Texas High School Opens Muslim Prayer Room and a Can of Worms
Prayer from Christian students has been chastised for decades. Christianity has been systematically removed from classrooms and school activities. However, suddenly prayer is making a comeback?
Apparently, one can practice their religion in school, as long as you practice Islam.
When I attended elementary school, we recited the Lord’s prayer before the Pledge of Allegiance. By the time I made it to high school, prayer was no longer in the classrooms. By then, schools were sued for allowing prayer at outside events such as football games. Finally, by graduation we were careful to use generic words such as “Heavenly Father” instead of God.
Times were changing: the leftist tide flowed towards secularism.
Groups like the ACLU banned together in the fight against prayer. Although Christians make up the majority, the offending of the minority won the fight. Prayer was downgraded to a moment of silence. Most students have no idea what the moment of silence is representative of.
Nevertheless, recently prayer was allowed back into one Texas high school. In fact, a special room has been designated for prayer…for Islamic prayer.
Ironically, no one seems to be shouting “I’m offended!” The ACLU hasn’t come to the aid of Jews and Christians to demand prayer rooms for those religions.
In effect, Muslims are given rights and privileges no one else is entitled to. Sharia much?
However, a dedicated prayer room is definitely not a neutral policy. The room is dedicated to students who practice Islam. It was designed so students could pray at school on Fridays instead of leaving to say their required prayers.
The Attorney General addressed legal concerns that such a room might be a violation of the First Amendment because students are clearly being treated differently based on religion.
The First Amendment guarantees protection of religious liberty. In other words, if there is a room for Muslim prayer, there should be room for Christian prayer, Jewish prayer, etc.
As Robert Spencer reports:
“Liberty High School’s policy should be neutral toward religion,” the letter from Deputy Attorney General Andrew Leonie to Superintendent Jeremy Lyons said. “However, it appears that students are being treated different based on their religious beliefs. Such a practice, of course, is irreconcilable with our nation’s enduring commitment to religious liberty.”…
Is attendance the real motivation behind the prayer room?
Last year Texas attendance laws changed, and attendance is counted by the hour. Previously, it was counted twice a day. Therefore, administrators find it in their best interest to keep students in class if they want 100% of their funding.
“This is my seventh year at Liberty, my first year it kind of started when a core group of students were leaving campus every Friday for Friday prayer,” said Principal Scott Warstler.
“Their parents would come pick them up, so they may miss an hour and a half to two hours to two and a half hours of school every Friday, so I met with those students and a couple of their parents and suggested if they would be okay if the students were able to lead the prayer at school as a group, and we gave them a space to do that so they didn’t have to be in a car traveling thirty minutes each way on a Friday missing an hour, hour and a half, of class,” said Warstler….
He will either need to provide such space for every religion, or get rid of the Muslim prayer room. Fair is fair.
No matter which way it works out, I think the old adage will hold up: “As long as there are tests, there will be prayers in school!”