Freedom From Religion: A Healthy Separation Or An Intrusion Upon Faith?

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The Freedom from Religion Foundation (FFRF) has penned scathing letters to schools for practicing religion.
According to many faith-based and secular organizations, there has been a decline in the number of people who are willing to identify themselves as adhering to a religion or believing that religion has a large impact on their lives.

The Freedom from Religion Foundation has recently cited these facts and the concept of the separation of Church and State in their latest round of letters to public schools who allow their teachers and students to post religious or adorn themselves with religious icons. This has ignited a great deal of discussion on online forums as to whether the schools should or should not be allowed to back such practices.

A Problem Big Enough For Texas

faith-family-tigersOne of the schools that have recently been targeted by the critical letters from the Freedom From Religion Foundation is in the Mount Vernon Independent School District in Texas. The foundation has scrutinized a recent report which shows that religious items are being placed around the school building, and also being worn on school-designed shirts by the students. One such shirt reads “Faith, Family, Tigers”, and uses a Christian cross in lieu of the “T” in Faith. This is seen as troublesome for those who are seeking to have freedom from religion because the school seems to be actively promoting Christian faith, and has intertwined it with their school culture.

Taking A Licking

The Licking Valley School District in Ohio has also been cited by the Freedom From Religion Foundation after concerned individuals said that a recent assembly actively promoted Christianity in a public school district. The assembly in question was put on by the Jubilee Gang, which notes on its website that “The Word of God is taught in a fresh and exciting way”. This has raised many questions by parents and administrators, who have expressed concern that the group was allowed to perform for their children. However, others have said that it is a simple misunderstanding, and that the goal of employing the Jubilee Gang was to express academic goals, and not religious principles.

Setting The Stage For A Showdown

Stories like those found in these two school districts are playing out across the United States every month. There is a large disconnect between people who see Christian morals as an integral part of the community and history of the community, and those who see it as an attempt at indoctrination. While many state governments have veered away from making strict rulings on small amounts of religious symbolism in the classroom, it appears as though groups such as the Freedom From Religion Foundation are setting the stage for court battles to begin.


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