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"Enforced by incarceration or other sanctions for contempt of Court if not obeyed"

That from a judge in Texas forbidding prayer at a graduation:

A federal judge has ordered a Texas school district to prohibit public prayer at a high school graduation ceremony.

Chief U.S. District Judge Fred Biery's order against the Medina Valley Independent School District also forbids students from using specific religious words including "prayer" and "amen."

The ruling was in response to a lawsuit filed by Christa and Danny Schultz. Their son is among those scheduled to participate in Saturday's graduation ceremony. The judge declared that the Schultz family and their son would "suffer irreparable harm" if anyone prayed at the ceremony.

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott said the school district is in the process of appealing the ruling, and his office has agreed to file a brief in their support.

...

Judge Biery's ruling banned students and other speakers from using religious language in their speeches. Among the banned words or phrases are: "join in prayer," "bow their heads," "amen," and "prayer."

He also ordered the school district to remove the terms "invocation" and "benediction" from the graduation program.

"These terms shall be replaced with 'opening remarks' and 'closing remarks,'" the judge's order stated. His ruling also prohibits anyone from saying, "in [a deity's name] we pray."

Should a student violate the order, school district officials could find themselves in legal trouble. Judge Biery ordered that his ruling be "enforced by incarceration or other sanctions for contempt of Court if not obeyed by District official (sic) and their agents."

I'd like to see the students en masse pray the Lord's Prayer during the ceremony and dare local officials to arrest them.

That would speak volumes.


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Comments (27)

Intriguing.I wonde... (Below threshold)
Sky Captain:

Intriguing.

I wonder if this tool of a judge realizes that, logically speaking, that the "total separation of church and state" means he cannot issue this ruling at all.

After all, the courts are part of the "state" and since there is total separation...

Oh, and if my children were... (Below threshold)
Sky Captain:

Oh, and if my children were attending this school, there is no way in hell Christa and Danny Schultz's son (nor Christa and Danny Schultz themselves) would be attending.

Public outrage would be immense. And it would also be very public exactly who started the whole mess.

I'm a muslim and seeing an ... (Below threshold)
engineer:

I'm a muslim and seeing an un-burkaed woman at graduation would cause me to "suffer irreparable harm". Therefore all the women at graduation, and in the audience, must wear burkas and follow shira law.

I'm a vegetarian and seeing people eating meat products at the graduation would cause me to "suffer irreparable harm". Therefore all meat products and leather clothing assessories, shall be banned from the graduation ceremony.

I'm a member of the holiness church and seeing women in slacks offends me and would cause me to "suffer irreparable harm". Therefore all females at the graduation must wear dresses.

The list could go on and on. No matter what you do or say, somebody might be offended. Best we all just stay at home so as not to accidentally offend somebody and face the wrath of the judical system.

The First Amendment is not ... (Below threshold)
Bob:

The First Amendment is not a guaranty of freedom FROM religion, as Judge Biery seems to think. I'm an atheist but believe in religious freedom, so the judge's ruling makes me sick. The idea that some child will be "irreparably harmed" by hearing a prayer is ridiculous, as is banning specific words and phrases from the graduation ceremony. This kind of ruling, enforceable by incarceration, is judicial tyranny.

I'd like to see the stud... (Below threshold)

I'd like to see the students en masse pray the Lord's Prayer during the ceremony and dare local officials to arrest them.

They're kids, they won't do any such thing. Intimidation works against younger people quite well, as the judge knows. Yes it would be nice to see, but history says it's very unlikely.

The only one who should be ... (Below threshold)
Ryan M.:

The only one who should be facing incarceration is the judge.

The judge declared that ... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

The judge declared that the Schultz family and their son would "suffer irreparable harm" if anyone prayed at the ceremony.

WTF?

What'll they do, puncture their eardrums and gouge out their eyes to avoid hearing or seeing the prayer?

I'm really starting to get tired of the whole "If I see/hear something I don't like, I'll be scarred for life" meme. You don't like something? Grow a thicker skin. The world isn't obliged to fit itself to YOU - YOU have to adapt to the world.

Everyone should sneeze at t... (Below threshold)
mag:

Everyone should sneeze at this graduation and then have everyone collectively say "God Bless".

And then this asshole (I hate that word, but was else could you call this fool?) judge can jailed everyone and that should make his tail go up and give him a thrill.

This is the other extreme of forcing people to worship. This is what they did in communist countries...only this judge is doing it in the reverse.

How do people like this get into any kind of power?

"How do people like this ge... (Below threshold)
Jay:

"How do people like this get into any kind of power?"

They're appointed by William Jefferson Clintoon.

This judge should be impeac... (Below threshold)
JC in DC:

This judge should be impeached. That's not angry rhetoric, it just common sense. He's unfit for the role he's in, and is clearly not upholding the Constitution.

I guess we can add those wo... (Below threshold)
John:

I guess we can add those words to George Carlin's list of 7 forbidden words. What a bunch of crap we have a judge banning specific words? As other's have pointed out where does that end, does this judge end up providing a list of approved words? I think the parents should all show up and stand up and say a prayer and dare this asshole to arrest them, they would all end up winning the law suite lottery.

What part of "SHALL MAKE NO... (Below threshold)
Ryan M.:

What part of "SHALL MAKE NO LAW" do they not understand?

Interesting. I'd like o se... (Below threshold)
jim m:

Interesting. I'd like o see the judge throw the district superintendent in jail for someone using "religious language in their speech". I think that the appellate court might have a few things to say about holding a third party responsible for the acts of another person.

By that same logic if a drug sweep found pot in a student's locker we should arrest the Principal.

The fact that the judge is threatening to jail, not the people who violate his order, but the school district officials, should tell us a lot about his ability as a judge.

Sky Captain is correct. The... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

Sky Captain is correct. The judge is ordering these people on how to pray. ww

"The judge declared that th... (Below threshold)
Hank:

"The judge declared that the Schultz family and their son would "suffer irreparable harm" if anyone prayed at the ceremony."

This ruling is irreparable lunacy.

I hope someone holds a prayer vigil outside their home.

So, could I file a suit cla... (Below threshold)
Big Mo:

So, could I file a suit claiming my kids would "suffer irreperable harm" if they're forced in school to watch "An Inconvenient Truth" or a Michael Moore commie propaganda piece?

How about filing a suit claiming I "suffer irreperable harm" if I'm forced to listen to the insanity of this judge?

Nominated by Clinton. Conf... (Below threshold)
Caesar Augustus:

Nominated by Clinton. Confirmed before the GOP took over the Senate. Any other questions??

Hmmm.Hold a separa... (Below threshold)
Rodney Graves Author Profile Page:

Hmmm.

Hold a separate and concurrent private event on property not belonging to the School District (preferably private property somewhere) at which everyone not named Schultz will graduate.

Bonus points if the "official graduation" winds up with only the Schultz family and friends in attendance.

Worship is blasphemy to ath... (Below threshold)
BlueNight:

Worship is blasphemy to atheists. Why are we enforcing the blasphemy requirements of ANY religion?

One of the biggest problems... (Below threshold)
Deke:

One of the biggest problems is that the Legislative branch has abdicated their authority. We have a Federal system of checks and balances but Congress is more concerned about re-election and "gotcha" politics than they are about doing their duty, ie., controlling spending and balancing the power of the executive and judicial branches.

"John Marshall has made his decision, now let him enforce it!" Andrew Jackson

One of the more famous quotes attributed to Jackson, I wonder if the thought behind it isn't applicable here?

Well the "judge" made his r... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

Well the "judge" made his ruling. Now let's see him enforce it.

Let the honorable gentleman... (Below threshold)
Rich Fader:

Let the honorable gentleman send marshals to the commencement ceremonies and make this farce complete. Ideally, they should all be telepathic so they can identify and apprehend anybody who's praying inwardly.

Shultz son has already suff... (Below threshold)
Sep14:

Shultz son has already suffered irreparable harm. From the embarrassment of being raised in that family.

As an agnostic who strongly... (Below threshold)
Murgatroyd:

As an agnostic who strongly believes in the separation of church and state for the good of both sides, I've gotta say ... what a freakin' idiot!

Look, Judge Biery, it's well established legal doctrine that the school cannot sponsor or lead prayer at a government-run event. (Although that rule can be broken without consequence for the right people -- remember the Native American prayer at the memorial for the Arizona murder victims?) But to prohibit individual citizens from discussing whatever they want? To say that a couple of militant athiests would be "irreparably harmed" if they heard perfectly legal words you can find in any dictionary? Seriously?!

I love Rodney's idea of the separate, private graduation event.

The only way these leftist ... (Below threshold)
Oldpuppymax:

The only way these leftist activists will be defeated is by SCORES of actual Americans ignoring their rulings and telling them to go to hell.

I'd LOVE to be a parent at that graduation!! My son might be bailing me out, but I guarantee I'd have on heck of a lot of company.

The federal appeals court i... (Below threshold)
Tsar Nicholas II:

The federal appeals court in Texas reversed that Moonbat judge's ruling. Not surprisingly, however, the higher court's decision received far less coverage than the lower court's silly and now voided decision.

If I were giving a speech I... (Below threshold)

If I were giving a speech I would say the Pledge of Allegiance, including the whole "under God" part. Let's see the judge throw somebody in jail for speaking those words....




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