- Cullman, Alabama

August 18, 2013

COLUMN: Onward praying Christians

The Cullman Times

CULLMAN — It seems some atheists tried to rain on our parade of prayer.

Three years ago, a caravan was formed to promote a simple moment of prayer for students and school leaders before the fall term began throughout the state of Alabama. Once the superintendant of a local school district got involved, the Freedom From Religion Foundation, an atheist group in Wisconsin, demanded that the caravan be stopped.  In a letter to the superintendent, they said, “ The event is school-sponsored and school promoted. Indeed you, as superintendent, are promoting the religious ritual. It does not matter that this event occurs outside normal school hours…”

First of all, the name of the group intrigues me.  If you chose to be free from religion, you just didn’t practice any. Duh. You wouldn’t need to join a group, unless, wait a minute, you wanted everybody to stop practicing any religion. The stupidity and audacity of that concept staggers the mind. Obviously, the group has chosen a safe-sounding name to camouflage their real purpose of keeping God out of everything. Why anyone would want to promote a belief in no God is beyond me.

Now, let’s talk about the Constitution which gives everyone the right to practice any religion wherever they want. And here’s the other half of that wonderful gift: the Congress of the United States can never (“shall not”) make a law that creates a religion or favors one that we must follow. It’s the very first amendment. 

So, why in their godless world are the atheists getting their bloomers in a bunch? Well, they claim the marchers are breaking the law. What law, pray tell? Oops. The First Amendment forbids the Congress from ever passing such a law. Furthermore, they claim we are violating the “ Establishment Clause”. Ah, also known as “ separation of church and state ”, a phrase quoted so often that you would swear it was part of the First Amendment. Well, it’s not. Nowhere in the First Amendment do we find that phrase. As so often happens, they are misinterpreting the First Amendment

Let’s take a look:

“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.”

Yet, every time someone complains about a Ten Commandments plaque displayed in a government building or a Nativity scene placed on public property, they scream “separation of church and state!” Not so.

What we do find is the word “establishment” but in reference to Congress never making a law that did that, not some school superintendent leading a prayer caravan..

The protest was a tempest in an empty teapot, if you ask me. Personally, I’m glad the parade has passed these atheists by and marched on without incident. But, it amuses me that people who believe there is no God or who do not believe there is a God, get all bent out of shape when others do believe and pray. If anything, the atheist, rather than protesting that we are expressing our belief, should be arrogantly amused and laughing at us for believing in God,

In due respect to these atheists, however, guess who will have the very last laugh?

The very last.

* Jack Bray has just self-published his first commercial novel of mystery and suspense, “Grove House”, available as an e-book on He lives in Cullman and can be reached at jackbray256@gmail. com