I warned folks listening to “Common Cents” back in October of last year that the ACLU and the Wisconsin-based Freedom from Religion Foundation were setting their sights on South Carolina. I said then, and I maintain now, that these radically secular-progressive organizations are targeting South Carolina precisely because we are a state that stands for faith, freedom and free-markets. Since the Inauguration of the Obama Administration in 2009, the Palmetto State has been the punching bag of choice for agencies and entities on the Left. The hallmark of our state is standing for freedom, and we will do so this time. The First Amendment to the United States Constitution guarantees freedom of religion for all citizens of this nation; however, the ACLU and their allies are seeking to radically redefine the First Amendment to mean freedom from religion, not freedom of religion.
Make no mistake about it, these organizations that claim fidelity to our Constitution are interested in establishing a de facto state religion called secularism, not defending the right of free Americans to live out their convictions in the public arena.
This fact was clearly established when the Freedom From Religion Foundation recently sent letters intent on censoring the free speech of school students to school boards in Pickens County in the Upstate and Lexington County in the midlands. Two public school districts in our state are being bullied by this Wisconsin-based hate group, as they direct their anti-religious bigotry at law abiding citizens exercising their Constitutional rights. These menacing letters from the Foundation are demanding that all public prayers, offered voluntarily at school board meetings by students, be ceased effective immediately. They claim that allowing these prayers in public is a violation of the First Amendment and is, therefore, unconstitutional. They have bastardized the intent and meaning of the First Amendment, interpreting it in a way exactly opposite from the intentions of our Founders.
The First Amendment is in place to protect people of faith from government interference, not to protect the government from any input from people of faith. The First Amendment was enacted to ensure that the exact type of censorship being promoted by the ACLU and the Freedom From Religion Foundation was never forced on the American people. Therefore, an attempt to silence the voice of free citizens in any state is unconstitutional and illegal, but we simply will not tolerate it in South Carolina. That school children exercising their rights to religious freedom are being bullied by anti-Christian bigots in Madison Wisconsin is simply unacceptable.
I believe in religious freedom, and those who choose to profess atheism and agnosticism are protected in their beliefs under the First Amendment, just as is the majority Christian population of this country. They are not, however, given license to usurp and undermine the liberties of the faithful in our society, only to replace Christian sentiments with a state-imposed religion of secularism. Our team here at “Common Cents” and at our Palmetto Conservative Alliance Foundation are in touch with the SC Attorney General’s office and are working with legal defense organizations to ensure that students and officials being threatened by the Freedom From Religion Foundation are not left to fend for themselves. In the coming days, our team will provide you with additional information regarding these ongoing cases, and ways in which you can personally make a difference.
If the Freedom From Religion Foundation thought they could just pick a fight with South Carolina and we would quickly capitulate, they know next to nothing about the culture and character of our great state.