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k9gold-scout

US Court upholds 10 Commandments on public land

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"Hunt, I still say waiting for "a good time" is not a reasonable standard."

 

I'm not sure now what I said, but what I mean to say is that you have to wait for a good case. If you want to win, and avoid making things worse, you need strong facts and, preferably, an appealing plaintiff who has obviously been wronged. As you suggest, the Summum people may not be very good plaintiffs in this respect.

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Gold Winger, courts have ruled that having school officials tell grade school students to pray is coercion.

 

Yes TheScout, before 1962, public schools in many areas were violating the religious rights of students. Makes the 1st amendment pretty meaningless until that was stopped. School prayer has never been "important" - what's important about violating the religious rights of grade school kids?

 

Hunt, I think we disagree on what constitutes a good case; I also think it's important to fight all infringements, as failing to fight them can also lead to the loss of rights, so waiting for a better case might be worse than going forward with a less-than-ideal case.

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Gold Winger, courts have ruled that having school officials tell grade school students to pray is coercion.

 

I would agree but having a time for voluntary prayer isn't.

 

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So Merlyn the majority of Americans throughout American history that believed that school prayer was constitutional, were wrong unitl 1962?

 

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Yes; by the way, why do you claim it was a majority? A lot of catholics started their own schools to get away from the protestant prayers in public schools.

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So the problem wasn't the prayers, it was the Protestant nature of it. Hence the need for a non-denominational Christian prayer like the one used in New York.

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"Gold Winger, courts have ruled that having school officials tell grade school students to pray is coercion"

 

In the end, judges are just lawyers and we all know what lawyers are.

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TheScout writes:

So the problem wasn't the prayers, it was the Protestant nature of it.

 

No, not at all. But there were enough catholics in some areas to start their own private schools, and that's one reason why catholics did so.

 

Hence the need for a non-denominational Christian prayer like the one used in New York.

 

No, hence the need to eliminate official school prayers. Why do you think only catholics objected? Why do you think only the rights of other christians are covered?

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You're wrong. Catholics didn't have a problem with prayer in schools, only the Protestant nature of it. Thats why Catholic schools pray every day . . .

 

The prayer in question can hardly be considered Christian. It was very open:

 

Almighty God, we acknowledge our dependence upon Thee, and we beg Thy blessings upon us, our parents, our teachers and our country. Amen.

 

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"The prayer in question can hardly be considered Christian. It was very open:

 

Almighty God, we acknowledge our dependence upon Thee, and we beg Thy blessings upon us, our parents, our teachers and our country. Amen."

 

Well, then can you name any other religion other than Christianity whose adherents would say that prayer?

 

Jews wouldn't. Besides the fact that the prayer is not in Hebrew, and is not one of the prescribed prayers of Judaism, they usually refer to God as "Lord". I have never, ever heard any Jewish prayer use the phrase "Almighty God", even in Hebrew.

 

Muslims wouldn't. Again, it is not one of the prescribed prayers of Islam, and it is not in Arabic.

 

OK, so that leaves out the other two of the big three Abrahamic religions. I also can't think of any of the other eastern-based religion (Hindu, Buddism) that would address "Almighty God". And certainly, no Pagan prayer is going to use that phrasing.

 

So that leaves...hmmm...Christian.

 

I know we have adherents to several faiths other than Christianity on this board. Would any of you agree that this prayer would be consistent with your faith?

 

Edited to add: I will admit that my knowledge of Islam is probably the weakest of my comparative religious background. However, there is also the point that for Muslims, saying a formal prayer like that takes quite a bit of preparation. Are you going to allow time for that preparation in schools?(This message has been edited by DanKroh)

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TheScout writes:

Catholics didn't have a problem with prayer in schools

 

Ridiculous. There are catholics NOW who have a problem with prayers in public schools.

 

It doesn't matter anyway. Public schools can't conduct prayers. That isn't their purpose, and in doing so they infringe on the religious rights of the students and their parents.

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You are warping the argument. We were talking about when Catholics first broke off to form their own schools. Clearly they did not have a problem with the prayers. They included prayer in their schools.

 

That school prayer is unconstitutional is not so clear cut. It was constitutional until 1962. I don't think the constitution changed.

 

Anyway Congress could always strip the courts of its jurisdiction to here such cases, putting such matters back to local schools where they belong.

 

The biggest problem with you is that you don't share the dream of America. America was built on the idea that the people could govern themselves far better than any distant small group of officials (or judges).

 

I really don't care if a school decides to have a prayer or not. I think that they should, but it is not up for me to decide, or you, or the SCOTUS.

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TheScout writes:

Clearly they did not have a problem with the prayers. They included prayer in their schools.

 

Clearly this is some novel use of the word "clearly."

 

Sorry, no, I don't accept your illogic. Catholics who are happy to have their own prayers in their own schools do not necessarily approve of government prayers in public schools. Given that catholics were discriminated against for decades in public schools with official prayers, I'd say catholics would be more likely to be against them than most people.

 

That school prayer is unconstitutional is not so clear cut.

 

Only in your world. In the real world, school prayer is unconstitutional.

 

It was constitutional until 1962.

 

The supreme court didn't rule on it until 1962; its constitutionality before 1962 is presumably the same.

 

Or do you think Adams' Sedition Act is constitutional? The court never ruled on that one.

 

Anyway Congress could always strip the courts of its jurisdiction to here such cases, putting such matters back to local schools where they belong.

 

I don't think public schools have the power to instruct students in religion.

 

The biggest problem with you is that you don't share the dream of America

 

That "dream" being government-imposed religion?

 

I really don't care if a school decides to have a prayer or not.

 

I do. I think religious freedom is very important. You, apparently, think local, unelected bureaucrats should have the power to instruct other people's children in religion.

 

I think that they should, but it is not up for me to decide, or you, or the SCOTUS.

 

For some reason, you think unelected bureaucrats ought to have that decision. I think religion is up to the individual families.

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There is no state religion. Never has been. So by stating prayer in public schools promotes a state religion is not connecting the dots properly.

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The first amendment does far more than prohibit a state religion; it prohibits an establishment of religion. Official public school prayers violate that.

 

Besides being unconstitutional, it's a boneheaded and disasterous practice in any case.

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