A federal judge in Texas is fighting back against attacks by Newt Gingrich and the religious right. After receiving death threats and being labeled as an out of control activist judge for ruling that schools cannot sponsor student led prayer at graduation ceremonies, the Honorable Fred Biery fired back in a personal statement included in the ruling in Schultz v. Medina Valley.
“To the United States Marshal Service and local police who have provided heightened security: Thank you.
To those Christians who have venomously and vomitously cursed the Court family and threatened bodily harm and assassination: In His name, I forgive you.
To those who have prayed for my death: Your prayers will someday be answered, as inevitably trumps probability.
To those in the executive and legislative branches of government who have demagogued this case for their own political goals: You should be ashamed of yourselves.”
Judge Biery then referenced the Bible to answer his Christian critics:
“Any American can pray, silently or verbally, seven days a week, twenty four hours a day, in private as Jesus taught or in large public events as Mohammed instructed.”
The Judge is referring to Matthew 6:6 in which Jesus states:
“But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.”
Source: King James Bible, Cambridge Edition.
It’s brilliant of course. The judge is taking Christians to the proverbial woodshed for abandoning the teachings of Jesus for the teachings of an Islamic Prophet. He’s also rightfully pointing out that the Constitution protects the religious freedom of non-Christians. By sponsoring prayer at a graduation ceremony, the school blatantly alienated non-Christians which violates freedom of religion. We all know this won’t stop fundamentalist Christians from continuing their crusade to replace the Constitution with their twisted version of Christian law, but it’s refreshing to see a federal judge, in Texas no less, point out their hypocrisy.