Bold Defiance: How a Group of Americans Stood Up to Secular Elites by Reciting the Lord’s Prayer

The freedom to pray at a school board meeting was brazenly challenged in Suffolk, Virginia, as reported by the Christian Post.

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As if attempting to erase the spiritual bedrock upon which this nation was built, the board president, Tyron Riddick, audaciously denied a resident, Angela Kilgore, her heartfelt intention to pray for the well-being of the school district during her public comment time.

Imagine that. A citizen being reprimanded for wanting to pray in the land of the free.

Kilgore merely wished to extend her prayers for the students and board members of the Suffolk public schools last August 10.

It was a benign yet profound gesture in these times of political division and discontent witnessed in school board meetings across America.

But Riddick, who seems to have forgotten that prayers have often been the glue holding communities together, saw it differently. “I apologize, we can’t do that,” he stated dismissively.

“Why can’t we?” Kilgore asked. “I’d like to pray for our students in our school.”  

Rather than politely answering her mild-mannered question, Riddick opted to scold instead.

“Get back to your topic,” he demanded.

“That is my topic,” she shot back.

“Well, then it’s not permitted at this time,” Riddick said, slamming the request.

However, Kilgore stood her ground, inviting those present to join her in prayer, perhaps sensing that divine intervention is needed to heal the widening fractures in our society.

“I’d invite you because I think that that’s the only way that we’re going to come together is through God and our faith,” she bravely asserted, embodying the resilience of the American spirit.

But alas, her calls fell on deaf ears, with Riddick claiming, almost hypocritically, that he doesn’t object to prayer but this wasn’t the place for it.

Since when did we become a nation where the invocation of goodwill and unity through prayer is seen as disrupting the “business” at hand?

The scene deteriorated further, with Riddick ordering the clearing of the room while some attendees continued to pray the Lord’s Prayer (Matthew 6), holding onto that last thread of spiritual unity.

But that wasn’t the end of the story.

The Founding Freedoms Law Center and the First Liberty Institute decided to step in, and on September 5, wrote a letter urging the school board to respect the religious rights of citizens. These rights are enshrined in the very foundation of this great nation.

“This understanding is mistaken,” the letter reads, in part. “In fact, the Constitution prohibits the government from excluding religious expression from a public forum; it certainly does not require such censorship.”

Unfortunately, we now live in times where legal bodies must remind institutions about the essence of the First Amendment, a testament to the deteriorating respect for religious freedoms and expressions.


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