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Author Topic: Texas School District's Graduation Prayer Policy Violates Constitution  (Read 2408 times)
LyricFox
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« Topic Start: August 24, 2007, 10:19:54 am »

Texas School District's Graduation Prayer Policy Violates Constitution, Americans United Lawsuit Charges

http://www.au.org/site/News2?JServSessionIdr005=0inl5r5nj1.app5b&abbr=pr&page=NewsArticle&id=9335&security=1002&news_iv_ctrl=1241
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RandallS
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« Reply #1: August 24, 2007, 04:21:25 pm »

Texas School District's Graduation Prayer Policy Violates Constitution, Americans United Lawsuit Charges

I suspect the fact that the district officials required the only high school to vote against the prayers to vote on the issue again will be what shoves this into the the unconstitutional range.
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« Reply #2: August 24, 2007, 05:03:24 pm »

I suspect the fact that the district officials required the only high school to vote against the prayers to vote on the issue again will be what shoves this into the the unconstitutional range.

yeah I would agree with that.

although the AU has the point that religion should never be the subject of majority rules.  If the valedictorian wants to put a prayer in their speech that they wrote, then fine, but the teachers and principals etc, should not be involved.
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« Reply #3: August 24, 2007, 05:12:17 pm »

although the AU has the point that religion should never be the subject of majority rules.  If the valedictorian wants to put a prayer in their speech that they wrote, then fine, but the teachers and principals etc, should not be involved.

I suspect there is nothing unconstitutional about a senior class voting to have/not have a non-sectarian prayer at their graduation as such prayers ARE constitutional. However, when the school district requires the class to vote on the issue and makes classes that vote against a prayer vote again, I suspect it is too much government involvement in religion to withstand a constitutional test.
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« Reply #4: August 24, 2007, 11:10:13 pm »

Texas School District's Graduation Prayer Policy Violates Constitution, Americans United Lawsuit Charges

http://www.au.org/site/News2?JServSessionIdr005=0inl5r5nj1.app5b&abbr=pr&page=NewsArticle&id=9335&security=1002&news_iv_ctrl=1241

wait, the school board makes the senior class revote if they don't vote for a prayer in the graduation ceremony?

Now, I think that even if the school board wasn't involved that a prayer would be unconstitutional.  I mean, if something like this was done at my hs graduation I would call the ACLU, Americans for the Seperation of Church and State, anyone I could think of.
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« Reply #5: August 25, 2007, 08:32:19 am »

Now, I think that even if the school board wasn't involved that a prayer would be unconstitutional.

Unless it was a sectarian prayer, it probably would be constitutional. THE USSC has rules that non-sectarian prayers invoking devine favor on a ceremonial occasion are okay even with mild government sponsorship association. However, the prayers have to be non-sectarian (can't call on specific deities or the like) and the government can't limit who gets to say them to a preferred religion.
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« Reply #6: August 25, 2007, 07:31:46 pm »

Unless it was a sectarian prayer, it probably would be constitutional. THE USSC has rules that non-sectarian prayers invoking devine favor on a ceremonial occasion are okay even with mild government sponsorship association. However, the prayers have to be non-sectarian (can't call on specific deities or the like) and the government can't limit who gets to say them to a preferred religion.

But what about Atheists?

This seems alot like the argument for keeping "In God We Trust" on our currency and "Under God" in the Pledge.  It seems catered for those who believe in a (single) higher power and excludes those that don't.
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« Reply #7: August 25, 2007, 11:02:04 pm »

But what about Atheists?

The corts has basically ruled that generic prayers to a generic "God" like those normally said on such occassions are pretty inoffensive and not really very religious.  It helps if people can't be required to attend the event as well.
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« Reply #8: August 27, 2007, 12:34:26 pm »


But what about Atheists?

I'll step up to the plate here.   Cheesy

To tell you the frank truth (and please bear in mind I may differ from the average atheist opinion here), I, for one, am so used to having to sit through "inoffensive" non-sectarian prayers at events that I don't really get too pissed about it most of the time.  I mean, yeh, on general principle it annoys me to sit through prayers of any kind at school (when I was in school) and similiar events, but, whaddya gonna do?  If you bitch about it, everyone else gets all offended and decides you, the lone atheist, are trying to oppress them in their thousands.   Roll Eyes 

Let me give you an example of growing up in this part of the country vis-à-vis religion.  When I was in 9th grade, I did an essay on the history of astrology (she let us pick the topic; I'll bet she regretted it  Grin ), which I ended w/"now you should have a better understanding...a headstart on a fashioable fad," and my teacher's response was to return it w/the following on the end:

Quote
Fad, is true.  Since there can't be any real scientific truth to astrology.  It is usually practiced by those who don't know God and His power over the universe.  I'll put my faith in Him over a lifeless star any day.

Now, this really pissed me off at the time with how utterly inappropriate it was (which is why I still have it to quote from for you; I kept it because I was so angry), but, really, what could I have done?  Complained to the principal, who'd have agreed with her?  Or the schoolboard, who frankly wouldn't've given a damn?  Besides, I'd've felt like a crybaby to bitch about it, so I let it go.  I just made a point of remembering it, and remembering who'd said it.  I didn't really like or respect her much before this incident (and it wasn't the only such incident w/her) but after I didn't like or respect her at all.

Sometimes I'll be driving down the road, and all of a sudden those damn "In God We Trust" plates, which are on 50-75% of the cars I see (and don't really notice anymore) every day, will jump out at me and make me freakin' crazy (God damn - no pun intended - but I thought I was gonna hafta kill somebody when they offered me one at the BMV; bad enough they make them at all, they don't need to be actively pushing the damn things).  I know the state is being sued over it, as well it should be, but I don't honestly expect the people suing to win.

Quote
This seems alot like the argument for keeping "In God We Trust" on our currency and "Under God" in the Pledge.  It seems catered for those who believe in a (single) higher power and excludes those that don't.

It is catered to religious, monotheistic people over non-religious or polytheistic people, but, like I said above, it's pretty much how I expect things to be in this culture.  When our regional manager at my place of employ feels the need to tell me that what's wrong with society today is the liberal attack on God, what can I really say in a right to work state?  Not a damn thing, so it's best to learn to put up with the little things, and save one's anger, as much as possible, for the big things.

Now, bear in mind that, if that little incident w/my 9th grade english teacher had involved my child and not myself, I'd've been down to that school to talk to the woman and the principal the very damn day I found out about it, and it would not be a friendly talk.  But, short of protecting someone weaker than myself, I'm not really inclined to kick up a fuss at every little bit of injustice this society has to offer, for probably similiar reasons to those of most gay activist groups when declining to bitch about the heteronormative assumptions underlying a lot of things in our society.  Even if they're right (which, IMO, they are), bitching about the little things uses up energy needed for the big things.  And when you're in the minority, sometimes you just gotta put up and shut up, and hope the more day-day things will improve as the bigger things do, and as the paradigm changes.
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              -----Richard Feynman

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