By Kimberly Bloom Jackson
Of course they do –– and lots of it, too!
It may not be my kind of prayer, perhaps not even yours, but Islamic prayer is doing quite well. Granted, political correctness gave Muslims a head start, but now they’re just like we used to be, real constitutionalists that challenge all who dare infringe on their religious freedom.
Why can’t we all do this?
Some say prayer has no place in public schools, that it’s unconstitutional because it violates the so-called “separation of church and state” doctrine.
I say poppycock!
Missouri citizens recently stood their ground and overwhelmingly passed a prayer amendment to their state constitution, protecting an individual’s right to pray in public schools. Moreover, all public schools will be required to post the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights, which guarantees these rights in the first place.
Obviously, voters knew that the progressives’ favorite phrase “separation of church and state” is no where to be found in the U.S. Constitution or any other founding document.
Disagree? Let’s take a closer look.
It was President Thomas Jefferson who first penned the phrase “a wall of separation between church and state” in an 1802 letter to the Danbury Baptist Association to reassure them that the federal government would never interfere with public religious expression.
Obviously, Jefferson’s use of metaphor here was specifically related to the First Amendment of the Constitution, stating: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”
In other words, our federal government was originally forbidden from regulating matters of religion. To be sure, such limited powers of the government are reaffirmed by the Tenth Amendment, which unambiguously reads, “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”
If you need more proof, just read Federalist Paper #45 , where President James Madison, the acknowledged father of our Constitution, articulated the intended scope of the federal government in order to allay concerns the states had prior to the Constitution’s ratification. In #45, he explained that the limited and specifically enumerated powers of the federal government would “be exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation, and foreign commerce,” and that state powers would “extend to all the objects which, in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives, liberties, and properties of the people, and the internal order, improvement and prosperity of the state.”
Madison couldn’t have been more clear.
Thanks to our founders, true freedom of religion lasted nearly 150 years.
However, as great as our Constitution is, its efficacy is predicated on the character of the people who have sworn to abide by it and defend it. In the words of President John Adams, “Our Constitution was made only for a religious and moral people. It is wholly inadequate for the government of any other.”
Unfortunately, everything changed in 1947. That’s when the infamous ACLU attorney Leo Pfeffer took Jefferson’s words out of context and fabricated his own version of “separation of church and state” during the landmark Supreme Court case of Everson v. Board of Education of Ewing Township . In an unprecedented reversal, the progressive stacked court cleverly decided to apply Jefferson’s metaphoric phrase to the “establishment” clause of the First Amendment. The rest, as they say, is history –– revisionist history.
The federal government, through judicial activism, not only usurped power from the states, it set up a dangerous precedent of case law instead of following the Constitution, the supreme law of the land.
Good Americans are now being bullied by every busybody with a cause, trumpeting the spurious “separation of church and state” to demand the removal of everything they don’t like, such as nativity scenes, the Ten Commandments, “God bless America” banners, even little children in Kindergarten silently bowing to give thanks during lunchtime.
Ever hear of the Religious Freedom Goes to School campaign? It’s the ACLU’s latest ploy to lure South Carolina school districts to join their “freedom” efforts by “reviewing existing policies and practices with an eye toward assuring that religious freedom is fully protected.” Sounds nice, doesn’t it? In reality, however, this campaign is just another clever attempt to monitor schools in order to advance their longstanding agenda––freedom from religion, rather than freedom of religion.
It should be self-evident at this point, even to the most dense among us, that until we once again stand up for our rights, these busybodies won’t rest until the last coin inscribed with “In God We Trust” is melted down!
Meanwhile, Muslim kids are reportedly getting all kinds of accommodations, including private prayer rooms separated by gender. California, Michigan, Wisconsin and New York are just a few states that come to mind.
As for the rest of us, we allow political hacks and unscrupulous lawyers to get away with bullying school officials who consider prayer by threatening them with lawsuits, jail time, even likening them to racists and terrorists.
Try using these tactics on Muslim folk. They wouldn’t stand for it. And neither should we, regardless of our faith.
Remember, a right not exercised is a right lost, and when it comes to the Constitution, it’s all or nothing.
Kimberly Bloom Jackson is an educator with 15 years of experience. She holds a doctorate in anthropology and recently completed her first book, a behind the scenes look at Hollywood’s social politics.