Five years ago, we wrote about a man named George Nathaniel after he was fired as a bus driver for the Burnsville Public School District in Minnesota. The reason? The pastor, who also drove a school bus on the side, kept inviting children to pray with him while on the job.
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.” … “To fire a bus driver for praying for the safety of the children” is not right, he said.
That’s some remarkable spin at the end. Personally praying for the kids’ safety is never a problem. Encouraging — coercing — those kids to join in violates the law. And this would be obvious if Nathaniel were a Muslim or Satanist.
In any case, he was fired.
You’ll never believe why Nathaniel’s in the news again this week…
A school bus driver says he was taken off his route last week because he was leading students in prayer while driving, alleging that the move violates his constitutional rights to freely speak and practice his religion.… Four years ago, Nathaniel was fired from his job driving Burnsville kids to school for the same reason.
But that didn’t stop Nathaniel, pastor of a Minneapolis congregation, from trying again with students attending Nasha Shkola, a Brooklyn Park charter school focused on Russian language and culture.
Seriously?! It’s the same story! And this time, no one’s even pretending that this is voluntary.
… Muk Musa, owner of Quality Care Transportation, the company that employed Nathaniel, said school officials received complaints that he “was influencing minors to the point where he was forcing them to pray.”
He hasn’t officially been fired yet, though that may be because the article in the Star Tribune came out before the company could speak with him in person. He was, however, removed from his usual route. But you have to wonder why he was even hired in the first place. Did they not even bother calling up his previous place of employment? Did they wonder why he was fired as a bus driver years ago?
This man can’t be trusted to do his job. He cares more about getting kids to pray to his God than getting them to school on time. Let him be a full-time pastor since that’s clearly what he wants to be doing.
(Image via Shutterstock. Thanks to Brian for the link)