Thursday, March 11, 2010

Poster Child

California Board Still Wants Teacher to Remove 'God' Banners

A federal court told the board it could not censor classroom signs.

Board members of the Poway Unified School District voted to appeal a ruling siding with math teacher Brad Johnson, whom the board ordered to take down two banners with references to God, including "In God We Trust" and "God Bless America."

U.S. District Court Judge Roger T. Benitez ruled that the San Diego, Calif., teacher's constitutional rights were violated.

Johnson's signs had been hanging in his classroom for more than 25 years.

The board ordered Johnson to remove the banners in 2007, because they said "over-emphasized" God and "might make a Muslim student uncomfortable."

However, in other classrooms, images of Buddha, a poster with lyrics from a song with an anti-religious theme and a poster of Muslim leader Malcolm X were left untouched by the district.

Bruce Hausknecht, judicial analyst for Focus on the Family Action, is critical of the school district's hypocrisy.

"Allowing posters about Buddhism, atheism, or Islam, but prohibiting patriotic posters containing references to God is viewpoint discrimination prohibited by the First Amendment, pure and simple," he explained.

Robert Muise, attorney with the Thomas More Law Center, said Johnson made a bold move by standing by his convictions.

"He was willing to take on the school district and battle this for several years, and he prevailed," he said.

Muise added that Benitez' ruling was somewhat unusual.

"In these days of judicial activism," he said, "you have a judge who acknowledged the history of our nation – in particular the religious history of our nation – and sought to acknowledge it rather than rewrite it."

What are your thoughts on this article. Please share in comments!


Rita said...

I just hope God doesn't judge us for all the things that are happening here in our wonderful country. God bless America!!!

VKT said...

I am so glad that I work in a private Christian school where I can pray with my students daily and gladly proclaim my love for the Lord. I worked in the public schools for 31 years and to be honest with you, all I saw was a downhill decline.

Sandra said...

It's scary and it's sad, I just hate to see things like this happening.

Parsley said...

I recently posted about how people are upset that Christian homeschoolers are teaching creationism instead of pushing evolution as truth.

Though I'm a Christian and loyal to our country, I'm not sure if the banners don't create a slippery slope. Something to ponder....

Mari said...

I think this is great! It seems that these rulings usually go the other way and to me there seems to be no common sense in the way it goes.

Amy said...

Sad...too sad

He & Me + 3 said...

That is what is so frightening about the public school system...yet I feel we need Christians in the public school system to stand up for our rights and to challenge their ways. I am thankful for judges and congressmen that stand up for the beliefs that our country was founded on. We are living in some sad times.

RCUBEs said...

I'm sure this won't be the first nor won't be the last...Blessed are those who are persecuted because of His Name.

Jane In The Jungle said...

Unfortunately I think it was the hypocracy of the school board that caused the ruling to be overturned. If the other signs had not been hanging and were ok'ed to leave up, I think they would have seen this as a case of seperation of church and state. Props to the teacher for sticking with it!

Denise said...

Very sad.

LeeAnn@Encouragement Is Contagious said...

I'm thankful in the public school I work in that there are many Christians working there including the principal and the school superintendent. Although during every morning announcements we have what you call "a moment of silence" through out the school, instead of calling it prayer, but the children still see me and many others bowing our heads and silently praying.

Every day, I ask God to make me a witness and be a help to someone for HIM. He always supplies "the Who" he wants me to help.

My children are gone and raised now, and I too can see how much the schools have changed in being able to talk about God and prayer etc.. It is very sad. But I feel this is where God wants me to serve Him at this time in whatever way I can.

Joyce said...

Sad but not surprising.

Good for that teacher sticking to his convictions!

KrippledWarrior said...

Today 12 March 2010 the 9th circuit court upheld the motto "In God we trust" on US currency and "Under God" in the pledge of allegiance.