Medina Valley Independent School District settles prayer case, Republicans surprise no one by flipping out.
My Uncle, Federal Judge Fred Biery, is a badass. Last June, he waded into a particularly religious area of small town “Real America” Texas and smacked down the overt proselytizing that had pervaded the Medina School District. Yet, as Fred executed his duty to uphold the tenants of the constitution, members of the political right used his completely unsurprising ruling to fan the flames of Christian “repression” ( Help, Help, I’m being repressed).
Newt “Moon Base” Gingrich was especially blood thirsty as he tried to reassert his conservative credentials, trying to keep his election hopes afloat despite the rising tides of Santorum after the results in Missouri, Colorado, and Minnesota.
Newt called Fred an “anti-religious, dictatorial bigot.” Which makes complete sense as Fred continues the proud tradition of the Biery clan. A family that has done nothing but turn out District Attorneys, Federal Judges, civic servants, teachers, and combat veterans since WWII. So clearly my family is a bunch of hippie, communistic shitbags. I am getting a little sick of having my family name, which is not too common, being said with vehement disdain by the likes of Beck, Gingrich, Rush, et all.
The Medina case ended sometime last Thursday.
The result, approved by Biery Thursday, was a 27-page agreement in which school officials agreed to most the above, plus more. They pledged to choose student speakers without regard to their religiosity. They agreed to remove from school spaces all bible quotes, crosses and other religious symbols.
And they agreed that while student speakers may offer a prayer and ask others to join them, no on-duty school employee or official, or the school band, would stand during that prayer, indicating that it was a personal expression, not that of school officials.
Students maintain freedom of speech, but officials must carefully avoid promoting religion in the course of their duties.
The district also agreed to pay $125,000 to the lawyers for the family that sued.
My Uncle, slightly pissed with the politics of it all, got in a few punches too.
In his final orders approving the settlement.
[Biery] noted the issue was not the right to pray, either “in private as Jesus taught or in large public events as Mohammed instructed.” He cited the Quran for the latter and, for the former, Mathew’s account of Jesus instructing his followers not to be “like the hypocrites” who pray “to be seen by others,” but to “go into your room, close the door and pray.”
And, in a “personal statement,” he wrote: “To those Christians who have venomously and vomitously (a word he made up) cursed the Court family and threatened bodily harm and assassination: In His name, I forgive you.”
And, for great Justice, Fred punched above his weight class like he always does.
And he said those in the legislative and executive branches who demagogued this case for their own political goals should be ashamed.
He didn’t name them, but he buried something more than a hint on page four of an appendix in which he gives some interesting historical treatment on the wisdom of separation of church and state.
“While religious institutions bestow many blessings and try to alleviate suffering, those acts of Grace are newtralized by religious Homo sapiens who exhibit an historical and continuing pernicious and pervasive tendency to kill other humans and confiscate the property of those, sometimes even within the same religion, who do not believe as they do.”
Biery mischievously misspelled the word “newtralized” as beginning with n-e-w-t.
(Source: My SA)