Christian Youth Pastors Banned From State School for Speaking About God

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Woodward Middle SchoolWe continue to see the government and schools violate the US constitution by restriction our freedom of religion. The sad thing is that we, the citizens of the United States, continue to allow it.

In the state of Washington, three volunteer Christian youth pastors have been temporarily banned from a state middle school after parents heard from students that the three were proselytizing during lunch.

KIROTV.com reports the Bainbridge Island School District has hired an outside contractor to conduct a “fact-finding” mission into the allegations concerning the three volunteer cafeteria supervisors at Woodward Middle School.

“We can’t ignore this. There are just too many serious issues to consider here,” board president Mike Spence told KomoNews.com. “That’s pretty dangerous. It’s a pretty slippery slope I guess I would say.”

The key issue for Spence is the separation of church and state. He says district rules cannot bar someone because of religious beliefs, but volunteers are not allowed to speak about religion on campus.

Most people tend to believe the false idea that there is a separation of church and state. The constitution does not provide such a separation, it simply prohibits the federal government from establishing a religion and from impeding the free exercising of it.

However, parents do have the right to limit who and what their children are exposed to.

Meanwhile, one of the volunteers denied the allegations.

“The only time church may have come in is when they say, ‘What do you do?’ my response is, ‘I’m a youth pastor.’ Even sometimes say I’m a leader because most of the kids don’t know what a youth pastor is,” said Danny Smith.

“I don’t wanna defend myself, I want to defend my motives. It’s not about me, it’s about why I’m there. It’s not for evangelizing and it’s not for proselytizing or recruiting, but it’s just there to be there.”

The allegations concern what Smith and his cohorts said at Woodward Middle School.

“I think it’s a very dicey situation, I think they have to be really careful what they say,” Leslie Krantz, whose eighth-grade son attends Woodward, told KIROTV.

Darryl Martin, another parent, told the station: “If some of those volunteers were not there, taking the opportunity to meet my son, and help introduce him to other students, my son would spend most of the year eating lunch by himself.”

The district reportedly has said it might allow the pastors back on to campus, pending the investigation’s outcome.

Meanwhile, Smith says he merely wanted to embolden the students — and assist in their maturation.

“I come here because I know that it’s important for every student to know that they each have value and a purpose,” he reportedly told a crowd of parents and school officials that recently convened to discuss the issue.

2 COMMENTS

  1. Separation of church and state is a bedrock principle of our Constitution much like the principles of separation of powers and checks and balances. In the Constitution, the founders did not simply say in so many words that there should be separation of powers and checks and balances; rather, they actually separated the powers of government among three branches and established checks and balances. Similarly, they did not merely say there should be separation of church and state; rather, they actually separated them by (1) establishing a secular government on the power of “We the people” (not a deity), (2) according that government limited, enumerated powers, (3) saying nothing to connect that government to god(s) or religion, (4) saying nothing to give that government power over matters of god(s) or religion, and (5), indeed, saying nothing substantive about god(s) or religion at all except in a provision precluding any religious test for public office. Given the norms of the day (by which governments generally were grounded in some appeal to god(s)), the founders’ avoidance of any expression in the Constitution suggesting that the government is somehow based on any religious belief was quite a remarkable and plainly intentional choice. They later buttressed this separation of government and religion with the First Amendment, which affirmatively constrains the government from undertaking to establish religion or prohibit individuals from freely exercising their religions.

    That the phrase “separation of church and state” does not appear in the text of the Constitution assumes much importance, it seems, to some who mistakenly supposed it was there and, upon learning of their error, reckon they’ve solved a Constitutional mystery. To those familiar with the Constitution, the absence of the metaphor commonly used to name one of its principles is no more consequential than the absence of other phrases (e.g., Bill of Rights, separation of powers, checks and balances, fair trial, religious liberty) used to describe other undoubted Constitutional principles.

    While the First Amendment undoubtedly was intended to preclude the government from establishing a national religion as you note, that was hardly the limit of its intended scope. The first Congress debated and rejected just such a narrow provision (“no religion shall be established by law, nor shall the equal rights of conscience be infringed”) and ultimately chose the more broadly phrased prohibition now found in the Amendment. During his presidency, Madison vetoed two bills, neither of which would form a national religion or compel observance of any religion, on the ground that they were contrary to the establishment clause. While some in Congress expressed surprise that the Constitution prohibited Congress from incorporating a church in the town of Alexandria in the District of Columbia or granting land to a church in the Mississippi Territory, Congress upheld both vetoes. Separation of church and state is hardly a new invention of modern courts. In keeping with the Amendment’s terms and legislative history and other evidence, the courts have wisely interpreted it to restrict the government from taking steps that could establish religion de facto as well as de jure. Were the Amendment interpreted merely to preclude government from enacting a statute formally establishing a state church, the intent of the Amendment could easily be circumvented by government doing all sorts of things to promote this or that religion–stopping just short of cutting a ribbon to open its new church.

    The Constitution, including particularly the First Amendment, embodies the simple, just idea that each of us should be free to exercise his or her religious views without expecting that the government will endorse or promote those views and without fearing that the government will endorse or promote the religious views of others. By keeping government and religion separate, the establishment clause serves to protect the freedom of all to exercise their religion. Reasonable people may differ, of course, on how these principles should be applied in particular situations, but the principles are hardly to be doubted. Moreover, they are good, sound principles that should be nurtured and defended, not attacked. Efforts to undercut our secular government by somehow merging or infusing it with religion should be resisted by every patriot.

  2. I can remember when you were proud of saying the Lords prayer in school and the day started out without guns and bombs. Those who started opposing it were allowed to not say the prayer and pledge to if they didn’t want to.Why are Christians always put on the side lines for people that have their own opinion? Congress didn’t start till the prayers were said and they are government that is bull about us loosing our rights it is just another opinion and act of cowardliness on your behalf and all who believe this crap.this is how communism was started for Christians in America now we are not allowed to open our mouths or say Merry Christmas They and you are allowing people to take God out of everything that is why America is going to hell in a hand basket!I do not agree with you and I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ,Hang the law!

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