Expansive permanent injunction bans prayer, represses Christian freedoms!
Judge Ira DeMent has issued a sweeping ruling restricting prayer and other activities on the part of Alabama students.
What does it actually say? Here are "highlights":
WHAT STUDENTS CAN'T Do:
The Defendants are PERMANENTLY ENJOINED from permitting including but not limited to vocal prayer, Bible and religious devotional or scriptural readings; distribution of religious materials, texts, or announcements; and discussions of a devotional inspirational nature, regardless of whether the activity is initiated, led by, or engaged in by students...." [Sec don 6(a)]
NO PRAYING DURING CRISIS:
"No exception to this provision shall be permitted during times of perceived crisis or exigent circumstances. [Section 6(c)]
IF A TEACHER SEES A STUDENT IN VIOLATION:
"Where the enjoined activity by students occurs School OFFICIALS... are hereby ORDERED to take appropriate disciplinary action as they would for any violation of school disciplinary rules. [Section 6(c)]
DEFENDANT shall "Conduct a mandatory inservice training session for faculty and administrators ... designed to familiarize these school officials with the provisions of this PERMANENT INJUNCTION, [Section 7(e)]
The 'court will appoint a monitor....
The monitor shall have the power and authority to:
(i) enter any classroom or public school property; school assembly, sporting event, commencement exercise, or school-sponsored or school-initiated event for the purpose of observing and reporting on compliance for the duration of this PERMANENT INJUNCTION; and
(ii) collect complaints regarding any violation of any provision of this PERMANENT INJUNCTION; and
iii) verify that there are no violations of the provisions of this PERMANENT INIUNCTION...~"
AT TAXPAYER EXPENSE:
"The monitor shall be paid - a reasonable fee for services and expenses... [Section 7(t)]
'All costs herein incurred shall be and the same are hereby assessed against the Board of Education....'
Ira DeMent, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Columnist Pat Buchanan reports that the ruling ignited a "firestorm"' of "astonishment and outrage" Conservative Chronicle 12/10/97).
"At one football game," Buchanan says, "so many parents and students prayed together, the players could not get on to the field." Buchanan foresees a new "religious rights revolution." Alabama's attorney general, Bill Pryor, has asked that enforcement of parts of the DeMent ruling be delayed because it is "a restriction of free speech according to World magazine (11/22/97). The injunction could be reviewed by the Federal 1lth Circuit Court of Appeals.
Meanwhile, Alabama State Sen. Lowell Barron, a Democrat representing the city of Fyffe, says he hopes the DeMent ruling will inspire a movement that will "sweep the nation and curb dictatorial power of federal judges" (Associated Press 11/10/97).
Sylvania, Alabama, high school teacher Nick Hall suggests that the ACLU is "using the federal judicial system to impose its beliefs because there isn't enough support to pass them through the election process" (Associated Press 11/10/97).
The ACLU has already supported efforts to ban pre-game prayers at school athletic events and Gideon International's Bible distributions at school (Associated Press 11/7/97).
Dr. D. James Kennedy and other Christian leaders are calling for Judge Ira DeMent to be Impeached.
A nationwide petition campaign is under way Christians are urged to sign the petitions -addressed to members of the U.S. House of Representatives and House Speaker Newt Gingrich - and return them to Coral Ridge Ministries. While God's Word dictates that Christians submit to government authorities, authority in America rests with the citizenry - and impeachment is a legitimate function of the people's authority.
"Judge DeMent has left us with no choice," Dr Kennedy observes. 'As Christians and American citizens, we will not allow ourselves to be locked up in a stained-glass ghetto ... free to worship only secretly quietly inside the four walls of our churches, under the scornful supervision of dictatorial overlords
'When an extremist judge abandons the dictates of the Bill of Rights in favor of his own twisted view of right and wrong, he forfeits his authority and he must be removed from office in accordance with the established procedures of our American system of government."
The petition campaign calls upon the U.S. House of Representatives to open an investigation of Judge DeMent and initiate the impeachment process.
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