Saturday, May 24, 2008

Have you signed away your First Amendment Rights?

District drops 'John 3:16' ban
Allowed Hindu, satanic symbols in student work but not Christian
Posted: May 21, 2008
5:23 pm Eastern

© 2008 WorldNetDaily

An art policy at a Wisconsin high school that allowed images of Buddha, the Grim Reaper, demons and Medusa but banned the Bible reference John 3:16 is being changed as the result of a student's challenge to the district.

The turnabout came after Alliance Defense Fund attorneys filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court on behalf of a student at Tomah High School who was given a "zero" grade for refusing to remove the words "John 3:16" and "a sign of love" from an art project.

The student, identified as A.P. in the suit, was told by his teacher that the cross and biblical reference on his drawing needed to be covered because they were sparking comments from other students. He was then shown a policy banning depictions of "blood, violence, sexual connotations, [or] religious beliefs," which A.P. had signed to participate in the class.

Under the terms of the settlement reached yesterday, Tomah Area School District officials have removed the ban on religious expression in class assignments. A.P.'s artwork has been graded, and all references to the detentions have been cleared from his record. The school also agreed to pay A.P.'s attorney fees.

A.P. received a B+ for his artwork, ADF said.

Artwork banned because of the inclusion of a biblical reference and the message: "A sign of love"

Censoring A.P.'s work on religious grounds smacked of hypocrisy, the ADF lawyers argued..

"While penalizing A.P.'s religious expression, defendants prominently display[ed] in the school's hallway a large painting of a six-limbed Hindu woman riding a swan figure," the complaint said. "… Elsewhere, on a hallway bulletin board, there hangs a drawing of a robed sorcerer."

The school also houses a sitting Buddha fountain, and a replica of Michelangelo's "The Creation of Man" is displayed at the school's entrance. Other students have their religious artwork on display, including drawings of Medusa and the Grim Reaper and masks of devil-like figures.

"Allowing demonic depictions by some students while prohibiting Christian religious expression in artwork by others is a blatant violation of the Constitution," said David Cortman, senior ADF counsel.

ADF also argued in its suit against the policy prohibiting religious expression that A.P. was compelled to sign.

When A.P. was confronted by his teacher, she showed him the policy and explained that he had "signed away his First Amendment rights."

But A.P. tore the policy in protest, an act for which he received a pair of detentions, denying any such surrender of rights.

“The student was correct," Cortman explained. "A public school cannot require students to sign away their constitutional right to free speech and religious expression. Furthermore, other students created artwork in violation of this illegitimate policy, but no action was taken against them. Only our client was singled out."
Has anyone reading this seen this kind of censorship in their area that they live in?  If so, what was the outcome?  What is the solution?

We are called to boldly proclaim the gospel to a lost and dark world.  Have you been threatened to keep quiet in order to preserve peace?  A Day is coming soon when people will have to make a decision (ideally, NOW is the time to decide whether you will follow Christ or not).  The Antichrist will try to make all people take "the mark" in order to get food.  Have you trained your family about the dangers of doing that?  Wouldn't it be much better to be a Christian NOW as opposed to living a lie and following after the ways of the Devil?

If you give up your rights to free speech, you will ultimately be giving up much greater rights.  Jesus died on the cross for us because of our sins.   We are called to be obedient to His Word and to be followers of Him.  Have you put your faith and trust in Jesus to save you?  Have you repented of your sins?  Are you reaching out to the lost soul out in the street?

You have the RIGHT to speak about Jesus and what He did on the cross.  Don't ever lose or take for granted that that "right" will always be there.  If the time comes when the world does not allow you to speak about Jesus, I hope you will remain faithful to Him.

Go into all the world preaching the gospel to every creature!


Question of Identity said...

Thank God that common sense has prevailed here. In England we have had similar problems over pupils and people in the work place wearing the symbol of the cross.

Ginny said...

Here we are again in Wisconsin...

West Bend, to be exact.

Check out my blog to read what is going on in MY hometown...

We refuse to sign away the First Amendment rights for our school students with this poorly-written harassment code deemed mandatory by Wisconsin State Administrative Code PI-9.

Together for the Kingdom...

pastorbrianculver said...

Hi Ginny,
I went to your site. Very well done! You make a very good point on this issue. It would be a land of silence! I would encourage all of my readers to go to Ginny's site to see some of her stuff there. Well done!
God bless