Friday, April 24, 2009

Judges Now Deciding Which Songs Are Too Religious

A UPI article from April 17, 2009, outlines how a Florida judge prohibited a school from programming a song because its content was too religious. He said the song violates the principle of "separation of church and state." He further said that some religious songs would be OK, but this one was too overt.

The language of the First Amendment says that Congress may not make a law establishing a religion and it may not prohibit the free exercise of religion. Keep in mind that this amendment did not disrupt the several states that had an official state religion at that time. Some interpret the 14th Amendment to prohibit the state from making a law establishing religion or prohibiting free exercise (and some disagree). Even if that were true, how does a school programming a religious song, no matter how overt, equate to a LAW establishing a state religion?

And this also creates the ridiculous situation of having a judge decide which songs are too religious and which are limited enough in their religious content to be acceptable. Should music departments not let students sing Handel's Messiah? This is recognized as one of the great pieces of music history, but it is very religious. (In case you are wondering, that, too has been prohibited by judges in some cases.)

We need to restore a little perspective. If the parents at the school think a song is not appropriate for some reason, they should address it through the school administration and teachers, not in court. I'm surprised the same judge would not see the Florida constitution as unconstitutional to itself. The Constitution of Florida, originally from 1845, contains in its preamble a statement of gratitude to God: "We, the people of the State of Florida, being grateful to Almighty God for our constitutional liberty,..."

Read the whole story below:

Judge bans religious song from school

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