For years, students of a Pennsylvania elementary school have begun their day with the announcements being made over the intercom. However, after a parent complained, the school has decided to ban a common phrase, believing it to be too offensive for the children.
In Delaware County, Pennsylvania, a school district has banned a common phrase. Sabold Elementary School principal Peter Brigg explained that he has is now prohibited from saying “God bless America,” after at least one parent complained about the phrase.
According to NBC 10, Brigg would recite the Pledge of Allegiance each day over the intercom for students to join in saluting the flag if they so choose. At the end, he would simply say “God bless America,” before signing off. However, the principal is no longer allowed to say such words for fear of legal repercussion.
“An attorney recently contacted Springfield School District and asserted on behalf of his client that Sabold Elementary School administration’s practice of publicly reciting the words, ‘God Bless America’ over the loud speaker immediately after the public recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance violated the law.”
When the Freedom from Religion Foundation (FFRF) caught wind of the daily routine, they immediately stepped in and threatened to sue the school district. The anti-faith organization insisted that “young elementary school children don’t need to be coerced into affirming God’s name every morning.”
However, First Liberty Deputy General Council Jeremy Dice has other plans. He explained that freedom works both ways and that the principal has religious rights just like his students. Since the principal wasn’t encouraging students to say the words, Dice believes that Brigg has every right to continue his time-honored tradition.
“When we bow to those kinds of demands, that kind of bullying tactic, that we get rid of these phrases that have been so long a part of our nation’s history, we begin to undermine the very freedoms that made this country grand,” Dice said.
Additionally, Dice said that the majority needs to stop being so passive and allowing the offended minority to change policies. Instead, he wants students and teachers to continue using the controversial phrases that have shaped our nation’s culture and values.
“There’s no reason for us to get rid of these phrases. In fact, I would encourage folks to continue to use not only ‘God bless America’ but ‘In God we trust,’ remind ourselves of how great the words ‘under God’ are in the Pledge of Allegiance,” Dice said.
Still, the district is afraid of a massive federal lawsuit, one that they don’t have the resources to fight. In an official statement, the district reiterated that students will still be allowed to recite the pledge and even say “God bless America,” but only time will tell if this remains true.
“To be clear, the District has not altered the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance and has not prohibited students from deciding on their own, as their own form of self-expression, whether or not to state the words, ‘God Bless America’ (or any other appropriate form of self-expression) upon completing the Pledge of Allegiance.”
Many feel that it’s only a matter of time before the Pledge of Allegiance is banned as well, as it contains the phrase “under God,” which is no more offensive than “God bless America.” From there, there’s no telling how far the anti-religion minority will go to impose their beliefs on people of faith.
If the majority continue to remain silent, the vocal minority will undeniably continue to erode the values and concepts upon which our country was built. While they have their right to refrain from engaging in religious precepts, they may not infringe upon the rights of others to do so.