Years ago, I chose to do a paper in my pre-law Constitutional Law class on Vitale v. Engles in which the Supreme Court decided that it is unconstitutional for state officials to compose an official school prayer and encourage its recitation in public schools.
I always had an interest in Con Law and Vitale was the first case I wrote a paper on. The Establishment Clause was at issue in Vitale and is now at issue in the case that Rachel Maddow lays out for us in the below article:
Three Indiana state senators, all Republicans, have introduced a bill that would allow schools to require the recitation of the Lord’s Prayer every morning, if they want to. Doug Masson writes on Masson’s Blog:
[T]his type of attempt at having government sanctioned prayer looks like nothing so much as the effort of a small but vocal subset of Christians to mark their territory. “This school is ours – we’ll tolerate you, if we must, but don’t forget who is running the show.”
The Lord’s Prayer bill says the point is to help “each student recognize the importance of spiritual development in establishing character and becoming a good citizen,” but you can get out of reciting it if you or your parents want.
The bill comes with a fiscal impact statement (pdf) so we can see the cost and revenue from introducing religion into the classroom. Expected expenditures are local, officials write: “There could be some minor impact in deciding the version of the Lord’s Prayer to use; however, it should be able to be done within existing resources.”
This is what theocracy looks like — using public resources to decide whether school kids should recite the King James Version or a new-fangled edition. The original Aramaic one is kind of nice, but it might a little cosmic-y, karm-y for whichever officials got the job of picking out a suitable prayer.
- Earthly Democracy / Heavenly Theocracy (betweenthedash.wordpress.com)
- Supreme Court: Churches Can’t Be Sued By Ministers For Employment Discrimination (huffingtonpost.com)
- Steven Green: The Battle Over School Prayer And Why It Matters (huffingtonpost.com)
- The truth about school prayer (washingtonpost.com)
- A plea to politicians: Tell the truth about ‘school prayer’ (mysanantonio.com)
- Jewish Theocrat | Dismantle Israeli Democracy, Start Jewish Theocracy (theageofblasphemy.wordpress.com)