Hundreds of Christian students in an Oklahoma town have decided to fight back against a national association of atheists and agnostics who say they want displays of the Ten Commandments removed from local public schools.
Fox News reports that the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF), an organization that targets displays of Christian faith in schools, told school district superintendent Ron Flanagan that the Ten Commandment “plaques” that are posted in some of the classrooms at Muldrow High School should be removed. The complaint was reportedly filed by an “anonymous” member of the community.
Students have decided to defend the plaques by launching petitions and raising awareness on social networking sites. In addition, the local interfaith ministerial association printed 1,000 t-shirts portraying the Ten Commandments, and many students plan to wear the shirts to school.
“I’d really like it if they would leave the Ten Commandments up,” said Benjamin Hill, 18. “I think they should allow the expression of religion in school.”
“It’s Christianity under attack within our own country,” said Josh Moore, pastor of the First Baptist Church of Muldrow, OK. “The irony can’t be missed by anyone who’s lived in this country or grown up in this country.”
However, FFRF attorney Patrick Elliott wrote to the school district, “If the facts are as presented to us, and the Ten Commandments are on display throughout Muldrow Public Schools, the displays must be removed immediately.”
According to the FFRF, the displays are a “flagrant violation of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment. Any student will view a Ten Commandments display in school as being endorsed by the school.”
Elliott wrote, “Muldrow Public Schools promotion of the Judeo-Christian Bible and religion over non-religion impermissibly turns any non-Christian or non-believing student, parent or staff member into an outsider.”
Parent Denise Armer, however, told television station KHOG, “If other kids don’t want to read the Ten Commandments, then they don’t have to. But that doesn’t mean that they have to make everyone else do what they want.”