Jesus Is Lord Welcome To Christian Rights Seminar
Goal of Seminar To recognize some civil rights that are afforded Christians in America. To exhort the believer not to hide their Christian faith.
Paul used his civil rights I appeal unto Caesar Acts 25:7-12 7 And when he was come, the Jews which came down from Jerusalem stood round about, and laid many and grievous complaints against Paul, which they could not prove. 8 While he answered for himself, Neither against the law of the Jews, neither against the temple, nor yet against Caesar, have I offended any thing at all. 9 But Festus, willing to do the Jews a pleasure, answered Paul, and said, Wilt thou go up to Jerusalem, and there be judged of these things before me? 10 Then said Paul, I stand at Caesar's judgment seat, where I ought to be judged: to the Jews have I done no wrong, as thou very well knowest. 11 For if I be an offender, or have committed any thing worthy of death, I refuse not to die: but if there be none of these things whereof these accuse me, no man may deliver me unto them. I appeal unto Caesar. 12 Then Festus, when he had conferred with the council, answered, Hast thou appealed unto Caesar? unto Caesar shalt thou go. KJV
Paul used his civil rights I appeal unto Caesar Acts 28:16-24 16 And when we came to Rome, the centurion delivered the prisoners to the captain of the guard: but Paul was suffered to dwell by himself with a soldier that kept him. 17 And it came to pass, that after three days Paul called the chief of the Jews together: and when they were come together, he said unto them, Men and brethren, though I have committed nothing against the people, or customs of our fathers, yet was I delivered prisoner from Jerusalem into the hands of the Romans. 18 Who, when they had examined me, would have let me go, because there was no cause of death in me. 19 But when the Jews spake against it, I was constrained to appeal unto Caesar; not that I had ought to accuse my nation of. 20 For this cause therefore have I called for you, to see you, and to speak with you: because that for the hope of Israel I am bound with this chain. 21 And they said unto him, We neither received letters out of Judaea concerning thee, neither any of the brethren that came shewed or spake any harm of thee. 22 But we desire to hear of thee what thou thinkest: for as concerning this sect, we know that every where it is spoken against. 23 And when they had appointed him a day, there came many to him into his lodging; to whom he expounded and testified the kingdom of God, persuading them concerning Jesus, both out of the law of Moses, and out of the prophets, from morning till evening. 24 And some believed the things which were spoken, and some believed not. KJV
Paul used his civil rights I’m a roman Acts 22:24-30 24 The chief captain commanded him to be brought into the castle, and bade that he should be examined by scourging; that he might know wherefore they cried so against him. 25 And as they bound him with thongs, Paul said unto the centurion that stood by, Is it lawful for you to scourge a man that is a Roman , and uncondemned? 26 When the centurion heard that, he went and told the chief captain, saying, Take heed what thou doest: for this man is a Roman . 27 Then the chief captain came, and said unto him, Tell me, art thou a Roman ? He said, Yea. 28 And the chief captain answered, With a great sum obtained I this freedom. And Paul said, But I was free born. 29 Then straightway they departed from him which should have examined him: and the chief captain also was afraid, after he knew that he was a Roman , and because he had bound him. 30 On the morrow, because he would have known the certainty wherefore he was accused of the Jews, he loosed him from his bands, and commanded the chief priests and all their council to appear, and brought Paul down, and set him before them. KJV
The Bible recognizes civil authority Matthew 22:16-21 16 And they sent out unto him their disciples with the Herodians, saying, Master, we know that thou art true, and teachest the way of God in truth, neither carest thou for any man: for thou regardest not the person of men. 17 Tell us therefore, What thinkest thou? Is it lawful to give tribute unto Caesar, or not? 18 But Jesus perceived their wickedness, and said, Why tempt ye me, ye hypocrites? 19 Shew me the tribute money. And they brought unto him a penny. 20 And he saith unto them, Whose is this image and superscription? 21 They say unto him, Caesar's. Then saith he unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's; and unto God the things that are God's. KJV Pray for those in authority You have no authority
The Bible recognizes civil authority 1 Timothy 2:1-3 2:1 I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; 2 For kings, and for all that are in authority ; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. 3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; KJV
The Declaration of Independence In Congress, July 4, 1776 The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. --That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.
The Constitution The Amendments Note The following are the Amendments to the Constitution. The first ten Amendments collectively are commonly known as the Bill of Rights. Amendment I - Freedom of Religion, Press, Expression. Ratified 12/15/1791 Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
Public Law 97-28097th Congress Joint Resolution authorizing and requesting the Presidentto proclaim 1983 as the “Year of the Bible.” • Whereas the Bible, the Word of God, has made a unique contribution in shaping the United States as a distinctive and blessed nation and people; • Whereas deeply held religious convictions springing from the Holy Scriptures led to the early settlement of our Nation; • Whereas Biblical teachings inspired concepts of civil government that are contained in our Declaration of Independence and the constitution of the United States; • Whereas many of our great national leaders—among them Presidents Washington, Jackson, Lincoln, and Wilson—paid tribute to the surpassing influence of the Bible in our country's development, as the words of President Jackson that the Bible is “the rock on which our Republic rests”; • Whereas the history of our Nation clearly illustrates the value of voluntarily applying the teachings of the Scriptures in the lives of individuals, families, and societies; • Whereas this Nation now faces great challenges that will test this Nation as it has never been tested before; and • Whereas that renewing our knowledge of and faith in God through Holy Scripture can strengthen us as a nation and a people: Now, therefore, be it • Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the President is authorized and requested to designate 1983 as a national “Year of the Bible” in recognition of both the formative influence the Bible has been for our Nation, and our national need to study and apply the teachings of the Holy Scriptures. • Approved October 4, 1982. • 1 U.S. Cong. & Adm. News '82-29 96 Stat. 1211
Colony of Georgia • “Our end in leaving our native country is not to gain riches and honor, but singly this: to live wholly to the glory of God.” • America’s God and Country page 259 • “To make Georgia a religious colony.” • America’s God and Country page 259 • Georgia began with 100 settlers • Moravians came in after these 100 settlers • They were enthusiastic Christian missionaries • Other Christian groups followed the Moravians • John Wesley and Charles Wesley were missionaries to the Indians in Georgia. • Provincial Congress of Georgia • July 5, 1775 Requested a day of fasting for the province on account of the disputes between America and the Parent state. • July 7, 1775 Day of fasting approved and appointed
Can I tell people about Jesus at work? • If required by your religious beliefs, your religiously motivated expressions of faith are protected by Title VII. • You may have religious conversations at work as long as there is no disruption to the work routine. • Most witnessing should occur at lunch time or during breaks. This would ensure no disruption in work routine. • If everyone else is allowed to use email or screen savers for non work related communication then the believer is also able to do so.
Can I keep my Bible or other religious items at my desk? • You are allowed to keep your Bible at your desk if your sincere beliefs require you to do so. • This right is protected by Article VII, if you believe you must have it at your desk. Your boss then must accommodate you in this belief.
Do I have to work on Sunday if its against my religion? “Employers must accommodate requests by employees for absence on their Sabbath or other religious holidays. An affirmative duty arises under Title VII for the employer to make a good faith effort to arrange the employee's schedule to allow the employee to have Sabbaths off. The employer will be in violation of Title VII if they have "made no real effort" or have taken a "don't care" attitude. In sum, employers must attempt to accommodate an employee's need for days off due to religious beliefs. At a minimum, the employer's duty to accommodate includes allowing employees to trade shifts, and may require the employer to arrange for the trade.” Christian Rights in the Workplace by The American Center for Law and Justice
Do I have to attend training if it violates my religious convictions? “An employee cannot be required to attend training that will violate their sincerely held religious beliefs. The EEOC has ruled that an employer violates Title VII if it requires an employee to attend training containing a philosophy that conflicts with the employee's religious beliefs. The EEOC found that the employer failed to show how accommodating the religious convictions of these employees by not requiring them to attend the training would result in an undue hardship.” Christian Rights in the Workplace by The American Center for Law and Justice
Are there any types of religious beliefs or behavior not protected by Title VII? • Sincerely held religious beliefs are protected by Title VII. • Religious claim often fails when the boss is able to show the worker was discriminated against for inefficiency, bad work practices, or not able to get along with co-workers rather than because of the asserted religious practice. • Often a person’s religious speech is resisted when it is an argumentative, confrontational or causes strife in the work place. • In many cases Christian’s have been over turned because of the their offensive conduct in the office.
How do I file a claim under Title VII if my religious rights have been violated? “It is recommended that the employee contact an attorney before beginning this process. Because the process must be completed correctly in order to preserve your claim and because it may vary from state to state, it is important to obtain competent legal counsel before beginning. Title VII first requires that the charge be filed with a state agency if the violation occurs within a state that has set up an agency for handling discrimination claims. If your state does not have its own human rights commission or similar agency, you should file directly with the EEOC. Practically speaking, this means contacting the state agency or EEOC in your state by telephone and informing them that you wish to file a complaint. They will then instruct you on how and where to fill out the necessary paper work. In states that have an agency for handling these claims, filing with the state agency must be followed by timely filing the charge with the EEOC. Some state agencies will do this for you. Usually the complaint must be filed within 180 days of the discriminatory act. The time period is measured from the date that the discriminatory act occurred. Upon the filing of the charge there is a 180 day mandatory waiting period, during which time the EEOC is given the opportunity to mediate and resolve the complaint. The private litigant then has 90 days in which to file suit. This limitation period runs not from the discriminatory act, but from the date the private party receives notice from the EEOC or state agency that conciliation was completed, or the date the party receives a right to sue letter.” Christian Rights in the Workplace by The American Center for Law and Justice
Air Force Prayer Attack Air Force interim public prayer guidelines 1. Public prayer should not usually be included in official settings such as staff meetings, office meetings, classes or officially sanctioned activities such as sports events or practice sessions. 2. Common sense — and mutual respect — should always be applied and extraordinary circumstances may drive exceptions. 3. Consistent with long-standing military tradition, a brief nonsectarian prayer may be included in nonroutine military ceremonies or events of special importance, such as changes of command, promotion ceremonies or significant celebrations where the purpose of the prayer is to add a heightened sense of seriousness or solemnity, not to advance specific religious beliefs. Military chaplains are trained to deal with such events. 4. In addition, a moment of silence for personal reflection does not require the same considerations as public prayer and may be appropriate in official settings.
Chaplains of the Armed Forces The Covenant and The Code of Ethics The Covenant Having accepted God’s Call to minister to people who serve in the armed forces of our country, I covenant to serve God and these people with God’s help; to deepen my obedience to the commandments, to love the Lord our God with all my heart, soul, mind and strength, and to love my neighbor as myself. In affirmation of this commitment, I will abide by the Code Of Ethics for chaplains of the United States Armed Forces, and I will faithfully support its purposes and ideals. As further affirmation of my commitment, I covenant with my colleagues in ministry that we will hold one another accountable for fulfillment of all public actions set forth in our Code of Ethics. The Code of Ethics I will hold in trust the traditions and practices of my religious body. I will carefully adhere to whatever direction may be conveyed to me by my endorsing body for maintenance of my endorsement. I understand as a chaplain in the United States Armed Forces that I will function in a pluralistic environment with chaplains of other religious bodies to provide for ministry to all military personnel and their families entrusted to my care. I will seek to provide for pastoral care and ministry to persons of religious bodies other than my own within my area of responsibility with the same investment of myself as I give to members of my own religious body. I will work collegially with chaplains of religious bodies other than my own as together we seek to provide as full a ministry as possible to our people. I will respect the beliefs and traditions of my colleagues and those to whom I minister. When conducting services of worship that include persons of other than my religious body, I will draw upon those beliefs, principles, and practices that we have in common. I will, if in a supervisory position, respect the practices and beliefs of each chaplain I supervise and exercise care not to require of them any service or practice that would be in violation of the faith practices of their particular religious body. I will seek to support all colleagues in ministry by building constructive relationships wherever I serve, both with the staff where I work and with colleagues throughout the military environment. I will maintain a disciplined ministry in such ways as keeping hours of prayer and devotion, endeavoring to maintain wholesome family relationships and regularly engaging in educational and recreational activities for professional and personal development. I will seek to maintain good health habits. I will recognize that my obligation is to provide for the free exercise of religion for ministry to all members of the military services, their families and other authorized personnel. When on active duty, I will only accept added responsibility in civilian ministry if it does not interfere with the overall effectiveness of my primary military ministry. I will defend my colleagues against unfair discrimination on the basis of gender, race, religion or national origin. I will hold in confidence any privileged communication received by me during the conduct of my ministry. I will not disclose confidential communications in private or in public. I will not proselytize from other religious bodies, but I retain the right to evangelize those who are not affiliated. I will show personal love for God in my life and ministry, as I strive together with my colleagues to preserve the dignity, maintain the discipline and promote the integrity of the profession to which we have been called. I recognize the special power afforded me by my ministerial office. I will never use that power in ways that violate the personhood of another human being, religiously, emotionally or sexually. I will use my pastoral office only for that which is best for the persons under my ministry.
GUIDELINES. THESE GUIDELINES ADDRESS SOME KEY AREAS: RELIGIOUS • ACCOMMODATION; PUBLIC PRAYER OUTSIDE OF VOLUNTARY WORSHIP • SETTINGS; INDIVIDUAL SHARING OF RELIGIOUS FAITH IN THE MILITARY • CONTEXT; THE CHAPLAIN SERVICE; EMAIL AND OTHER COMMUNICATIONS; AND, • GOOD ORDER AND DISCIPLINE. THEY DO NOT PROVIDE ALL THE ANSWERS. • RESOLUTION OF PARTICULAR ISSUES WILL BE FACT-SPECIFIC, REQUIRE COMMON • SENSE, AND WILL OFTEN BENEFIT FROM THE ADVICE OF LEGAL COUNSEL, THE • CHAPLAINCY, AND THE EQUAL OPPORTUNITY OFFICE. • A. RELIGIOUS ACCOMMODATION. • (1) IT IS AIR FORCE POLICY THAT REQUESTS FOR ACCOMMODATION SHOULD BE • APPROVED EXCEPT WHEN PRECLUDED BY MILITARY NECESSITY. THEY SHOULD • NORMALLY BE APPROVED UNLESS APPROVAL WOULD HAVE AN ADVERSE • IMPACT ON MILITARY READINESS, UNIT COHESION, STANDARDS, OR DISCIPLINE. • WHEN REQUESTS ARE PRECLUDED BY MILITARY NECESSITY, COMMANDERS AND • SUPERVISORS SHOULD SEEK REASONABLE ALTERNATIVES. COMMANDERS AND • SUPERVISORS AT ALL LEVELS SHOULD ENSURE THAT REQUESTS FOR RELIGIOUS • ACCOMODATION ARE DEALT WITH AS FAIRLY AS PRACTICABLE THROUGHOUT • THEIR ORGANIZATIONS. • (2) BASIC GUIDANCE FOR RELIGIOUS ACCOMODATION IN MANY AREAS, • INCLUDING WORSHIP SERVICES, HOLY DAYS, SABBATH OBSERVANCES, DIETARY • REQUIREMENTS, MEDICAL ISSUES, AND APPAREL, IS INCLUDED IN DOD • DIRECTIVE 1300.17. THIS GUIDANCE IS IMPLEMENTED THROUGH AF • INSTRUCTIONS, INCLUDING AFI 36-2706, CHAPTER 8; AFI 36-2903, TABLES 2.6 AND • 2.9; AND AFJI 48-110, PARA 13. COMMANDERS AND SUPERVISORS SHOULD • BECOME THOROUGHLY FAMILIAR WITH THESE POLICIES, AND INCLUDE THEM IN • STAFF AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT TRAINING. • (3) COMMANDERS CANNOT ANTICIPATE EVERY REQUEST FOR ACCOMMODATION, • BUT, WHERE PRACTICABLE, AVOIDING SCHEDULING CONFLICTS WITH MAJOR • RELIGIOUS OBSERVANCE DAYS CAN BUILD UNIT CONFIDENCE IN LEADERSHIP • AND ENHANCE UNIT EFFECTIVENESS. • (4) ABOVE ALL, COMMANDERS MUST ENSURE THAT THEY CREATE A CLIMATE • WHERE INDIVIDUALS BELIEVE THAT REQUESTS FOR ACCOMMODATION ARE • WELCOMED AND WILL BE FAIRLY CONSIDERED. • B. PUBLIC PRAYER OUTSIDE OF VOLUNTARY WORSHIP SETTINGS. • (1) PUBLIC PRAYER SHOULD NOT USUALLY BE INCLUDED IN OFFICIAL SETTINGS • SUCH AS STAFF MEETINGS, OFFICE MEETINGS, CLASSES, OR OFFICIALLY • SANCTIONED ACTIVITIES SUCH AS SPORTS EVENTS OR PRACTICE SESSIONS. • (2) COMMON SENSE--AND MUTUAL RESPECT--SHOULD ALWAYS BE APPLIED AND • EXTRAORDINARY CIRCUMSTANCES MAY DRIVE EXCEPTIONS. (NOTE: For example, • there may be extraordinary circumstances where the potential benefits for the welfare of the • command outweigh the potential of causing discomfort. These circumstances might include mass • casualties, preparation for imminent combat, and natural disasters.) • (3) CONSISTENT WITH LONG-STANDING MILITARY TRADITION, A BRIEF NONSECTARIAN • PRAYER MAY BE INCLUDED IN NON-ROUTINE MILITARY • CEREMONIES OR EVENTS OF SPECIAL IMPORTANCE, SUCH AS A CHANGE-OFCOMMAND, • PROMOTION CEREMONIES OR SIGNIFICANT CELEBRATIONS, WHERE • THE PURPOSE OF THE PRAYER IS TO ADD A HEIGHTENED SENSE OF SERIOUSNESS • OR SOLEMNITY, NOT TO ADVANCE SPECIFIC RELIGIOUS BELIEFS. MILITARY • CHAPLAINS ARE TRAINED TO DEAL WITH SUCH EVENTS. • (4) IN ADDITION, A MOMENT OF SILENCE FOR PERSONAL REFLECTION DOES NOT • REQUIRE THE SAME CONSIDERATIONS AS PUBLIC PRAYER AND MAY BE • APPROPRIATE IN OFFICIAL SETTINGS. • C. INDIVIDUAL SHARING OF RELIGIOUS FAITH. • (1) IN OFFICIAL CIRCUMSTANCES, PARTICULARLY SITUATIONS WHERE • SUPERIOR/SUBORDINATE RELATIONSHIPS ARE INVOLVED, INDIVIDUALS NEED TO • BE SENSITIVE TO THE POTENTIAL THAT PERSONAL EXPRESSIONS MAY APPEAR • TO BE OFFICIAL EXPRESSIONS. THIS IS ESPECIALLY TRUE WHEN SUBORDINATES • ARE PRESENT AS PART OF THEIR OFFICIAL DUTIES AND OBLIGATIONS. • (2) THE MORE SENIOR THE INDIVIDUAL, THE MORE LIKELY THAT PERSONAL • EXPRESSIONS MAY BE PERCEIVED TO BE OFFICIAL STATEMENTS. THE MORE • SENIOR THE LEADER, THE MORE RESPONSIBILITY HE OR SHE HAS TO SEND THE • MESSAGE THAT WE ARE A TEAM BASED ON TRUST, RESPECT, AND A COMMON • MISSION TO DEFEND OUR NATION AND THAT WHAT IS EXPECTED OF ALL OUR • PERSONNEL IS TO LIVE UP TO OUR OATHS, EMBRACE OUR SHARED AIR FORCE • CORE VALUES, AND DO OUR DUTY. • (3) NOTHING IN THIS GUIDANCE SHOULD BE UNDERSTOOD TO LIMIT VOLUNTARY, • PEER TO PEER DISCUSSIONS. • D. THE CHAPLAIN SERVICE. • (1) AIR FORCE COMMANDERS HAVE AN OBLIGATION TO ENSURE THAT THE • PEOPLE UNDER THEIR AUTHORITY HAVE OPPORTUNITY TO OBTAIN SPIRITUAL • CARE. CHAPLAINS ASSIST COMMANDERS IN MEETING THIS RESPONSIBILITY. • (2) CHAPLAINS ARE COMMISSIONED TO PROVIDE MINISTRY TO THOSE OF THEIR • OWN FAITHS, TO FACILITATE MINISTRY TO THOSE OF OTHER FAITHS, AND TO • PROVIDE CARE FOR ALL SERVICE MEMBERS, INCLUDING THOSE WHO CLAIM NO • RELIGIOUS FAITH. IN THESE VARIOUS ROLES, THEY SHOULD RESPECT THE • RIGHTS OF OTHERS TO THEIR OWN RELIGIOUS BELIEFS, INCLUDING THE RIGHT • TO HOLD NO BELIEFS. THEY MUST BE AS SENSITIVE TO THOSE WHO DO NOT • WELCOME OFFERINGS OF FAITH, AS THEY ARE GENEROUS IN SHARING THEIR • FAITH WITH THOSE WHO DO. IN ADDITION, THEY MUST REMAIN SENSITIVE TO • THE RESPONSIBILITIES OF SUPERIOR RANK, AND THEY SHOULD RESPECT • PROFESSIONAL SETTINGS WHERE MANDATORY PARTICIPATION MAY MAKE • EXPRESSIONS OF RELIGIOUS FAITH INAPPROPRIATE. • (3) CHAPLAIN SERVICE GUIDANCE INCLUDES AFPD 52-1 AND AFI 52-101. • E. EMAIL AND SIMILAR COMMUNICATIONS. • (1) GENERAL RULES FOR USE OF GOVERNMENT COMPUTERS APPLY TO RELIGIOUS • MATTERS AS THEY DO FOR OTHER MATTERS IAW AFI 33-119, AFI 33-129, AND 33- • 112. • (2) INDIVIDUALS WILL TAKE THESE GUIDELINES INTO ACCOUNT IN THEIR • OFFICIAL COMMUNICATIONS. AS IN OTHER AREAS OF EXPRESSION, IT IS • IMPORTANT TO AVOID THE REASONABLE PERCEPTION THAT ANY OFFICIAL EMAIL • OR COMPUTER POSTING IMPLIES THAT THE AIR FORCE SUPPORTS ANY ONE • RELIGION OVER OTHER RELIGIONS, OR THE IDEA OF RELIGION OVER THE CHOICE • OF NO RELIGIOUS AFFILIATION. • F. GOOD ORDER AND DISCIPLINE. • NOTHING IN THESE GUIDELINES RELIEVES COMMANDERS OF THE • RESPONSIBILITY TO MAINTAIN GOOD ORDER AND DISCIPLINE IN THEIR • COMMANDS.
C. INDIVIDUAL SHARING OF RELIGIOUS FAITH. • (1) IN OFFICIAL CIRCUMSTANCES, PARTICULARLY SITUATIONS WHERE • SUPERIOR/SUBORDINATE RELATIONSHIPS ARE INVOLVED, INDIVIDUALS NEED TO • BE SENSITIVE TO THE POTENTIAL THAT PERSONAL EXPRESSIONS MAY APPEAR • TO BE OFFICIAL EXPRESSIONS. THIS IS ESPECIALLY TRUE WHEN SUBORDINATES • ARE PRESENT AS PART OF THEIR OFFICIAL DUTIES AND OBLIGATIONS. • (2) THE MORE SENIOR THE INDIVIDUAL, THE MORE LIKELY THAT PERSONAL • EXPRESSIONS MAY BE PERCEIVED TO BE OFFICIAL STATEMENTS. THE MORE • SENIOR THE LEADER, THE MORE RESPONSIBILITY HE OR SHE HAS TO SEND THE • MESSAGE THAT WE ARE A TEAM BASED ON TRUST, RESPECT, AND A COMMON • MISSION TO DEFEND OUR NATION AND THAT WHAT IS EXPECTED OF ALL OUR • PERSONNEL IS TO LIVE UP TO OUR OATHS, EMBRACE OUR SHARED AIR FORCE • CORE VALUES, AND DO OUR DUTY. • (3) NOTHING IN THIS GUIDANCE SHOULD BE UNDERSTOOD TO LIMIT VOLUNTARY, • PEER TO PEER DISCUSSIONS. • D. THE CHAPLAIN SERVICE. • (1) AIR FORCE COMMANDERS HAVE AN OBLIGATION TO ENSURE THAT THE • PEOPLE UNDER THEIR AUTHORITY HAVE OPPORTUNITY TO OBTAIN SPIRITUAL • CARE. CHAPLAINS ASSIST COMMANDERS IN MEETING THIS RESPONSIBILITY. • (2) CHAPLAINS ARE COMMISSIONED TO PROVIDE MINISTRY TO THOSE OF THEIR • OWN FAITHS, TO FACILITATE MINISTRY TO THOSE OF OTHER FAITHS, AND TO • PROVIDE CARE FOR ALL SERVICE MEMBERS, INCLUDING THOSE WHO CLAIM NO • RELIGIOUS FAITH. IN THESE VARIOUS ROLES, THEY SHOULD RESPECT THE • RIGHTS OF OTHERS TO THEIR OWN RELIGIOUS BELIEFS, INCLUDING THE RIGHT • TO HOLD NO BELIEFS. THEY MUST BE AS SENSITIVE TO THOSE WHO DO NOT • WELCOME OFFERINGS OF FAITH, AS THEY ARE GENEROUS IN SHARING THEIR • FAITH WITH THOSE WHO DO. IN ADDITION, THEY MUST REMAIN SENSITIVE TO • THE RESPONSIBILITIES OF SUPERIOR RANK, AND THEY SHOULD RESPECT • PROFESSIONAL SETTINGS WHERE MANDATORY PARTICIPATION MAY MAKE • EXPRESSIONS OF RELIGIOUS FAITH INAPPROPRIATE. • (3) CHAPLAIN SERVICE GUIDANCE INCLUDES AFPD 52-1 AND AFI 52-101. • E. EMAIL AND SIMILAR COMMUNICATIONS. • (1) GENERAL RULES FOR USE OF GOVERNMENT COMPUTERS APPLY TO RELIGIOUS • MATTERS AS THEY DO FOR OTHER MATTERS IAW AFI 33-119, AFI 33-129, AND 33- • 112. • (2) INDIVIDUALS WILL TAKE THESE GUIDELINES INTO ACCOUNT IN THEIR • OFFICIAL COMMUNICATIONS. AS IN OTHER AREAS OF EXPRESSION, IT IS • IMPORTANT TO AVOID THE REASONABLE PERCEPTION THAT ANY OFFICIAL EMAIL • OR COMPUTER POSTING IMPLIES THAT THE AIR FORCE SUPPORTS ANY ONE • RELIGION OVER OTHER RELIGIONS, OR THE IDEA OF RELIGION OVER THE CHOICE • OF NO RELIGIOUS AFFILIATION. • F. GOOD ORDER AND DISCIPLINE. • NOTHING IN THESE GUIDELINES RELIEVES COMMANDERS OF THE • RESPONSIBILITY TO MAINTAIN GOOD ORDER AND DISCIPLINE IN THEIR • COMMANDS.
The Constitution prohibits • Requiring students to recite prayers in class. • Public prayers at high school games • Promoting any one denomination or religion at the expense of another • Banning the wearing of religious clothing and symbols • Prayers before Board of Education meetings • "Clergy in the Schools" project
The Constitution allows • Graduation ceremonies • Teaching religion • Student religious clubs • Moment of silence • Prayer outside of school building: • School religious speech • Rental of school facilities • Teaching of evolution • Teacher display of religion
Facts about school prayer • Contrary to generally held belief, prayer is not forbidden in public schools. A student can come early to class, sit quietly, and pray silently. Similarly, with some discipline, a student can pray upon rising, as a family before leaving home, even (if they can concentrate over the noise) in a school bus, in the cafeteria, etc. If students are allowed to organize any type of extra-curricular group, such as a science club or political club, then they are free to organize religious or prayer groups. The federal "equal access" law requires this of all school districts that receive federal funding. They may hold their meetings on school property, advertise their group, etc. to the same extent as non-religious student groups. Students do not leave their constitutional rights at the door of the school: they can wear clothing that promotes a specific religion or denomination; they can discuss the religious aspects of a topic in class, etc. There is a sizable minority of parents (and by implication, children) who follow other than Christian religions or who follow no religion at all. They find a state-sponsored Christian prayer to be deeply offensive, and an attack on their freedom of religion. Many deeply Christian and other religious parents and children who pray regularly regard enforced, state written prayers to be deeply offensive and a violation of fundamental human rights. Some jurisdictions have allowed objecting students to leave the room and thus be excused from reciting a prayer. However, this action subjects the students to harassment by their peers. To require students to recite a Christian prayer implies state recognition of Christianity as a religion of special status in the country. This is interpreted by many that religions other than Christianity are of inferior status. That promotes conflict among faith groups and intolerance towards minority religions. Attempting to decide what prayers should be used can result in inter-denominational conflict among Christians. More conservative groups might ask for prayers which deal with sin, Satan, Hell and the necessity of being saved. Mainstream groups may want to write prayers which emphasize the love of God and responsibilities to one's fellow humans. The freedom for parents and a school system to require children to recite a state-written prayer conflicts with the rights of parents and students who wish freedom from compulsory prayer. Some jurisdictions have reached various compromises that balance the rights and desires of opposing groups: Some schools institute a moment of silence that students can use to pray silently, or meditate, or simply center themselves. Most schools allow any interested students to gather outside the classroom in the school to pray as a group. In Canada, some school systems have a list of prayers drawn from a variety of religions that are found in the state or province. These prayers are read in sequence by a volunteer. Students are not required to recite the words; they can simply remain silent. This approach has a valuable educational component. Students learn a little about many religions. They realize that there are many different religions in the world and that society recognizes that all have worth.
Court Decisions • 1948: The U.S. Supreme Court struck down religious instruction in public schools in their McCollum v. Board of Education decision. • 1954: The Supreme Court let stand a lower court ruling, Tudor v. Board of Education against the distribution of Bibles by outside groups like the Gideons. • 1960: Madalyn Murray O'Hair sued the Baltimore MD school system on behalf of her son William J Murray, because he was being forced to participate in prayer in schools. • 1962: The Supreme Court, in Engel v. Vitale, disallowed agovernment-composed, nondenominational "Regents" prayer which was recited by students . • 1963: In a number of major decisions (Murray v. Curlett; Abington Township School district v. Schempp) mandatory Bible verse recitation was ruled unconstitutional. • 2001: A decision is expected by 2001-JUN from the U.S. Supreme Court in a curious case involving the rental of school facilities. A Fundamentalist Christian group was refused permission to rent school facilities. The policy is to rent rooms for "social, civic, and recreational meetings and entertainment events and other uses," but not to religious groups. It seems like such an open and shut case: the school must rent to all groups or none, and cannot discriminate on the basis of religion. But the federal trial judge and the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals both ruled against the club.
Quotes America’s God and Country By William J. Federer