The “Bible Ban” In High Schools Is Unconstitutional: We call it, “Good News Friday” because it’s a chance for David and Tim to share some good news from across the nation and around the world. We don”t often hear good news from major media, however, here on WallBuilders Live, we love sharing news worthy of celebration! Tune in now to learn more!
Air Date: 10/25/2019
Guest: Barbara Samuels
On-air Personalities: David Barton, Rick Green, and Tim Barton
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- Pennsylvania high school”s “Bible ban” is unconstitutional, students say
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Faith And The CultureÂ
Welcome to the intersection of faith and the culture. This is WallBuilders Live! Where we”re talking about today”s hottest topics on policy, faith, and the culture, always doing that from a biblical, historical, and constitutional perspective.
We’re here with David Barton, America’s premier historian and the founder of WallBuilders. Also, Tim Barton, national speaker and President of WallBuilders, and my name is Rick Green, I’m a former Texas state legislator, national speaker, and author.Â There”s more information about all three of us at WallBuildersLive.com, and then also at the website you can get the archives of the previous few weeks of programs and you can even make that donation. That contribute button is very important because that’s how we do this.Â
We”re a listener supported program, so when you make those donations, those contributions, we”re a 501C3, therefore we are nonprofit. That means you can do that as a tax deductible donation, and then we are able to spread the good news. We’re able to educate people on the Constitution, on the founding of America, and on the principles that work every time they’re tried. Become a part of it right there on our website WallBuildersLive.com.Â
Guys, it”s Good News Friday today! I”m looking forward to some good news. We’ve got some right here in studio, we’re actually gonna leave the studio for some good news later in the program, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves! Tim Barton’s got our first piece of good news today, Tim?
Good News from Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania
All right guys, the first one is from Pennsylvania, and the town is rather interesting. I know historically that there are groups of people that would get together and then the town would be named appropriately based on someone who is there, or it’s by a creek, or by some trees, or a forest, etc.. Sometimes they’re renamed for a famous person. Well, this town is Mechanicsburg.Â
That’s because that’s where all the bakers met, right?Â
Right”¦ Apparently there are some mechanics, or there were at some point, and the Mechanicsburg area senior high school, there was a Bible club, and one of the initiatives they wanted to do was, at lunchtime, go give out Bibles to fellow students. So this is a student initiated idea, or at least a student initiated at the lunchroom, giving out Bibles to other students.Â
The students in the club said they knew all the other students. So these were their friends that they are handing them out to. The school administration came and said, “Whoa, you are not allowed to hand out any religious material at school,” and they said, “But these are our friends. We’re just giving them a Bible.”Â
“You can’t go to school.”Â
Independent Law center to the RescueÂ
So this is one of those areas where there are many law firms that are fighting for religious liberty, and this is one that I’m not familiar with, on a national level nonetheless, it”s great to see people getting involved. It’s Independent Law Center who got involved and said, “OK. You can’t tell the kids they don’t have the freedom of speech, and they don’t have the free exercise of religion, because that’s in the First Amendment.”
This ends up going to court, and there was a judge who came back—and it was a federal judge—who worked with both parties and both parties finally came back with what was mutually agreed upon that students would be able to protect their First Amendment right of speech, of the free expression of religion, and they could give out these Bibles. What’s to me more fascinating is that then the school agreed to let independence Law Center help rewrite their school policies to not be unconstitutional.Â
This cool on several fronts. First of all that you had students who were willing to stand up and say, “Wait a second, we’re not going to let the school tell us that we can’t give out a Bible to our friends, because we do have the freedom of religion, and we do have the freedom of speech.”Â
Fixing the System
So you had students willing to stand up, which sometimes one of the reasons that we have seen so much freedom and liberty lost, is because there are people that that acquiesce to whatever they’re told, and they’re not willing to stand up and say, “Wait a sec, that’s not constitutional. This is a right. We shouldn’t do that.”Â
So, first of all, props to these kids. Then, apparently the Independence Law Center, who I’m not familiar with, did a great job helping get this situation and brought it to the attention of this federal judge who says, “Yeah, we need this changed.”Â
But then the fact the school says, “We would love for this Independent Law Center to help rewrite our unconstitutional policies.”Â
It”s really great on a lot of levels.Â
So, having this rewritten by these guys, there’s going to be maximum latitude here because there’s all sorts of previous court cases that most schools are not even familiar with that allow students, and teachers, and even the school itself to do a whole lot more than what most administrators think. So this really is a good victory, and it’s really a good victory that Independence Law Center is going to get to rewrite the policies.
We’ve seen this before, where school officials are being advised by a law firm or an attorney that’s great at typical public school legal issues but terrible at First Amendment issues. That’s just not their expertise. They didn’t get anything on it in law school. Then you get a firm like this that, hey! This was an area they’ve really studied! Maybe they’ll be able to apply any freedom training or whatever they’ve gone through to really study these First Amendment issues.Â
Values Voter Summit
When you get the right counsel, then you can actually get in there and, like you’re saying, do more and allow for more. But you need the right people in there doing that. I hadn’t seen this story until you were just talking about it, Tim,Â but not only did they win, but then for that school to turn around and say, “Yeah. Now help us make it right for the future as well,” says a lot about the leaders in that school.Â
So we”re very, very thankful for that, and encourage people all across the country, when these kind of things happen, stand up like this and try to get the same results in your community.Â
When we come back from break—actually this is a perfect good news for our first segment, Tim—because when we come back in the break we actually going to go to the Values Voter Summit where we got to do some interviews on site there during the summit. One of those interviews is specifically about freedom of religion in schools and how much freedom is there that most schools just simply don’t know. So I’m hoping folks will learn from this interview what they can do, and then also find that there are tools that they can get to bring into their community and into their schools to expand this kind of freedom of religion.
So stay with us folks we’ll be right back. You”re listening to WallBuilders Live.
Moment From American History
This is Tim Barton from WallBuilders with another moment from American history. Founding Fathers John Adams and Thomas Jefferson originally worked closely together but later became ardent opponents.Â
This troubled Dr. Benjamin Rush, a signer of the declaration, who knew both of them very well. In the Bible, second Corinthians 5:18 tells us that God has given each of us the ministry of reconciliation. Dr Rush believed this and set out to bring the two back together.Â
It took a while, but Adams and Jefferson once again became close friends. Looking back on his role in helping bring about this reconciliation Dr. Rush stated, “It will give me pleasure as long as I live to reflect that. I have been in any degree instrumental in effecting this reunion of two souls destined to be dear to each other and motivated with the same dispositions to serve their country, though in different ways.”
For more information about Dr. Benjamin Rush and his other remarkable achievements go to WallBuilders.com.
Barbara Samuels and the Fight for Religious Liberty in New York
Welcome back to WallBuilders Live. Thanks for staying with us. We are live from Values Voters Summit in Washington D.C..
Activists from all over the country are here. Lots of great speakers addressing the audience. President Trump is going to address the audience tomorrow night, but also just a lot of great organizations. We”re getting a chance to meet some great people on the ground here with David Barton and Barbara Samuels. Barbara, thanks for coming on.
I’m so glad to be here.
Listeners are going to love this. This is good news coming out of New York.
It”s worse than that, it”s coming out of Long Island.Â
We thought our listeners would love what you’re doing there. You”re making a big difference—not just there, you’re impacting all over the country—but your fight for religious liberty. Tell us what’s happening in New York, specifically in Long Island. How’d you get started doing this, and how can folks at home to get involved?Â
I can tell you exactly how. We got involved back when the Health and Human Services mandate was passed, and we were very complacent and compliant in our churches.Â
And by the way, that mandate was when they mandated that you have to pay for contraceptives, abortifacients, et. So that was back unders President Obama, who made the mandate that pro-life people were going to pay for abortions just like everybody else.
Yes. And we said to ourselves, “Wait a minute, they say taking freedom of speech away from one person takes it from everyone. The government has just, with the stroke of a pen—nothing that was ever debated or voted on—with the stroke of a pen has taken away the rights of conscience of millions of Americans.”Â
Educating the People
And I stood up, and I talked to my friends in the Catholic Church, and we said, “No.” Now, we have to educate. We have to educate our fellow Catholics and ourselves because we’re very ignorant about what religious freedom really is. So we started doing that on Long Island here in the Diocese of Rockville Center.Â
And God bless our bishop, because he stood behind us almost from the very beginning. He gave us six months trial where he didn’t talk to us about what we were doing. After six months, we had a meeting with Bishop.Â
He said to us, when we met with him after six months—and we had all our notes, we were ready to convince Bishop Murphy that this was the right thing to do, to organize lay Catholics.Â
He said, “I know what you’re doing. I agree with what you’re doing and I will support you in every way I can.”
Good for him, because to do nothing would be to have your conscience violated by forced participation in the taking of life.Â
Absolutely. The Little Sisters of the poor, the Catholic universities, the Catholic hospitals here.
The Little Sisters of the poor back in court now again! We’ve had two Supreme Court cases. They’re back for the third time. This is unbelievable. This is the monster that won’t die!
I thought when you picked on nuns, you lost.
Here”s What You can do About it
Yes. And we got to know the Little Sisters very well because of this, and we supported them. We had events for them. They came and spoke on Long Island at one of our rallies for religious freedom. And yes there are those within the government who will not let go of their obsession with forcing everyone they choose to yield to their preferences and their cultural desires for abortion anytime, any place, by any means.Â
So these nuns who spend their lives dedicated to the indigent and elderly now are supposed to pay for abortion inducing drugs, et cetera.Â
You guys aren’t backing down. You’ve not only been effective there in your parish, but you’re also now doing this across the country. Yesterday you and I talked about this video. We want people to get on your website and get this, it”s a short video, 9 minutes, and it lets you know, “Here’s what’s happening and here’s what you can do about it.”
There is something that every American of faith needs to know. They need to know that the propaganda that says that God and prayer were taken out of public schools is just that, it’s propaganda and it is a lie, because when the courts said, “Teachers may not lead prayer in public schools.”Â
So many of us Christians, and now it’s almost 90% say, “Oh, well we understand our children can’t pray in school.”Â
That is not true.Â
“Why Didn”t I Know About This?”
So our video educates on that. We educate thousands of students on Long Island and around the country every year, we educate priests, we educate nuns, we educate religious education teachers. The video on CatholicsForFreedom.org shows the nine minutes, and when we show that video to people they’re like, “Why didn’t I know about this?”Â
And those kids are then empowered to go lead prayer, and then pray, and do student organizations that can do that.
Yes. And it’s all based on the Department of Education Guidelines for Religious Expression in Public Schools. And people are like, “I didn’t know that. I didn’t know my child could read the Bible in free reading, I didn’t know he could wear a bible verse on his shirt, I didn’t know they could have a Christian club after school.”Â
And Barbara, let me add in, under the Department of Education Mandate, it actually says that if a school does not allow this, they can lose their federal funding. So this really is a huge, huge, huge tool. As Barbara said, people think they can’t, so they don’t try. But as she points out, if they do try, they’ve got a lot of backing.
Now you bring that up, because we have, on our website, under school prayer, educate your school board. People can go there and they can print out a two page form. Many of us have already taken it to our school boards, and we inform them, “We’re here to help educate you, because I want my school district just to treat our children according to the law and the regulations.”Â
Teach the Parents First
So we tell them a little bit in this print out about what the children are allowed to do, and then we say at the end, “We know that every school in the United States is required every year to affirm that they have no policies that will deprive students of their rights to religious expression. They must fill that out. It goes to their state government, and from there to the federal, and if they do not comply they can have all of their federal funding suspended until they do apply.”
All of this is in place for people in communities to do what you’re talking about and actually be the ones to bring that to the forefront in their school district. They don’t have to go pass a law to do this, it’s all done.
This is low hanging fruit to help our children, our churches, and the school environments that are so tough today. If we can teach the parents first—not the children first, because these children cannot stand up to teachers and administrators—the parents have to teach their children, and stand there behind them, and then the children want to go, they want to pray, they want to share their faith with their friends.Â
We had on Long Island a group of little girls sitting in their elementary school, praying because the one grandmother had had a heart attack. The principal saw them came over and said, “You can’t do that in school.”Â
A little girl said, “But we just want to pray for her grandmother.”Â
So the principal relented.Â
He said, “Alright, you can go up on the stage, behind the curtain where no one can see you, and pray.”Â
Low Hanging Fruit
Now, when we go and teach this, and we have many volunteers trained to teach it, the stories we hear, that’s only one of them. I could sit here for an hour and tell you similar stories, but Americans don’t realize how extreme it is in our schools, that the automatic reaction of teachers and administrators is to shut your child down for any expression of faith. It is not right. They’re protected. That battle was won long ago by our Founders, and for every generation since it’s been low hanging fruit. We only need to educate ourselves.
Barbara, before we let you go, tell us how people can take what you’re doing into their community. If they want to be trained, like you said, you trained many, if they want to be trained to do this, what do they do?
I’m a former teacher. We have many of us who are former teachers. As teachers, we put this website together, and these materials are in a cookbook fashion so that anyone can use them. We use David’s book about separation of church and state so much because it is clear, and simple, and written so that anyone can really understand it. So that’s what we did with our materials.Â
For example, if people go to CatholicsForFreedomOfReligion.org, and click on a link to school prayer. Everything is there. The materials you need, the video is there, the video is up on our site, everything they need is there. The lesson, the introduction, the follow up activities, educating your school board, everything is good.
Multiple Religions Uniting to Save Freedom
That’s a long website. So we’re gonna make it easier, at WallBuildersLive.com today you can click on this link to CatholicsForFreedomOfReligion.org, all the materials are right there. We had a chance to visit with Barbara yesterday here at Values Voter Summit, and we saw the materials. You’re going to love it. They’re simple and easy to use.
And anyone can do this. You do not have to be Catholic. Anyone of any faith can do this. When we started this organization, we happen to all be Catholic and our friends were all Catholic, and we wanted to start this organization. We said, “Wait a minute. This is everyone’s religious freedom. We don’t want people to think that this is just Catholics working for Catholics. We”re preserving religious freedom for everyone.”Â
One of our best speakers is Rabbi Spiro, who comes to long island and has spoken at the seminary there at many churches, Christine Hall, the wife of a Baptist minister, comes every year speaks at churches and even teaches at some of our Catholic schools.
I’m going to have to repent, Barbara, because I thought that all good things like this only came out of the Bible Belt South, but here we have a wonderful piece of good news out of New York!
Barbara, thank you very much. We appreciate you coming on and spending time with us here at the Values Voter Summit. That’s Barbara Samuel. Check out the website CatholicsForFreedomOfReligion.org. Stay with us, we’ll be right back with David and Tim Barton.
America’s Hidden History
Hi, this is David Barton.
And, this is Tim Barton, and we want to let you know about a series that’s happening right now on TBN on Thursday night. TBN is the Trinity Broadcasting Network. Every Thursday night, there’s a series that we’ve filmed called America’s Hidden History.
And, this season is called “America’s Hidden Heroes.” The reason is, we highlight heroes from American history. For years we’ve been focusing on the forgotten history and heros of the nation.
And now, we have a TV show just highlighting some of those heroes.
These are inspiring stories about some of the greatest people maybe you’ve never heard about. We go on location to the sites and show you where the events happened. It’s the stories of folks like Bronco Charlie, Stagecoach Mary, Jedediah Smith, Robert Smalls, and so many inspiring folks.
Now, this happens every Thursday night, and the time is gonna be different based on where you live. Either way, we think this is something that will so encourage and inspire you in learning some of these great stories from America’s Hidden History.
So Many Verbs
We’re back in the studio now. What a great interview! We got to visit with so many people a Values Voter Summit, and Barbara was one of those that is making a huge difference. You look at all these different areas across the country that are adopting what she’s been doing there in New York, there in Long Island. It’s just exciting to see this because I love seeing grassroots, individuals that have success in their area, export that across the country. So we wanted to share her interview with folks so you can be able to do the same thing.
I love what they did, because I was just listening to the verb she was using. She said they began to educate themselves on the issue, and then later she said they began to organize ourselves, and then we began to take action, and then to educate others, and began to train volunteers, and to make bulletin inserts. Just listen to all the verbs. And it’s just simple stuff they did, but once they did it, they expanded it. It was really just one person reaching one person, reaching one other person, and they kept just reaching out.
So now you have literally thousands and thousands of kids in Long Island who are getting a different view. You have thousands of adults, and I love the fact that even though they’re Catholics they get joined with Protestants on this. She said taking freedom of speech from one person takes it from all. This is the same with religious liberty. So it is so good that they’re reaching out for other people.
Uniting for a Common Goal
I did think about, as I listened to you guys in this interview, that she mentioned being a Catholic, and going to the bishop, and different things involved. My initial thought was, “It’s so great that there are so many different people from different kinds of religious backgrounds and from different kinds of faith.”Â
This is exactly the kind of idea of what the Founding Fathers were dealing with when there was so much diversity of backgrounds, of their faith, of their theology, but they found common principles or common purpose to say, “There are some things that we can unite behind to make a difference about.”Â
This is just such a great example, where it wasn’t just a Catholic movement, they gather with Protestants. We see this kind of thing happening in many places throughout the nation. Such a cool example of how somebody says, “Hey, we don’t want to let this happen. We’re going to stand up and do something.”Â
When they stood up, the ripple went far, and now was having an incredible impact.
Good News from California
Yeah. Very good news, not just for New York, but people across the country. Hopefully folks listening now will say, “We want to be a part of that as well.”Â
We’re going to have links to Barbara’s website, if you’d like to take what she’s been doing in her community and others have been doing across the country and be a leader in your community that’s what we’re challenging people to do. Everyone can make a difference. We”ve got to step up and get the right tools to engage in that way. That’s why we do Good News Fridays, so we can share those victories that are happening. We’ve got another piece of good news for you before we close out today. David?
Well, just as we had some unusual good news from New York City, and even from Long Island, which is usually a little more liberal than New York City, and yet you get this good stuff going on. I’m going to go to the other coast for a bit and go to California. In California, pastor Greg Laurie—and Greg Laurie is one of the Calvary Chapel pastors there—every year since 1990 they have done a crusade kind of meetings in Anaheim, and they do it at Angel Stadium. This year—I love this—this year they had 100,000 people from Southern California go to these crusades.Â
Greg Laurie is a very good pastor, very good public speaker. He’s very engaged culturally, but he’s also very focused on spiritual issues as well, including folks not knowing Jesus in Southern California.Â
That’s a starting place.Â
If you have a relationship with Jesus, then it’s more likely you’re going to love God’s word, and live by God’s word, it will change your life, your thinking, your behavior, your family and your business. It will change those around you. So the starting place is that individual relationship.Â
Over the course of this year’s crusade—and they call it SoCal Harvest, the Southern California Harvest, they call it a Harvest Crusade— at Anaheim Stadium, there at Angel Stadium this year, they had 100,000 folks attend, and they had 8,000 folks make commitments to follow Jesus Christ.Â
And that is a really good influence and a really good start. Pastor Laurie and other pastors out there will follow up with these folks and help disciple them.
And guys, I was in Southern California not long ago actually speaking at another Calvary Chapel out there. We’ve talked about before how surprised we have been on occasions and how often we are out in California speaking at different events or different churches when, so often, we look at California and think how liberal they are. But when you look at just the sheer numbers there, it”s an incredible number of Bible believing Christians, and Evangelicals, and conservatives—even of Republicans—because you often think of it as a very liberal and Democrat state. It certainly is true that it seems some of the good guys are outnumbered by people who don’t have the same ideology and philosophy.
Nonetheless, in California, God is doing something and there is a remnant out there that is certainly fighting against the the unbelievable culture and trying to promote and present biblical truth.Â
A Massive Impact
Greg Laurie is one of the guys, as you mentioned, but that so many—so many—good guys out there, and we’ve spoken in many of their churches, and so great to see good things happening from Southern California.
You’re exactly right, Tim. I think the three of us, if got our schedules out and looked, we probably speak in California more than anywhere else, and it’s always exciting to see the response. There’s a lot of people hosting our Constitution class out there. They’re popping in Constitution Alive, and visiting the WallBuilders library, and Independence Hall, and these are large classes too! I’m talking a couple hundred people coming out every week at some of these churches, so really, really exciting to see the numbers that you see at Greg’s rally like that. 100,00!. Think about that and the impact it can have on California and on the country as a whole.Â
Unconstitutional Bible Ban Ended and More Good News on WallBuilders Live!
Such good news today, guys, thanks for sharing that with us. Looking forward to more good news next Friday, folks. If you want to get some more good news right now, it’s available at our website at WallBuildersLive.com. Just click on that archive section and you can look back at programs over the last few weeks, including those Friday programs, where you’ll get more good news. You can also listen to Thursday for Foundations of Freedom Thursdays, and most Mondays through Wednesday where we usually have some kind of interview with someone out there in the culture making a difference.
We are going to have more of these programs from Values Voters Summit over the next week or two, so be sure and tune in next week. We’ll have Gary Bauer, Tony Perkins, Dana Lesh, former Congressman John Hostettler, Matt Staver, Eric Metaxas, Todd Starnes, Wesley Wildman, General Jerry Boykin, Richard Harris, Jenna Ellis, and more.
We’ve got a ton of good folks over the next two or three weeks. Don’t miss out on those interviews! Thanks so much for listening today. You’ve been listening to WallBuilders Live.