This Christmas, while most Americans are looking for presents under the tree, the American Civil Liberties Union will be following their own hallowed holiday tradition: looking for scapegoats, under the guise of preserving liberty.
Even now, the Tennessee ACLU is focusing on a lawsuit they've filed in federal court to eliminate what they consider a serious threat to the children at Wilson County's Lakeview Elementary School: "a pattern and a practice of promoting and endorsing" – wait for it – "religious activities."
Now, a warning: what's going on at Lakeview isn't pretty. It's enough, really, to make a Grinch blush. Among the activities giving the ACLU the willies:
The Praying Parents, a group that meets once a month in the school cafeteria before school to pray for students, staff, and faculty.
Pretty spooky, that. How to measure the emotional fallout for children, if they find out some grown-ups care? Of course, the ACLU is on record as defending adults who want to have sex with children, or put child pornography on the Internet. So, preying on kids is okay, but praying for them is dangerous stuff?
The district allows students to participate in the annual "See You At The Pole" event, where Christian young people across the nation gather at their school flagpole to pray for their teachers and classmates.
So: young people come together in small groups, of their own free will, to pray. Other than freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, and free exercise of religion, can you think of any valid Constitutional defense for such behavior?
Students and faculty are also allowed to commemorate the National Day of Prayer, celebrated at the White House and the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. each spring.
There they go again. Christian teachers and students sometimes … pray. On a day when their leading government officials meet to … pray. What horrors is this leading to? Calisthenics on the National Day of Fitness? Planting trees on Arbor Day? Can we sue them for that, too?
Some teachers have been known to allow students to pray and play worship songs in their classroom.
The offending prayer came during a re-enactment of the first Thanksgiving feast. (Maybe if the Pilgrims had known their pre-supper supplications would cause such a stir, they'd have just skipped the intercessions altogether. In which case, we'd now be celebrating …Eating Day.)
The worship song was on a CD brought in for Show-and-Tell by a kindergartener, whose three-year-old brother is suffering from cancer. The CD was made by family friends to raise money for his medical treatments.
Alan Sears, a former federal prosecutor in the Reagan Administration, is president and CEO of the Alliance Defending Freedom, a legal alliance employing a unique combination of strategy, training, funding, and litigation to protect and preserve religious liberty, the sanctity of life, marriage, and the family.