A Strong America

Trump Makes Aggressive Protections for Prayer in Public School

"This afternoon we are proudly announcing historic steps to protect the First Amendment right to pray in public schools."

Image Credit: SHUTTERSTOCK

President Trump announced today that his administration is taking new steps to reinforce the right to pray in public school.

Surrounded by people of various faiths, including Christians, Muslims, and Jews, Trump affirmed an aggressive renewal of guidance given to public schools that is meant to loosen the tight grip around the right to pray for students and school staff.

“This afternoon we are proudly announcing historic steps to protect the First Amendment right to pray in public schools.”

President Trump: Protecting the right to pray in school

President Trump announced historic steps to protect the Constitutional right to pray in public schools!

Posted by The White House on Thursday, January 16, 2020

 

Since the campaign trail, Trump has maintained a large and intimately engaged circle of spiritual advisors who pray with him, inform him of anti-religious influences in America, and have been tasked with creating policy ensuring that the free exercise of religion is not compromised.

“We will not allow faithful Americans to be bullied by the hard Left,” Trump said.

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Education Secretary Betsy DeVos published the new guidance on the DOE website. The formal guidance is to be disseminated to all public school executives.

Franklin Graham tweeted his appreciation for Trump’s new initiative:

Critics have suggested that this new guidance is unnecessary and is perhaps a means by which Trump is appeasing the religious right in order to secure their vote this coming November. Regardless of any political intent, the new guidance is necessary.

Case and point: Coach Joe Kennedy.

Kennedy was the football coach at Bremerton Knights High School in Bremerton, Washington before he was fired for refusing a directive to stop praying. He would pray in a way that was public, but not in a way that impeded any school services and not in a way that would force or coerce a student to participate.

His prayer literally had no conflict with anything except for the fact that it bothered some officials.

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While it is true that the Supreme Court has ruled on the matter of prayer in school, this new guidance is not meant to interfere with current precedent but rather to provide practical instructions to public schools as to how their policy should line up with, and not go beyond, a constitutional approach to the right to pray.

Marilyn Rhames, the founder of Teachers Who Pray, explained that prayer is needed in public schools because of the fierce timeline of violence that she has observed while in the education system:

Marilyn Rhames, Founder of Teachers Who Pray

"I taught in Chicago public schools for 14 years… We were losing students every year to gun violence."Marilyn Rhames, founder of Teachers Who Pray, explains why she began inviting public school teachers to pray together.

Posted by The White House on Thursday, January 16, 2020

Rev. Johnnie Moore, a commissioner for the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom, applauded Trump’s move:

“The White House isn’t saying whether one should pray or to whom or what they should pray to, they are simply making it clear that in the United States students have First Amendment rights also, and our ‘separation of church and state’ wasn’t intended to suppress a vibrant religious life in America but to facilitate it. Jefferson’s letter to the Danbury Baptists, where he referenced this separation, was actually more about protecting the church from the State than the State from the church,” Moore said.

Religious liberty has been blatantly attacked in the United States and the Trump administration has taken bold steps to ensure this unconstitutional advancement is reversed.

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