"Robert Smith helped organize a defense fund for three Santa Rosa County school employees, after they were charged with defying a federal judge's order against prayer in schools. On August 27, 2008, the ACLU filed a complaint in U.S. Federal Court that alleged that the rights of two minors had been violated in that the School Board, School Superintendent and Frank Lay, Principal of Pace High School, were forcing their religious beliefs on the minors."
I'm with the ACLU on this one. Constitutionally, government employees (and yes, that includes public school employees) cannot promote any one religion. The rights of the minors have been violated, in my opinion. They were not Christian. Being forced to pray is wrong.
I'm currently reading a book called Piety and Politics, by Rev. Barry W. Lynn. He raises an excellent point- forced, ritualized religion, like standardized prayers in school, have no real value. They simply create resentment and trivialize religion. State-mandated religion is not true religion or faith.
The Christians in this town are throwing a fit, claiming their Christian rights have been violated. But what about the rights of those two kids? Would Christians be so keen on this idea if some other religion was being given preference in the public schools?
No, of course not.