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Louisiana Christians Use Government To Force Families Into Worship

What’s the central belief of Christianity?

If we look at the example of the Christians running the public schools of Webster Parish in Louisiana, it seems that what Christians value most is using the power of government to force other people to take part in their rituals of religious worship.

Webster Parish resident Christy Cole is a Christian, but she doesn’t ascribe to the same kind of Christianity practiced by the people who have taken over the Webster Parish public schools.

Christy Cole believes that religious belief isn’t something that people should force onto each other. She believes that Christianity is a matter of private conscience. “In this country, religious freedom is paramount. Religion is not something you should be bullied into by the government,” she says. “As a parent, I was alarmed and offended that the school district would pressure my daughter into reciting prayers and participating in religious rituals that she doesn’t believe in. I believe that praying in public is a sin, and that our religious faith is between us and God. The government simply has no business strong-arming my daughter into practicing a certain faith.”

Christy Cole’s daughter didn’t want to pray in public, but she didn’t have a choice. She was forced to do it – by teachers at her local public school. The forced Christian religious ritual was endorsed by the local government officials in charge of the Webster Parish public schools.

Officially, the multiple daily Christian prayers observed by all teachers and students at the Webster Parish public schools are “voluntary”. Public school administrators tell students that they have to volunteer to lead the prayers, however, choosing which student “volunteers” will pray to Jesus on any particular day.

Local government officials even tell the Webster Parish public school students which kind of prayer they have to say, taping it next to the microphone so that students can recite it word for word.

Assemblies are routinely held at the public schools in which professional Christian missionaries preach at students, telling them that they have to submit to Jesus.

Whenever students resist participation the group prayers and other forms of Christian worship at the public schools, they are physically grabbed, pulled out of classes, and punished by teachers. The families of students who are resistant to the proselytization are targeted for bullying by Christian teachers, students, administrators and community members, harassed until they give in to what school officials say is the Word Of God.

Elementary school students in Webster Parish are shown cartoons that provide instructions to students about what they must do to comply with Christian religious laws. In order to attend graduation, Webster Parish high school students are forced to go to a church, and to take part in Christian religious rituals there. Those rituals are led by a Christian preacher from a local church.

Students at the Webster Parish public schools are prohibited by school officials from engaging in ordinary activities, such as playing card games, because the games are “against the Bible” and “of the Devil”. Students at the schools are compelled to attend events at which they are instructed to pursue “the challenge and adventure of receiving Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, serving Him in their relationships and in the fellowship of the church”. Students are not allowed to leave these events.

Only Christian religious messages and events are allowed at the Webster Parish public schools. Other religions are not permitted. Official school board meetings are not allowed to begin until a Christian religious ritual is completed.

When he was asked to stop bullying students into Christian worship during school hours, Webster Parish school district Superintendent Johnny Rowland responded, “I’ll Stop When Someone Makes Me Stop!”

Christy Cole is doing her best, using the power of the law, to make Rowland stop the religious abuse in the Webster Parish schools. Instead of engaging in the coercion, bullying, and violation of the law that Webster Parish school leaders believe Christianity is all about, Cole is going to a court of law to officially ask that the Webster Parish public schools comply with the Constitution of the United States of America.

When public school officials use Christianity as a tool of power with which to control vulnerable children, they will only convince people of good conscience that their religion is not worthy of faith.

webster parish christian bigotry

6 thoughts on “Louisiana Christians Use Government To Force Families Into Worship”

  1. Dave says:

    “… they will only convince people of good conscience that their religion is not worthy of faith.” I think that’s a profound and true statement, Peregrin. Louisiana was a Catholic Church enclave long before the United States was a country, and it’s interesting that they live in “parishes” instead of counties. The Catholics have a history of coercion when it comes to the practice of their beliefs. Wouldn’t it make sense, though, for Christy Cole to raise her daughter someplace where they don’t do that. After all, forcing a bazillion religious Louisianians to do things Ms Cole’s way smacks of religious coercion as well.

    1. J Clifford says:

      Actually, “Ms. Cole’s way” is merely to have the public schools not preach religion at everybody and not force children into religious worship. It’s only enforcing the Constitution’s First Amendment.

      Do you not support the First Amendment of the Constitution, Dave?

      So, “Ms. Cole’s way” only gets in the way of religious oppression.

      No, it doesn’t make sense to force Americans to have to move away from their own communities in order to have their constitutional rights respected.

      Also, Protestant also have a very long history of coercion when it comes to the practice of their beliefs.

      1. Dave says:

        So you’ve become a Constitutionalist. I don’t recall that the first amendment allows for any coercion either way, which is more to my point. Pardon me going all Libertarian here, but the first amendment requires that the Federal Government abstain from telling either side to sit down and shut up.

        1. J Clifford says:

          No, that’s a typical Libertarian misunderstanding.

          What the First Amendment requires is that government bodies, such as public school districts, absolutely refrain from promoting religion and establishing its practice.

          You’re claiming that there are two sides trying to exert force on each other in this case, and that’s just not true. The school district is, from the top down, purposefully working to force its students and their families to engage in acts of Christian worship. The parent who is the plaintiff in this case is merely trying to stop this abuse from happening, so that every child in the district can be free from religious coercion and force in the public schools. The plaintiff is not trying to force any religious belief or practice on anyone. She isn’t proposing that her version of Christianity be taught instead of the one favored by the district superintendent.

          The First Amendment to the Constitution indeed does require, when a government body is attempting to use its power to establish an official religion within its jurisdiction, that this abuse of power be stopped. It requires that government bodies do NOT exceed their authority.

          It’s very telling of what libertarianism is really all about that when you see a right wing Christian group abusing a position of government power to force religion on people, you’re all of a sudden all for extreme government power. In my experience, that’s what defines libertarian ideology: Defense of the strong against the weak – in religion, in government, and in business.

          1. Kevin says:

            I think I just heard the gold plated version of Atlas Shrugged being slammed down. Liberty boy should be here any minute ….

          2. Dave says:

            A thoughtful response, J., and I hear you. As a Christian believer, I wouldn’t want to be in Christy Cole’s shoes if things were the other way around. Oh, but wait…!

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