News

Faced with a lawsuit, Ohio school bans ‘The Lord’s Prayer’

Faced with a lawsuit, Ohio school bans ‘The Lord’s Prayer’

Thanks to an intervention by the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF), the East Liverpool High School in East Liverpool, Ohio has scrapped its 70-year-old tradition of singing ‘The Lord’s Prayer’ at graduation ceremonies.

According to this report, the FFRF wrote to the school saying that the song violates the law and requested that no religious song be performed at future ceremonies.

Choir director Lisa Ensinger appealed to the city school board to allow the song to be continued. She remembered singing the song at her own graduation.

When asked what would happen if she was told that her students could no longer sing it, she replied:

I said, ‘That’s the day I resign’, and now it’s happened and my heart is broken. I hate to see that go. When we stop having traditions what do we have left?

Ensinger told the board that one of her students who is an atheist wants to sing the song.

My students are devastated.

But school board President Larry Walton said it could cost thousands in dollars in litigation costs.

“The Supreme Court says we can’t do it,” he said, adding that other districts have tried to fight it and it cost them more than $850,000.

I’m not going to risk this school by trying to fight the Supreme Court. I’m as sorry as you are.

He added that since the Supreme Court decision, the district allowed the “Lord’s Prayer” to be sung but “just didn’t get caught.”

11 responses to “Faced with a lawsuit, Ohio school bans ‘The Lord’s Prayer’”

  1. Angela_K says:

    “When we stop having traditions what do we have left?” Yes, we’ve stopped you from burning Witches, slavery and lynchings but we still have some way to go to ensure women have access to contraception and abortion and LGBT people are not discriminated against.

  2. barriejohn says:

    The Lord’s Prayer is a strange thing. Dispensationalists teach that it was intended for Jews, and is inappropriate for Christian use. The Brethren NEVER use it!

    http://www.acts2828.org/resources/The_Lord$27s_Prayer.pdf

  3. L.Long says:

    “When we stop having traditions what do we have left?”
    ANY tradition or custom that can’t be changed or questioned is nothing more then dogma and automatically evil! When one tradition goes away..MAKE A NEW ONE!!!! your dimwit!!!

  4. L.Long says:

    “My students are devastated.”
    There is only one thing that would devastate your students…take their iPhones away. I doubt if they care at all what song they sing or don’t sing! Sounds more like a LIAR4jesus to me.

  5. Laura Roberts says:

    It’s a great result but I confess I’m a little confused. I started to raise a stink years ago about a local middle-school choir director whose holiday concerts were 90% Jesus and 10% Rudolph/Santa, but was told — by fellow secularists — that what they were doing was perfectly legal and that I was barking up the wrong tree. I suppose I should have contacted the FFRF instead of trying to go it alone.

  6. Stuart H. says:

    I watched a choir of elderly Christians happily performing ‘Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life’ – in a church – to the local care home residents the other month. Went down OK, even the vicar was laughing.

    If a bunch of geriatric churchgoers can evolve, what’s the problem with US teens doing the same?

  7. AgentCormac says:

    ‘When we stop having traditions what do we have left?’ Truth? Reason?

  8. 1859 says:

    If it was just any old song, it would indeed seem absurd and repressive to have it legally banned. But it isn’t just any old song, it represents something that is truly absurd and repressive and that’s a belief system called religion. So replace this piece of tradition with a progressive leap forward – find a song singing the praises of truth, reason and freedom of thought.

  9. Laura Roberts says:

    It’s really too bad there are no secular songs or tunes appropriate for graduation ceremonies. Nothing springs to mind that might reflect the occasion’s pomp and circumstance.

  10. Peterat says:

    I said, ‘That’s the day I resign’, and now it’s happened and my heart is broken. I hate to see that go. When we stop having traditions what do we have left?”

    Begs the question doesn’t it: Did she resign or not? Put your money where your mouth is or stop whingeing about it!