A school district in Arkansas has decided to completely cancel 6th grade graduation ceremonies after some parents asked that Christian prayers not be included.
According to KAIT, Riverside School district made the decision after being contacted by a parent and receiving a letter from the American Civil Liberties Union.
“As Christians and a mainly Christian town I think, there were a lot of people hurt that our rights were taken away,” Sixth grade parent Kelly Adams told the station. “My daughter graduated last year from 6th grade and my son is graduating this year from 6th grade, and we had a pastor open our ceremony and my daughter actually closed the ceremony in prayer.”
“We just went to take a stand for God because we felt like out rights were taken away,” she added. “I realize they have rights too but you can’t take rights away from one group and give it to another.”
Adams said that a group of Christian parents were meeting to decide which church would host a substitute graduation, and that everyone would be invited.
~ from Arkansas School Cancels Entire Graduation After Being Asked Not to Pray by David Edwards ~
It appears to me Kelly Adams didn't pay much attention during her year in 6th grade! When the US Constitution was discussed in Civics class, she must have been passing notes or sleeping. Nowhere in this document, including the Bill of Rights, is a provision that guarantees the right of public prayer.
What the 1st Amendment DOES state is that "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof..." So Adams (and everyone who believes as she does) is free to pray as much and as often as she wants PROVIDED that she doesn't infringe on the rights of others to believe or not believe as they see fit.
A point that I have made before -- but it bears repeating -- is that no one can stop another person from praying. All you have to do is to say the prayer in your head. If your God is as omnipresent as you believe, I'm guessing that he will hear it! If you want to pray out loud, then do it in a gathering of fellow believers in a location where you all can get together. I think these places are called churches, synagogues, temples and mosques.
One other thought. Do you think people like Kelly Adams would be in this kind of thither if the 6th grade graduation ceremonies were slated to include Muslim prayers? Oh, I think there certainly would be an uproar, but an uproar of a totally different nature.