Prayer and the Pledge in School Board Meetings in the Texas Panhandle
Updated: Aug 29, 2022
Today we are taking a look at school districts in the Texas Panhandle that include prayer and the pledge of allegiance prior to or during a school board meeting.
We challenge each of you to ensure that both are included in the introductory sections of each independent school board meeting agenda for your district.
* Data based on ISD board meeting minutes, agenda or public notices from each district website for the months of April or May 2022.
Religion And The Courts
Today, the Court divides the religious clauses of the First Amendment into what it terms "The Establishment Clause" ("Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion" and "The Free Exercise Clause" ("nor prohibiting the free-exercise thereof"). It is very obvious that no portion of the phrase "separation of church and state" appears in either part of the First Amendment (nor in any other part of the Constitution). It is not surprising, therefore, that the recent reliance by the Court on this non-constitutional phrase has prompted complaints by many constitutional jurists. For example, in Baer v. Kolmorgen, Judge Elbert Gallagher complained:
Much has been written in recent years... to "a wall of separation between Church and State." ... [It] has received so much attention that one would almost think at times that it is to be found somewhere in our Constitution.
And Supreme Court Justice William Rehnquist, after describing this phrase as a "misleading metaphor," then noted:
But the greatest injury of the "wall" notion is its mischievous diversion of judges from the actual intentions of the drafters of the Bill of Rights.... The "wall of separation between Church and State" is a metaphor based on bad history - a metaphor which has proved useless as a guide to judging. It should be frankly and explicitly abandoned.
Regrettably, the public's current understand (actually, misunderstanding) of the religious provisos of the First Amendment has been shaped primarily by a phase which does not even appear in the Constitution - a phrase almost totally unknown in constitutional jurisprudence for well over a century-and-a-half before the 1947 Everson case.
Yet, while all must truthfully concede that the separation metaphor is not actually found in the Constitution, many today nevertheless argue that the phrase as applied today accurately captures the intent of the Framers - that the concept of a complete separation (i.e., an enforced secularization of the public square) was practiced by them during the Founding Era. 1 Nothing could be father from the truth.
If your leaders are being swayed to deny their creator by organizations funded with tax dollars, it might be time to seek new advisors. If leadership is being counseled with fear to side-step their God-given first amendment rights, it might be time to seek new attorneys. If your elected officials are not coming to the Father on their knees before making major decisions affecting families in your community, it might be time to seek new leadership.
"Bibles are strong entrenchments. Where they abound, men cannot pursue wicked courses." - JAMES McHENRY, Signer of the Constitution
Blog Update: As of August 2022, the Canyon ISD School Board added both a prayer and the pledge to the CISD Board Meeting agenda. Our assumption is that this will continue. We are extremely pleased with this change and applaud the board's decision to invite the holy spirit into the room and praise God for our many blessings.
1 - Original Intent - The Courts, The Constitution, and Religion by David Barton; ISBN-13: 978-1-932225-63-1(Paperback edition); pg 25-26.