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"Government-sponsored hostility toward religion”
California Catholic Daily ^ | May 2, 2007

Posted on 05/02/2007 4:11:10 AM PDT by don-o

A couple doors down the hall from Mr. Johnson's classroom at Westview High School in Rancho Peñasquitos, a suburb of San Diego, a teacher has a picture of the grunge rock band Nirvana on her door. Other teachers have slogans from sports celebrities and cartoon characters. Teacher Brad Johnson has decorated his assigned homeroom with pictures of families and nature, and banners relating to American history, such as God Bless America.

That last item, the school district told Johnson in January of this year, is banned and must be removed from the classroom. Why? Because the Poway Unified School District is under the impression that any reference to "Creator," "Creation," or "God" is prohibited by law.

The following phrases struck the school board as objectionable: “In God We Trust,” the official motto of the United States; “One Nation Under God,” from the Pledge of Allegiance; “God Bless America,” a patriotic song considered to be the unofficial national anthem of the United States; “God Shed His Grace On Thee,” a line from America the Beautiful; and “All Men Are Created Equal, They Are Endowed By Their Creator,” an excerpt from the preamble to the Declaration of Independence.

The Thomas More Law Center announced on May 1 that it has filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against the Poway School District, claiming that school officials violated Johnson’s constitutional rights.

“Cleansing our nation’s classrooms of our religious heritage and history advances no legitimate educational purpose,” commented Richard Thompson, chief counsel for the Law Center. “In fact, such actions undermine the primary purpose of public education: to prepare students for citizenship in our republic.”

No one seems to know why the school district has chosen now to suppress historic and patriotic references to God that Mr. Johnson has displayed in his assigned homeroom, a classroom where he teaches for the entire day.

Johnson points out that seven different principals, approximately 4,000 students in grades 9 - 12, and 1,000 parents have seen these banners in his classroom since 1982 with never a single complaint.

“These are not the Ten Commandments or Bible texts,” said Robert Muise, the Law Center attorney handling the case. "These are lines from songs, mottoes, and slogans familiar to all of us as part of our history and patriotic heritage.

"It is the responsibility of all public school teachers, including Mr. Johnson, to educate students regarding our nation’s history and its founding. Mr. Johnson’s educational banners serve that purpose.”

Thomas More Center attorneys argue that the school district, by banning historic references to "God" and "Creator," is conveying "a government-sponsored message of disapproval of and hostility toward religion” in violation of the United States and California constitutions.

The lawsuit asks the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California to overturn the school district's speech restriction so that Johnson can continue to display his patriotic and historic banners, as he has for the past 25 years.

Muise quoted the US Supreme Court decision in Tinker v. Des Moines to make his point: "Neither teachers nor students shed their constitutional rights at the schoolhouse door."


TOPICS: Culture/Society; News/Current Events; US: California
KEYWORDS: ac; antitheist; censorship; churchandstate; education; ingodwetrust; moralabsolutes; persecution; undergod

1 posted on 05/02/2007 4:11:11 AM PDT by don-o
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To: Just mythoughts

Well somebody had to save the TOE!!!!!


2 posted on 05/02/2007 4:13:03 AM PDT by Just mythoughts
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To: don-o

“The Thomas More Law Center announced on May 1 that it has filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against the Poway School District, claiming that school officials violated Johnson’s constitutional rights.”

This PC BS is out of control...I hope he wins.


3 posted on 05/02/2007 4:13:18 AM PDT by never4get
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To: NYer

This was written by Freeper, Mrs Don-o. Could you ping your list please? Leave a comment and maybe they will print more of her writing.


4 posted on 05/02/2007 4:13:37 AM PDT by don-o (We are "THEY")
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To: don-o

I got it! How bout klintoon “servicing” Brawny Frawnk on the Whithouse lawn, while hillary and chelsea look on? Doesn’t that sound “with it”?


5 posted on 05/02/2007 4:17:27 AM PDT by Waco
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To: Waco
I once made a graphic of the troopers when they grabbed Elian Gonzalez with the caption. "We are from the government and we're here to help you."

My boss got really mad and made me take it down.

6 posted on 05/02/2007 4:19:58 AM PDT by don-o (We are "THEY")
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To: don-o

Sure, but it’s ok to idolize Nirvana and their drug use.


7 posted on 05/02/2007 4:23:37 AM PDT by mtbopfuyn (I think the border is kind of an artificial barrier - San Antonio councilwoman Patti Radle)
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To: NormsRevenge

California ping


8 posted on 05/02/2007 4:23:42 AM PDT by don-o (We are "THEY")
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To: don-o

Hostility toward ONE religion. IF this had been about the machete-wielders, the administrators would have promoted it.


9 posted on 05/02/2007 4:32:48 AM PDT by Leftism is Mentally Deranged
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To: don-o
The following phrases struck the school board as objectionable: “In God We Trust,” the official motto of the United States;...

Make them empty their pockets, and surrender all that American money with that "illegal" motto on it. I'll take it off their hands just so they don't have to acknowledge even the word "God".

10 posted on 05/02/2007 4:45:14 AM PDT by 300winmag (Overkill never fails)
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To: 300winmag
Make them empty their pockets, and surrender all that American money with that “illegal” motto on it. I’ll take it off their hands just so they don’t have to acknowledge even the word “God”.

I applaud your compassion for the school boards sensibilities.
Can I have a loan after they give you their offensive money?
11 posted on 05/02/2007 4:56:39 AM PDT by Stark_GOP
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To: don-o

I posted a comment. It didn’t have any cuss words in it. I hope it will be posted soon.


12 posted on 05/02/2007 5:21:48 AM PDT by Mad Dawg ( St. Michael: By the power of God, fight with us!)
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To: Mad Dawg; Mrs. Don-o

Thanks.


13 posted on 05/02/2007 5:24:06 AM PDT by don-o (We are "THEY")
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To: don-o

14 posted on 05/02/2007 5:41:39 AM PDT by Gritty (Unless our religious faith endures, the principles of our Declaration will perish-Calvin Coolidge)
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To: don-o; Lady In Blue; Salvation; narses; SMEDLEYBUTLER; redhead; Notwithstanding; nickcarraway; ...
Catholic Ping
Please freepmail me if you want on/off this list


15 posted on 05/02/2007 5:51:11 AM PDT by NYer ("Where the bishop is present, there is the Catholic Church" - Ignatius of Antioch)
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To: don-o; Lady In Blue; Salvation; narses; SMEDLEYBUTLER; redhead; Notwithstanding; nickcarraway; ...
Catholic Ping
Please freepmail me if you want on/off this list


16 posted on 05/02/2007 5:52:22 AM PDT by NYer ("Where the bishop is present, there is the Catholic Church" - Ignatius of Antioch)
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To: don-o

I wonder if the reporter understood the irony of leading off with a teacher having a poster of the band “Nirvana”, given that Nirvana is a religious concept of heaven in Budhism, which makes it as much of a religious message as “In God We Trust”.

The author also could have noted that the actual National Anthem has the words “In God is our Trust”, just not in the part generally known to the population.


17 posted on 05/02/2007 6:48:18 AM PDT by CharlesWayneCT
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To: CharlesWayneCT

That would be a great comment to add at the page, Charles!


18 posted on 05/02/2007 6:53:27 AM PDT by don-o (We are "THEY")
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To: don-o

I already posted a comment that we had to stand up for and get more vocal about our rights, both to defend our own rights and to be a witness to the world that our religion actually matters to us.


19 posted on 05/02/2007 7:19:47 AM PDT by CharlesWayneCT
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To: CharlesWayneCT

btt


20 posted on 05/02/2007 8:30:53 AM PDT by don-o (We are "THEY")
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To: don-o; pandoraou812; mysterio; andyandval; Tax-chick; GRRRRR; null and void; alice_in_bubbaland; ...
This is a one time ping to an article that Mrs Don-o has written. (Names are those who responded to a thread when her Father died in February)

If you would like to be notified of her future articles, please send me a Freepmail.

I will not be using this list again.

21 posted on 05/02/2007 2:20:54 PM PDT by don-o (We are "THEY")
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To: CAluvdubya

Ping


22 posted on 05/02/2007 2:39:13 PM PDT by SoCalPol (Duncan Hunter '08 Tough on WOT & Illegals)
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To: NYer

A Baptist BTTT


23 posted on 05/02/2007 2:46:27 PM PDT by WalterSkinner ( ..when there is any conflict between God and Caesar -- guess who loses?)
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To: don-o

Schools have an agenda and it isn’t reading and writing. No wonder teachers are leaving in droves.


24 posted on 05/02/2007 2:48:03 PM PDT by derllak
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To: 230FMJ; 49th; 50mm; 69ConvertibleFirebird; Alexander Rubin; An American In Dairyland; Antoninus; ...
Good article by a Freeper. The God haters want to remove all mention of God from every public place with absolutly no basis in the Constitution - in fact, they're violating the Constitution. But since they can't remove God from the core of the heart, they are doomed to failure. People who aren't God haters need to stand up and fight. The haters are a minority, we are the majority.

Moral Absolutes Ping!

Freepmail wagglebee or little jeremiah to subscribe or unsubscribe from the moral absolutes ping list.

FreeRepublic moral absolutes keyword search
[ Add keyword moral absolutes to flag FR articles to this ping list ]

25 posted on 05/02/2007 3:32:09 PM PDT by little jeremiah (Only those who thirst for truth can know truth.)
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To: don-o

Ping me when she writes more articles!


26 posted on 05/02/2007 3:32:59 PM PDT by little jeremiah (Only those who thirst for truth can know truth.)
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To: don-o

Excellent article with a fair-minded presentation of the facts. Thanks for the ping!


27 posted on 05/02/2007 3:40:45 PM PDT by Albion Wilde (...where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. -2 Cor 3:17)
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To: don-o

Too weird for words...

Good article, you can add me to your list!


28 posted on 05/02/2007 4:46:43 PM PDT by livius
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To: don-o

Good article - thanks for pinging me here! :)


29 posted on 05/02/2007 5:22:35 PM PDT by Heart of Georgia
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To: SoCalPol; don-o
Thanks for the heads up, SoCal. I'm sure glad I work in Poway Unified. They don't seem to have this problem (different school board!)... at least at my school!

don-o, I'm wondering if Mrs. don-o noticed any differences between the High School and the elementary school level on this?

30 posted on 05/02/2007 5:33:50 PM PDT by CAluvdubya (DUNCAN HUNTER '08 (I'll add Thompson if he ever decides to enter the race))
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To: CAluvdubya

I think she picked up the story from the Thomas More Center which is filing the suit. Do the elementary teachers decorate their doors?


31 posted on 05/02/2007 5:40:30 PM PDT by don-o (We are "THEY")
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To: don-o

bttt


32 posted on 05/02/2007 6:03:26 PM PDT by Tailgunner Joe
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To: don-o

BTTT


33 posted on 05/02/2007 7:47:57 PM PDT by Dajjal
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To: don-o
At my swchool, the elementary teachers decorate their doors with collegiate banners. But we have "Friday Flag" once a month for the entire school and a Boy Scout troop or two has even been known to present the "colors" and lead us all in the Pledge Of Allegiance. And every Friday the school wears red in support of the troops.

I'll have to pay more attention to what is displayed inside the classrooms.

34 posted on 05/02/2007 8:14:21 PM PDT by CAluvdubya (DUNCAN HUNTER '08 (I'll add Thompson if he ever decides to enter the race))
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To: don-o

I forgot to add that our school has no problem saying “One Nation Under God” every single day so this must only be at high school.


35 posted on 05/02/2007 8:16:28 PM PDT by CAluvdubya (DUNCAN HUNTER '08 (I'll add Thompson if he ever decides to enter the race))
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To: don-o

Kudos to Mrs. Don-O! Thank you for the ping!


36 posted on 05/02/2007 9:33:41 PM PDT by Alamo-Girl
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To: don-o

Thanks for the ping, don-o. Deep bow to the Mrs!!


37 posted on 05/02/2007 10:43:39 PM PDT by Humidston (THOMPSON/WATTS - 2008)
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To: CAluvdubya
Don't tell anyone, but I have a sister who taught second grade in a school in South Carolina. She began the school day with Bible reading and (gasp!) prayer.

Her students their parents loved her.

38 posted on 05/03/2007 6:53:35 AM PDT by don-o (We are "THEY")
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To: don-o
Referring to God, belief in God, or faith in speech is not "an establishment of religion" in the legal constitutional sense of the Constitution. The concept of the legal "establishment" of religion, something very specific in the Anglo-American tradition, referred to one denomination being made an official state Church. One person merely saying "God bless America" or "I believe in God" or "we should support one nation under God" does not create an official state church requiring other citizens to become members in order to vote, hold office, own property, or be exempt from punitive taxes as was done with the legal "establishment" of specific denominational churches in previous centuries.

Furthermore, mere schools are not endowed with legal or legislative power to make determinations about citizenship or anyone's legal or theological status in relation to imagined religious establishment. They should never have been imagined to be part of "the state" or government in that sense. Anything said, spoken, or posted in writing in a public school is debatable within the context of private free speech and not a government edict commanding assent. So anyone saying or writing a proposition about God or belief in God in a public school is not a legislative act. It does not compel assent nor membership in a denominational church. Therefore, it is not and could not possibly be "an establishment of religion."

The liberal wacko NEA members of this school district are bananas. A teacher is a private citizen hired to function as a teacher of the students who are also private citizens. They are not government officials wielding legislative authority to compel assent to statist policies. Everyone is free to walk out the door or say in response, "I disagree with you." These cases confuse the merely procedural authority and bureaucratic role of public school teachers and administrators with that of government legislative power. There is no relation between the two.

In order to prevent further confusion of liberal secular humanists, perhaps we need more definitive clarification from SCOTUS about the merely private and voluntary nature of educational affiliation, along with the entirely non-legislative status of teachers and school officials so that ALL of their statements are never confused with legal establishment or statist authority which compels assent.

39 posted on 05/04/2007 4:18:55 PM PDT by HowlinglyMind-BendingAbsurdity
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