Mr. DUNCAN. Mr. Speaker, several years ago, William Raspberry, the great columnist for the Washington Post, asked in a column these words. He said, ``Is it not just possible that anti-religious bias masquerading as religious neutrality has cost this country far more than it has been willing to acknowledge?'' I think that is a very good question.
In light of that, I would like to read a statement that Roane County, Tennessee, high school principal Jody McLoud read over the public address system before his school's first football game on September 1, following the Supreme Court decision outlawing or banning prayer at high school football games across the Nation.
Mr. McLoud said this: It has always been the custom at Roane County High School football games to say a prayer and play the National anthem to honor God and country. Due to a recent ruling by the Supreme Court, I am told that saying a prayer is a violation of Federal case law.
As I understand the law at this time, I can use this public facility to approve of sexual perversion and call it an alternative lifestyle and if someone is offended, that's okay.
I can use it to condone sexual promiscuity by dispensing condoms and calling it safe sex. If someone is offended, that's okay.
I can even use this public facility to present the merits of killing an unborn baby as a viable means of birth control. If someone is offended, no problem.
I can designate a school day as Earth Day and involve students in activities to religiously worship and praise the Goddess Mother Earth and call it ecology.
I can use literature, videos and presentations in the classroom that depict people with strong traditional Christian convictions as simple minded and ignorant and call it enlightenment.
However, if anyone uses this facility to honor God and ask Him to bless this event with safety and good sportsmanship, Federal case law is violated.
This appears to be, at best, inconsistent, and, at worst, diabolical.
Mr. McLoud continued.
Apparently we are to be tolerant of everything and everyone except God and His commandments.
Nevertheless, as a school principal, I frequently ask staff and students to abide by rules with which they do not necessarily agree. For me to do otherwise would be at best inconsistent and at worst hypocritical. I suffer from that affliction enough unintentionally. I certainly do not need to add an intentional transgression.
For this reason, I shall ``render unto Caesar that which is Caesar's'' and refrain praying at this time. However, if you feel inspired to honor, praise and thank God and to ask Him in the name of Jesus to bless this event, please feel free to do so. As far as I know, that is not against the law yet.
That is the statement by Roane County, Tennessee, High School Principal Jody McLoud.
I can tell you that we open up every session of the House and Senate with prayer, but it is unfortunate, the recent Supreme Court decision.
I commend Roane County, Tennessee, High School Principal Jody McLoud for this very fine statement, and I close by asking the question that William Raspberry asked a few years ago in his column, is it not just possible that anti-religious bias, masquerading as religious neutrality, has cost this Nation far more than it has been willing to acknowledge? END