The ACLU sent a letter to school officials on December 30, 2015, informing them that this recitation of “God Bless America” was unconstitutional. ACLU-NJ Legal Director Ed Barocas wrote that invoking “God’s blessing at the beginning of every school day, during an official school assembly, is unconstitutional.” The ACLU claimed that this act violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment, which prohibits government sponsorship of religion. Barocas followed up, “our Constitution is clear: schools can’t coerce or impose religion on children.” In order to avoid an expensive legal battle with the well-funded ACLU bullies, the school’s principal sent a note to parents saying that the school will look for other ways to honor the first responders of 9/11.
Now that is ridiculous. Reciting things like the Pledge of Allegiance and God Bless America in classrooms have never been mandatory for all students. Over the years there have been children who do not participate for various reasons. But to call this basic patriotic behavior a “school-sponsored instillation of religion” is false. The ACLU has been working for years to remove any and all reference to Christianity from the public sphere. New Common Core lessons have appeared around the country, teaching our kids about the glories and history of Islam, but the ACLU is nowhere to be found when the Muslim religion is being “instilled by the school district.”
Listen to the radio commentary here: