The Left constantly scream about “separation of church and state” — a phrase that, by the way, is not in the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. It’s a phrase in Thomas Jefferson’s 1802 letter to the Danbury Baptist Association, which has become the meaning of the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause (“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof”) in the minds of too many Americans.
At a time when school prayers are forbidden on the basis of the vaunted “separation of church and state,” it is curious that Liberty High School, a public taxpayer-funded high school in Frisco, Texas, bends over backwards to accommodate Muslim students by providing them with a prayer room.
Marisa Uddinwritesfor Liberty High’s student newspaperWingspan, March 3, 2017, that “Every day during lunches, [class]room C112 is utilized as a prayer room.”
The campus prayer room has been available for students since 2009 ostensibly because by providing a place for Muslim students to pray, it would enable them to minimize the amount of class missed.
Liberty High’s principal Scott Warstlersaid:
“This is my seventh year at Liberty, my first year it kind of started when a core group of students were leaving campus every Friday for Friday prayer. Their parents would come pick them up, so they may miss an hour and a half to two hours to two and a half hours of school every Friday, so I met with those students and a couple of their parents and suggested if they would be okay if the students were able to lead the prayer at school as a group, and we gave them a space to do that so they didn’t have to be in a car traveling thirty minutes each way on a Friday missing an hour, hour and a half, of class.
I think the trademark of what makes Liberty High so great is our diversity and in how our students respond to the different cultures and diversity on campus. Like I’ve said, this is the seventh year that we’ve been doing this and we’ve never had one issue. You know we have other religious student groups that meet maybe before school or maybe after school. As long as it’s student-led, where the students are organizing and running it, we pretty much as a school stay out of that and allow them their freedom to practice their religion.”
According to Leo Hohmann of WND, at least a dozen students use the “Muslim prayer room” between 2:05 and 2:35 p.m. Monday through Friday. That prompted Texas State Attorney General Ken Paxton, a Republican, to instruct Deputy Attorney General Andrew Leonie to send a letter to the school district warning that special accommodations for one religion over another are unconstitutional. The letter says:
“Liberty High School’s policy should be neutral toward religion. However, it appears that students are being treated different based on their religious beliefs. Such a practice, of course, is irreconcilable with our nation’s enduring commitment to religious liberty.”
School-district officials told the local CBS affiliate the room is not exclusively for Muslims and any student can go there to pray or meditate. But Principal Scott Warstler told Wingspan that while students of other faiths are allowed to meet on campus as well, those other meetings are held “before or after school.”
Liberty High School’s prayer room is just the latest example of special accommodations being made for Muslims by America’s public schools. Many high schools and colleges in Minnesota, Michigan and other states have been installing ritualistic footbaths.