The anti-Christian Freedom from Religion Foundation (FFRF) cautioned Cleveland County North Carolina School Board with legal action for considering posting Ten Commandments displays across its 30 school districts.
“The district can be sued for violating the Establishment Clause even if it is following North Carolina law,” FFRF Staff Attorney Chris Line wrote in a letter. “It would be a flagrant violation for the school board to require all of its schools to display the Ten Commandments.”
Not so fast, Jeremy Dys, First Liberty Institute Special Counsel for Litigation and Communications responded in a press release. First Liberty Institute is the largest legal organization dedicated solely to protecting religious freedom for Americans.
“North Carolina law recognizes that The Ten Commandments, like the Magna Carta and Mayflower Compact, have much to instruct students about the development of the rule of law in this country.”
The North Carolina law allows a school to “display may include, but shall not be limited to, documents that contain words associated with a religion; provided, however, no display shall seek to establish or promote religion or to persuade any person to embrace a particular religion, denomination of a religion, or other philosophy.”
Whenever these public displays come under attack, “First Liberty can respond and affirm that they are constitutional according to the First Amendment.”
The First Amendment states, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”
Rejecting the Ten Commandments display could be considered hostility toward religion.
“School districts have no business injecting religion into their schools, thus interfering with the rights of conscience of students and their parents,” commented FFRF Co-President, Annie Laurie Gaylor. “Students in our public schools are free to have any god they like, as many gods as they like — or none at all! In America, we live under the First Amendment, not the First Commandment.”
Grievances are nothing new against Christians in America. A mother was forced to take down a memorial cross honoring her son on the roadside because an atheist was offended. Tennessee Rockvale High School coach Rick Rice was in hot water after an anonymous complaint was made after a team-led prayer before a football game in 2019.
A Scripture was referenced at Letcher Central High School’s locker room in Whitesburg, Ky., in 2020. The message read: “But the Lord is with me like a Mighty Warrior.”
FFRF ordered that the bulletin board with the “Jesus is my Savior, You Can’t Scare Me” be taken down. The bulletin board was removed.
The North Carolina School Board has yet to make a final decision regarding the display as of this report.