ACLU kicks up a fuss over ‘God bless you’ — but this principal’s not backing down


aclu-v-rowlandHe’s wondering when saying “God bless you” became offensive, and he’s not backing down.

A Louisiana high school principal is under fire by the American Civil Liberties Union for saying “God bless you” in a message posted on the school’s website.

The Louisiana chapter of the ACLU accused Airline High School Principal Jason Rowland of “religious proselytization” in an open letter to school officials because he wrote “The Future Starts Today – May God Bless You All.”

But Rowland isn’t budging and the message the ACLU complained about in its letter, sent weeks ago to the superintendent of Bossier Parish Schools, hasn’t been removed.

“The United States Constitution requires public schools to ensure that state-supported activity is not used for religious indoctrination,” Louisiana ACLU Executive Director Marjorie Esman wrote to the school.

“This unlawful religious coercion is improper from any school employee, but it is particularly egregious coming from the school principal whose job is to teach and uphold, rather than violate, the legal rights of all.”

Also at issue are plans to place prayer request boxes around campus by the school’s Fellowship of Christian Athletes.

Appearing on “Fox & Friends Weekend” on Sunday, Rowland said the ACLU letter was “a shock to us” because he’d heard no student or parental complaints.

“If it gets to that point and you’re not even allowed to sneeze within a school system to say ‘God bless you,’ where’s our culture? Where are we going if that’s going to be offensive to someone?” he said.

Rowland noted that many presidents will close an address with “God bless you” or “May God bless America.”

Co-host Anna Kooiman called saying “God bless you” a part of Southern culture, right up there with sipping bourbon and eating fried chicken.

“If this is now going to be offensive, what’s next?” she asked.

Rowland agreed, after adding watching SEC football to the list of Southern traditions, and noted “it’s bigger than just that.”

“And so our community and our school system decided this is where it stops,” he said.

Watch clip, via Fox News.


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