Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

Current Events & Hot Topics Current Events & Hot Topics

School Bans Christian Mother From Praying on School’s Front Steps

School Officials Ban Christian Mother From Praying Aloud on School’s Front Steps

http://news.yahoo.com/school-officials-ban-christian-mother-praying-aloud-school-144039443.html

A faithful mother in Concord, New Hampshire, will be banned by public school officials from delivering sermons and speeches on the front steps of Concord High School. Lizarda Urena's public proclamations -- uttered aloud as students entered the school -- included prayers and Bible verses, among other religious sentiment.

Concord School Officials Ban Christian Mother Lizarda Urena From Praying Aloud on School Grounds Following Atheist Complaint

Prayer

Credit: AP

Urena, who has two high-school aged children, apparently began arriving at the school around 7 a.m. back in February to offer up prayers. Her ritual, the New Hampshire Union Leader reports, began after she heard that bullets were found in a school bathroom. Now officials, led by Superintendent Christine Rath, are cracking down, claiming that the mother's actions will no longer be allowed when the new school year begins.

The mother's prayers apparently came to the attention of the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF), an atheist activist non-profit that works to strip faith out of the public sphere. After learning that Urena was issuing sectarian prayers and proclamations, the organization complained to the district.

"We sent an open records request to the school district, asking them for copies of any meeting minutes or any sort of documents which gave this woman permission to pray on school property," FFRF attorney Rebecca Markert told the Union Leader.

The FFRF was particularly frustrated that the school did not crack down on the speech in the first place. After receiving word from officials that there never was permission for the mother -- at least a documented allowance -- to be speaking on campus in such a manner, the group successfully argued that the Concord School District should make moves to prevent her sermons.

The Alliance for Defending Freedom, a conservative group, defended Urena's prayer atop the school stairs.

"Students and community members that are allowed to come on campus and participate in a neutral thing are allowed to express religious viewpoints," the group's general counsel Matthew Sharp told the Union Leader. "The students know it's the mother and her own speech -- something that the First Amendment protects -- and that it is not the school mandating this woman to do it."

But other groups like the New Hampshire Civil Liberties Union agree with the district's stance on the matter. Since students are forced to enter the school and, thus, listen to Urena's speech, the debate is a fascinating one.

The Concord Monitor reports that, as of earlier this week, Urena hadn't yet been told to stop having a presence on campus, but, on Wednesday, Principal Gene Connolly was slated to meet with the mother. The report claims that the mother had already been asked to stop praying aloud, though -- a request she complied with.

Concord School Officials Ban Christian Mother Lizarda Urena From Praying Aloud on School Grounds Following Atheist Complaint

mother prayer

Photo Credit: ShutterStock.com

The outlet, which started to cover the debate back in May, continues:

After the Monitor's article ran [in mid-May], Urena said she was asked to stop praying aloud but was permitted to stay on school property. She heard that people began complaining about her to administrators. When she began praying silently, some students approached her and asked why they could no longer hear her, she said.

Urena plans to continue praying for the students' safety even if she can't do so on campus. She will pray at her home or at the gas station across the street from the school, she said. Although she is sad she will be asked to leave, she said she appreciates that Connolly let her pray there for several months.

Urena's story has prompted diverse responses from faith leaders. While some believe she should have the right to pray at the school in this manner, others agree that the district did the right thing by stopping it.

The FFRF has argued that the district's initial silence was a "stamp of approval" on the mother's faith-based messages. What do you think? Should the mother be allowed to pray...?


....I am only responsible for what I say,NOT for what you understand.....
by on Jul. 26, 2013 at 11:44 AM
Replies (301-308):
JTROX
by Gold Member on Aug. 7, 2013 at 9:25 PM
2 moms liked this

I don't know anyone who fears homosexuals.  I've never heard anyone pray to be saved from homosexuals.  I have heard people pray for the homosexuals. 

Quoting Jalestra:

The only problem I have with this though is how many like to SAY they are praying and are actually giving a sermon. I mean, if you want to pray to be saved from the homosexuals (not that I am aware of anything they might be doing you need saved FROM...) then fine. But too many like "And please GOD save from the homosexuals, those godless heathens you berate in Leviticus blah:blah". I GUESS that's praying, but it also sounds suspiciously like a sermon. I'd say I'd be fine if they pray SILENTLY and do not impede movement.
Quoting JTROX:

I'm all for prayers.  I would be fine if she was sitting/standing near the school praying respectfully.  I don't think she should be there giving sermons.



Sister_Someone
by on Aug. 7, 2013 at 9:40 PM

I wouldn't have a problem with her praying. This is a free country and people are entitled to do whatever they want as long as they aren't standing in anyone's way.

That being said, I would complain if anyone was giving sermons on the steps of my son's school. I didn't go great lengths to find a respectable school that wasn't affiliated with any religion only to have a random mother preaching what I tried to steer him away from on the doorstep.

Jalestra
by on Aug. 7, 2013 at 10:59 PM

Oh yeah, it's been done. I mean, it was just an example, there are all kinds of ways to say you're praying, and use it to your advantage, but yeah...before I went deaf I have heard folks pray for safety from the "homosexual threat" lol

Sometimes it's good to be deaf.

Quoting JTROX:

I don't know anyone who fears homosexuals.  I've never heard anyone pray to be saved from homosexuals.  I have heard people pray for the homosexuals. 

Quoting Jalestra:

The only problem I have with this though is how many like to SAY they are praying and are actually giving a sermon. I mean, if you want to pray to be saved from the homosexuals (not that I am aware of anything they might be doing you need saved FROM...) then fine. But too many like "And please GOD save from the homosexuals, those godless heathens you berate in Leviticus blah:blah". I GUESS that's praying, but it also sounds suspiciously like a sermon. I'd say I'd be fine if they pray SILENTLY and do not impede movement.
Quoting JTROX:

I'm all for prayers.  I would be fine if she was sitting/standing near the school praying respectfully.  I don't think she should be there giving sermons.





turtle68
by Mahinaarangi on Aug. 7, 2013 at 11:07 PM
2 moms liked this

would it be ok for a witch to cast a spell over the students to keep them safe?  every morning?

Quoting Jambo4:

Personally, as a devout, practicing Christian I find it nice that a mom would care enough to pray for the safety of students at her kids' school.  I would be alarmed to hear they found bullets in the bathroom too.

BUT.. as her child.. I'd be mortified.  I wouldn't want her giving sermons or preaching.  Praying, out loud in a corner would be fine.  (silent and at home would be better), but I can't condemn her for wanting the protection and praying for it for the students.  I don't like the way she is going about doing it.  I'd feel uncomfortable about it, but like I said, I can't fault her meaning behind her actions.


JTROX
by Gold Member on Aug. 7, 2013 at 11:31 PM
1 mom liked this

There may be people somewhere who pray like that.  I've personally never seen or heard it.

Quoting Jalestra:

Oh yeah, it's been done. I mean, it was just an example, there are all kinds of ways to say you're praying, and use it to your advantage, but yeah...before I went deaf I have heard folks pray for safety from the "homosexual threat" lol

Sometimes it's good to be deaf.

Quoting JTROX:

I don't know anyone who fears homosexuals.  I've never heard anyone pray to be saved from homosexuals.  I have heard people pray for the homosexuals. 

Quoting Jalestra:

The only problem I have with this though is how many like to SAY they are praying and are actually giving a sermon. I mean, if you want to pray to be saved from the homosexuals (not that I am aware of anything they might be doing you need saved FROM...) then fine. But too many like "And please GOD save from the homosexuals, those godless heathens you berate in Leviticus blah:blah". I GUESS that's praying, but it also sounds suspiciously like a sermon. I'd say I'd be fine if they pray SILENTLY and do not impede movement.
Quoting JTROX:

I'm all for prayers.  I would be fine if she was sitting/standing near the school praying respectfully.  I don't think she should be there giving sermons.






jcribb16
by Silver Member on Aug. 8, 2013 at 8:50 PM

Nowhere have I played the "poor persecuted Christian victim role."  I'm not persecuted as a Christian, in the first place.  That little exaggeration is on you.

If you don't like my trying to look at this situation from different perspectives, then ignore or skip my posts.  No one is forcing your fingers to press "Reply" to my posts.  Simple as that.


Quoting Ms.KitKat:

 I can't "speak seriously" because quite frankly this whole thread is bull shit.

You are playing the poor persecuted Christian victim role and quite frankly, it's tired and tedious.

You most likely put more thought and analysis into this one thread than the woman in the article did in regards to her behavior.

This was never even a dialogue between us. This is just you trying to prothelszie(sp?0 just like the praying woman.

Have fun with that.

It's been "nice."

or-whatever "this" was.

Quoting jcribb16:

Apparently you think or rather, imply, that I must respond according to how you think I should respond.  You responded with questions, of which I appreciated since it led into more critical thinking.  

But then you decided to take the smart alec route, yet seem to think you were polite (?) and I responded to that, as well. If you don't like that, then perhaps the sarcasm could be left out, since we are supposed to be adults here, right?

Since it's obvious you aren't apparently interested in speaking seriously about this, and prefer to get personal with regards to me compared to the OP, then consider our discussion done.  I'm done with nonsensical conjectures, including bringing the personal into it.  

Quoting Ms.KitKat:

 ROTFL. What a joke. You quote my post asking questions of me and then what? I am not supposed to respond to you. I mirror back to you your own questions and you think I am engaging you. LOL Then you tell me I am going after you?!

I must be in the fricking Twilight zone. Seriously, what is up with that (Rhetorical only!)

Quite frankly, I responded to your quote and questions initially to be polite. Now, at this point in time I'm just watching your train wreck and poking the crazy.

I still do wonder however, if the woman featured in this OP (is) you.

 

Quoting jcribb16:

Very good!  Now you're finally asking some questions as I have been?  I know nothing more about this lady as you do, as shown by my questions to you and others.  At least you have responded in a way to throw some questions out there that everyone could consider before throwing the negative and hateful comments about here, especially when none of us know her, and also when many of those hateful comments/opinions did not agree with the context of her actions in the article itself.  Not sure what you are trying to go after with me with your challenge, but I'm glad you got in here and asked questions, too.  Maybe some others who are biased against her, ONLY because she is doing something that is considered "Christian," will think about these things, too.

I don't care if you give a "rat's a**" about her, the article, or my comments.  Frankly, if you really don't give a "rat's a*ss" about it, then it's rather odd you even bothered to respond.  However, you did respond, so I guess there was some part of a "rat's a**" that spurred you on. 

Quoting Ms.KitKat:

 First, I wonder why you have continued this argument. Have you by any chance engaged in a similar behaviour(s) or action(s)?

Second, You seem to have a great deal of insight into this woman and you yourself have made assumptions about this woman. Have you spoken to this woman? Have you read her transcripts? Are you certain she has attempted to make changes within her community and have failed and so you know for fact that her prothisizing is her last resort to save the children? So, that is ok for you to make assumptions and yet not me? Ok. Got it.

Next,Quite frankly, I couldn't give a rat's ass if she were saying the Lord's prayer or she was singing the Star Spangled banner. I couldn't even give a rat's ass if she were even Muslim and bowing on the front steps 5 tmes a day or she were Buddhist and sitting on the front steps meditating and repeating "Om." Doing so on the front steps of a school, a public school is not appropritae behaviour.

You want to turn this into playing victim for a Christian bash- I also couldn't give a rat's ass.

The fact is you (and this woman) fail to recognize when behavior is appropriate and inappropriate. Just because US citizens have the right to free speech does not mean we can express ourselves where we like. She wants to get a permit- go ahead! Until then, get off the damn steps.

 

 

 

Quoting jcribb16:

I wonder, rather, what your motives are against this mother.  I have seen nothing provided to show concern from the school about her being there.  Unless you have spoken with her yourself, or read transcripts providing truthful conversation from her, then you are misjudging her. If she were to show tendencies to make the school question her motives, then you might would have a fair point.  I'm not buying it.

As for contacting other groups or people, if she's so concerned, who says she hasn't already done so?  Again, putting a little extra research into your answer before just guessing, would also make for another fair point.  Until we know she hasn't contacted other help for her concern, I'm not buying that remark, either.

As for my motives?  I have none, other than to try and look at this openly with other posters when discussing this article about the mom. Just throwing ugly comments out there, including the fact that many opinions are simply based on bias towards anyone who dares to pray, or dares to be Christian, etc., is another concern.  The mom is already "labled" by some in here, instead of trying to see the what, why, how, when, where, etc., part of the issue, on fair footing. Many in here have her pegged "guilty" before knowing all of the facts, and that is wrong.

And the main point of issue here, is because she dared to pray, at a school her teens attend, because of the concern of things questionable happening at the school.  At least she is concerned and is hurting no one in the least, by being concerned, and by using her Constitutional rights of expression and speech.  She complied as she was asked, so the "guilty" verdict is moot from some in here, who are going overboard with their bias opinions.

Quoting Ms.KitKat:

 I will start my reply to you with this: I am Christian. RC actually. Some would say I am not Christian but meh- I say F***-'em! Also, I belive in the separation of Church/state. I have no problem walking out of my church during mass if the priest starts his BS about government. So, this is where I stand.

Next- I have not read through all of the posts here. Truth be told, I posted my comment and only YOU have responded to my post and so I have read what you have posted and little else. Given that, I would hedge to guess that you might just be over-thinking this whole thing, have overly personally invested yourself into this situation which leads me to think about your motives here.

I will tell you my "issue" with this woman in the article. The fact that this woman feels so compelled to position herself in public at a public building and begin to prothesize and preach. And not just any building, but a public school with children who are entering the building. I question this woman's state of mind. I question this woman's mental health. THIS is not mentally well behavior. It just is not.

This is not anti-christian. This is not separation of church/state.

This is about safety. Bottom line. Safety for these school chidlren. If this woman was / is so concerned about student safety because of bullets found in the bathroom, there are committees she can form. There are parent groups she can implement. There are BOE meetings she can attend. Standing on the front steps of the school preaching and praying won;t do a hill o' beans to make this school safer.

Personally, I would not want this woman standing on the front steps of my childrens' school. I would be concerned for my childrens' safety not reassured.

 

 

Quoting jcribb16:

My concern here, is that while opinions are given, based on what people feel, about a situation, some of these opinions, in here, are being made against the mother, based on bias towards Christianity, praying, and towards her because she was concerned enough in her heart, to feel led to pray like that.

Some people are getting rude with their opinions, getting personally involved, including saying what they "think" she was doing, thinking, or otherwise.  With some, I see total subjectivity with opinions, instead of looking at the situation openly.

Unless anyone in here was there, or is there, in her brain, able to totally know what she's thinking and feeling in her heart, I see very little credibility in biased/hateful/anti-Christian opinions, made simply to show the "intolerance."  It would make sense to actually hear her actual comments/views on why she feels so concerned and passionate about this, instead of simply being rude when no one knows what is going on in her mind.  

And NO ONE, in here, knows what her kids think about it, as to whether they feel embarassment, or support, about/from their mother. They may be embarassed or may not be, and if they aren't embarassed, then I'm pretty sure you feeling embarassed for them, won't mean a hill of beans to them.  Otherwise, maybe they would appreciate it.  But until answers are given, some opinions on here should not be counted as fact, especially the ones based on pure bias, as examples given above.

I'm trying to look at this objectively, so yes, quite a bit of thought has gone into this.  If she's breaking the rule, then yes, she needs to do what she's asked to do.  In this case, she complied with what they did ask her to do.  But even that's not good enough for some people, purely based on the anti-sentiments towards Christianity and separation of church and state, etc.  She has not appeared angry over being asked to comply, and has said she will pray at the gas station across the way, off school grounds, and/or at home, etc.  

Some posters still continue to bash her, even with that, and seem to think they know what she's thinking and doing - I've seen no evidence of that, at least according to this article.  That's where the concern comes in, because some do not want to give her the benefit of the doubt in that she will continue to comply - and I personally feel it's because she's Christian, apparently strong in her faith, concerned about the safety/security of the school where her teens attend, and apparently feels comfort, or prompted in her heart, to pray at the very place of concern.

You know something?  At least she is praying for the SAFETY and SECURITY of the school and all in there, including her own teens. What kind of reaction in here if she were to pray for the opposite? At least she is concerned enough to do something positive here. 

Quoting Ms.KitKat:

 Huh- you sound like you have put quite a bit of thought into this.

In light of that, it would be you in the best position to write that letter; you have most of it written already.

Quoting jcribb16:

What a neat idea!  Maybe you could correspond with the writer of the article and ask them if they can find out how her two teenagers actually feel about this, themselves.  Maybe they are embarrassed.  Or maybe they are thankful for the prayer of protection.  Who really knows, right?

Then maybe the writer could take a poll and show some statistics or survey results on exactly where many of these students stand on this issue, including the school administrators and faculty.  This could be really interesting...

Quoting Ms.KitKat:

 She should absolutely be allowed to pray BUT NOT ON THE STEPS OF A PUBLIC SCHOOL.

I feel a little embarassed for her two teenagers who have to go to that school.


 


 


 


 


 


Ms.KitKat
by Platinum Member on Aug. 8, 2013 at 10:07 PM

 

Ms.KitKat
by Platinum Member on Aug. 8, 2013 at 10:09 PM

 

Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

close Join now to connect to
other members!
Connect with Facebook or Sign Up Using Email

Already Joined? LOG IN