GRUNDY, Va. — The Buchanan County (Va.) University Board has acquired a legal warning linked to opening conferences with a Christian prayer.
Freedom From Religion Basis (FFRF), a Wisconsin-centered firm, sent a letter to the board following studying customers “routinely” get started meetings with a prayer that, it states, is unconstitutional.
Christopher Line, an lawyer with FFRF, explained in the letter commencing community university board conferences with a Christian prayer excludes nonreligious or non-Christian pupils, teachers and mother and father.
“Nonreligious Individuals are the fastest-escalating section of the U.S. population by spiritual identification with just one in four Us citizens identifying having no faith,” Line said.
Line and the FFRF reminded board customers of the unconstitutionality of leading meetings with prayers that are dependent in a certain religion.
“Students and mothers and fathers have the right— and frequently have reason— to participate in school board conferences,” he stated in the letter. “It is coercive, embarrassing and overwhelming for nonreligious citizens to be needed to make a public demonstrating of their nonbelief (by not participating) or else to display deference toward a religious sentiment in which they do not believe, but which their university board associates plainly do.”
Scheduling or conducting prayer as element of a school board meeting violates the Establishment Clause of the 1st Amendment, Line mentioned of the amendment that prohibits a government entity to boost or endorse 1 religion about another.
Line claimed in the letter this is an excerpt from 1 of the board’s prayers:
“Dear Heavenly Father, Lord, we just thank You again for this night, God, and our time collectively. For we thank You, Lord, for the positions you have provided to us and pointed us to, Lord, and we question, God, that You give us knowledge and knowledge.”
“Board users are absolutely free to pray privately or to worship on their own time and dime,” said FFRF Co-President Annie Laurie Gaylor. “The university board, on the other hand, cannot lend its electric power and prestige to faith.”
Members of the university board could not be attained for remark.
Tazewell County schools were being not too long ago cautioned by the FFRF about a mentor top students in prayer just before a soccer video game. The non-gain group also despatched a letter to Bland County Sheriff Jason Ramsey concerning “bible verses, prayer requests and other spiritual messages” Ramsey posts on the official Sheriff’s Office Facebook site.
In 2017, FFRF sued the Mercer County Board of Instruction on its 75-yr-old Bible in the Universities system.
The faculty process at some point dropped the plan right after litigation continued, opting for featuring a legally vetted secular system on the Bible rather.
— Make contact with Charles Boothe at [email protected]