Monday, January 20, 2020

President Trump Protects School Prayer: 'We Will Not Let Anyone Push God From the Public Square'

AP Photo/Andrew Harnik
President Donald Trump gave a full-throated defense of school prayer on Religious Freedom Day, signing updates to the guidance on constitutional prayer in public schools.
"We call this the right to pray," the president declared. Trump vowed that under his tenure, "we will not let anyone push God from the public square."
Matt Sharp, senior counsel at Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) attended the event and briefed PJ Media about the importance of the guidance.
Trump's new guidance "requires schools to certify that their policies protect student speech. They expanded the existing guidelines," Sharp explained. "It's not limited to prayer, but it can involve handing out religious literature and invitations to church events."
"It was both a reaffirmation of the importance of protecting students' rights coupled with a real enforcement plan," he explained. Along with the guidance, the administration released new regulations at the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Labor, and many other agencies ensuring that the government does not discriminate against religious organizations. These rules built on Trinity Lutheran Church v. Comer (2017), in which the Supreme Court reversed a ruling excluding a church-run school from a government program to rebuild school playgrounds.
ADF defended Trinity Lutheran in that case. It also defended Chase Windebank, a student who started a prayer group at his public high school and ran it for nearly four years before the principal ordered him to stop, claiming prayer meetings violate the separation of church and state. After ADF filed a lawsuit, the school reversed this policy, restoring Windebank's First Amendment right to religious freedom. Trump hosted Windebank at the event.
Read the rest of the story HERE.

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