The Freedom From Religion Foundation is requesting that an elementary school in Jarrettsville, Maryland remove a plaque from the cafeteria which reads ‘Give us this Day Our Daily Bread’ a line from the Lord’s Prayer.
The organization issued a letter formally requesting that the school remove the sign after being contacted by a parent who reported that the sign read; “Give us this day our daily bread.”
The phrase is taken from Matthew 6:11 and is part of the prayer that Jesus taught his disciples to pray. However, the sentence alone does not mention faith, and or God, or pertain specifically to Christianity. Instead, the phrase reads “Give us this day Our Daily Bread.”
While the phrase is clearly taken from Scripture, it does not mention or pertain to faith in and of itself. The removal of such could result in a drastic increase in censorship on public property.
There are lots of phrases in the Bible, most of which pertain to faith; however, some of these sayings in their entirety do not explicitly mention God or religion.
The elementary school’s display of such does not explicitly claim that God is the giver of our daily bread, nor does the sign continue into prayer. Instead, it could be argued, that the sign in and of itself, is open to interpretation.
However, regardless of such, the FFRF is claiming that ‘students may infer from the plaque that [the] school has a preference for religion over non-religion,’ yet the phrase, again, does not explicitly mention God and or faith.
“Elementary students should not have to view materials promoting a Christian message,” the group wrote in its correspondence. “There is no educational or academic component or motive for such postings; their presence is proselytizing to a captive audience. Students may infer from the plaque that [the] school has a preference for religion over non-religion, and in this case, Christianity over other faiths.”
“The district has an obligation to ensure that its schools are welcoming to all students, not just to those in the Christian majority,” it asserted.
FFRF has requested an immediate removal of what it called a “unconstitutional religious plaque” from the school cafeteria. It is not yet known whether the district plans to respond.
“It is disturbing that a public school would be preaching a New Testament message to a captive audience of elementary schoolkids,” FFRF Co-President Annie Laurie Gaylor remarked in a statement. “Children at that young and impressionable age should not be subjected to attempted religious brainwashing.”
Removal of the plaque could mark a turn in how the FFRF aims to remove religious signage from school properties across the nation because now the verbiage does not have to mention God and or faith explicitly; instead, a phrase could merely be interpreted as such.