A school bus driver in Minnesota was fired last week after leading kids in Christian prayers while driving. George Nathaniel, 49, a bus driver for the Burnsville School District had already been reassigned and given a warning due to his repeated praying, but that didn’t stop him from continuing to exercise what he believes is his “freedom of speech.”
Nathaniel, also a pastor for two Minneapolis churches, argues that firing him “for praying for the safety of the children” isn’t right. Here’s exactly what he would do each morning with his captive audience of elementary and junior high school children:
Nathaniel prayed during the seven-minute ride to school after the last child got on board.
“We start out with a song,” he said. “Then each person will pray if they want to pray. If they don’t want to pray, they don’t have to pray. Then I will pray and ask them if they want to join me in prayer. Just give them something constructive and positive to go to school with.”
What drove Nathaniel to keep doing this, even after receiving a warning? “We got to get Christians to be able to be Christians and not have to be closet Christians,” he said. “You have something good, you are going to share it with somebody.”
Shockingly this behavior did not go over well with parents in the district, especially considering some of the district’s bus routes serve primarily Muslim families.
But Nathaniel continues to defend his preaching even after losing his job. He argues that when he drove buses in Wisconsin and Georgia, no one ever complained about his behavior. He also insists that no parents have "personally" complained to him. Air tight arguments, case closed, the end.
He's now looking for "other clergy" to help him fight for the right to pray on school buses.
[Image via Shutterstock]