Here’s a disturbing story from Fox News.
A California elementary school is changing course after being sued for barring a fifth grader from performing to a Christian song in the school’s February 4 talent show.
The students parents filed a lawsuit Friday saying Superior Street Elementary School violated their son’s first amendment rights by telling him he couldn’t dance to his favorite song “We Shine” because of its references to Jesus, MyFoxLA reported.
The lawsuit claims that after the boy’s January 14 audition the school’s principal, Jerilyn Shubert, told his mother the song was “offensive” and a violation of the “separation of church and state” and asked why he couldn’t “pick a song that does not say Jesus so many times?”
[…]The Alliance Defense Fund, a Christian legal alliance that brought the case on behalf of the student, says while its pleased with the district’s decision the lawsuit will continue to ensure that the school drafts a policy to prevent this from happening again.”Christian students shouldn’t be censored at public elementary schools because district officials think that religious speech may be offensive, which isn’t justified by the Constitution” said ADF Senior Counsel David Cortman. “The LAUSD did the right thing by recognizing the student’s constitutional rights and lifting its censorship of religious speech at the talent show.”
The school is, of course, a government-run (i.e. – public) school. The school web site is here. I found something interesting on the web site.
Superior Street Elementary School, as a multicultural and diverse learning community, prepares each student for academic, social, and personal success by providing a safe, supportive, challenging, and meaningful environment.
The problem with public schools is that they get paid money up front through taxation so that they have no responsibility to provide results to their customers in order to earn that money. Instead of having to compete with other schools in order to get paid, they get paid regardless of how they perform. So by the time that Christian parents discover what they are getting for their taxpayer dollars, it’s too late to take them back, and the only solution is to sue, which costs time and money.
But there is another point I want to make about the ADF and the lawyers. Where do they come from? And who pays them?
I ask this because recently I have been having discussions with a single Christian woman who thinks that anything that children want to do with their lives is as good as any other thing. I sent her the profiles of some high-powered influencers on either side of the culture war, e.g. – high-tech business owners who use their fortunes to promote same-sex marriage and conservative Supreme Court justices. I would put the ADF into the class of high-powered influencers. But the response from her was that poets can be just as influential as wealthy entrepreneurs or Supreme Court Justices.
Let’s just take a look at the biography of an ADF lawyer and see what they are like:
Alan Sears serves as president, CEO, and general counsel of the Alliance Defense Fund, a legal alliance of Christian attorneys and like-minded organizations defending the right of people to freely live out their faith. He leads the strategy, training, funding, and litigation efforts of ADF that have resulted in various roles in 37 victories at the U.S. Supreme Court and wins in more than three out of four cases litigated to conclusion. Under his leadership, ADF has funded more than 2,000 grants and legal projects for allied lawyers and organizations, and ADF attorneys have successfully defended marriage as the union between one man and one woman in over 40 cases nationwide.
Since the launch of ADF in 1994, Sears has provided strategic leadership in the training of more than 1,400 lawyers through the ADF one-of-a-kind National Litigation Academy, which is designed to equip attorneys to more effectively defend religious freedom, the sanctity of life, and marriage and the family. These attorneys have reported more than $117 million in pro-bono/dedicated time. Sears’ visionary efforts have also resulted in the graduation of more than 900 outstanding law students— representing more than 140 law schools—from the unique ADF Blackstone Legal Fellowship program. This in-depth summer internship program helps equip these students to assume leadership positions to shape the future of American law. Today, ADF has more than 1,800 allied attorneys.
Sears earned his Juris Doctor from Louis D. Brandeis School of Law. While serving in numerous positions within the government, he worked for the Department of Justice under Attorneys General William French Smith and Edwin Meese III, including service as an Assistant U.S. Attorney and Chief of the Criminal Section. Sears was also appointed as the director of the Attorney General’s Commission on Pornography and served as associate solicitor with the Department of the Interior under Secretary Donald Hodel. A graduate of the University of Kentucky, Sears has continued his education with professional instruction at Stanford University, Harvard Law School, Harvard Business School, and Pepperdine University.
Practicing law for three decades, Sears is a member in good standing with the American, Arizona, California, District of Columbia (inactive), and Kentucky bar associations. He has helped fashion the language for numerous state and federal laws and has testified before committees of the U.S. House and Senate, state legislatures, and many local governments and commissions. Legislators in 20 states have adopted his legislative recommendations. Sears has assisted legislators and law enforcement officials from many countries and has spoken before committees of the British Parliament.
I would link to the profile of a poet for contrast, but the poet accomplished nothing in his life and had no effect on society as a whole.
The interesting thing is that both of these children cost about the same to raise. Is one a better deal than the other? If I knew I was going to get poets on the other end of the decision to marry, could I do better using the money for the child for something else that would benefit God more – like sponsoring Christian apologetics events? What is the point of marrying and having children anyway? What is the business case? What is the value proposition to a man who has scarce resources that have alternative uses? And what leverage do I have after a marriage to make sure my plan will be followed? (E.g. – consider this case)
I should also note that the ADF is a charity and is funded by the donations of wealthy Christians. They are not funded by the donations of poets, because poets have no marketable skills and therefore nothing to share with others. Actually, it is poets who invent concepts like postmodernism, moral relativism, emotivism, diversity and multiculturalism, which is what causes these problems in the first place.
7 thoughts on “Public school censors student for singing Christian song”
“I would link to the profile of a poet for contrast, but the poet accomplished nothing in his life and had no effect on society as a whole.”
You obviously didn’t look very hard… ;-) They say this chap had quite a bit of influence: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_shakespeare
I wonder if any of your readers have read his poems and found them affecting. After all, he’s just a poet with no influence…
Here are two more of my favourite poets:
It’s actually quite ironic how you’ve written this post. You want lawyers to defend the boy (an excellent thing indeed) but nobody to write Christian songs for him to sing in the first place. Hah!
And I dare say you think those who wrote all the poetry in the book of Psalms were wasting their time too and had no influence?
“I ask this because recently I have been having discussions with a single Christian woman who thinks that anything that children want to do with their lives is as good as any other thing.”
As the woman you are referring to :-P I would like to say that this is an inaccurate statement. For example, I believe that there are things that a child can do with his or her life that are most certainly NOT good, like prostitution. As a Christian, the key criteria are to take up a career which is a) not sinful, and b) practised to the glory of God (“And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” – Colossian 3:17).
Actually, by the tradition of pretty much every civilization on Earth, poets are supposed to be defenders and explicators of the beauty of virtue and order, as well as gratitude and piety toward God (or the gods). They were widely considered the next best thing to prophets, priests, and scripture, which is how come they got into Paul’s letters and the Bible. It’s also why poetry and magistrates were intertwined in many traditional societies, and laws were often written in some kind of verse to aid memory.
This is why those interested in tearing down our society have worked so hard to convince poets that they must do everything to fight beauty, virtue, and order, both in their own work and in society. This is why Mohammed sent out assassins to break the influence of non-Islamic poets by killing them.
Of course, this is also why there’s not a lot of money in poetry, in a non-traditional society. Interesting amounts of influence remain, however.
Mohammed’s beef toward the poets, btw, was not that they were pagan or non-Islamic, but that they criticized him cogently and their words were remembered and spread. Criticism of bad rulers who broke moral law was also a major function of poets around the world.
I have to admit, though I think much of what you have written is spot on, I have no idea where you are going with this.
Do you really think that the writing of the Psalms was a worthless activity? That Shakespeare didn’t have an impact on the world? Do you think poetry wasn’t involved in writing the lyrics of the song the child sung that ADF lawyers are defending?