Lawsuit Threatened Over Student-Initiated Graduation “Altar Call”

The ACLU is looking to sue an Arkansas high school over a prayer at its spring commencement.

The Arkansas chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union is threatening to file suit against Jonesboro High School for allowing a Christian student to give an “altar call” during its graduation ceremony last May at the Arkansas State University Convocation Center.

Rita Sklar, executive director of the Arkansas ACLU, claims senior Jessica Reed violated the First Amendment when she told fellow graduates “in the closing moments of this service, if you would like to accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, here's your chance.”

WorldNetDaily reports that during her speech, the graduating senior shared her faith. “I'm here to tell you that God is someone, that he is amazing. He will love you through everything. He will praise you when you are down. All you have to do is give your heart to Him. And before we leave, I want to give you that opportunity.”

Sklar has described the event as a “blatant display of contempt for the First Amendment.” But Nedd Kareiva, founder and director of the Stop the ACLU Coalition, believes the ACLU is contradicting its own precedent.

“The ACLU has bastardized the Constitution with this so-called 'separation of church and state,'” he says, “and they have said in past public policy that, if a student initiates something, it's legal; but if a school official, board member, or administrator initiates something like that, then it's illegal and unconstitutional.”

Following the ACLU's own reasoning, Kareiva does not view Reed's invitation as unconstitutional. “For the student to issue the altar call, to me, is not an unconstitutional matter, because it was the student expressing their own opinions,” he explains. “And the ACLU has said in previous briefs that if the student initiates it, it's okay. So they are in contradiction to what their precedents have stood for.”

Instead, he sees the threatened legal action as just another attempt by the ACLU to extinguish any mention of God from the public arena.

Karieva notes that the ACLU is frantically searching for a plaintiff in Jonesboro in hopes of suing the school for an alleged unconstitutional endorsement of religion, but has yet to find one.

(This article courtesy of Agape Press.)

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