Hundreds Rally in South Carolina to Put Prayer Back in School

RallyHARTSVILLE, S.C. — Children and their parents, along with pastors and other community leaders, gathered in Hartsville, South Carolina this past weekend to rally in support of putting prayer back in schools.

Approximately 450 people flocked to the Hartsville Center Theater on Saturday where they joined together in prayer and listened to words of exhortation from Christians in the community.

The event was the second of its kind and is stated to be even larger than the first. It was organized by Florence One School Board member Pat Gibson Hye-Moore and Cliff Leonard, pastor of New Providence Baptist Church.

They state that they are concerned that morality has plunged in America since prayer was removed from school.

“When we let God back in our schools openly, I believe we can expect God’s hands to grow our kids in what they need to be once again,” explained Leonard told local television station WBTW.

Official school prayer was first banned in America in 1962 in the Supreme Court decision of Engle v. Vitale, which involved a case out of Hyde Park, New York. Prior to the ruling, students were led in a scripted prayer every morning, which read, “Almighty God, we acknowledge our dependence upon Thee, and we beg Thy blessings upon us, our parents, our teachers and our country. Amen.”

“We’re taking God out of everything,” lamented Hye-Moore. “We are taking the Creator, the one that created everything, we’re just trying to kick Him out and He’s not happy with that.”

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As previously reported, Hye-Moore is secretary of the Florence One School Board and is a part of the “Put Prayer Back” initiative. She was in headlines earlier this year after she refused to stop praying out loud at school board meetings.

“They’re trying to take God out of our lives completely,” Hye-Moore told local television station WMFB. “He’s our protector. He’s our savior.”

The prayer rallies are stated to have arisen from the matter.

“I see [restoring prayer] as a necessity, yes, for our children, for our country, for our survival,” she said.

A third rally will be conducted in Columbia, South Carolina and a petition is being circulated that has accumulated nearly 20,000 signatures thus far.

In 2013, South Carolina representatives proposed a bill introducing a moment of silent prayer in the schools.

“All schools shall provide for a minute of mandatory silence at the beginning of each school day, during which time the teacher may deliver a prayer, provided the school allows a student to leave the classroom if the student does not want to listen to or participate in the prayer,” the legislation outlined.

The measure has not moved forward in the legislature since its introduction.

WBTW-TV: News, Weather, and Sports for Florence, SC

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  • Jerome

    They want prayer in schools to convert the children of non-believers to their religion. They can’t do it in the marketplace of ideas, so they need to impose their religion.

  • jmanuola

    Maybe it IS time to fight back against these atheists and THEIR religion to bring God back into this country. We can see where its gotten us without God.

  • The Road from Damascus

    Prayer was NEVER removed from public schools. It has always been allowed, and is allowed today, just as it will be tomorrow and the day after. In 1962 however, the Supreme Court ruled that any school-sanctioned or led prayer was no longer allowed. This is just a guess, but I think the reasoning behind this decision may have had less to do with encouraging moral depravity, and more to do with following the Establishment Clause of the US Constitution. If you think they made a mistake, then to remain intellectually honest in your position, you’ll have to be perfectly fine with some of your kid’s teachers leading them in prayers to Allah with a Shout-Out to Mohammed (peace be upon him) and all the Islamic crap that goes with it. If you’re not okay with that, than you better fight to keep prayer out of schools entirely, because in this country, ALL religions are entitled to fair treatment.

    Anyway, I was going to get into the myth that God was removed from schools, since before 1962, less than 1/3 of US public schools had any sort of prayer taking place within its walls since the Taft administration, but there’s something else bothering me about this article I think is more pressing… this myth that our country is in a state of moral decay. Here are some statistics I think you may find interesting:

    According the FBI, in the last 22 years:
    -Murder has decreased by 10%
    -Forcible Rape rate has decreased by 19%
    -Robbery Rate has decreased by 22.2%
    -Aggravated Assault has decreased by22.1%
    -Property Crime has decreased by 19.9%
    -Rate at which we deny gay Americans the same rights as everybody else for either biblical reasons or other invalid reasons has decreased by 7%

    Okay, so I made up the last one, but that number will continue to rise and that, my friends, will be evidence of moral GROWTH, not decay. If you hold that anything other than MORE FREEDOMS for American citizens is a negative, then we are at a odds, but I am capable of PROVING my claim that more freedom equals better morality, and you will fail to prove the opposite.

    Anyway, that’s my 2 cents. Your thoughts?

  • Christine

    Good on them. They kick God out and then wonder where he is when things go wrong.
    I hope these people are successful and prayer is brought back into schools.
    Watch the schools and their pupils change for the better.

    • Brian Westley

      You have no understanding or respect for the religious rights of other people.

    • Sideshow_Billybob

      How dare you say that our all-powerful, all-knowing God got kicked out! Maybe YOUR God is so weak that man can remove him, but NOT MINE. He isn’t in schools unless He willed it to be so. After all, God works in mysterious ways. Who are we to think we know His plan?

      Perhaps you should go seek forgiveness for doubting Him.

    • talkingsnake

      Not sure you’ve thought that one all the way through Christine.

      Think about how you’d feel if each morning there was a Muslim prayer delivered in the morning. Ask yourself why you’d be mad about that.

      Your likely response is “this is a christian nation”. That is false. This is a nation with a xian majority. The laws of our nation prevent the majority from imposing their will on the minority when constitutional rights are at stake. Read up on “the tyranny of the majority”.

  • charvakan

    There is no law today that prevents anyone from praying in schools. Go ahead pray as much as you want. The ONLY thing that law prohibits is the school/teacher leading the prayers – and this is to prevent the school/teacher from shoving religion and their version of god down the throats of all children.

  • Lark62

    I know that facts don’t matter, but I’ll try,

    It is, was and always will be legal for children to pray in public schools.

    What they cannot do is make other children pray to their god, or make your children pray to their god. This is why administrators and teachers cannot lead prayers. This is why students cannot lead prayers over the intercom. EVERY student gets to pray to the god of his/her choice or none at all.

    Making every child in a school pray to your god is not freedom of religion.

  • Merv99

    “All schools shall provide for a minute of mandatory silence at the beginning of each school day, during which time the teacher may deliver a prayer, provided the school allows a student to leave the classroom if the student does not want to listen to or participate in the prayer”

    And when a teacher delivers a Wiccan, Satanic, or Muslim prayer? No problem, right?

    • curtcameron

      That bill has not moved forward because it’s blatantly unconstitutional – even a majority of South Carolina representatives would know that.

    • Lark62

      Okay students, it is now time to pray to the true, correct and proper god. All of you who pray to the wrong god, please stand up and leave the room so the rest of us will know who to bully on the playground at recess.

  • http://www.theuniversalrag.com/ Alan Bao

    Wow. Talk about a martyr complex. Christians: you are a privileged majority, crying “oppression” because you’re no longer allowed to use publicly-funded schools to impose your God on other people’s children.

    Please put aside your victim narratives. If religious oppression exists in America, you are the perpetrators, not the victims.

  • EstrelladeDavid

    Either you pray forgiveness and mercy to YAHVÉ, or you will recieve part in the judgements coming to this world… Simple as that!

    • Sideshow_Billybob

      Buddha says not so fast… it ain’t that simple.