it also can be spanking.”
A video featuring the coach joining in a student-led prayer was taken off the internet, and all that remains of it is a screengrab taken by the Freedom From Religion Foundation.
Somehow, the video clip came to the Wisconsin-based group's attention and they took the opportunity to reach out from across the country and meddle in the Georgia school's affairs.
They sent a letter to the school district pointing out that it is technically against federal law for a coach to be involved in prayer with players.
Backed into a corner, school leaders told the coach he has to stop. Many people at the Friday night game against Newnan spoke against the decision. Our news crew could find no one speaking in favor of it.
Aiello teaches at Legacy Elementary, 4830 Swan Lake Road. According to her classroom page on Legacy's website, she has taught in Bossier Parish for 19 years and at Legacy for nine. Calls to Aiello were not returned.
She emailed parents on Oct. 15 about praying with students, according to a copy of the email that a parent shared with The Times. After a "Hi Parents" greeting, she wrote in the email:
"Tomorrow I will be setting up a prayer/blessing jar in my classroom for any student that would like me to pray with them. The Lord has laid this on my heart and I want to do this for my students. It can be as simple as....pray for my pet, a friendship, subject area that may be struggling in, etc.. If you do not want me to extend this offer to your child, please just send me an email and let me know. This is just a little something extra that I would like to do for them. Have a great week!"
The Freedom From Religion Foundation, in its letter to Smith, said it was writing on behalf of a "concerned parent." The letter was sent via mail and email on Oct. 26.
"We are informed that at the start of class Ms. Aiello goes student-by-student and asks what the student would like to pray for," according to the letter, which was signed by Sam Grover, associate counsel for the foundation. "The teacher then delivers a brief Christian prayer for whatever the child requests, writes down what the prayer was for, and moves on to the next student."
Grover wrote that permitting students to opt out doesn't make the prayers legally permissible.
"Any student who is opted out will still have to sit through the prayers and their non participation will be noted by their classmates, which lead to ostracism and potentially bullying," the letter reads.
The foundation argues that public school teachers cannot, while in the classroom, lead students in prayer, encourage them to pray or endorse any sort of religious practice without violating the U.S. Constitution.
"The Supreme Court has continually struck down teacher- or school-endorsed prayer," the foundation's letter says. "The district has a duty to regulate religious proselytizing during the school day."
“The church has had its butt kicked for the last 100 years,” Colbert said, adding that God chose a brawler like Trump because He knew that America could not survive with a “mamsy-wamsy, love and peace kind of a president.”
Love and peace. Why would any decent Christian want someone who exhibits those qualities? Next thing you know, the president will turn the other cheek, and when will the slippery slope ever end?!
Who knew that when Trump bragged about grabbing women’s pussies, he was just saying a prayer?