Students ordered not to pray near Supreme Court

From FoxNews:

Students Ordered to Stop Praying Outside Supreme Court Building

By Todd Starnes

Published July 15, 2010

A group of Christian students was ordered to stop praying outside the U.S. Supreme Court building on May 5 because a court police officer told them it was against the law. [?!]

The students were part of a junior high school American History class at Wickenburg Christian Academy in Arizona. After taking pictures on the steps of the Supreme Court building, their teacher gathered them to a side location where they formed a circle and began to pray.

According to Nate Kellum, senior counsel with the Alliance Defense Fund, a police officer “abruptly” interrupted the prayer and ordered the group to cease and desist.

“They were told to stop praying because they were violating the law and they had to take their prayer elsewhere,” Kellum told FOX News Radio.

A spokesperson for the Court said the Marshal of the Court will look into the events alleged by the ADF.

The Court does not have a policy prohibiting prayer,” said public information officer Kathy Arberg in an email to FOX News Radio.

So the group of 15 students and seven adults left the Supreme Court and relocated to a sidewalk – where Rigo said the children stood in a gutter – and continued their prayer.

 

Do I hear an "Amen!"?

Pray pray pray for SCOTUS… and Senators who have to consent to nominations.

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23 Responses to Students ordered not to pray near Supreme Court

  1. Yes, pray. Absolutely.
    And prepare, folks.
    We may be entering into a world that will repeat the early martyrdoms of the late Roman Empire, the years of the English, Scots, Welsh, and Irish martyrs, the French Revolution, the gulags of the Communist East and Asia all rolled into one.
    But God is ever greater. Always.

  2. Theodorus says:

    Decades ago, a local government in China issued an order that made it illegal for Christians to pray without permission, including praying at home! I would not have guessed that the same kind of absurdity could happen in the U.S.

  3. doanli says:

    They can harm our bodies, but our souls belong to God—and that they can never touch!

  4. Jack Hughes says:

    I’m about a quarter of the way through Michael O Brien’s “Father Elijah” which in addition to featuring my favorite Order gives a pretty good account of the situation in the west vis a vis the Church, Fr. Benson’s “Lord of the World” painted a VERY optomistic picture – let us hope and pray for a “Dawn of All” scenerio.

  5. Andy F. says:

    That’s when I would have continued my prayer by saying, “And Lord, show thy mercy upon the ignorant I am about to instruct and let him recognize that today is the day of salvation and that he is going to have to call backup.”

  6. Doesn’t the Supreme Court open its sessions with a prayer?

    I hope, if I am ever in that kind of a situation, I have the courage to allow myself to be arrested, and take my case all the way to — the Supreme Court.

  7. Jerry says:

    re: Theodorus – “Decades ago, a local government in China issued an order that made it illegal for Christians to pray without permission, including praying at home! I would not have guessed that the same kind of absurdity could happen in the U.S.”

    There is nothing in this incident, at least as it has been presented here, to suggest it _has_ happened in the U.S. This appears to be a case of a law enforcement officer misinterpreting (or possibly misrepresenting) the law. The statute cited (40 U.S.C. §6135) reads:

    It is unlawful to parade, stand, or move in processions or assemblages in the Supreme Court Building or grounds, or to display in the Building and grounds a flag, banner, or device designed or adapted to bring into public notice a party, organization, or movement.

    Note also the statement of the SCOTUS Public Information Officer:

    >“The Court does not have a policy prohibiting prayer,” said public information officer Kathy Arberg in an email to FOX News Radio.

    For more information, see:

    http://www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=179585

  8. kat says:

    Things are moving so fast in these United States, against Our Lord, against the Constitution, that it is becoming almost frightening. I have read many of the stories of the English Martyrs…and I’m not one for taking well to pain. But, God…give me strength!

  9. chonak says:

    This may be a case of violation of civil rights under color of law.

  10. skeeton says:

    Jack Hughes,
    I finished Fr. Elijah last week. When I was a quarter of the way through it, I turned to my wife one night and told her that that parallels between this 15 year old book and our modern day politics are quite striking. I thought to myself, “where does this book stop and where does the real world start?”

  11. JohnMa says:

    The Supreme Court Police is known to be the most draconian police force in DC, and possibly the US. They prohibit individuals from wearing stickers supporting a political cause anywhere on their property. Unfortunately, because they are acting under the authority of SCOTUS directly, they will never be found in violation of 1983.

  12. DisturbedMary says:

    These kids are an inspiration. Praying in public is very powerful and portable. It rocks the devil’s boat.

    A few months ago, a group of us went to our state capitol to lobby our legislators on Catholic issues. I brought along a small squeeze bottle of holy water that I discreetly emptied in the corridors and office of our senator. During our meeting, while I did all the talking, my partner, a prayer warrior, was quietly praying.

  13. SimonDodd says:

    John, LOL, don’t you think there’s a more basic reason why the police of the Supreme Court **of the United States** will never be found in violation of section 1983? Think about it.

  14. Jack Hughes says:

    Skeeton

    Its the same with “Lord of the World”; although Fr. Benson couldn’t even concieve the idea of the legalized murder of the unborn – one good piece of good news is that the world despite all predictions is not sucumbing to obama worship -yet.

  15. Peggy R says:

    Is it possible that the kids were congregated in a restricted area? That it was not the praying that was the problem, but the place where they congregated, ie, too close to the building? Were they blocking doorways? I don’t know, myself. The security guy’s orders were pretty vague and seemed directed at relocating them rather than objecting to the prayer. I ask b/c sometimes these stories are very “jump the gun” and we can over-react and be wrong.

    Indeed, however, wherever we are, we must pray for these robed individuals.

  16. Gulielmus says:

    As a lkifelong Washingtonian, let me say that both the SC and the Capitol have extremely rigid restrictions against any kind of “demonstration” on the grounds, and that group prayer is sometimes a feature of such activities. The guard may have overreacted, but it’s hard to say without knowing more. BUT, I must say that the reference to the children praying “in the gutter” is inflammatory nonsense that calls the whole report into question for me. The sidewalks near the court are among the broadest in the city, and unless they were praying on the Fourth of July during the fireworks, there’s no way they couldn’t have been there. If they were indeed in the gutter, they chose to be.

  17. Peggy R says:

    I think I’m with Gulielmus on this. There is plenty of sidewalk space for praying and demonstrations. At the March for Life each year, which ends at SCOTUS bldg, thousands remain around a perimeter to pray and demonstrate on the sidewalks, maybe in some lawn areas as well. There is plenty of room to pray w/o being in the street. I wonder if this student group were newbies to DC and not aware of security protocols. So, they were put off by the security guard. I think this is more about where they were located than what they were doing.

    Father,

    Have you missed the story of the University of IL prof who was fired for teaching Catholic thought in a course on…Catholic thought?

    http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/69516

  18. Jerry says:

    re: JohnMa – “The Supreme Court Police is known to be the most draconian police force in DC, and possibly the US. They prohibit individuals from wearing stickers supporting a political cause anywhere on their property.”

    A political sticker would seem, at least on the surface, to qualify as a “device designed or adapted to bring into public notice a party, organization, or movement”, which is prohibited by 40 U.S.C. §6135.

  19. wanda says:

    Maybe President Obama will come out and condemn the policeman for ‘acting stupidly’. Oh no, wait, nevermind..he won’t.

  20. Eric says:

    “But if I be asked by what sign we may look for to show that the advance of the faith is at hand, I would answer by a word the modern world has forgotten: Persecution. When that shall once more be at work it will be morning.”

    Belloc Survivals and New Arivals

  21. Scott W. says:

    The Supreme Court Police is known to be the most draconian police force in DC, and possibly the US.

    That doesn’t surprise me. It tips the hand of who really runs the show. We are not under a constitution, but “constitutional law”. What is constitutional law? Well, whatever The Nine say it is.

    Heh. Reminds me of, “The Nine have left Minas Morgul.”

  22. Sandra_in_Severn says:

    I understand that it prohibits GROUPS, if I am there and my alarm goes off for one of periods of prayer (on my iPhone, if I stop to meditate on that prayer… am I in violation? Whose to know, I’m only checking a message on my phone.

    Something to think about.

  23. Jerry says:

    More information on the Catholic professor fired by the Univ. of Illinois for teaching Catholic doctrine (regarding homosexual acts) in a class on…. Catholocism:

    http://www.catholic.org/national/national_story.php?id=37318
    http://www.catholic.org/national/national_story.php?id=37396