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k9gold-scout

US Court upholds 10 Commandments on public land

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in the above I agree with Merlyn, lets say in a heavily Islamic section of the country, like that suburban area in Detroit with the Muslim congressman wanted to have each day in the local public schools started with traditional Islamic prayers. Better yet to have all the traditional Islamic prayers said during the school day. Would that be ok? And there were a handful, not many mind you, just a handful of Jewish and Christian and other belief system followers attending, what would you do with them?(This message has been edited by oldgreyeagle)

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Meryln writes:

 

Catholics think there should be prayers in schools, thats why they are in their schools. The problem is the Protestant nature of the prayers (and even worst at that time readings from the King James version of the Bible). I am quite sure they would have accepted public schools if it was not for the Protestant slant.

 

That school prayer is unconstitutional is not so clear cut. I don't accept your logic that it was always unconstitutional and this was just recognied in 1962. For the whole prior history of the country school prayer was accepted and deemeded constitutional. Judges changed that fabric of American soceity in 1962.

 

Most Americans support prayer in school - 70% in fact according to a Gallup Poll.

 

http://christianparty.net/gallupschoolprayer.htm

 

I would say the Sedition Act was unconstitutional - probably for a different reason that you. You will probably quote the 1st Amendment (though it applies only to Congress, clearly in this era as it was before Incorporation). I would say it violates the 10th Amendment (which you seem to forget exists) as well as oversteps the delegated powers of Article I Section 8.

 

The fact that courts have ruled or not on a subject has no effect on the constitutionality of a measure. I think even you should be able to see that.

 

You write:

 

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

 

I don't know how a prayer can be construed as that . . .

 

And plus please consult the 10th Amendment, if you believe it exists as to the powers of schools.

 

I find it funny how you have a problem with "local, unelected bureaucrats" making a simple prayer, but would let distant unelected judges make rules for peoples thousands of miles away, that is not the dream of America.

 

Plus your unelected bureaucrats argument is facetious. You don't care who makes what rules at a local level. The people vote in a referendum by a large majority to have a prayer in their local school and you would deny them that right, wouldn't you?

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OGE - nice hypothetical because it clearly demonstrates a situation that most of us would not tolerate. That said - I have to agree that a public school policy that sets aside a time for public prayer is probably not a good idea. However, what's wrong with reserving time for silent mediation and/or prayer (if that's how a student wishes to use the time)? This allows the faithful to do as they feel their religion calls them to do, and it allows time for atheists to ponder whatever they wish to ponder. It does not establish a religion. It does recognize differences. And it seeks to satisfy the rights of everyone. That said - I'm sure someone will still object... Why you ask? Because common sense rarely prevails when there is a political axe to grind. But lets be honest here who would be hurt if time was reserved for the students to do as they please in silence?(This message has been edited by Rooster7)

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If a local school board wanted to have Muslim prayers I have no objection. In a democracy we have to respect decisions we don't like that much. Something Merlyn does not seem to see. Its either his way or the highway. Constitutional history be damned . . .

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TheScout, I object to government-imposed religion; odd you would call religious freedom "my way or the highway."

 

The fact that courts have ruled or not on a subject has no effect on the constitutionality of a measure. I think even you should be able to see that.

 

I do. You don't. You claim that prayer in school was actually constitutional before the SC ruled on it.

 

Plus, we seem to be going off into where you think governments have "rights" again. They don't. They have powers, individuals have rights. That's one reason why public schools can't impose religion - they lack the power to do so, and students have rights that the government may not infringe.

 

Rooster7 (back?) writes:

However, what's wrong with reserving time for silent mediation and/or prayer (if that's how a student wishes to use the time)?

 

To continue with OGE's example, what if a public school has moments of silence that just happen to coincide with the times muslims are supposed to pray? Conversely, what if they have one in the morning, but reject suggestions to add more for muslims?

 

And it seeks to satisfy the rights of everyone.

 

I don't think one moment of silence in the morning does that for muslims, you'd need at least 3 or 4. That is, if you really mean "everyone."

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I'm sure someone will correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't believe there is any public policy or legal requirement that prevents an individual student from praying in a public school as many times as he or she wishes, as long as the prayer does not infringe or disrupt classes or disturbs other students. Students also have the right to not pray if they wish.

 

So what's the beef? That everyone doesn't pray at the same time? In the same faith?

 

SA

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Merlyn,

 

Prayer in schools isn't government imposed religion. You can say that as much as you want, its just not true.

 

You have a my way or the highway mentality because you won't tolerate different opinions. Not a Christian prayer. Not a Muslim prayer, no prayer.

 

Your argument is facetious again about the Muslims. You don't care whether they can pray once, or twice or how many times they wish. You won't let them pray at all.

 

And again the problem isn't with bureaucrats, is it? Again what if a local school board had a referendum and a HUGE majority of the local citizens vote for prayer in schools. What say you then?

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I have an idea, Why not draft a Constitutional Amendment allowing prayer in public schools? Something along the lines of if a referendum allowing prayer time in a public school district passes, then there is time for prayer. The arguments all seem to fall into the question of constitutionality. Well, actually that is an easy fix, a constitutional amendment to state what is allowed.

 

Wouldnt that be easier?

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TheScout writes:

Prayer in schools isn't government imposed religion. You can say that as much as you want, its just not true.

 

The courts seem to agree with me, not you, so you can say it isn't as much as you like, but that doesn't change reality.

 

You have a my way or the highway mentality because you won't tolerate different opinions.

 

Official school prayers aren't opinions. It's true I won't tolerate violations of religious rights, official school prayer being one violation. As scoutingagain pointed out, praying in school is perfectly legal.

 

Your argument is facetious again about the Muslims.

 

Not at all; you're the one who laughs at unfamiliar religions like summum. I recognize that a moment of silence at the start of the school day does not address all religions.

 

You won't let them pray at all.

 

Now you're just lying. I have never stated that, and, in fact, I have stated the exact opposite in this forum before. So stop lying about my actual position, OK? Argue your own positions, and refer to mine accurately.

 

Again what if a local school board had a referendum and a HUGE majority of the local citizens vote for prayer in schools. What say you then?

 

The same as if they voted to keep black students out; public schools do not have the power to infringe on students' civil rights by doing that, even if a majority wants to do that.

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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.

 

What religion do official public school prayers establish?

 

This 1st Amendment of which you speak also insures the freedom of speech & religion. You always seem to forget that part.

 

Smile!

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I don't forget that Ed; public officials acting in their official capacity are not exercising their rights as individuals. Schoolteachers have the right to tell everyone around them that they have to convert to their favorite religion or burn in hell -- if they're e.g. doing it on a public sidewalk as a private citizen. Schoolteachers do NOT have this right while teaching classes, because they are acting as agents of the state.

 

And if you want to read up on court cases involved in school prayer, go ahead; I won't tutor you on them, however.

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"Why not draft a Constitutional Amendment allowing prayer in public schools?"

 

Why? There is no Constitutional issue that prevents students from privately praying in public schools now. They are allowed to pray in any faith they want. To be sure there are restrictions on where and when they may be allowed to pray so as not to disrupt the educational mission of the school, but any student can say a prayer privately before school, between classes, at lunch, after school, etc.

 

The government is not allowed to lead a prayer. Nothing in the Constitution prevents anyone from praying...or not praying, even at a public school.

 

I've prayed on school grounds and no one has prevented me. Last fall I prayed the place- kicker for the HS football team would make a key 30 yarder. I'm sure I was joined by hundreds of others. The thought police did not stop the game and sweep the stands.

 

SA

 

 

(This message has been edited by scoutingagain)

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ScoutingAgain, I apologize I didnt make myself clear. As has been stated many times, sometimes by myself and most recently by yourself, there is no prohibition against praying in public schools. Immediately prior to the SATs I beleive many prayers are said. I was talking about a school disitrct that sets out time for prayer. There seem to be many for this idea and many against. So, the best way of handling this is to draft an constitutional amendment and add it onto the constitution. If it passes, its the law of the land, if it doesnt pass, then those who advocate such things can be reminded they had a chance and if they wish to change things, they need a different result. We can argue all we want, what if somebody actually tried to make a change, then we could see what would happen

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"The government is not allowed to lead a prayer. Nothing in the Constitution prevents anyone from praying...or not praying, even at a public school."

 

 

Only Christian prayer is prohibited. Muslims are excused from class so they can go bang their heads on the ground. At my kids' school, the Muslims have a room set aside for their use.(This message has been edited by Gold Winger)

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What school does that, Gold Winger? I'll inform the state ACLU so they can defend the rights of christian students to pray. They'll even make sure they can have a room just like the muslim kids.

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