Bristol Palin Cheers For Christian Students Forcing Their Religion Upon Atheists

In February, video surfaced of evangelical pastors leading students in prayer in Hollister, Missouri during lunchtime in the school cafeteria.

As it turns out, school officials actually allow this a few times a week, and the Christian group that proselytizes to the students is the only religious group that has been allowed to interact with students on public ground that is supposed to be secular.

The religious group, known as KLIFE, has been going around indoctrinating students at several schools for a few years now. And because Hollister students have been conducting prayers in the lunchroom, KLIFE senior pastor Robert Bruce visited the school and took part in the prayers, which weren’t exactly silent and could be heard throughout the room even by students who do not subscribe to the Christian religion. Since then, Bruce and his organization have been preaching to all the students at lunchtime and have forced prayer upon them as if it’s a requirement to eat.

Here’s a video of one of the prayer sessions via YouTube.

Soon, the Freedom From Religion Foundation got involved, advising the school to end the practice of allowing a single religious group to have such open access to the student body and reminding them of the law.

“It is well settled as a matter of established law that public schools may not advance, prefer or promote religion,” FFRF said in a statement.

“It is unconstitutional for a public school to allow an evangelical Christian organization to impose prayer on all students. Giving the group access to all students as part of school programming suggests that the school district has preference not only for religion over nonreligion, but also evangelical Christianity over other faiths. This sort of entanglement between religion and public education is inappropriate.”

The FFRF is correct. While the Supreme Court can’t stop students from praying silently together or individually, it has ruled that schools cannot promote one religious belief over another

But so far, Superintendent Brain Wilson has resisted that advice because he claims any community leader can visit students during lunch. It kind of makes one wonder how he and parents would react if Satanic Temple leaders came knocking on the school door. Because you know they would not like that one bit.

It’s also pretty clear that KLIFE’s goal is to indoctrinate kids into Christianity at a young age, because as Branson Junior High Principal Bryan Bronn said in 2014,

“Somebody once told me that if you wanted to reach students and you wanted to be serious about being, as Jesus called us to be, fishers of men, then you need to be serious about where the fish are at. And we all know that fish travel in… schools.”

In other words, treat students like fish in a barrel where they can’t escape and you’ll likely brainwash many to follow you. That’s apparently the case in Hollister and other area schools, which means non-religious students in these schools must feel pretty damn intimidated.

And Bristol Palin totally approves of that.

On her little blog earlier this week, the daughter of America’s village idiot wrote about how proud she is that Christian students in Hollister are forcing their religious beliefs on atheists.

As parents, we pray our children will take our faith and it make it their own. We instill in them the building blocks of a relationship with Jesus, and hope they will have the boldness to carry it through their lives. A few children in Hollister, Missouri recently made their parents very proud.

As per usual, Palin goes on to whine about how the FFRF is involved and even brought out the tired conservative line that the Constitution says Freedom of Religion and not Freedom from Religion. And then she wrote this:

To the students in Hollister: you are what our country needs! Continue your hard work, stand strong together, and don’t allow yourselves to become discouraged. You are fighting a hard battle, but one that has value beyond measure.

In short, Bristol Palin wants those students to stand up against those evil atheists and jam Christianity down their throats whether they like it or not.

But that would be a complete violation of those students’ First Amendment rights. And by allowing an evangelical group to have so much power over students, the school is basically sponsoring a specific religion. The school is also failing the Lemon test set by the Supreme Court in 1971 which says any school-sponsored practice must be secular, neither advance nor inhibit religion, and can’t result in an excessive entanglement between government and religion.

Well, this certainly isn’t secular since it’s just one religious group participating. It’s clearly only advancing religion while inhibiting the beliefs and non-beliefs of other students, and it’s a public school financed by tax dollars and overseen by the state government of Missouri, which means it’s mixing government and religion. The school could claim the prayer isn’t being disruptive but that isn’t true either since this story has drawn attention from the national and local media and is setting up future lawsuits.

No one is saying that students can’t be Christians. But there is a place for Christians to go practice their religion and that place is generally known as a church and I hear it is open on Sunday or just about any day of the week.


Featured image via Flickr