The ACLU is suing a Rhode Island School over a Prayer Banner that an atheist student did not want in her school, but the banner has been there since 1963. Today, the ACLU won that case.
If it is a public school, it shouldn't have been there in the first place.
You said it, it is a public school and should not have to cater to one person. My opinion. Greg
"Attorneys for Jessica Ahlquist, 16, argued that a banner on display in Providence's Cranston High School West's auditorium titled "School Prayer" and addressing "Our Heavenly Father" is a violation of the Constitution and the Supreme Court's 1962 decision banning state-mandated prayer in school.
U.S. District Judge Ronald Lagueux disagreed and ruled that the banner should be removed immediately. He also upbraided school officials for holding community meetings about the mural that "at times resembled a religious revival." At one meeting, several school officials read from the Bible or declared their faith. Ahlquist needed a police escort to leave one meeting."
Notice that even though there was a ban on state-mandated prayer at school, believers broke the law and continued to hold religious revivals, reading from the bible and declaring their faith such that the student in question required a police escort.
Believers simply cannot be honest.
I would like to know who runs that school. Just because the athiest doesn't like it doesn't like it, that doesn't give them the right to have it removed. There are a lot of things I don't like but I either ignore them or deal with it. This just goes to show you how scared atheists are of religion. The prob;em is yhat America is letting them get too strong. My opinion. Greg
Public school should be totally secular. What if they put up a prayer banner for a different religion like Wicca or Buddhism etc. I doubt people would expect that to stay.
Nobody would ever object to teaching ABOUT Christianity. In fact, many atheists like myself would like to see comparative religion classes in all schools as a required course. Learning about other peoples belief systems is important for tolerance and understanding.
It's when someone tries to enforce Christianity that we dig in our heels. That banner was stupid and fighting to keep it was even more so.
http://www.faithwriters.com/article-det … ?id=139043
Posting more nonsense doesn't change facts.
There is nothing wrong with teaching ABOUT religion and Christianity can be included in those courses.
Forcing prayer or creating a religious atmosphere is entirely different.
I agree. Teaching what religions are and the differences in them isn't the same as promoting and imposing one on the students.
I agree, TEACHING the different religions should be allowed and would help to understand other peoples beliefs. But it would have to be held to TWACGING and not PREACHING. There is a difference between the two. But I do agree with that. Greg
The schools in California have a two week or more lesson in their classes in which the children take Islamic names and recite the Shahada and pray to allah every day for two weeks to a month.
No one is sueing over that.
I do not hear anyone of you scrteaming about that.
So that is BS!
It is a war on christianity in this nation... period.
Are you not waging a war of sorts? I see you post against Christianity all the time, You take the words of Christians and dispute them every chance you get and deny you are at war. Don't get me wrong, its ok with me that you do it, just be honest about why.
You've got to be joking. If you've actually been reading my posts, you would know why.
By the by, Christianity is not the only religion on the planet. Fyi.
For the last 2000 years, Christiaity has been declaring war on everyone else. It's okay for public schools to learn ABOUT other world religions in history or social studies class. As far as practicing a particular religionand prayer, there's no room in a public school or any other public building.
That would require not being a hypocrite.
My mom taught in a public elementary school in California for over 30 years and my sister currently teaches elementary in CA. I've never heard of that. Pray to Allah? I highly doubt that. If that is going on it should stop. It wasn't happening when I was in CA public school either.
No one would sue over it. The kids know that they are role playing.
No one would sue over a similar class about Christianity either. That banner is an entirely different thing.
Well the Christians are well prepared; they have Salvation Army.
I think they won't object on it; as in their opinion Buddha did not believe in the Creator God; while he believed.
What is the wording of the banner?
Should I congratulate the non-Theists?
I think atheists take life too seriously sometimes, but I don't know the details of the case.
I think it is pathetic that we keep bowing down to these clowns.
Actually, the truly pathetic part is that tax payer money was spent defending a position that any idiot knows was indefensible. And those idiots ran a school. What is the public education system coming to?
When people try to use a public school to push their faith on a captive audience of students, it sounds like the people running that school ought to be disciplined.
Disciplined? If that equates to firing them, I completely agree.
Well, what would that accomplish? If they know they can't pull this crap again, I don't think they need to be fired. This is error and no doubt they mean well. If they willfully repeated the offense, sure. But not now.
Are you sure of that, PC?
This group of people have for years promoted and demanded religious actions of their students. They knew very well it was against the law. Their obvious intention is to indoctrinate young minds into a lifetime of slavery to a myth.
Now consider a teacher that invites a young 16 year old boy to her home for a little "extracurricular" activity. She knows it is against the law. Her intention is a few hours or weeks of fun for herself and the boy and it is over forever.
One loses her job and her freedom for knowingly violating the law and the morals of the country. The other deserves no punishment for knowingly violating the law and morals of the country?
I would disagree. These are people paid to teach our children. If they don't understand the basic premise of separation of church and state they are either lying about having received a diploma from an accredited college or they are willfully ignoring the law. Either way, they should have to seek employment elsewhere. They aren't qualified to teach.
my concern is that everyone is against anything that is God....everything else it seems is ok...but let God be put into the mix and all of a sudden everyone has to get all upset...it seems that those who are not Christian refuse to even do the kindness of 'listening' to what a Christian says....they are so busy thinking of their reply they do not have time to hear what Christians want to say....as for pushing beliefs on someone......i totally disagree...there are many who attend public schools who are not Christians (not atheists either) who are not FORCED to pray or salute the flag or whatever.....no one's beliefs are pushed on anyone.
as a citizen of this country i should be able to exercise my beliefs whether i am on school grounds or not.
You are free. Nothing prevents students from praying, reading Biibles etc. stop spreading lies. What is prohibited is the SCHOOL endorsing a religious belief.
"...it seems that those who are not Christian refuse to even do the kindness of 'listening' to what a Christian says."
Please. Nobody is stopping individual Christians from saying whatever they feel like saying. It's when they use the power of being a teacher or administrator in a public school to promote their own faith to a captive audience that right-thinking people get upset.
"as a citizen of this country i should be able to exercise my beliefs whether i am on school grounds or not."
Nobody's stopping anyone from 'exercising their beliefs' on school grounds. What's being prevented is school officials using their power as school officials to push their beliefs on a captive audience of students on school grounds.
Religious instruction is between the kids, his or her parents, and their minister or priest or rabbi or imam or whoever leads their particular church or synagogue or mosque or sacred grove or whatever.
You want to have your kids made to take part in devotional religious observances at school, send them to a religious school. Don't expect the local public school to make everyone conform to your beliefs.
I remember back in the '70s and early '80s, when school assembly was a daily ritual, which included singing hymns and prayer. There was no objection in those days. Then, after I started senior school, where there were several Plymouth Brethren students, a room had to be set aside for them to use, when assembly was taking place. This led to questions about religion is schools, and eventually, assemblies were ended. Having experienced religion in school, I am in two minds about it. The schools I attended are now very multi-cultural, which they weren't when I attended them. So, a Christian assembly would no longer be an option. I do however believe that parents and students should have a choice. If the majority of students are Christian, then they should be allowed to express their beliefs in a visible way. There should however be provision for those who do not share those beliefs.
I would have to ask why the majority should be allowed to express their religious views visibly and as a group, in a public school setting where religion is not being taught? What is is about their belief that would cause us to set aside times and places in the school (intended and publicly funded to learn)? Just that they are the majority and thus get whatever they want?
In addition, just as you say, our land is becoming so multi-cultural that we would need a large sum of additional funding to provide separate spaces for each group. Are we willing to pay for that, both in decreased time for learning and in additional spaces? Should we now require that students go to school an extra hour each day so that those that want to have a revival can do so without interrupting classes? Should we make sure that each and every group have a teacher of their faith to assist them in learning about their God and worshipping him?
In my area, the Mormon church has a building across the street from nearly every high school, and there is a constant stream of students coming and going from those buildings. I'm not sure how those kids get around the required class time (perhaps the school finds that mythology is an accepted class), but they do it. If a church wants to remove kids from school to "teach" them what they "need" to know about religion that's fine, but there is no need to do it on the public dollar OR to demand that all students waste their own time by participating.
Although not a believer myself, I can't help feeling that the community in which a school is set should have some influence on how it conducts itself. If a community is very Christian, with almost the entire population singing from the same hymn sheet, it might seem unfair that somone who is in a minority of one should dictate how everyone behaves. This doesn't mean that that one individual shouldn't also have the right to express their different belief or non-belief. They should be protected by law and by the recognition of the equality of all views.
There were some complaints back in the '80s, when Christian assemblies were banned at my school. It so happened, that at the same time, the Muslim students were provided with a prayer room. It seemed to some that Christianity was under attack, whilst Islam was being shown consideration. And religious education, which had originally centred around the Bible and Christianity developed in that time to cover all world religions.
When I was very young, there was an accepted view that religion was part of school life, and it was the Church of England view which was the dominant one. In fact, my school, although a public one was owned by the local Church and even shared the name of St. Michael's. And I feel that I personally benefitted from that early teaching and example, even though I have gone on to be a non-believer. And I believe that all schools should be taken as an individual case. If everyone is Christian in a community, or Muslim, or a mixture of cultures, then the school should be allowed to reflect the community it represents. However, I realise it is different in the US, which has a legal separation of church and state, whereas the UK has an established church, even though it is a minority religion nowadays. The schools I attended now have a majority Muslim student population, and so would need to reflect that.
I think you answered your own question.
Perhaps, if Christianity had a requirement to pray at certain times every day, Christians would also have prayer rooms.
But, that's the entire point, the school IS trying to reflect the community it represents, a community in which ALL have the right to believe whatever they want and not dictate those beliefs to others.
I think they should poll every student and parent in the school system and if the majority says leave the banner, then the banner should be left, if the majority says to take it down, then remove it. Leave it to a majority rule - not to one spoiled child because she thinks it offends her.
Fortunately for the rest of us, our Constitution is designed to protect us from the tyranny of the majority.
It is absolutely amazing how many supposedly educated people fail to understand that. It doesn't say much for our educational system.
I hardly think that leaving or removing a banner from a school that has been there for over 30 years and has had no detrimental effect on the psychosis of the thousands of student and parents that have seen it day in and day out over that period of time should be considered "tyranny" and the majority of those who are in contact with the banner should be the ones who decide whether it stays or goes....I do agree with you on one thing, our educational system has seriously failed many, many people in the fact that they have removed common sense from so many individuals
That was a very poignant way of saying it.
And as common sense has been depleted from the schools, it has also been depleted from the justice system - there are more laws that defend criminals than the victims. An entire group of children and parents pay the price for one student....makes a lot of sense to me!
This is the Constitution - I guess you don't understand that kind of "common sense".
There is no "respecting an establishment of religion" by placing a prayer banner in a school or, in this case, leaving it there after it has been there for such a long period of time. I do not believe the banner specifies any "establishment" of religion, i.e. whether the banner is for Baptists, Methodists, Protestants, Catholics, Muslims, Agnostics, Buddhists or Atheists. It is merely a prayer that could be meant for anyone and everyone. And actually, if it is taken down, it is against the Constitution in that it will be "abridging the freedom of speech" - of many, many people who it does not offend, for just one.
If it is banned, it could be construde as a Maoist agenda. Now I'm not religious, but religious suppresion is just that, Maoist or communist if one prefers. The fact that they want to bring it down, brings the possibillity of a violent reaction and that's all we need, more violence.
Religion isn't banned.
The students can bring their Bibles, talk about Jesus all they want and pray as much as their little hearts desire.
What's banned is the school, a PUBLIC institution, endorsing a PRIVATE religion.
This should be simple to understand. The Protestants who are now often the ones screaming most loudly about this, used to be the ones who worked hardest to stop others from forcing their religious beliefs upon others - which included the Protestants, of course. I guess too many have forgotten that as they became more politically powerful.
The banner being taken down is not "suppression of religion." It's the cessation of promoting religion in the school. There's a difference, and it's pretty big.
Too big to fit inside of some of the small minds, apparently.
I'm talking about the misguided Americans that see it as a threat to their religion and I said it brings about the possibillity of violence, not that it would be invetable. Now I am just looking at it again from the side, so it's just one of many possibillities.
The "courts" of today may disagree with me but if you took this case in front of the actual creators and signers of the Constitution - that you purport to vehemently uphold - you would be laughed out of town and probably the Country. If you will look back into history and the individual signers lives and writings, you will see that most, if not all, of the signers of the actual Constitution were believers in a Divine Creator and participated in public prayers, so this case brought on by a child would not even be given credence. I do not believe they ever thought the Constitution would be so abused, manipulated and misinterpreted as it is today. Also, according to you, your disdain for anything "religious" or referring to God would also mean that to you the Declaration of Independence would be null and void as it refersearly on to "all men being CREATED equal, that they are endowed by their CREATOR", not rock explosion, Creator, so according to you we should still be under rule of the King of England. AND, according to you, we would also need to destroy many of our national monuments because many of them have inscriptions referring to God. AND all of our money should be given back and destroyed as it refers to "In God We Trust" and it should be replaced with "In Ourselves We Trust" or "In Our Rock Explosion We Trust". Frankly, you stick with trusting in humanity - we see how great it has gotten us so far by taking God out of everything - I'll stick with trustng in an Intelligent Designer who loves us all, yes, even those who don't believe in Him.
"We discover in the gospels a groundwork of vulgar ignorance, of things impossible, of superstition, fanaticism and fabrication"
"Christianity neither is, nor ever was, a part of the common law."
"This would be the best of all possible worlds, if there were no religion in it."
"I almost shudder at the thought of alluding to the most fatal example of the abuses of grief which the history of mankind has preserved-- the Cross. Consider what calamities that engine of grief has produced!"
"Ecclesiastical establishments tend to great ignorance and corruption, all of which facilitate the execution of mischievous projects."
"Religious bondage shackles and debilitates the mind and unfits it for every noble enterprise."
"In the affairs of the world, men are saved not by faith, but by the lack of it."
~ Ben Franklin
"I looked around for God's judgments, but saw no signs of them."
"What is it the New Testament teaches us? To believe that the Almighty committed debauchery with a woman engaged to be married; and the belief of this debauchery is called faith."
"I do not believe in the creed professed by the Jewish Church, by the Roman Church, by the Greek Church, by the Turkish Church, by the Protestant Church, nor by any Church that I know of. My own mind is my own Church. Each of those churches accuse the other of unbelief; and for my own part, I disbelieve them all."
And by the way, "Divine Creator" is a deist term. While deists may have believed in a God, they also believed he had no need for human worship and did not interfere in the life of people... including producing a son on a virgin and sending him to earth to die for our sins.
I could write volumes on this but you wouldn't pay attention anyway. So sure, God-fearing devout Christians they were one and all.
Obviously you know absolutely nothing about our Founders.
This is exactly the kind of nonsense they disapproved of.
Our Founders never put any "god" words on our money.
That was added by a bunch of religious Congress critters in 1864.
So, yes, if you want to do what the founders plainly wanted, we should take that junk off our money.
"Here is my Creed. I believe in one God, the Creator of the Universe. That He governs it by His Providence. That He ought to be worshipped.
That the most acceptable service we render to him is in doing good to his other children. That the soul of man is immortal, and will be treated with justice in another life respecting its conduct in this. These I take to be the fundamental points in all sound religion, and I regard them as you do in whatever sect I meet with them.
As to Jesus of Nazareth, my opinion of whom you particularly desire, I think the system of morals and his religion, as he left them to us, is the best the world ever saw, or is likely to see; " ~ Ben Franklin
"Resistance to tyranny becomes the Christian and social duty of each individual. ... Continue steadfast and, with a proper sense of your dependence on God, nobly defend those rights which heaven gave, and no man ought to take from us." ~ John Hancock
"I am a real Christian – that is to say, a disciple of the doctrines of Jesus Christ." ~ Thomas Jefferson
"God who gave us life gave us liberty. And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are of the Gift of God? That they are not to be violated but with His wrath? Indeed, I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that His justice cannot sleep forever; That a revolution of the wheel of fortune, a change of situation, is among possible events; that it may become probable by Supernatural influence! The Almighty has no attribute which can take side with us in that event." ~ Thomas Jefferson
"The general principles on which the fathers achieved independence were the general principles of Christianity. I will avow that I then believed, and now believe, that those general principles of Christianity are as eternal and immutable as the existence and attributes of God." ~ John Adams
"While we are zealously performing the duties of good citizens and soldiers, we certainly ought not to be inattentive to the higher duties of religion. To the distinguished character of Patriot, it should be our highest glory to add the more distinguished character of Christian." ~ George Washinton
"Cursed be all that learning that is contrary to the cross of Christ." ~ James Madison
"I believe that there is one only living and true God, existing in three persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, the same in substance equal in power and glory. That the scriptures of the old and new testaments are a revelation from God, and a complete rule to direct us how we may glorify and enjoy him. That God has foreordained whatsoever comes to pass, so as thereby he is not the author or approver of sin. That he creates all things, and preserves and governs all creatures and all their actions, in a manner perfectly consistent with the freedom of will in moral agents, and the usefulness of means. ~ Roger Sherman (signer of Constitution)
"I have carefully examined the evidences of the Christian religion, and if I was sitting as a juror upon its authenticity I would unhesitatingly give my verdict in its favor. I can prove its truth as clearly as any proposition ever submitted to the mind of man." ~ Alexander Hamilton
"It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great nation was founded, not by religionists, but by Christians; not on religions, but on the gospel of Jesus Christ. For this very reason peoples of other faiths have been afforded asylum, prosperity, and freedom of worship here." ~ Patrick Henry
"I could write volumes on this but you wouldn't pay attention anyway". -
Some were deists, some were unitarians, etc. Maybe YOU know absolutely nothing about our founders or you would have been easily able to research their quotes.
And yet and still, they created a Constitution that forbids the establishment of a church, forbids any religious test for potential office holders, and makes no mention whatsoever of any supernatural being, neither Father, nor Son, nor Holy Spirit.
It's kind of moot on what they would do in the courts back when the nation was being formed. We have progressed. Some of them used to own slaves too. I'm sure most of them were Christian.
The banner was addressed to "Our Heavenly Father," and ended with the word "Amen." To say that it could be meant for anyone and everyone is pretty silly.
Just for the record, this is one of the reasons why I home-school. You can't beat religion out of the public school system, especially in largely uneducated rural communities.
I'm not going to go out of my way to keep my kids from being exposed to religion until they are old enough, just to have it shoved down their throat by the school system.
If you have a fundie teacher, they are going to teach religion (they just can't help themselves) If you have fundie school boards, they are going to ignore the law (because "God's law" comes first)
I really don't want my children used as marks in God's referral scheme.
I know we've had this discussion before, but I don't think it was clear at the time, at least not for me.
Can I assume you are in fact living in a largely uneducated rural community and are forced to deal with fundie school boards with fundie teachers shoving their religion down kids throats?
If so, I can now understand why you would want to home school your kids.
Why does America get its knickers in a twist about religion in schools?
In the UK teaching religion is compulsory in schools, and assemblies must happen at least once a week where religion is discussed, and it must be broadly Christian. It's funny though that other faiths don't get upset (except Jehovah's Witnesses) and neither do atheists. Why? Because everyone recognises that religion is just another thread in the fabric of society and the moral teachings of Christ are considered beneficial in the UK. People seem able to differentiate His teachings from the Church.
Get over yourselves American fundies and atheists, life is more important.
For me personally, I don't like it when my kids are taught things that are inappropriate, personally biased, or flatly ignorant.
If I allowed my children to be brainwashed I have failed as a parent. If you are okay with other people raising and teaching your kids whatever they deem "correct" then good on you.
I do get my knickers in a twist over it though, because my children ARE my life. And yes, they are quite important.
What do you consider to be inappropriate or biased?
It's hardly brainwashing if kids are taught in an objective matter of fact way. No kids have the teacher's personal views forced upon them (that's a big no no); no kids are ordered to believe under tgreat of hell. It is possible to plainly teach the facts of what each religion believes. Religion is just one of many subjects in the curriculum.
Nobody objects to that. Comparative religion is something I would love to see be a required subject in all schools.
A banner praising Jesus isn't teaching anything but intolerance.
What matters is I don't wish my kids being taught about religion until they are mature enough to understand all sides. Religion is one of those subjects that really can't be taught objectively easily. Even if one is careful about what they SAY, body language is pretty telling.
But it doesn't really matter, the fact is that I don't want my children taught about it until I say so. It is not the place of the government to instill religion (or values) on my children. I got that. Stick to teaching literacy and math. I'll worry about my children's values. I just took it a bit farther in my family with "You know what, you suck at teaching literacy and math as well... just go away, I got that too."
Now, a question to you... exactly who should teach comparative religion? Do you know anyone who doesn't have a dog in that fight who can be completely objective? Yeah, me neither.
You would think that until you realize that non-belief or even skepticism is also a bias. If you have a belief one way or the other then you cannot be completely objective.
But that's true for history, too.
I'm not suggesting that third graders are ready for much beyond "Different people believe different things and in this country we protect their right to do so and not to believe any of it at all, too".
But by sixth grade, I think they should have some knowledge of the history of religion. I'm not too worried about prejudice - it's often said that training for priests produces many an atheist because of that.
Yes it probably could be said about history as well, which is why I teach history from as many standpoints as I can.
Also, from my POV I have no opinion whether my children are believers or non-believers of any particular faith. What is important to me is that they reach that decision on their own. There has been no standard age of lack of gullibility in my children. In sixth grade my 2nd oldest would have believed in anything that he thought made someone else happy. By sixth grade my oldest wouldn't have believed you if you said the world was round unless he confirmed it by 3 different witnesses, an encyclopedia and some form of self-experimentation. When the oldest chose his religious path I knew for damn certain it was because it was what he believed. The second oldest believes blindly and unswayingly in his father's religion but can't answer any specific questions about it. If I could have stopped the exposure I would have. It's sad to know he is basing his faith on what makes someone else happy.
For the second oldest, simple exposure to the idea was enough to convince him it was absolutely correct and the only alternative. All subsequent exposure to different faiths has resulted in a sneer and a contemptuous dismissal.
So on the basis of the actions of four bigoted nutters, all religious education should be stopped? That's like saying the entire Islamic community are a bunch of fundamentalist nutters who want to be terrorists. This article is not about whether religion should be taught in school but an incident of extremism. This kind of extremism exists in pockets here and there and will exploit any outlet to manifest itself.
If we go down the route of banning all religion from schools, then kids grow up ignorant of the religious groups in their communities, which leads to racism and religious intolerance.
It is because these four nutters are ignorant of life outside Islam that feeds their propensity for violence.
Well, the UK has an official state religion. The US doesn't, and is specifically forbidden from having one by its Constitution. That's a big part of the difference.
I wouldn't necessarily say uneducated as much as underexposed. We are tight-knit community and the Christian Fundies aren't really the "shove the religion down your throat" as they are unable to comprehend that other people aren't all born-again. "God Bless You" is really a standard parting statement. The closeness of the community also shuts down a lot of racism/bias against gays. For the most part, they all seriously love you no matter what color you are or who you sleep with.
However, they seriously cannot separate their religion from their job and it colors everything they teach. I'd prefer to shelter my kids from that until they are old enough to choose for themselves.
"Who would Jesus wish hell-rape upon?"
http://unicornbooty.com/blog/2012/01/16 … om-school/
I would like to know why you, who claim to be Atheist, hate anything and everything that refers to or may refer to God? If you don’t believe He exists than why give credence to Him by arguing about it, resorting to calling those who do names like “fundies”, and using snippy attitudes when responding? Is it because if you do admit that He is, then you would have to accept personal responsibility for your actions and choices and reap the consequences thereof without being able to blame someone else? Why is it that we, who do believe there is a God, (whether affiliated with a specific religion or not) are always attacked for our beliefs, but have to respect the fact that you do not? Why is it that you can make such a huge issue out of a prayer banner in a little school that has never offended anyone for 50 years just because it now offends a 16 year old who wants it removed because she doesn’t believe in God? Alternatively, you, the few, who wanted prayer removed from schools, had it removed, when you wanted the Pledge of Allegiance no longer recited, it was no longer recited, even when you wanted the moment of silence removed, it was. This is just hypocrisy. Do you honestly think the Founding Fathers wanted prayer removed from schools , the Pledge of Allegiance no longer recited, God Bless America no longer allowed to be sung, prayers at graduations and graduation ceremonies no longer allowed and insignificant prayer banners removed from schools? I do not think so or they would never have allowed any mention of or reference to God at the birth of our great nation and subsequently allowed it for many, many years after. I’m sorry you are so threatened by God, because if you don’t believe in Him, you shouldn’t be so afraid of a little prayer banner or any references to Him. Removal of a prayer banner, a pledge, a prayer, a song will not remove God from existence, or the hearts of those who believe in Him, nothing will. I respect your right to your beliefs and do not force my beliefs on anyone so you, who are atheists, should respect others’ rights and not force your beliefs on anyone, either – are we not all CREATED equal?
You're making a lot of assumptions and generalizations. Not all atheists or agnostics think the way you think they do. It doesn't matter though, it's your opinion. The bottom line on this subject though is that regardless of opinions, public schools should not be supporting or promoting any religious beliefs.
And this type of thinking is why I will just teach my kids at home, thanks. Now I don't even trust the religious to teach history.
Next it will be 2+2=5 cause God said so.
Maybe when my Grandkids are ready to go to school, those who think that teaching MY kids THEIR religion is perfectly fine will have finally been silenced.
I gotta wonder though how they would feel about having a huge ass prayer to Satan on the walls of their school? I bet Separation of Church and State would be their best friend then.
"Do you honestly think the Founding Fathers wanted prayer removed from schools , the Pledge of Allegiance no longer recited, God Bless America no longer allowed to be sung,"
Well, as for prayer in schools, there weren't any public ones at the time, so it wasn't an issue. As for the Pledge and God Bless America, neither of those things existed during the founding era, so the question is moot.
"I do not think so or they would never have allowed any mention of or reference to God at the birth of our great nation"
Have you read the Constitution? Go do so. Find me a mention or a reference to God.
" I respect your right to your beliefs and do not force my beliefs on anyone so you, who are atheists, should respect others’ rights and not force your beliefs on anyone, either"
Heh, they aren't forcing anyone not to believe in God. They are (rightly) insisting that the school does not unconstitutionally proselytize.
Heck, I could turn the "Why are you so threatened" right back at you. If you're so strong in your faith, why does it matter if school officials are forbidden to abuse their position of authority by preaching to a captive audience of students? God still exists, whether the school is being unconstitutionally and illegally used as a pulpit so that believers can preach their brand of Christianity to their students or not. Taking down that banner has no impact on the existence of God. Why does it matter so much to you? Why so insecure?
Read the question/statement as asked.... it wasn't about whether or not schools existed or not at the time is was whether or not they would have allowed prayer, etc. if they did - which they would have allowed based on their own quotes. A prayer banner does not constitute "preaching to a captive audience" and it didn't bother anyone for 50 years. Really? The school is hardly being used a pulpit with a 50 year old prayer banner - the 16 year old did not have to read the banner, that was her choice as it is the choice of everyone else whether or not to read it. Frankly, I just answered the forum question and was attacked for what I believe and my opinion. As to my being insecure...that is really funny, It will not matter what you or anyone else says....there is more proof to my belief in an intelligent designer than in the belief that life can come from an exploding rock - even Darwin agreed with that - research how he felt about the human eye and his disdain for the peacock feather that reminded him of the human eye. This question matters to me and should to all of us because one 16 year old child's opinion should not be able to change what a community has not had a problem with for 50 years.
"it wasn't about whether or not schools existed or not at the time is was whether or not they would have allowed prayer, etc. if they did - which they would have allowed based on their own quotes."
A faulty conclusion. The founders would absolutely not have allowed a public school to preach instead of teach, mainly because they kept any acknowledgement of divine authority out of the Constitution.
The utter absence of God, Christ, or any other supernatural being in the Constitution means that the government is a secular one, whose authority is derived from the people, and no other source.
" A prayer banner does not constitute "preaching to a captive audience""
Yes. It does.
"and it didn't bother anyone for 50 years."
You have no way of knowing that. We only know that this kid is the first person it bothered who also had the courage to say something about it. Good for her, says I.
"the 16 year old did not have to read the banner"
Yeah, she pretty much did, if she had to walk past it every day. Literacy is an interesting phenomenon: when a literate person sees writing, he reads it. There's no conscious effort involved unless you're just learning to read, or just learning to read a new language. So yes, she did have to read the banner.
"I just answered the forum question and was attacked for what I believe and my opinion."
Nobody attacked you for your beliefs (that I can recall--point out an attack on your beliefs and I'll retract). And nobody attacked you for your opinion; they've been disagreeing, certainly. So have I, because I think you're wrong about it. When someone attacks your opinion, they're not attacking you.
"As to my being insecure...that is really funny,"
Okay, if you're secure in your faith, why does it matter to you if a public school does or doesn't have a banner proclaiming that all of its students believe in Him? Does God becomes less powerful somehow when unconstitutional proclamations of faith get taken down? I don't think so. Why does it matter?
"there is more proof to my belief in an intelligent designer than in the belief that life can come from an exploding rock "
No there isn't. There is exactly no proof in a divine Creator. That's why we have to have faith in Him. And--let's be clear--I'm not saying there's no God. I'm saying there's no proof of His existence. That doesn't change my faith.
"This question matters to me and should to all of us because one 16 year old child [deserves to be protected from the tyranny of the mob, just as any minority does]."
There, fixed it for you.
If you cannot look around you and see how life comes from life not life comes from nonliving things....then that is why you are so angry and agrumentative about God and there is and never will be a word I or anyone else can say that will change that....as I said before, you have the right to believe what you want and I have the right to believe what I want and that is what is so great about America....Have nice life....arguing with you is a waste of the precious time on this earth that God has given me.
"then that is why you are so angry and agrumentative about God"
LOL. I am not argumentative at all about God. I'm a believer.
But I will fight tooth and nail to ensure that the government doesn't oppress those who believe in a different god, or those who have different ideas about the God I believe in, or who believe in no god at all.
You're free to believe in God, and even to believe you have 'proof' of his existence if you want. (You don't have proof, but hey, I'm free to believe that, too.)
I take issue with anyone who concludes that because they believe in God, and that most other people do, too, they get to assume that everybody believes in God, and should just shut up and sit quietly when the majority expects them to pay homage to a God they don't worship.
Scientist don't just "look around" and make conclusions. They actually do the rigor of research and experimentation in order to understand the world around us.
By merely taking a look around us, we can conclude the earth is flat, too.
See how that doesn't work?
So I just saw an update on this story:
"The prayer, eight feet tall, is papered onto the wall in the Cranston West auditorium, near the stage. It has hung there since 1963, when a seventh grader wrote it as a sort of moral guide and that year’s graduating class presented it as a gift. It was a year after a landmark Supreme Court ruling barring organized prayer in public schools."
It's looking like the school put up the prayer as a sort of middle finger to the Supreme Court. We can do whatever the heck we want to, and you can't stop us. (This is speculative, and I only suggest it based on the timing of the prayer's appearance.)
Now I'm really happy that the school lost its case.
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