Fighting back against the FFRF bullying re: "God Bless America" in Springfield SD

Fighting back against the FFRF bullying re: "God Bless America" in Springfield SD

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Heather Bodkin started this petition to Superintendent Dr. Anthony Barber and

The Freedom From Religious Federation (FFRF) sent a letter to the Springfield School District on March 25, 2019  which stated that “The repeated recitation of a religious message in the school setting violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment, which prohibits public schools from advancing, supporting or promoting religion,” FFRF Legal Fellow Chris Line wrote to Superintendent Anthony Barber. “‘God Bless America’ is a prayer. The song that the phrase originates from begins, ‘As we raise our voices in a solemn prayer.’ A prayer hosted by a publicly supported school does not pass constitutional muster.” 

Springfield School District, has made the decision in response to the  Freedom From Religious Federation (FFRF) "cease & desist" letter regarding the recitation of "God Bless America at the end of the Pledge of Allegiance (erring on the side of prudence to avoid a costly lawsuit which would ultimately affect us as taxpayers) but without discussing with the parents of the school children affected, nor the community at large (the taxpayers). SSD response to FFRF

In agreeing immediately to do so, the school district DID protect us from a potential lawsuit, but has instead allowed us all to be bullied by ONE party via the Freedom From Religious Federation (FFRF), which is supposedly a "free thought" secular/atheist non-profit group.  In doing so, Springfield School District has changed the entire district's tradition and practice simply to appease ONE party and to avoid litigation with the Freedom From Religious Federation (FFRF) while setting a precedent for this group or others like it to BULLY our community and our schools into following the values and traditions of a minority (one parent).  

This type of bullying through threatened litigation by one or a small group of people trying to dictate to the masses (tyranny of the minority) has been happening all across our nation and now it has come to small town Springfield, Delaware County, PA.  It has been a long standing tradition to say "God Bless America" after our Pledge of Allegiance at least as long as I have gone to public school in Springfield. It has never been forced and I believe it has always been understood that God does not have to be just Christian, but also Jewish, Islamic, Buddhist, whatever religion you believe - or don't believe. If you don't believe in anything, don't say anything - its really that easy!  

But why change what has always been the tradition, which no one has taken offense to prior to now?  What basically amounts to ceremonial deism, which in that case, does NOT go against The Establishment Clause of the First Amendment?  Doesn't everyone know that "God" is whatever higher deity you believe in?  I would certainly think that people who deem themselves "FREETHINKERS” would understand that concept, seeing as they feel they are intellectually superior to anyone who has any religious belief other than theirs - atheism.  Why stop saying it because ONE family is offended by it?  How soon before SSD gets another letter from this FFRF stating that reciting "One nation under God" as part of the Pledge of Allegiance is against the law?

I think that this "incident" sets a precedent that will continue possibly causing our school district to quickly cower to the threats of litigation by one person whenever they are offended and change things for all (tyranny of the minority).   If you look at the FFRF's "victory" post regarding their letter to our school district you will see very HATEFUL comments and even additional suggestions of how to go after Springfield School District as well as other districts for things they feel are infractions to The Establishment Cause: https://www.facebook.com/99536044727/posts/10157425815249728?s=644146790&v=i&sfns=mo

While I appreciate the district's prudence in wanting to avoid costly litigation for our district based on the whims of one individual backed by an organization hell bent on bullying others into submission to their values, I feel it was communicated poorly and not handled collaboratively with the community, therefore resulting in not exploring options that we could take as a community like enlisting the help of the American Center for Law & Justice:  https://aclj.org/  An open forum where all community members were welcome to DISCUSS the best ways to handle this would have been welcomed and well attended I believe and would have ensured that NO ONE felt excluded and provided transparency of the issue to the community allowing them to explore options as a group to fight this.  

STOP LETTING ONE VOICE SPEAK FOR ALL OF US IN THE COMMUNITY, ESPECIALLY WHEN THAT VOICE IS THAT OF A BULLY.

We could all use a little more God or whatever it is that makes your life a little brighter and worth living these days as well as a lot less bullying and mandating without reason or provocation.

Springfield School District has made a unilateral decision regarding the recitation of "God Bless America: at the end of the Pledge of Allegiance (erring on the side of prudence to avoid a costly lawsuit which would ultimately affect us as taxpayers) without discussing with the parents of the school children affected, nor the community at large (the taxpayers).  In agreeing immediately to do so, the school district DID protect us from a potential lawsuit, but has instead allowed us all to be bullied by ONE party via the Freedom From Religious Federation (FFRF), which is supposedly a "free thought" secular/atheist non-profit group.  In doing so, Springfield School District has changed the entire district's tradition and practice simply to appease ONE party and to avoid litigation with the Freedom From Religious Federation (FFRF) while setting a precedent for this group or others like it to BULLY our community and our schools into following the values and traditions of a minority (one parent).  

This type of bullying through threatened litigation by one or a small group of people trying to dictate to the masses (tyranny of the minority) has been happening all across our nation and now it has come to small town Springfield, Delaware County, PA.  It has been a long standing tradition to say "God Bless America" after our Pledge of Allegiance at least as long as I have gone to public school in Springfield. It has never been forced and I believe it has always been understood that God does not have to be just Christian, but also Jewish, Islamic, Buddhist, whatever religion you believe - or don't believe. If you don't believe in anything, don't say anything - its really that easy!  

But why change what has always been the tradition, which no one has taken offense to prior to now?  What basically amounts to ceremonial deism, which in that case, does NOT go against The Establishment Clause of the First Amendment?  Doesn't everyone know that "God" is whatever higher deity you believe in?  I would certainly think that people who deem themselves "FREETHINKERS” would understand that concept, seeing as they feel they are intellectually superior to anyone who has any religious belief other than theirs - atheism.  Why stop saying it because ONE family is offended by it?  How soon before SSD gets another letter from this FFRF stating that reciting "One nation under God" as part of the Pledge of Allegiance is against the law?

I think that this "incident" sets a precedent that will continue possibly causing our school district to quickly cower to the threats of litigation by one person whenever they are offended and change things for all (tyranny of the minority).   If you look at the FFRF's "victory" post regarding their letter to our school district you will see very HATEFUL comments and even additional suggestions of how to go after Springfield School District as well as other districts for things they feel are infractions to The Establishment Cause: https://www.facebook.com/99536044727/posts/10157425815249728?s=644146790&v=i&sfns=mo

While I appreciate the district's prudence in wanting to avoid costly litigation for our district based on the whims of one individual backed by an organization hell bent on bullying others into submission to their values, I feel it was communicated poorly and not handled collaboratively with the community, therefore resulting in not exploring options that we could take as a community like enlisting the help of the American Center for Law & Justice:  https://aclj.org/  An open forum where all community members were welcome to DISCUSS the best ways to handle this would have been welcomed and well attended I believe and would have ensured that NO ONE felt excluded and provided transparency of the issue to the community allowing them to explore options as a group to fight this.  

STOP LETTING ONE VOICE SPEAK FOR ALL OF US IN THE COMMUNITY, ESPECIALLY WHEN THAT VOICE IS THAT OF A BULLY.

We could all use a little more God or whatever it is that makes your life a little brighter and worth living these days as well as a lot less bullying and mandating without reason or provocation.

 

 

0 have signed. Let’s get to 500!
At 500 signatures, this petition is more likely to be featured in recommendations!