Students Fight BACK Against Group Trying To Shutdown School Prayer

Students Fight BACK Against Group Trying To Shutdown School Prayer

America is the greatest country in the world. Period. One of the great things about this nation is our First Amendment which declares, in part, that citizens will not be forced to accept an official state religion. The First Amendment also equally declares that citizens shall have the right to worship as they choose. Sadly, this right is being eroded; however, when students were forbidden to pray, they fought back against the tyranny.


The Freedom From Religion Foundation, based out of Wisconsin, has once again turned its attention to the ArkLaTex. This time, to Ashdown, Arkansas.

The group claims the school district is breaking the law during school sponsored athletic events and is demanding the district to change.

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On Friday, Oct. 2, the Ashdown Panthers defeated Bauxite 53-13. But for many attending the game, the victory came before the opening kickoff.

Students and fans from both schools, including referees, knelt on the field for prayer.

Earlier this month, the Freedom From Religion Foundation, notified school administrators that the district was in violation of the constitution by praying before football games.

“We are not going to stop any student who wants to exercise their freedom of religious expression such as a prayer,” explained Ashdown School Superintendent Jason Sanders.

Sanders said in the past, people working the press box would offer prayer, but this past Friday, a representative of a student group did the honors.

“As for the situation Friday night, I think that is a great example of student freedom and the rights of students to express themselves religiously and the government not get involved and keep them from doing that,” said Sanders.

Pat and Susy Dillenger live across the street from Ashdown High School and say they are avid Panther fans. For them, the idea of stopping prayer at school athletic events is inconceivable.

“Always had prayer at every game. You know, it’s terrible when somebody can come from way up north to tell you what you can do down here at your school,” said the Dillengers.

The Freedom From Religion Foundation said a complaint from a student prompted the letter.

“I believe we should keep praying. If they don’t want to listen, they can just leave,” said Ashdown resident Gerald McElhenon.

“We need to keep God and we need to keep prayer in our children’s lives,” said another resident.

Sanders said if the Freedom From Religion Foundation decides to take further legal action, he is confident the Ashdown School District will remain victorious.

Our First Amendment’s protection of religious liberty is often misunderstood. Liberals love to quote a supposed “separation between church and state.” Such a wall of separation does not exist as a constitutional construct.

What does exist is a two-part protection of religious freedom. Liberals often note that citizens are not subject to an official state religion. They’re correct; this is called the “establishment clause.”

The other part of the First Amendment’s legal protection of religious liberty is entitled the “free exercise clause.” This means that while the government cannot force someone to worship in a particular way, they may not prohibit the free exercise of religion by that person.

That is what is too-often glossed-over. Thankfully, there are still constitutionally-literate citizens who understand their rights who are willing to fight for what is right.

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