WALTERS: McDaniel’s Religious Liberties Act Protects Fellowship Of Christian Athletes In Stone County School District Case

By Ryan Walters | April 23rd, 2017 at 7:46 am

BY: Ryan Walters / Mississippi PEP Contributor

Ryan Walters is a life-long Mississippian from Jones County. He is a professor of history holding a bachelor and master’s degree in American history from the University of Southern Mississippi. He is the author of "The Last Jeffersonian: Grover Cleveland and the Path to Restoring the Republic." Find more of his writing at

Filed Under: Chris McDaniel, Christianity, Civil Rights, Contributor, County Government, Culture, Faith, Feature Stories, Influencing Institutions, Inspirational, Leadership, Legislature, Liberty, Mississippi PEP, MS State Government, Principles of Freedom, Religion, Republican, Ryan Walters, Stone County

Officials at the government-run school district in Stone County reached initial conclusion over request by conducting an internet search.

In 2013, Senator Chris McDaniel authored a law that would protect Mississippi public school students from religious discrimination, safeguarding God-given rights that are coming under increasing assault around the nation. His bill protected all religious expressions by students in the same manner in which secular viewpoints are guarded, including religious-based classroom assignments, student religious organizations, and speakers at graduation and non-graduation events who have a religious message.

The Mississippi Student Religious Liberties Act of 2013 recently protected a Stone County chapter of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes from discrimination, which was not based on anti-religious views, but ignorance of state law.

FCA members wanted to hand out Bibles to their fellow students and asked permission to do so. According to Rob Chambers of the American Family Association, the school district seemed oblivious to state law, first conducting an Internet search to find out if such Biblical-based activity was permissible.

The district cited an article found on the legal website, FindLaw, and denied the students’ right to personally distribute the Bibles. The school district said they could only leave the Bibles on a table unattended for any who were interested.

But the FCA group fought back, contacting the Liberty Institute, which specializes in such cases. The Institute then contacted the school district.

Chambers also “contacted the Stone County School District” and “was never given a straight answer,” which should come as no surprise. Yet school officials should have known about McDaniel’s law because ALL state school board members were informed of it after Governor Bryant signed it into law and, according to Chambers, four of Stone County’s school board members were in office in 2013.

Yet despite the confusion, and legal ignorance displayed by officials at the government-run school, once the law was revealed to them, the issue was eventually resolved in favor of the religious liberties of the students. The FCA was granted permission to distribute God’s Word on campus.

So to those in the Republican Establishment who say that Senator Chris McDaniel is a “do-nothing” member of the legislature, here is solid proof that the religious rights and liberties of your children and grandchildren have been safeguarded because of his efforts.