There is a planned Christian prayer circle in Tennessee on the steps of a courthouse and an existing Muslim-only prayer room in a Texas public school. According to the American Civil Liberties Union, one of these things is unconstitutional. Can you guess which one? It’s not hard if you know how selective the ACLU is in interpreting civil liberties or how liberal they are in forcing their agenda. Of course it’s the Christian prayer circle.
The Commercial Appeal reports about this from Shelby County, TN:
Last Friday, a special assistant to Juvenile Court Judge Dan Michael sent an email alerting the media to a “prayer circle” planned for Tuesday afternoon at that public building.
The message was sent from Leon Gray’s official county email address, and used the Juvenile Court logo. The “prayer circle” is supposed to be held on the steps of the public Juvenile Court building at 616 Adams, and attendees are expected to circle the building as part of the event.
The news never actually says this is to be a Christian prayer circle, but because the ACLU is pissed off about it, I feel comfortable saying it is.
And speaking of the ACLU, here’s some liberal outrage:
The American Civil Liberties Union has raised concerns not only over the event being held on public property, but also that the email announcing it was sent from a county email address that contained the official Juvenile Court logo.
Hedy Weinberg, executive director of the ACLU in Tennessee, called the event and the email “problematic.”
“It’s very problematic when an elected official uses their imprimatur to endorse and promote religious activities. There’s no question that our youth need a lot of support, resources and nurturing, especially those who are in the criminal justice system. However, endorsing and promoting religious doctrine by an elected official in his or her capacity is not acceptable. When a judge and their employees promote and organize religious activities, we have serious concerns. … It is not acceptable when the assistant to the Juvenile Court judge uses his Shelby County email and the stationery to send out a notice about religious activities on the steps of Juvenile Court,” wrote Weinberg.
Let’s keep in mind that this prayer circle is not inside the courthouse nor is it an actual function of the court. It’s stated purpose is to help some troubled young people find direction in their lives.
Meanwhile, down in the Dallas suburb of Frisco, TX, a high school has an exclusive prayer room for Muslim students. According to the school’s own website, the room is “dedicated to the needs of some students.”
As The Daily Mail points out, that “some students” part actually is a problem if other students are being excluded.
In a letter to the superintendent of the Frisco Independent School District, Jeremy Lyon, Deputy Attorney General Andrew Leonie wrote: “It appears that students are being treated differently based on their religious beliefs. Such a practice, of course, is irreconcilable with our nation’s enduring commitment to religious liberty.”
For their part the school district claims that the prayer room is open to students of all faiths, which I doubt is actually true. Missing from the argument however is that a public school has created a space for religious activity. If the ACLU has a problem with a prayer circle outside of a courthouse, why aren’t they also freaking out about prayer in school?
I did a fairly extensive search and couldn’t find any ACLU outrage over the Muslim prayer room in the Frisco, TX high school. Since the ACLU is very effective in broadcasting their selective outrage I think it’s safe to assume they are fine with this.
Like I said, the prayer circle is outside of the courthouse when the court is not in session. The Muslim prayer room however is in the school and used during school hours. If the Christian prayer circle is “problematic” shouldn’t the Muslim prayer room be super-problematic? I suspect if a Texas high school had a Christian prayer room that the ACLU could finally muster some outrage and legal action.