Concerned Christian Citizens of Central Texas, and residents of Killeen, Texas, gathered to sing and pray on October 13 for pubic prayer at local school board meetings, which is opposed by the Freedom From Religion Foundation (video below).
"We want to hand our children a better future than one that is the product of continuous backing down to those who would strip away our religious liberties," Joe Goodson, president of Concerned Christian Citizens of Central Texas, told KWTX.
Although his group is clearly promoting Christian prayers at the Killeen Independent School District school board meeting, Goodson insisted: "We're not trying to force religion, we're not trying to establish Christianity, we are simply maintaining the freedom to pray as we have always done."
The Killeen Daily Herald reports that Goodson told the protesters: “If you’re a Christian, gather in now. This looks like heaven. We are in a country that has lost its soul ... We want to thank God for a school board who is willing to pray.”
FFRF lawyer Sam Glover told KWTX by phone:
"FFRF respects everyone's private right to hold the religious beliefs that they choose and even to express them in a public forum. The only time we get involved is when the government is promoting one religion over others in violation of the Constitution."
In this case, the government is the school board.
The Christian protesters gathered a petition to keep the prayer going and presented it to the school board.
“We collected 2,574 signatures in a week’s time,” Goodson told school board officials. “We urge [the school board] to resist [FFRF's] effort in the attempt to silence or regulate your prayers," reports the Killeen Daily Herald.
FFRF is a nonprofit organization that advocates for separation of church and state.
The Killeen School District has hired a lawyer to deal with the issue.