"Students of Faith" Video
RELIGIOUS FREEDOM IN A MINUTE
President Trump Safeguards the Right to Religious Freedom in Public Schools
January 26, 2020
"We don't worship government - we worship God." ~President Trump, 2020
On Jan.16, National Religious Freedom Day, President. Trump said, "This afternoon, we're proudly announcing historic steps to protect the First Amendment right to pray in public schools...It is a sacred principle of our Republic that government must never stand between the people and God. Yet, in public schools around the country, authorities are stopping students and teachers from praying, sharing their faith, or following their religious beliefs.... Tragically, there is a growing ...impulse...that seeks to punish, restrict, and even prohibit religious expression." (1)
For seven years, Catholics for Freedom of Religion has been reporting instances of students denied their right to religious expression in their schools.
The Trump administration has updated the guidelines, first issued under President Clinton, and is sending them to every school that receives federal funds. The Guidance on Constitutionally Protected Prayer and Religious Expression in Public Elementary and Secondary Schools can be read on the United States Department of Education website at www.ed.gov
“These actions by the president should prompt discussions among parents, clergy and educators that will end the too common suppression of students’ appropriate expressions of their faith.” said Barbara Samuells, President of Catholics for Freedom of Religion.
To monitor compliance with the guidelines, every public school will continue to certify to their state that they have no policy that conflicts with students' religious freedom rights. As before, a public school's federal funding could be suspended if the school is not in compliance.” (2)
c-span.org, 1/16/20, transcript; ncregister.com, 1/17/20; americamagazine.org, 1/17/20; whitehouse.gov/briefings; (2) independentsentinel.com, 1/17/19
"The Constitution was never meant to prevent people from praying; its declared purpose was to protect their freedom to pray."
~President Ronald Reagan
Rights of Students to
Pray in School
Protected by President Trump
On Religious Freedom Day, Jan. 16, 2020 the president announced an updating of the federal regulations on students’ rights to prayer and religious expression in public schools.
Guidelines to religious expression in school were first issued under President Clinton and have not been updated since 2003.
This updating does not create new law but clarifies existing law as it applies to students and to teachers.
Students, parents and educators will have the current information so that students’ rights to live their faith in school are known and respected. Students growing faith will not be suppressed, allowing students to live and grow in their faith in many, appropriate ways each school day.
READ PRESIDENT TRUMP'S REMARKS HERE:
St. Elizabeth Ann Seton High School in
Myrtle Beach, SC.
The students were praying the monthly Patriotic Rosary for our country
12 RULES FOR CHRISTMAS
STUDENTS MAY PRAY IN SCHOOL
ARE NOT “GOD-FREE ZONES”
America’s children need not leave their faith outside the school house door.
For students to be silenced or disciplined by a school authority for appropriate religious expression should never happen. Sadly, young students may well conclude…
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Educational resources for parish members who work to support Religious Freedoms.
AT WORLD MEETING OF FAMILIES: DEFENDING FREEDOM OF RELIGION
RELIGIOUS FREEDOM RALLY 2018
IN SERVICE TO THE CHURCH
Click here to watch Barbara on TeleCare TV.
NATIONAL RELIGIOUS FREEDOM DAY
Click here to view a video about National Religious Freedom Day 2014.
Barbara Samuells, president of Catholics for Freedom of Religion and a parishioner at St. Matthew’s, Dix Hills, shares her experience at the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia.
Pope Francis has observed that “religion [cannot] be relegated to the inner sanctum of personal life, without influence on societal and national life.” Evangelii Gaudium. . . , no. 183. In insisting that our liberties as Americans be respected, Pope Benedict XVI said that this work belongs to “an engaged, articulate and well-formed Catholic laity endowed with a strong critical sense vis-à-vis the dominant culture.” Therefore, catechesis on religious liberty is not the work of priests alone. If religious liberty is not properly understood, all people suffer and are deprived of the essential contribution to the common good, be it in education, health care, feeding the hungry, civil rights, and social services that individuals make every day, both here at home and overseas.
CATHOLICS FOR FREEDOM OF RELIGION
America’s First Amendment guarantees its citizens five freedoms, the first of which is Freedom of Religion. Freedom of Religion includes the freedom to worship according to one’s beliefs as well as the freedom to practice that faith in everyday life according to one’s conscience.
So that this First Amendment freedom may be practiced and preserved for generations yet unborn it is essential that Americans understand this freedom and the circumstances from which it came. A fitting place for the development of this understanding and protection of Religious Freedom is inside all faith communities.
Catholics for Freedom of Religion offers resources to parish members who work to support Religious Freedom by initiating parish laity groups with these suggested goals:
To educate and inspire for Freedom of Religion
To remain non-partisan, advocating for no candidate or party
To invite and include other faith communities
To become a permanent group within each parish to educate every generation of Catholics about our Freedom of Religion…how rare it is, how dearly it was purchased for us and how certainly it is being lost.
To recognize and oppose attacks on Freedom of Religion from any source
“We hold it for a fundamental and undeniable truth, that religion, or the duty we owe our Creator and the manner of discharging it, can be directed only by reason and conviction, not by force or violence. The religion then of every man must be left to the conviction and conscience of every man; and it is the right of every man to exercise it as these may dictate. This right is in its nature an unalienable right.” James Madison
“While Americans presume that the Constitution guarantees their rights, in practice our rights survive or disappear based on how firmly we defend them.” Archbishop Charles J. Chaput