My Turn: Many disapprove of decision on praying mom
In soliciting the opinion of nearly 16,000 Live Free or Die Alliance community members, we found that a fairly strong majority, 68 percent of about 50 respondents, disagreed with this summer’s decision by the Concord School District to ban Lizarda Urena from publicly praying on the front steps of Concord High School this fall.
While as editor of the LFDA, I must remain vigorously bipartisan and refrain from taking any position regarding public policy, I believe the Concord’s School District’s decision highlights the critical need for our organization. While it may at first seem trivial to some, every time a law – or in this case a decision by a school district – is passed without the knowledge or involvement of an informed citizenry, our collective freedom suffers.
Founded in 2008, the LFDA provides a contemporary, interactive forum whereby New Hampshire citizens may learn and talk about issues that affect their communities and our state. Essentially, the LFDA is a streamlined version of an old-fashioned town hall in which civil debates can take place through social media, online, and face-to-face platforms regarding important issues of the day.
In polling our members, who represent a true cross-section of the state’s citizenry, many expressed a strong disapproval of the Concord School District’s decision. Disapproval ran the gamut from rhetoric that questioned, “Who was she hurting?” to impassioned pleas that expressed serious concerns regarding Urena’s First Amendment right to exercise free speech.
While I do not claim our member poll is necessarily scientific, I believe the LFDA shows that many residents disapprove of this decision. In light of the most recent development in which Urena has now been allowed to pray silently on the Concord High School campus, the question is what will happen should other school districts elect to institute similar bans or restrictions. This is not the last we have heard of the Urena case or the questions that have arisen when such decisions are made that run counter to the majority’s opinion.
To learn more about this issue and how the LFDA serves New Hampshire residents in providing objective information about state issues, promoting the civil exchange of opinions in online and face-to-face forums, and connecting citizens with elected officials, visitlfda.org.
(Rob Levey is editor of the Live Free or Die Alliance.)