Residents Voice Concern After School Removes Plaque Thanking God for Food Following Complaint

WYTHEVILLE, Va. — Residents of a small Virginia town are expressing concern after officials recently removed a plaque from an elementary school cafeteria that thanks God for the food in light of a complaint from one of the nation’s most active Church-State separation groups.

“We have allowed the Freedom From Religion Foundation supposedly acting on behalf of some unnamed individual to shake down the citizens of the commonwealth of Virginia, specifically the residents of Wythe County. This decision should be made by us, no ideological bullies from five states away,” J. Andrew Davis, pastor of Fellowship Baptist Church, said during a meeting of the Wythe County School Board on Thursday.

“If we cave so easily to their demands in this issue, what’s to stop them from attacking other religious expression we hold dear?” he asked. “I realize there are financial considerations in this affair, but at some point we need to put our foot down and stop the increasing erosion of our constitutional rights.”

As previously reported, the plaque at issue had been displayed in the cafeteria of Spiller Elementary School and read, “Our Father, we thank Thee for this food. Bless it to the nourishment of our bodies and our lives to Thy service. Amen.”

The Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) wrote to the superintendent of Wythe County Public Schools earlier this year after being contacted by a local complainant, whose identity it kept anonymous. FFRF asserted that the plaque was problematic because the prayer could conflict with the beliefs of some students and their families.

“Elementary students should not have to view materials promoting a Christian message,” it wrote. “There is no educational or academic component or motive for such postings; their presence is proselytizing to a captive audience.”

The professing atheist group also contended that the plaque was unconstitutional because it gave the impression that the school prefers Christianity over other religions—or no religion at all.

  • Connect with Christian News

“Students may infer from the plaque that Wythe County Public Schools has a preference for religion over nonreligion, and in this case, Christianity over other faiths,” FFRF asserted. “Wythe County has an obligation to ensure that its schools are welcoming to all students, not just those in the Christian majority.”

It requested that the plaque be immediately removed from the cafeteria, and that FFRF be notified of the action that would be taken. While months passed with no response from the district, on Aug. 24, Superintendent Jeff Perry replied to FFRF, advising that the display had been removed.

However, some residents state that the district should not have removed the plaque, but rather stand with “backbone.”

Parent Wilma Justus told the board that everyone is offended by something, and that “we can’t please everybody.”

“Now, we are in a whirlwind across the country to just get rid of things we don’t like,” she said, according to Southwestern Virginia Today.

“Political correctness has become the lawgiver, king and judge in these United States,” also remarked Nathan Tucker. “Where does it stop? Where do we draw the line?”

The board plans to hold a special meeting on Sept. 21 to explain its actions and listen to feedback from the community.

“During this meeting, we will provide community members with an explanation of the law and why we made the decision to take down the plaque,” it notes in a post on its Facebook page. “We will also give community members an opportunity to express their concerns and to ask questions. We are holding this forum to ensure community members have an opportunity to talk with us and to ask questions.

“[T]his community forum on September 21 will allow us to have meaningful conversations with members of the community. We want to make sure that our parents and community members feel that they have been heard and we respond to their questions.”


A special message from the publisher...

Dear Reader, because of your generous support, we have received enough funds to send many audio Bibles to Iraqi and Syrian refugees displaced by ISIS in the Middle East. Many have been distributed and received with gladness. While we provide for the physical needs of the people, we seek to provide the eternal hope only found in Jesus Christ through the word of God. Would you join us by making a donation today to this important work? Please click here to send an audio Bible to a refugee family >>

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
  • RWH

    At that public meeting, I wonder would happen if the Board said that they will hire a lawyer and fight this, but the money will come out of the sports budget. We will cancel all sports so this year we will have no football, no basketball, and no baseball

    • Michael C

      Or… if the citizens of the commonwealth of Virginia, specifically the residents of Wythe County, felt that they had the constitutional right to keep the religious message up in the public school, they could pool their money together for the legal defense.

      Did J. Andrew Davis, pastor of Fellowship Baptist Church, offer to organize the collection of funds required for the legal defense of this religious plaque in a public school?

      • Steven H.

        This has already been fought in the courts and the courts have ruled time and time again, schools are to be neutral and secular in nature.

        If you want to waste the time and money on it go right ahead. But I’m sure there are people in more need than a quote on the wall. Feed, clothe and shelter the poor, that’s Jesus’s commandment! He doesn’t care about a quote on the wall!

        • Rori Sandiago

          I don’t think you have a clue whats on Jesus’s mind other than putting a boot up you peoples ass.

          • Steven H.

            I’m sure you put a lot of thought into that comment. Lol. Actually I do have a clue, all you have to do is read what your mythical god said or haven’t you read the Bible?

          • Rori Sandiago

            You don’t need your nose in our schools buisness. Sweetie your boyfriend cant impregnate in the first. You don’t have a dog in the race. Guess what? The plaque is back up. Now what you going to do? Thats right, Nothing!!!!

          • Rori Sandiago

            I don’t read the bible. You prove to me that there has to be a God. You my little pal are nothing but a minion.

          • Rori Sandiago

            See this is a great example for these people. Its your quarter, keep right on flipping. I’ll hang a sigh where I want until my cops tell me otherwise. Now pay yours to come tell me differently.

        • Rori Sandiago

          How bout this hillary. you waste the time and money making these people take down all those plaques.

      • Rori Sandiago

        They have more of a right than a right to do with their schools more than some A$$ in whearever telling them to take it down and you seem to be the A$$ causing such a fuss in the first place.

        • Michael C

          They have more of a right than a right to do with their schools more than some A$$ in whearever telling them to take it down and you seem to be the A$$ causing such a fuss in the first place.

          Clearly, our nation’s schools should be focusing on our children’s education (like teaching kids to write in English) rather than teaching them how to pray.

          • Rori Sandiago

            But they don’t because of people like you. Your core learning somehow has them confused learning Spanish first. These people can stand for them self without you telling them what they can or cant have in their schools. They make their laws and push the ones they want when they want. Just because you don’t have the boys wearing panties before second grade makes you think you need your nose in the rest of this countries business.

          • Rori Sandiago

            Wait…….wait……wait for it…. HA HA HA I misspelled a word and you know where you can tell you spelling police to stick that one.

          • Cady555

            And each student can decide whether to pray and what to pray. Parents can send a prayer or bible verse in their child’s lunch. But the school does not get to decide what prayers students will read or say.

      • Rori Sandiago

        This town don’t need the preacher taking up a collection of funds. We have morals. Morals that have these people working pro-Bono. Ever heard of that yep he was one of yours I think. That is my point I don’t have to and as many that would get in line not one of them would have to deal with you twice a year. Then there is this other problem of all these extra plaques. You better send some sulfur scented minion down to make sure we removed the right sign. You people make me sick. Take a little town that don’t have a bar on every corner with strippers past out in the urine soaked streets and decide for yourself that you are going to decide what is best for this place. Really! I don’t think so.

    • Cady555

      The response would be “those nasty atheists took our football games.”

      Totally ignoring the fact that the school district chose a legal battle they were guaranteed to lose.

      • Rori Sandiago

        You don’t fight a legal fight fair!! Look what you have doing the fighting for you and what they have. Run them to death!!! Fight hard for what you believe in their way. Cost them. Make them come back and back and back and back. Tell them to bring the debil and the clintons if they like you can bust them just as easy.

      • Rori Sandiago

        They don’t have to win. All that is important in bankrupting you. God gives you a wonderful sun and all that you can think of to do is stick your thumb up in it.

        • Cady555

          All that is important is that the religious freedom of every student is respected. That means that each student, not the school, chooses what prayers a student will say or read.

      • Rori Sandiago

        you are the same God hatting troll.

      • Rori Sandiago

        yes again nobody has to win. The goal is to bankrupt you. Just send some more of you rainbow troops down to see which plaque you want gone. Over and over and over and over and over. See you just don’t have the advantage. and you cant win. Right is Right and wrong is wrong. Thats all it is to it. You are a sad lil looser that has to run home to papa debil to do nothing take it all over again all for not!!!!

    • Rori Sandiago

      I guess all you old non binary farts would just have to shut up then now. How bout that?

    • Rori Sandiago

      The teaches of peaches is better stuff for our kids to listen to than the piss and venom running through your veins you dump on them. Like I said God gives you a nice warm sun and all you can think of to do is grease up you finger for its butt.

      • Cady555

        Please tell me about the god you worship, because I want to be as loving and generous and kind as you. Said no one to you ever.

  • mr goody two shoes

    Freedom from religion? the atheists want to be your pope.

  • Steven H.

    You would think that the citizens of Wytheville, Virginia would be more adept to what one of their most famous founding fathers has said, that being President Thomas Jefferson and his views about Separation of Church and State. Maybe Pastor Davis a Baptist himself needs to study the history of religious persecution within the State of Virginia and of the mistreatment by the Anglican Church of the Baptists, Protestants and Methodists during Jefferson’s time. Is he not aware of the relationship of the House of Burgess and the Anglican Church (Church of England) in how the church ran the House of Burgess as a puppet authority for their bidding? Jefferson the author of religious liberty defended the imprisoned Baptists, he as well as Madison authored the Virginia Statute of Religious Freedom and our First Amendment to the Constitution.

    Freedom of religion does not entitle you to impose or force your religion upon others. Our freedom of religion is to be free from another imposing theirs on us or even you!

    A public school paid for by taxpayers dollars is to be just that, free from the establishments or communities religious beliefs being forced upon our children. Are not these people able to put the shoe on the other foot? Are you so inept that you are unable to see that you would not want the religious quotes of another religion imposed upon to your child? For those who seem unable to understand, would you want a verse from let’s say the Koran placed at the same location? Of course not, so why do, you think your religion should be any better!

    If you wish religious quotations of your liking to be place all over the lunchroom or classrooms and your prayers read over the loud speakers then by all means put your child in a religious indoctrinated school environment. We will defend your right to do so.

    • Rori Sandiago

      Or just maybe you can go suck the devils pecker while we ponder this through about ten plaques.

      • Steven H.

        After reading your comments it’s obvious you’re unable to have an intelligent conversation with knowledge of the subject matter. By all means keep trolling along,

        • Rori Sandiago

          No you trolled the wrong town steven h. if that is you name. you probably sleep on crowleys book of law or whatever that debil biotch wrote that hillary was so fond of.

      • Cady555

        And the fruit of spirit is love, joy, peace patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control.

  • Ceisiwr Serith

    Ms. Just, you’re right; people can be offended by anything. Let’s just worry about the things that are offensive because they’re unconstitutional. Mr. Tucker, where do we draw the line? We draw it at the Constitution.

    Can people really not see this as an establishment of religion and of preferring one religion over another? The prayer is clearly Christian, and is clearly meant to encourage children in the school to say it. Why are people upset about taking it down if it isn’t meant to favor their religion over others?

    • Rori Sandiago

      We have our own religion and you have taken pork out of the menu at school. Muslim worshiping Biotch

    • cindybear

      You may succeed at removing plaques, but the one thing you cannot do is remove YHVH and His Son Jesus Christ from the minds and hearts of all who love and serve Him. The Holy Spirit will give His followers boldness in the day of opposition, and those who do not repent and turn from their wickedness will watch and regret as the Creator of the Universe rewards His children for our faithfulness.

  • mr goody two shoes

    Atheists only want there religion of evolution in public schools so their not going to like this Baptist preacher much. Atheists want to be pope and say you can only have their religion of evolution in public school.

    • ZappaSaid88

      *their, * they’re

      • Bob Johnson

        One out of three. He scored 33%.

        • Rori Sandiago

          why do you have a really old freaky wheelchair with a 6 on the wheel? Do you have two more little pals and you go out causing Problems in other peoples towns? Is this something hillary told you to do? How about your lil pal from the big woods that was a president only having his mess fixed at the moment? Either way just like the rest keep on flipping your quarter.

          • Bob Johnson

            Penny-farthing
            “I am not a Number”
            Unmutual
            Hammer Into Anvil
            Cat and Mouse
            Guard or The Prisoner
            “Be seeing you.”

      • Rori Sandiago

        Correct on this CaddyA$$

  • Jack-b-Quicker

    Please tell us why you are ashamed of God.

  • Rori Sandiago

    Just put it back up and don’t call them and tell them. Make them earn their money till they have no more. Let them run you to and from court and at the last second swap out for a new one. Keep an eye out for the devil worshiping fool and follow them home. Get them in their pocket first then send them the snitches face on a ball. You fight fire with fire is all.

  • Rori Sandiago

    You people don’t have to suffer this shit. Rake your school back out of the coals. Money is the root of all evil just root around in their pockets at their expense.

  • Rori Sandiago

    Tie them up in the same mess. Send some fool to their town just for kicks. Right is right and wrong is wrong. They are just pissed cause hillary can’t finish what the other sulfur burping crack head started. Speaking of hillary she drinks childrens blood for longevity and that is why she has to wear the seizure googles. Its close relation to mad cow like the tribe that eats their dead and still cant figure out why they have mad cow running around in their own little nappy noggins.

  • Rori Sandiago

    Show them that when they act like a idiot in somebody else town all they can find is a bigger idiot with a home field advantage. Crush them!!!!!

  • Cady555

    Our Constitution demands that government not favor one religion over another and that all people are treated equally.

    An approach I use is to change the labels.

    This is a prayer to Jesus. What would be the reaction if a Muslim prayer were posted? A Hindu prayer? What about a declaration against belief in gods?

    If the last three are not acceptable in this location, neither is the first. Equal treatment and the government does not give special treatment to any religious belief.