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Two Texas educators are facing the wrath of the Freedom From Religion Foundation after they appeared in a video promoting an evangelical Christian ministry that encourages young people to be men and women of honor.
The educators work for the Greenville Independent School District in Texas. They appeared in a promotional video for HonorMinistries.org, a ministry that develops passionate followers of Jesus Christ. The video is posted above.
Greenville Middle School Principal Dale Mason said in the video, “there is honor in being righteous.”
Chief School Leadership Officer Chip Gregory said he felt that Men and Ladies of Honor “is going to be a game changer” and would “change the dynamics” of the school district.
FFRF said the men violated the constitution by promoting a Christian ministry and they are demanding the district break any ties with the Men and Ladies of Honor.
“The district runs afoul of the Constitution if it allows its employees to organize or run religious events while acting in their official capacities, or allows employees to advertise religious groups to students,” FFRF attorney Sam Grover wrote in a letter to the district.
First Liberty Institute, one of the nation’s top religious liberty law firms, sent a letter to the school district urging to ignore the FFRF.
“Opponents of religious liberty are trying to censor religious expression and prevent private citizens from exercising their religious beliefs outside of school,” attorney Jeremy Dys said. “Public school employees are absolutely free to exercise their religious liberty rights outside of school.”
Dys told the school district that the two educators were well within their constitutional rights to appear in the video. It’s not government speech, it’s private speech. And any attempt to squelch that speech could put the district in real legal jeopardy.
“If Greenville ISD were to take any action to discipline either gentleman or to remove the video from private distribution, it would likely constitute unconstitutional viewpoint discrimination and subject the school board to suit.”
It’s not all that surprising that a dishonorable organization like the Freedom From Religion Foundation would have a problem with men of honor.