It is time for believers in Christ to speak up. We have remained silent long enough and are paying the consequences of that silence. Groups such as the American Humanist Association (AHA) are forcing their way into areas that are far beyond where they should be going. In some instances the AHA has no right to push for their beliefs but under the threat of a lawsuit many organizations give in without a fight.
In our own backyard of Gainesville, Georgia, the AHA is taking aim at Chestatee High School. The AHA sent a letter threatening a lawsuit against Hall County Schools because some of their coaches were praying with team members. The AHA claimed an unnamed concerned citizen had contacted them. So, one unnamed person is going to push around the entire Hall County School System? I don’t think so…not in Hall County, Georgia. Here’s a quote from a recent report about this incident.
More than 200 people turned out in defiance of the self-described atheist group early Wednesday morning for an impromptu prayer rally in the middle of the Chestatee High School football field.
Good for Chestatee High School! You see, organizations such as the AHA believe that a coach and student praying together is a clear violation of the Establishment Clause that sprung from the first amendment. But let’s review the first amendment. Here is a portion:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…
The AHA (and many groups like them) far over reach claiming the Establishment Clause covers far more than it actually does. They count on simple lawsuit threats to get their way. They are bullies. It is actually the AHA that is prohibiting the free exercise of religion in this case, not the staff and students at Chestatee High School.
In fact Chief Justice Rehnquist said this about intrusion into areas of religious liberty in a 2005 ruling:
[We] find no constitutional requirement which makes it necessary for government to be hostile to religion and to throw its weight against efforts to widen the effective scope of religious influence.” Id. at 684 (citing Zorach v. Clauson, 343 U.S. 306, 313–14 (1952).
The Chief Justice is right. The AHA is actually asking the Hall County School System to be hostile toward religion. Stand up and do as the folks in Hall County are doing. Tell the atheist organizations that try to prohibit your exercise of religious freedom that you will not comply.
Representative Doug Collins of the ninth district in Georgia summed it up this issue with the atheists in Hall County with this statement:
This morning, while Chestatee students gathered on their football field to support their school leadership and exercise their rights, unspeakable human rights atrocities continued to happen across the world in places that have no regard at all for religious freedom. It’s utterly disgusting that while innocent lives are being lost in Iraq and other places at the hands of radical religious terrorists, a bunch of Washington lawyers are finding the time to pick on kids in Northeast Georgia. I want the football players and all the students at CHS to know I support you, I’m here for you, and yes, I’m praying for you.
We’re with you too CHS faculty, staff, and students. Stand your ground and don’t let anyone rob you of your First Amendment right to exercise your religious freedom.