Skip to comments.Threat of lawsuit forces removal of 10 Commandments from classrooms
Posted on 05/14/2013 3:12:22 PM PDT by IbJensen
MULDROW -- It was standing room only in the spacious Muldrow Public Schools cafeteria as hundreds of area residents crowded into a School Board meeting Monday to discuss the Ten Commandments plaques posted in each classroom for two decades.
The plaques, which had been donated to the district in the early 1990s, were removed by Monday.
Many attendees arrived in vehicles upon which Christian slogans were written or posted. Many wore clothing proclaiming their religious beliefs. Many teens attended, wearing black "Don't Quit for Christ" T-shirts. Several elderly attendees clutched Bibles. Attendees' ages ranged from infant through senior citizen.
Muldrow First Assembly of God Senior Pastor Shawn Money, a representative of the Christian Muldrow Ministry Alliance, told school officials, "We understand the last two weeks have been very difficult for you. We support you. We're praying for you. ... We know that in 1980 the Supreme Court ruled it was unconstitutional to have the Ten Commandments in public schools for religious purposes. ... We disagree."
Many audience members called out "amens."
Money said the many Christians in attendance do believe the Ten Commandments have a place in public classrooms and that they are a foundation of our nation. He said the attendees are grateful the Commandments had been in the school for 20 years and hoped they would be again.
In an essay Money wrote and read, "I am the Ten Commandments," he stated that they were written first by God, passed down through generations and would endure until the end of time. The Ten Commandments, Money said, are the voice of morality and "the thread of the fabric that has held many nations together."
When he finished, the crowd shouted loud "amens" and gave Money a lengthy standing ovation.
When Board President Scott Chambers called for board discussion, there was none.
School attorney Jerry Richardson of Tulsa said he was not going to try to change the attendees' minds, nor would the school board want him to try.
"They wish the Ten Commandments could remain in the classrooms. Unfortunately, it is my unpleasant job to tell you the situation is otherwise," Richardson said.
The 1980 legal case cited by Money stemmed from a Kentucky law that mandated the placement of the Ten Commandments in public schools, Richardson said. The law was challenged and the lawsuit made its way to the U.S. Supreme Court, which not only ruled that it was unconstitutional, but the high court also stated that the Constitution guarantees not only freedom of religion but also freedom from religion, Richardson said.
Richardson told the crowd that early this month, the district had received a letter from the Freedom From Religion Foundation threatening a lawsuit if the plaques were not removed. An unnamed Muldrow student had complained to the organization that the commandments were posted in every classroom.
A notice on the foundation's website states: "'We are pleased the school administration has removed the Ten Commandments in compliance with the Constitution. This is settled law. Public schools cannot advance or endorse religion,' said FFRF Co-President Annie Laurie Gaylor. She added, 'We hope the board will honor thy constitution and heed the advice of its attorney rather than to acquiesce to pressure from a religious mob.'"
The hundreds present at Monday's board meeting were calm and respectful, even applauding Richardson after he delivered news many would have preferred not to hear.
Chambers' voice choked as he told the audience the board wished it had another alternative, but removed the plaques rather than spend taxpayer money for costly legal fees that would be incurred fighting to keep them.
Two parents who did not identify themselves asked the board what rights their children had regarding religious expression.
Richardson told them their children also enjoyed freedom of speech and could wear and post anything that did not violate school policy. If the school permits nonreligious expressions, it cannot discriminate against religious expressions by the students. However, he said, the students cannot post such expressions on school property because that would be interpreted as school- or state-sponsored expression.
To a mother who asked if the students could post the Ten Commandments on their lockers, Superintendent Ron Flanagan responded that the district does not allow locker postings.
After the meeting, several attendees, not all of them local, expressed dismay at the removal of the religious plaques.
Freddie Gauntt of Fort Gibson said he attended "to help stand up for our beliefs in God."
He asked why one or two persons can change things in a Democratic society.
"It should have gone to a vote of the community. It upsets me that the federal government has a set of guidelines that are not godly in nature," Gauntt said.
An elderly lifelong Muldrow resident who declined to give her name said she attended the meeting because she believes in God and the commandments.
A Muldrow mother, Glenna Middleton, said she attended to support her eighth-grade daughter.
"My kid stood in prayer with her friends all week. This is a pivotal point in the community, and it is wrong that 10 people in there can change things," Middleton said.
Middleton's daughter, Taylor Middleton, said, "I think it's wrong, and we should keep it in our school. It's what we believe."
It's satan-inspired God-less crap like this that makes me believe our nation is closer now than at any time since the American Civil War to an armed rebellion to return this nation to what our founders were searching for a place where the Government is to protect its citizens, and allow them Life, Liberty, and the PURSUIT of Happiness.
Taxpaying Americans pay for the buildings that the government uses as school buildings, etc. Since this means we own the buildings not the government or the school it should be up to the community majority to decide what is placed in their building.
Just another hate-filled Republican attack on a black man in the White House. (trademark)
In order to ensure to citizens freedom of conscience, the church in the U.S.S.R. is separated from the state, and the school from the church. Freedom of religious worship and freedom of antireligious propaganda is recognized for all citizens.Take note that incitement of hostility or hatred on atheistic grounds was not prohibited under the USSRs constitution.
1936 USSR Constitution, Article 124
Citizens of the USSR are guaranteed freedom of conscience, that is, the right to profess or not to profess any religion, and to conduct religious worship or atheistic propaganda. Incitement of hostility or hatred on religious grounds is prohibited. In the USSR, the church is separated from the state, and the school from the church.
1977 USSR Constitution, Article 52
Pull down the Ten Commandments and put up the directions to Planned Parenthood abortion clinics.
Because “Thou shalt not kill” and “Thou shalt not steal” and “Thou shalt not bear false witness” are racist values.
Schools should forget the Ten Suggestions and teach more kindergarteners how to slide a condom over a banana and have visiting homosexuals explain to them the joy of aberrant sex.
If it isn’t time now to take our nation back and attempt to instill moral awareness when will it be?
If these foolish mortals think God is pleased they will be in for a big surprise.
Taking down the Ten Commandments from school walls, along with George Washington’s picture, is tantamount to getting measured for a rope with which to hang the millstone.
Everyone in that Arkansas school board who goes along with this sinful act is complicit in visiting sin upon children.
Opinion 1: These abuses will continue until the people put a stop to it.
Opinion 2: The people are excluded from the political process.
Draw your own conclusion.
‘Hope that the citizens keep riding around with excerpts from the Bible and the 10 written on their vehicles. Let he atheists and Bible haters see them all the more. Maybe some of it will sink in if they see them everyday, all day
TAX REVOLT followed by mass exodus from public schools. It has to start somewhere and this is as good a place as any.
I wish I was rich. I would personally pay to fight these atheists.
Wouldn’t it be fun for millions of Americans to mail FFR copies of the Ten Commandments?
I am praying for the total destruction of FFR, those who work for them, and their buildings. They are evil and I am sick of what they continue to do to America.
Regarding the courts not allowing the 10 Commandments to be displayed in public classrooms in the name of so-called constitutional separation of church and state powers, Christians are partly to blame for this abridgment of their 1st Amendment protected right to religious expression for the following reason imo. If Christians made sure that their children were taught the Constitution and its history as much as they make sure that their children are taught the Holy Bible, then Christians would be able to call the bluffs of anti-religious expression justices concerning things like being able to display the ten commandments in public schools.
From a related thread concerning prayers at graduation ...
More specifically, first note that regardless what FDR's activist justices wanted everybody to beileve about the Establishment Clause and Thomas Jefferson's "wall of separation," the real Thomas Jefferson had clarified the following about the religious aspects of the 1st and 10th Amendments. Jefferson had noted that the Founding States had made the 10th Amendment in part to clarify that the states had reserved government power to regulate (I say cultivate) religious expression to themselves, regardless that they had also made the 1st Amendment in part to prohibit such power to Congress entirely.
"3. Resolved that it is true as a general principle and is also expressly declared by one of the amendments to the constitution that the powers not delegated to the US. by the constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively or to the people: and that no power over the freedom of religion, freedom of speech, or freedom of the press being delegated to the US. by the constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, all lawful powers respecting the same did of right remain, & were reserved, to the states or the people: that thus was manifested their determination to retain to themselves the right of judging how far the licentiousness of speech and of the press may be abridged without lessening their useful freedom, and how far those abuses which cannot be separated from their use should be tolerated rather than the use be destroyed (emphasis added); " --Thomas Jefferson, Kentucky Resolutions, 1798.
So given that the states have the power to regulate religion, the same power that enables the states to authorize creationism to be taught in public schools, there would have been no question up to the time that the 14th Amendment (14A) was ratified that displaying the 10 Commandments in public schools was constitutional. After all, the Bible used to be read aloud in public schools.
H O W E V E R ...
The 14th Amendment ultimately gave FDR's anti-state sovereignty / anti-religious expression justices a foothold to argue that 14A applied not only the 1st Amendment's personal religious protections to the states, but also the 1st Amendment's prohibition on Congress's power to regulate religion to state legislatures. This is evidenced by the following excerpt from Cantwell v. Connecticut.
"The First Amendment declares that Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof. The Fourteenth Amendment has rendered the legislatures of the states as incompetent as Congress to enact such laws. The constitutional inhibition of legislation on the subject of religion has a double aspect." --Mr. Justice Roberts, Cantwell v. State of Connecticut, 1940.
H O W E V E R ...
By arguing that 14A took away certain powers from the states, in this case the power to address religious issues which "atheist" Thomas Jefferson had clarified that they had, activist justices wrongly ignored the following. They ignored that John Bingham, the main author of Section 1 of 14A, had officially clarified that 14A took away no state's rights.
"The adoption of the proposed amendment will take from the States no rights (emphasis added) that belong to the States." --John Bingham, Appendix to the Congressional Globe, 1866. (See second half of first column.)
"No right (emphasis added) reserved by the Constitution to the States should be impaired " --John Bingham, Appendix to the Congressional Globe, 1871. (See first half of first column.)
"Do gentlemen say that by so legislating we would strike down the rights of the State? God forbid. I believe our dual system of government essential to our national existance." --John Bingham, Appendix to the Congressional Globe. (See second half of third column.)
In fact, consider that Justice Reed had noted the following about the 10th and 14th Amendments. Justice Reed had indicated that it is the job of judges to balance 10A protected state powers with 14A protected rights, as opposed to spinning 14A as an excuse to rob the states of such powers.
"Conflicts in the exercise of rights arise and the conflicting forces seek adjustments in the courts, as do these parties, claiming on the one side the freedom of religion, speech and the press, guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment, and on the other the right to employ the sovereign power explicitly reserved to the State by the Tenth Amendment to ensure orderly living without which constitutional guarantees of civil liberties would be a mockery." --Justice Reed, Jones v. City of Opelika, 1942.
So the states still have the power to regulate religion regardless what activist justices want everybody to think about 14A, state power to regulate religion now limited by 14A as opposed to the PC idea that 14A took away such powers.
Again, the problem is that, regardless that Christian parents / guardians are making sure that their children are being taught the Holy Bible, Christians are evidently not making sure that their children are being taught the law of the land as constitutonal lawmakers had intended for it to be understood. Christians are therefore unsurprisingly suffering the consequences of their ignorance of their constitutionally protected religious freedoms by the hands of pagan judges.
This school needs to immediately contact one of the following organizations:
1) Thomas More Law Center; 2) Alliance Defending Freedom; 3) Liberty Counsel; 4) American Center for Law and Justice.
Each of these fine organizations take hundreds of these cases each year, with no cost to the school or municipality. They win just about every case they take.
Which version? The Jewish, Catholic, or Protestant version?
Which version? The Jewish, Catholic, or Protestant version?
To what are you referring?
Poland recently showed the world that they had the right idea and a way out of the separation of state and education.
Polish leaders have turned the entire education responsibility over to the Church.
Are you unaware that they are counted differently between the Jewish Catholic and Protestant religions? Which one is chosen by a government entity is a tacit endorsement of that version.
Amazingly it takes one parent/student to bend everyone to their will. But if the majority say NO to the leftist agenda they are mocked and ignored.
Alls I knows, Amigo, is that I get my Ten from the Douay-Rheims Bible. I always believed that God dished these Ten to Moses in that precise order.
Well those who God gave them to enumerated them differently.
Our constitutional republic might have the right idea too if flag-waving citizens would quit sitting on their hands and read the Constitution.