Thursday, July 15, 2010

ACLU caught red-handed in Free Speech case

ACLU attorneys in Florida have been naughty. They’ve pursued the defendants in a Santa Rosa School District case, while hiding the fact they had no plaintiffs to represent.

The court should have been informed, because having no client would make the ACLU’s position moot and could have changed the outcome of the case.

The case: The ACLU had approached the Santa Rosa School District on behalf of two atheist students who alleged that Christian teachers were forcefully witnessing during class time and within class lessons. 

“Evidence” of this was subjective and sorely lacking. Still, the School District was persuaded to enter into a “Consent Decree” forcing school personnel to sign the Decree saying they would cease and desist any Christian free speech - anywhere on school grounds, even free time. The case could have ended there. 

But the ACLU then demanded that the Christian school personnel should not even be able to pray at off-campus, privately sponsored events.

Soon, two school administrators found themselves facing a lawsuit for praying at an off-campus event. They were criminally charged for being "in violation" of the decree.

A school district employee who asked her husband to pray at an event, because she wasn’t allowed, was still included in the suit because – after all – he was her husband.

The three were cleared of all charges, but...
The unlawful ordinance was still being enforced. It was so worded that the ACLU and School District could keep trying to find charges against teachers, other school personnel, students, volunteers and even outside associates for not following demands like these:

-The school board could tell local pastors how to seat audiences for church services or events involving any school faculty or students.
-Students couldn't use faith expressions like “God Bless” in any situation.
-School personnel couldn't be seen praying, even to themselves – anywhere in public. Even on their own time.
-Teachers couldn't answer parents’ e-mails if anything about God was in the parents' text; nor could parents and teachers have faith-led conversations.
-School volunteers couldn't answer any questions regarding religion.
-Christian groups weren’t allowed to rent school facilities for private religious functions if it involves benefiting the students in any way.

A snag in the case for the ACLU:
By this point in time, the atheist students had graduated, and therefore no longer had legal standing as plaintiffs. Without clients, by law, the ACLU should have been barred from continuing litigation. But the ACLU never informed court officials.

Attorneys for the defendants found out and brought it to the court's attention. In March, the Court demanded that the ACLU explain why they continued pursuing enforcement of the Decree.

The defendants now have a case against the Santa Rosa School District for illegalities in the decree and violations against the students’ and teachers’ First Amendment freedom of religious expression.

An injunction against the further persistence and enforcement of the Consent Decree has been requested.

As these types of things happen more and more around the country, we as Christians can stand firm and pray. While peacefully exerting the avenues we have to petition the government with our grievances (another First Amendment right), we can know that God is with us.

"When you are brought before synagogues, rulers and authorities, do not worry about how you will defend yourselves or what you will say, for the Holy Spirit will teach you at that time what you should say" (Luke 12:11-12, NIV).

More information with links to the case can be seen in my previous articles at The Underground Online Magazine, here and here.


April Lorier July 15, 2010 at 2:21 PM  

I hope they get punished harshly!
Good thing God is still in control, isn't it?

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