Kudos to the students and administrators of Pace High School in Pace, FL! At the Class of 2009’s graduation ceremonies on 4 June, the entire graduating class stood together and recited the Lord’s Prayer; some even taped crosses to the tops of their graduation caps. This was in defiance of a lawsuit filed earlier this year by the ACLU, claiming that school teachers and administrators had “endorsed religion” by allowing students to pray in school.

An ACLU attorney was quoted saying, “Our feeling is that it’s regrettable that the students took over the ceremony to impose their religious views on the audience who may not have shared the same religious views. School officials have a responsibility to protect the silently held religious views of others.” In response, Principal Frank Lay refused to forbid the graduation prayer, even at the risk of his job with the school.

Since when is praying aloud imposing your religious views on someone else? Is the listener harmed simply by virtue of having heard a prayer? Were the non-participating audience members penalized for not praying or believing as the students did?

The ACLU seems to have forgotten that there are two equally important portions of the First Amendment’s establishment clause: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…” By suing the school (on whose behalf, by the way?) it appears that in their attempt to enforce the First Amendment, the ACLU is actually attempting to deny students’ and faculty members’ right to freely exercise their religious belief.

I hope it doesn’t offend anybody to know that I will be praying for Principal Lay and the staff of Pace High School, and thanking God for their moral courage in this situation.