Wednesday, June 24, 2009

OK, Now Let's Censor 7-Year-Old Kids from Religious Speech

In Oakley, California, an elementary school was preparing for a talent show. A second-grade student, Bette Ouellette, auditioned with her talent. She was displaying her sign-language skills by signing for the song "We Worship You." After her audition, school officials told her that she could not perform - her talent was fine but a Christian song is not acceptable.

I have written a great deal about people misinterpreting the First Amendment. But even most of those who misunderstand it might say something like "a school can not establish a religion." Surely a student choosing a Christian song is her personal choice, not an establishment the school created. To stop this student strictly on the basis of the religious nature of a song she is signing is showing a lack of tolerance for religion. Is that what is meant by the First Amendment's phrase "...shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion"?

And do not forget that the First Amendment also protects free speech. The very same ACLU that will fight to stop religious speech in the public sphere will fight every bit as hard to defend all manner of offensive speech. But is the music to a Christian song just a bit too offensive for the ACLU to accept?

Read the whole story here:

Sorry, no Christian talent allowed

1 comment:

Dirk said...

This is really something. I do disagree with you on one point: it's not a lack of tolerance for [religion] that we're seeing, it's a lack of tolerance for [Christianity]. The Islamics, for example, can make religious presentations in our government schools with impunity such as the case in Texas in May 2008, & no one says a word. If that had been a Christian pastor making such a presentation, there would have been a huge firestorm & the ACLU would have had a lawsuit filed before the sound finished echoing. I did a blog post on this particular instance in Texas, & I had a commenter say that organizations such as the ACLU have an unwritten policy to not oppose Islam. It's obvious our local, state, & Federal governments do the same.

Great post, thanks for getting this out there.