God bless Texas! Amid the constitutional chaos in the rest of our once great nation we can count on Texas to show us the way to our original constitutional rights and liberties as intended by the Framers. In a recent decision overturning a previous ruling by a U.S. district judge, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals lifted a ban on prayers in Texas schools. The ban had been put in place by previously by Chief U.S. District Judge Fred Biery because of a suit brought by the atheist parents of a graduating student in the Medina Valley Independent School District. The parents claimed that planned religious expression during the graduation ceremony at the school would cause “irreparable harm” to their son.

As a result of the initial finding, Judge Biery banned the following “religious” phrases: “join in prayer,” “bow their heads,” “amen,” and “prayer” at the graduation ceremony. He also ordered the school district to remove the terms “invocation” and “benediction” from the graduation program, in favor of “opening remarks” and “closing remarks.

Biery’s decision is just the latest in a long and insane list of assaults on our personal religious freedoms. Saying a prayer at a public event on government or municipal property does not go against the 1st Amendment prohibitions regarding religion. In order to see this for ourselves, a little review of the 1st Amendment is required:

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.

So, now that these words are fresh in our minds, where are the now trite and oft cited words “separation of Church and State” in that paragraph? if you answered “nowhere, ” then ding, ding, ding…you win today’s prize of a pat on the back and the title “good citizen.” Biery’s ruling in Texas was made possible because we’ve allowed doctrinaire Progressive jurists the latitude to interpret our Constitution in such a wrongheaded and perverse manner. See, Congress has NEVER passed a law regarding a national religion — a religion of state as it were. Although we were founded under Judeo-Christian moral precepts, we are still a secular nation. But this does not mean that we must be a faithless nation when it comes to government events. Right there in the first amendment the Framers made sure that Congress (or any other part of our government could not prohibit our God-given right to freely exercise our religion. This doesn’t mean just a church or in the privacy of our own home. It means everywhere.

Bierly and his ilk ignore the prohibition of free exercise clause, giving it little weight in comparison to their skewed interpretations of the establishment clause, which is assigned maximum legal weight. Why? Because they are using the establishment clause as a social bludgeon to insure that the anti-religious, atheists and agnostics are not “offended” at public ceremonies. Because a few are not religious, then all must not be religious. In effect, these justices are employing a tyranny of the minority in order to insure that no offense is put upon the small minority of those who object to a prayer, blessing or religious language used at a public ceremony.

But these rulings abolishing religion or religious expression in relationship to schools, which do show ultimate respect for the feelings and wishes of the minority, offend and curtail the precious constitutional rights of the majority. See, the rights of the non-religious haven’t been trampled if someone says a prayer at a graduation ceremony or other public event. The Congress hasn’t made a law that establishes a state religion. Simply praying or saying God’s name at a public event doesn’t establish any religion as the religion of state. It is simply the free expression of freeborn citizens according to their constitutional rights. If someone is offended, well that is unfortunate but a fact of life in our Republic. The ability to be offended or affronted isn’t a right. It is a personal choice.

The courts in our land have no place adjudicating on feelings. Feelings are important, but they cannot be accounted for in our grand social compact also known as the U.S. Constitution. The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals realized this simple fact, and reversed a great wrong that had been done to the Medina Valley Independent School District by Judge Biery’s initial ruling.

What we need is for judges to stay out of our personal affairs, leave feelings out of the equation and deal strictly in the law. It was obvious to even laymen and women that Judge Biery had grossly overstepped his judicial authority with his ruling and prohibition. Luckily, the U.S. 5th isn’t swayed by specious, patently unconstitutional rulings and findings.

We either have a Constitution that is immutable and that maintains the spirit and the letter of the Framer’s intent, or we have a “living” document that judges like Fred Biery can contort to their liking and to the sensibilities of the time. If we, the citizens and owners of the Constitution, let this happen, then we will find it nearly impossible to capture back the rights and liberties that have been voided by such judicial activism. It has happened to us time and time again, in a death by a thousand cuts manner. But if we are to remain free, with the liberties assured to us in the Constitution, we must remain ever-vigilant and willing to shout out when such egregious offenses are forced upon us.

God bless the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals and God bless Texas!