Liberty Counsel Launches Annual “Friend or Foe” Graduation Prayer Campaign
ORLANDO - Liberty Counsel is launching its annual "Friend or Foe" Graduation Prayer Campaign, seeking to educate and, if necessary, litigate to ensure that prayer and religious viewpoints are not suppressed during public school graduation ceremonies.
Liberty Counsel published a free legal memorandum on graduation prayer which is available at www.LC.org. Students are encouraged to wear Liberty Counsel’s red "I WILL PRAY" wristbands as a reminder to pray. Students have the constitutional right to wear religious jewelry and to pray at school.
In 2006, Liberty Counsel represented Megan Chapman, a graduating senior and class chaplain in Russell Springs, Kentucky, after she found herself the subject of a lawsuit by the ACLU and a court order forbidding her from praying during graduation. Her entire senior class reacted to the controversy by standing and reciting the Lord's Prayer, after which Megan stepped to the podium and shared about what God meant in her life. After learning about Megan, Dr. Jerry Falwell gave her and her twin sister, Mandy, full scholarships to Liberty University. Their story gained international attention after being featured on a segment of the award-winning CNN documentary, God’s Christian Warriors. The twins are finishing their third year at Liberty, where Megan has volunteered for Liberty Counsel.
In a precedent-setting case against the ACLU, Adler v. Duval County School Board, Liberty Counsel won the right of students to pray or give religious messages at graduation. The case went before a federal appeals court five times and to the U.S. Supreme Court twice. The case established the legal principle that public schools are safe to adopt a policy allowing students or other speakers to present either secular or religious messages at events, including prayer.
Mathew D. Staver, Founder of Liberty Counsel and Dean of Liberty University School of Law, commented: "The purpose of Liberty Counsel's 'Friend or Foe' Graduation Prayer Campaign is to protect religious viewpoints at graduation. Liberty Counsel is a friend to schools that recognize the free speech rights of students and invited speakers and the foe of those that violate their constitutional rights. The key to graduation prayer is that schools may neither command nor prohibit voluntary prayer or religious viewpoints."
(Printed courtesy of Liberty Counsel.)
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