Who are these people to impose their values and their brand of “morality” on others?
G.T. Lenard, New Jersey State Winner, in American Voices: Prize-winning essays on Freedom of Speech, Censorship & Advertising Bans (1987).
What a great question, isn’t it? Who are these people?
One is a certain U.S. District Court Judge named Carlton Reeves who ordered that the defendant, the Brandon Mississippi School District (if I’m reading this story correctly) was
permanently enjoined from including prayer, religious sermons or activities in any school sponsored event including but not limited to assemblies, graduations, award ceremonies, athletic events and any other school event… .
And so the Brandon High School Band was banned from playing “How Great Thou Art” at half-time during last Friday’s opening football game.
Some one– and than many folks– apparently asked, “Who are these people– this Judge?” and started singing
Then sings my soul, my Savior God to Thee…
Freedom of speech does not mean “shut up if I don’t like what you’re saying.” The First Amendment does not prohibit high school bands from playing the very same song that was song by Yolanda Adams at the 2010 White House Celebration of Music from the Civil Rights Movement in 2010. (That’s according to, and featured at, the Wikipedia entry on the song. You can see for yourself.)
Read the whole (short) story about Brandon’s legal problems and Friday night’s game here.