There has been a disturbing trend, lately, of schools being attacked for anything that resembles religious expression on the campus. This happens particularly at high schools, but also impacts other schools across the nation. Groups such as Freedom From Religion are being called upon by students and parents to defend their personal belief that religion should have no place in any way shape or form on a public school campus. Lawsuits are filed every month, it seems, where the plaintiff is a student who feels violated by a show of religion on their campus. And all of this is taking a wrong interpretation of Freedom of Religion too far, and it is doing harm to those that wish to have the Freedom to express their religious beliefs on their school campus.
There has never been a case where a public school in the United States has forced any religious belief or practice on any student. Certainly, there are prayers held before football games or prayer groups that meet during lunch. But none of this is requiring a student, or anyone for that matter, to participate. Anyone is just as free to ignore a prayer as they are to take part in it – that is part of what Religious Freedom is. A Jew would not be expected to participate in a Christian prayer, but filing a lawsuit because a Christian prays at a public school with his friends is not Religious Freedom, it is an attempt to remove religion from American society as a whole, under the guise of preventing religious practices at public schools.
Religious Freedom is a Right that students, teachers, coaches, and parents should not be afraid to practice at their schools. The marching band should not be worried about offending someone by playing a piece of music that is generally considered a Christian hymn, but in the context of a football game is just a nice piece of music. There is a time and a place for exercising Religious Freedom, but attempting to block every person’s Right to Religion on their own terms is a step in the wrong direction for America.