Majority of LFDA respondents say mom praying outside public school is OK - 126 responses

Jul 25, 2013

On July 25, media outlets nationwide reported that Lizarda Urena will no longer be allowed to pray and recite bible verses on the front steps of Concord High School when classes resume later this month. Prior to securing permission to pray on school grounds from Principal Gene Connolly in February, Urena, a mother of two students who attend the school, had prayed for two years on a nearby sidewalk for the protection of its students and those from all schools. The Concord School District overruled the permission granted by the Concord High School principal.

In soliciting the opinion of 15,000 Live Free or Die Alliance (LFDA) Facebook followers, 68 percent disagreed with the decision by school officials to ban Urena from praying on school steps each morning.

“Who exactly was she hurting?” asked one respondent.

“I support everyone’s right to pray or not to pray as fit their consciences,” added another respondent. “What is everyone so afraid of?”

Many other respondents expressed similar sentiments, although several questioned the need for her to offer her prayers on school grounds.

“Surely everyone would be accommodated if she just backed up twenty feet and prayed on the sidewalk,” noted one gentleman.

According to another respondent, prayer on public property “is just the thin edge of the wedge in the deterioration of the separation of church and state.”

“Having religious rituals on public property should be concern for all as it will, if allowed to stand, be an establishment of religion,” he added.

For the majority of respondents, however, such concerns miss the point.

“I see no harm in a woman ‘praying’ for the safety of the school's children,” one gentleman said. “It does not ‘obstruct’ the rights of anyone else.”

“Freedom of speech is the first amendment and this woman is a citizen and a taxpayer and has the right to freedom of speech,” added another respondent.

In total, the LFDA received 126 comments within three days from more than 80 respondents, including 22 “likes.”

The Live Free or Die Alliance presents this report as a digest of citizen testimony where respondents are to the greatest extent possible identifiable by their real names as opposed to a scientific poll or survey. As New Hampshire's Town Hall, the nonprofit, nonpartisan Live Free or Die Alliance is free and open to everyone.

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