A Texas school district will no longer hold its graduation ceremonies at one of the largest megachurches in the nation after the church refused to remove a cross from the sanctuary.
For more than a decade the McKinney School District held graduation ceremonies for three of its high schools in the massive sanctuary of Prestonwood Baptist Church in Plano.
But that tradition ended abruptly after a group of atheists, agnostics and free-thinkers complained about a public school system using a building that belongs to a Christian church.
“It was our refusal to remove the cross from view that created this cowardly decision,” Pastor Jack Graham wrote on Twitter. “It appears religious freedom is under attack at the McKinney Public Schools.”
Graham said they are disappointed in the district’s decision, but the congregation does not have any regrets in refusing to remove the cross.
“We are not ashamed this happened because we would not consent to remove or cover our cross,” he said.
It should be noted that during the 13 years that Prestonwood hosted graduation ceremonies there were no altar calls or baptisms (mandatory or otherwise).
The Dallas Morning News reported that “community members” were also concerned about religious displays in classrooms at the Southern Baptist church.
In 2016, the Freedom From Religion Foundation, a Wisconsin-based group of atheist agitators, fired off a letter to the school district complaining about the church’s “traditional Baptist symbols.”
“The Establishment Claus prohibits public schools from holding graduation ceremonies in houses of worship,” the FFRF wrote in a letter to the district.
The Freedom From Religion Foundation has a notorious reputation for bullying school districts – especially in areas heavily populated by Christians.
“We meet their bullying by reiterating our love and openness to our community and especially those in the McKinney School District community – many of whom attend our services by the hundreds every weekend,” Graham said.
Read the rest at: FFRF