Teacher told to remove bible verses, Reagan quote from class
New debate on faith and free speech
- Duration 5:39
- Date Jan 14, 2013
New debate on faith and free speech
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There's a new debate -- religion of free speech in the classroom after a public school teacher in New York.
Is forced to remove a number of inspirational quote some posters from -- classroom.
Because of their religious content.
Joel Silver says she received a quote counseling letter.
Informing her that if she did not take down the list of items including a quote from former president Ronald Reagan.
She be fired.
silver is now suing.
-- believe that -- a first amendment rights were violated.
Last June when I was asked to do.
Regarding taking some posters down and to censor my speech in the classroom and as a Christian and as an American.
I believe that's incredibly important to fight fight to protect the rights.
That people have died too.
-- telomeres so she had posters with religious messages notes with Bible quotes like post -- notes on her desk.
A prayer request box for the schools Bible study club and then in teaching anatomy and biology she apparently mentioned.
Adam and eve she.
Mentioned -- Bible verse.
She mentioned Paul's first letter gin up a poster with Paul's first letter to the corinthians but that's -- that -- young guards stand true to what you believe be courageous and strong and and everything you do must be done -- -- And then there was the Ronald Reagan thing talking about how without god theocracy.
Cannot -- so did she did she run afoul of the establishment clause.
I I don't think so I've argued.
Three major religion cases in involving his exact kind of thing at the Supreme Court of the United States and and -- look I I think it's overkill here that you an eight page counseling letter.
Because she has a purchase you've mentioned that quote from Caribbean so what is in that quote.
That you know is creating a constitutional.
Crisis standard and finally has a prayer.
Yeah well you know what -- wouldn't -- do good state for what you believe in it and do it in law he's a really things are gonna create you know.
It's been establish a national religion in America.
I mean this is that's again the over statement I think what's happened here.
Is and I'm happy to say that these cases are rare now when they have been for the last few years.
But the fact of the matter is that it is that school district she.
Yeah basically treating religion like its asbestos in the ceiling tiles.
And it's mere mention is a constitutional crisis.
And that's just if these students have constitutional rights so teachers in fact the famous quote from that Supreme Court over fifty years ago.
With neither students nor teachers surrender the rights to -- -- speech.
At the schoolhouse gate and -- she's got personal messages on her desk better inspirational to her why is that creating an eight page counseling.
The -- and it's wanting to have posters on the wall you can have a fair debate about that but at the post that she looks out on our desk.
-- -- here's the thing I think I remember seeing you at the Supreme Court when McCrary vs ACLU was argued back in 2005.
Yup and that was a big case that was one of the ten commandments cases where they had posted some -- some local officials have posted the ten commandments on their county -- courtrooms I think and on the board.
Some rejected and they tried to paper a -- with like other historical documents anyway right that the liberals ruled in that case together.
And that was a case in which the liberals of the High Court bound together to say the First Amendment right.
And non religion and Justice Scalia went ballistic in his defense saying.
It's not so we haven't -- our earnings in god we trust -- open the supreme -- ends with god bless this honorable court.
-- that the house and the senate start -- sessions with with prior to the prayer that there's no it now theater history suggests that they want to neutrality.
Well let's -- -- what they they certainly did not want the founders of our country that's hostility towards religion.
And I had a subsequent ten -- case which we won unanimously.
Where this idea that you know again posted ten commandments to not create.
A constitutional crisis -- what the court's been accomplished on the -- -- cases you've pointed that out correctly but let me tell you -- the courts were pretty clear.
I mean our national motto in god we trust of the school district post that in its class from -- we now say that that's a violation of the separation of church and state.
Of the establishment clause and if she had posters up a quote Ronald Reagan who in his speech mentions god is that now.
Forbidden and that's that we've got this great constitutional crisis going on.
I think everybody needs to take a deep breath -- special this school district and that the overreaction is an understatement -- the teachers filed a lawsuit here because she feels like.
Her rights have been violated and again it's not neutrality towards religion here.
It's hostility towards religion.
And this idea that you can just you know ignore the religious history of America.
I pointed -- -- in -- I asked to -- were argument on religion case this idea we could ignore the religious his freedom of America ignores the reality of the American experience.
Scalia pointed out Justice Scalia pointed out that in the same week that that the congress submitted the establishment clause is part of the bill of rights.
It enacted a law providing for paid chaplains in the house and senate.
So you know the idea that they wanted no part for religion in the public square just -- belied by the history but you tell me quickly -- -- -- ago.
Is it -- lot now that as the majority not the dissent in that case held.
That the the First Amendment mandates neutrality between religion and non religion you can't you can't -- -- I think that's -- -- again I think the reality is that we have got to protect religious freedom period neutrality can be used as a whipsaw against religion but at the end of the day.
Protecting religious freedom protects this teacher and that's what should happen here see how it goes -- thanks.