Thursday, January 22, 2009

Do church on your own time


A federal judge, on constitutional grounds, has smacked down a state law that requires a moment of silence in all Illinois public schools. I applaud U.S. District Judge Robert W. Gettleman for recognizing a clear violation of the separation of church and state. Proponents of the law say, of course, that it doesn’t require prayer, but the intent is clear as day in the title of the measure: It’s the Illinois Silent Reflection and Student Prayer Act. In his ruling on the case, which was filed by talk show host and atheist Rob Sherman and his high school-age daughter, Gettleman noted that under the law, the “teacher is required to instruct her pupils, especially in the lower grades, about prayer and its meaning.” I would have no problem with schools offering elective courses on world religions or using religious texts in conjunction with studies of literature, but the Student Prayer Act goes too far. Schools should not be recruiting grounds for religions. Proponents of school prayer may say that’s not their goal, but if they’re not looking to indoctrinate or proselytize, then what’s the purpose of this continuing effort to get prayer, in the guise of silent reflection, into our public schools? A student can pray at any time during his or her school day. It does not have to be, nor should it be, an organized activity.

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54 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The old joke is still true -- there's always been prayer in school, particularly before math tests!

--Brad Hundt

January 22, 2009 at 11:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I even pray before my son's math tests. ;-) We are church-going believers and I do not want any prayer or prayer-like meditation at school. There are enough problems in education so I want my tax dollars to be optimally utilized. Teach math, science, world history, diversity, equality, kindness. I'll handle the religious side of things at home and at Sunday school for my own child. Hopefully, he will be blessed during his younger years with the proper education at school and guidance at church to make his own educated, informed decision on prayer and religion when he's older.

January 22, 2009 at 7:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr. Newman,
Please show us, in print, where there is a provision in the Constitution for separation of church and state.
I mean in the real honest to God Constitution, not some theoretical imagined philosophy that the libs have concocted in one of their drug houses. You know what I mean, like Barney Fwanks bedroom.
Jack

January 22, 2009 at 8:40 PM  
Blogger Brant said...

It's an interpretation of the Constitution, and that's what courts do all the time. Also, not all of our laws derive from the Constitution, but the concept of separation of church and state, as it relates to the Constitution, has been around since it was coined by Thomas Jefferson, a great thinking American, and subsequently embraced by our nation's courts. If you want religion to be taught to our schoolchildren, then I assume you have no problem with ALL religions being taught: Christianity, Catholicism, Judaism, Hinduism, Islam, Taoism, Mormonism, etc. Also, I'm sure you wouldn't mind that when these religions are taught, students also are educated about the concepts of agnosticism and atheism. Also, I'd like to say that the anonymous posting prior to yours was one of the most intelligent pieces of writing I've seen since this blog began. Thank you for that thoughtful reply.

January 22, 2009 at 8:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Brant,
Thanks for your reply. You admit then that it is a 'concept' rather than something actually in the Constitution. That is exactly what I hoped you would say.
Jack

January 22, 2009 at 10:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have to agree with Brant on the anonymous post before Jack's strange, umm, whatever that was. Very cool post, smart and makes me think. Thanx for that.

January 22, 2009 at 11:16 PM  
Blogger Brant said...

Glad I could help, Jack, though I still don't know what your point is.

January 23, 2009 at 7:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you want separation of church and state, then don't just go by this issue. Take the plunge.

1. Remove the words "In God We Trust" from currency. Any other religious sayings should not be displayed in government office buildings.

2. Make it illegal to have church polling places in the basements of any hall of a religious organization.

3. Forbid anyone running for political office to address a church group or religious organization to ask for any type of support.

4. Make it a crime for any religious leader to speak to a congregation on political issues.

5. Forbid any type of prayer at political functions, such as the inauguration.

I could go on but you get the point. Prayer in school is just one small matter in the discussion of separation of church and state.

As for the Supreme Court's interpretation, I've lost respect for that body's judgment on the abortion issue. Determining that life begins at birth means when the heads out, it's 20 percent of a baby, arms make it 50 percent.

What an insult to intelligence.

January 23, 2009 at 9:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, I don't think Bush v. Gore was that well-reasoned in 2000, but the Supreme Court is still an institution worthy of respect as far as I'm concerned.

What's the problem with the separation of church and state? In a pluralistic society, that seems to be the best guarantee we have that we won't be at each other's throats over religion.

--Brad Hundt

January 23, 2009 at 2:07 PM  
Blogger phonyfeminazi said...

Wiser minds have replaced prayer with classes on how to "place condoms on cucumbers".

January 25, 2009 at 10:14 PM  
Blogger Ellipses said...

Oh dear god...

January 26, 2009 at 5:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

" Wiser minds have replaced prayer with classes on how to "place condoms on cucumbers"."

Hmm, interesting. Perhaps these wiser minds are exactly what education in America needs. So many of us are worried about remaining "Christian" and hiding our impure thoughts behind the veil of religion that we sometimes forget that young, horny teenagers continue and continue and continue to have unprotected sex, get STDs and get pregnant. A little more practical, relevant education (more discussion at school and at home of tough topics and the big elephants in the room, no matter what the subject) instead of our default puritanical preaching may go a long way.

January 26, 2009 at 8:59 AM  
Blogger Ellipses said...

I would hope they teach them how to put a condom on a penis... Cucumbers don't cause teen pregnancy or STD's

January 26, 2009 at 3:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We went from a God-fearing nation that conquered the world, to a weak-kneed bastion of liberalism, about to go bankrupt because of all the failed LIBERAL SOCIAL EXPERIMENTS.

Yes, I see the advantages of being a secular liberal nation, don't you?

phonyfeminazi

January 27, 2009 at 8:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Phony! Read the second post and use your brain not the bible. The world doesn't need religious rhetoric...it needs education! I hope you're not a teacher. You're as twisted as Jack.

January 27, 2009 at 8:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
Hey Phony! Read the second post and use your brain not the bible. The world doesn't need religious rhetoric...it needs education! I hope you're not a teacher. You're as twisted as Jack.

January 27, 2009 8:43 AM

.................

Absolutely. Let's examine the successes of liberalism.

We went from a powerful nation, free from welfare and other various entitlements, to a weak-ass nation where 58 per cent of the population is on some sort of entitlement. During that time period, we also saw the advent of women's suffrage, civil rights legislation, legalized abortion, special rights for special groups, the DECLINE OF OUR GOVERNMENT EDUCATION SYSTEM, and here we are, today, BANKRUPT, BUSTED, BROKEN. Thank you liberals.

phonyfeminazi

January 27, 2009 at 1:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Me thinks Phonyfeminazi be needing some education. Thank you for the hearty laugh.

January 27, 2009 at 4:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
Me thinks Phonyfeminazi be needing some education. Thank you for the hearty laugh.

January 27, 2009 4:22 PM

.................

So, you think that being a bankrupt country is funny?

phonyfeminazi

January 27, 2009 at 4:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The whole problem is that they changed the wording of the proposal from "may" participate to "shall." I don't want anyone to tell me that I have to do or refrain from anything related to religion, anywhere or at any time. Worship as you will, but don't expect me to follow suit. In return, I will not ask that you stop praying.

January 27, 2009 at 4:32 PM  
Blogger Brant said...

And I'm sure Phony wants to give back his Social Security benefits, since he's so dead set against entitlement programs.

January 27, 2009 at 5:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Brant, I awaited a response from you.....I have been paying into my SOCIAL SECURITY since 1948, when I went to work at Falconi Motors. And I'm still paying into it, along with MEDICARE.

Remember, I explained this to you a few times, one of your heros, L.B.J., stole Social Security, and made it into a TAX INCREASE, in order to carry on his LIBERAL WAR, while providing the "poor" with WELFARE....

L.B.J. lost both wars, Vietnam and his vaunted "WAR ON POVERTY".

phonyfeminazi

January 27, 2009 at 6:27 PM  
Blogger Brant said...

Phony, I'm sure you're not going to take out of Social Security any more than you've paid in. Riiiiight. Also, Johnson inherited the Vietnam War, although he managed it poorly, much in the way President Bush managed the post-invasion period in Iraq. And by the way, LBJ has never been one of my heroes. But we've become used to lies spewing from you. It's all you do.

January 27, 2009 at 8:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Brant, no lies, just plain facts.

You libs blame Bush for everything from the war to your ingrown toe nails, so why can't I place blame where it belongs? L.B.J. lost the Vietnam War, along with his "War on Poverty", and we've been paying for both ever since.

My Social Security is just like any other pension plan. You sign up, and you play by the rules and receive the monthly checks, no matter how small they are. I PAID FOR AND AM STILL PAYING FOR MY SOCIAL SECURITY BENEFITS. I can't help it if one of yours stole the FUND and placed it in the GENERAL FUND, and has been a tax ever since.

phonyfeminazi

January 27, 2009 at 9:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

LBJ fell victim to the Domino Theory and the macho American ideal that America doesn't lose wars. Well, we lost 'Nam, and the dominos are still standing. Read Barbara Tuchman's "The March of Folly" for a great view of how such lovely logic lost not only Vietnam, but wars from throughout history. For the last 50+ years. America has been great at winning the war but losing the peace.

Bush is an ass who let his need to prove something to his daddy get him into a war he never should have started and couldn't extract himself from. In 2000, we had a $230 billion budget surplus. In eight years Bush's ridiculous economic policies resulted in a trillion dollar+ deficit. Even if 9/11 hadn't happened, he sewed the wind and left office just in time to see us reap the whirlwind. Unfortunately, the rat has enough money that he won't feel any ill effects of his idiocy.

January 27, 2009 at 10:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bush is an ass who let his need to prove something to his daddy get him into a war he never should have started and couldn't extract himself from. In 2000, we had a $230 billion budget surplus. In eight years Bush's ridiculous economic policies resulted in a trillion dollar+ deficit. Even if 9/11 hadn't happened, he sewed the wind and left office just in time to see us reap the whirlwind. Unfortunately, the rat has enough money that he won't feel any ill effects of his idiocy.

January 27, 2009 10:29 PM

......................

But, now, we are saved by the liberal prez, riding in on his white horse?

phonyfeminazi

January 28, 2009 at 1:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Since phony is so convinced that liberals have destroyed your life let me offer some other points to consider. The conservative-dominated Congress (1994–2006) and the administrations of G. W. Bush have morphed Republican-style mercantilism into corporate socialism. Harmful military spending, destruction of U.S. reputation throughout world, unbalanced budgets, rejection of healthcare reform, fiscal irresponsibility, protectionist and monopoly handouts to friends is the current conservative playbook. They, but not all, are nicely managing to destroy the quality of life for my children and my elderly parents. Do you want Madoff, Cheney, Fannie, Freddie, Wall Street, Detroit and Enron (I can go on) to continue their "altruistic" ways?

Positive change was needed and now we finally have a glimmer of hope.

January 28, 2009 at 8:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, ANONY, let's examine this military spending, and I suppose you are thinking of Halliburton.

Bubba the Pervert Clinton used Halliburton in his violation of Serbian sovereignty after 74 days of relentless bombing of innocent Serbian civilians.

Shot that one down, and we will go on to the next one.

Reputation in the world? I could care less about what the hypocritical world thinks of us....when they need our funding and our assistance, we are GREAT, WONDERFUL. And how soon they forget.

Next, unbalanced budgets? I suppose you neglected the funding for all the "LOSER LIBERAL ENTITLEMENT PROGRAMS".

Next, healthcare? Who in the hell pays anything for hospital and medical treatment? no one.....

Next, the conservatives destroying your way of life? And Osama is going to make it better? We certainly do need for WELFARE for you "losers"..

phonyfeminazi

January 28, 2009 at 12:28 PM  
Blogger Brant said...

I guess Phony's a big fan of Slobodan Milosevic and ethnic cleansing. At least Clinton didn't start a ground occupation there that cost us the lives of 4,000 American troops.

January 28, 2009 at 2:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, yes, Brant....killing innocent civilians and not putting down foot soldiers is okay in your book, right? Yes, that civil war is called "ethnic cleansing" by you liberals.....we violate a country's sovereignty and you libs put your STAMP OF APPROVAL on it by labeling it ETHNIC CLEANSING.

phonyfeminazi

January 28, 2009 at 2:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think the nazi, um, phony (whatever) drank a big cup of delusion and crazy this morning.

January 28, 2009 at 2:29 PM  
Blogger Ellipses said...

How much did those 74 days in Serbia cost us?

Holy Cow! 100 TRILLION dollars?

Oh, wait...

January 28, 2009 at 2:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
I think the nazi, um, phony (whatever) drank a big cup of delusion and crazy this morning.

January 28, 2009 2:29 PM
..............................
Anony, what? Is that supposed to be a "liberal rebuttal" of my post?
...............................


Ellipses said...
How much did those 74 days in Serbia cost us?

Holy Cow! 100 TRILLION dollars?

Oh, wait...
.............................

-ellipses, Oh, I see, killing innocent civilians is acceptable in liberal-land as long as it is done "cheap".....lol....come on, -ellipses, you have to get up early in the morning to nail me....I'm old, but still too fast for you.

phonyfeminazi

January 28, 2009 at 3:03 PM  
Blogger Ellipses said...

Ok phony... let's play a game.

I will assume that you and I can agree that killing civilians is bad.

Rhetorical question... is killing 2 civilians twice as bad as killing 1?

Even if the answer is no, would you say that killing 2 civilians is worse (but not twice) than killing 1?

Therefore, if we agree that killing Serbian civilians is bad, then you would agree that killing many more Iraqi civilians is many times worse... right?

I got up early today... but it wasn't to nail you... it was to toboggan my way to work :-)

January 28, 2009 at 3:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

-ellipses, taking the life one person is ONE TOO MANY.

Yeah, the snow also postponed the wrestling tournaments. I was looking forward to the tourney.

phonyfeminazi

January 28, 2009 at 4:09 PM  
Blogger Ellipses said...

Wow, phony... one too many?

Even if they are muslims?

January 28, 2009 at 4:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Even muslims.

phonyfeminazi

January 28, 2009 at 4:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Liberal rebuttal? Call it what you want but I'm as conservative as they come. Just think you're a little nutty.

January 28, 2009 at 6:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
Liberal rebuttal? Call it what you want but I'm as conservative as they come. Just think you're a little nutty.

January 28, 2009 6:35 PM
.....................

Yeah, you're about as conservative as "JOEY STALIN"

phonyfeminazi

January 28, 2009 at 7:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear phonyfeminazi-
I think you're assuming I'm the same person from a previous post. I'm not. Still think you're a whack job.

January 28, 2009 at 7:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
Dear phonyfeminazi-
I think you're assuming I'm the same person from a previous post. I'm not. Still think you're a whack job.
.................

And I still think you're a fruitcake liberal "loser". Can't deny anything I've said, so you resort to the typical liberal "loser" retort.....

"I THINK YOU'RE A WHACK JOB.".....lol.....that's all you have to say?????

phonyfeminazi

January 28, 2009 at 8:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So what do you think of religion in school...the given topic? There has been a wonderful dialogue and all I see from you is an unfocused rambling.

January 28, 2009 at 10:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
So what do you think of religion in school...the given topic? There has been a wonderful dialogue and all I see from you is an unfocused rambling.

January 28, 2009 10:07 PM
......................

I'm going to leave you with this post, and will look forward, in the morning, to read your reply.

I went to school in the 30s, 40s, and 50s, and prayer was said during those years. And those years produced "THE GREATEST GENERATION EVER", and since then we've had you liberals and your secularism, and we've steadily gone down hill in producing the worst generation ever.

Good night.

phonyfeminazi

January 28, 2009 at 10:57 PM  
Blogger Ellipses said...

When the kids at the bus stop have umbrellas, it either is raining or it will rain at some point in the day. Therefore, kids with umbrellas cause it to rain.

January 29, 2009 at 6:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

-ellipses, are you drinking again?

phonyfeminazi

January 29, 2009 at 8:00 AM  
Blogger Ellipses said...

It's 5pm somewhere, buddy:-)

My statement is an illustration of the confusion between causation, correlation, and coincidence.

The children with umbrellas are correlated to the rain, they did not cause it.

January 29, 2009 at 8:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ellipses said...
It's 5pm somewhere, buddy:-)

My statement is an illustration of the confusion between causation, correlation, and coincidence.

The children with umbrellas are correlated to the rain, they did not cause it.

January 29, 2009 8:11 AM
..............................

And this "correlates" to our failing education system, HOW?

phonyfeminazi

January 29, 2009 at 9:13 AM  
Blogger Ellipses said...

You are saying that removal of prayer is the CAUSE. I am saying that it is either a CORRELATION or a COINCIDENCE.

I don't know what the cause is... I learned a lot of good stuff in school. Haven't prayed since 1988.

January 29, 2009 at 9:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

-ellipses, I learned a lot of good stuff in Westland, Pa, back in the 1930s, 40s, and 50s....remember, the outhouse story, and the no cafeteria, no central heating/A.C. story....I got an excellent education, primarily because of no GOVERNMENT INTERFERENCE.....

phonyfeminazi

January 29, 2009 at 1:18 PM  
Blogger Ellipses said...

Ok... I got a good education too... I guess because of government interference...

How do we reconcile that?

January 29, 2009 at 1:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Easy, -ellipses:

You went to one of the few remaining "good" government schools.

phonyfeminazi

January 29, 2009 at 1:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Reading this is like fighting with my little brother as kids. "I know you are but what am I?!" When the posts seem to get too off topic or are reduced to a mine-is-bigger-than-yours, pissing match, postings really slow down.
Love,
Middle Melanie

January 30, 2009 at 10:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Middle Melonie,

We're discussing the FAILURE OF GOVERNMENT SCHOOLS...

Feel free to join in...

phonyfeminazi

January 30, 2009 at 1:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think MM has a point and some of the earlier posts are fantastic. The topic is "Do church on your own time" not my GOVERNMENT influenced education is better than your non-influenced one. Glad I just ran into this post. I look forward to sitting back on my little 1940's Minnesota school house to Ivy League educated butt to see how you diminish principles you clearly do not understand while projecting your insecurities.

Hold on...let me make some popcorn for the show.

January 30, 2009 at 2:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Minnesota, yes, I will begin by restating my position made in an earlier post.

We went from a powerful nation, free from welfare and other various entitlements, to a weak-ass nation where 58 per cent of the population is on some sort of entitlement. During that time period, we also saw the advent of women's suffrage, civil rights legislation, legalized abortion, special rights for special groups, the DECLINE OF OUR GOVERNMENT EDUCATION SYSTEM, and here we are, today, BANKRUPT, BUSTED, BROKEN. Thank you liberals.

phonyfeminazi

January 30, 2009 at 8:10 PM  

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