The Gross National Debt

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

You don't want prayer in schools

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As long as there are math tests, there will be prayer in schools.

So said Austin Saxon some years ago. He was right then, he's right now and he will be right in the future.

Austin, in this case, referred to the practice of bowing one's head over the test and asking silently for divine intervention to guide the hand and thoughts of the poor student in hopes of getting a passing grade and on up the academic ladder to the point where honor students pray they'll maintain their honor status.

So I ask you, do you support prayer in school? Before you answer, read this.

Now I ask you again, do  you support prayer in school?

I then refer you to the toon at right, an image which I have enlarged a bit for my buddy Art and an image which will not doubt send everyone on FB who yelled "YES!" this morning in response to my question running for torches and pitchforks to come after me.

"Baker! Yer a Christian and an evangelist! How can you support such nonsense as espoused in that offensive cartoon?" you ask me.

I never said I supported it. I merely use the illustration to make a point. But to answer your unasked question: I am not a Christian - any more. I am a follower of the man we call The Christ. Further, this is exactly why I will not support prayer in schools.

"Huh?" you ask.

Jesus never forced Himself on anyone nor did He demand anyone believe. He offered and suggested and even told us if our GENTLE EFFORTS do not work "Shake the dust from your feet."

Lemme now ask you, do you support the US Constitution and believe in it?

Do you know what it says?

First Amendment: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Let us now jump to the 14th Amendment.

14th Amendment: Section 1: All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

This applies the Constitution to the various states. So, the prohibitions on religion as enumerated in the First Amendment are thusly applied to the states as well.

This next may get a bit confusing. I will try to make sense. If I don't, please, post comments and I'll try to clarify.

Public education in the US receives federal dollars.

With federal dollars comes federal oversight.

As the federal government CANNOT pass laws saying which religion is appropriate and which is not, it then cannot pass laws regarding prayer in school.

Lost my mind you say? Wrong, you say? Lemme continue.

The same set of affairs applies to state government. Public education in this nation receives state tax dollars.

With that comes state oversight.

The states are also restricted, thanks to the 14th amendment, by the first amendment.

You may say I am still wrong.

Federal and state governments have the right to dictate educational matters to the local districts.

You don't like that, fine. Form a private school. There are plenty in the nation today.

Fact is, you take their money, you play by their rules.

The rule says, government cannot say which religion is correct, right and appropriate.

Ya don't like it, ya try to get the Constitution amended. (That being a different topic, I say no more on that).

Since government CANNOT say which religions are suitable, the same coin says government cannot say which religions are not suitable. Subject to intelligent laws like banning human sacrifice and so forth.

So the question then is:

Are you willing to allow prayer in schools?

Really?

Whose?

If the government can't point to one religion as appropriate, it must, by default, either refuse to accept any religion or accept all religions.

Allowing only Christian prayer is a direct contravention of the Constitution. Doesn't matter what the Constitution is based on. Fact is, it prevents government from taking an active role in religion.

Just to debate, let's say Christian prayer.

All you Baptists out there will you let a Presbyterian pray? Methodist?

"Well, sure," you say.

Catholic? Knowing Catholics pray to the saints (not worship the saints) will you allow 'em to?

"Uh. Yeah. I suppose so," you said.

 Aaaaight alla you above (who won't let a pentecostal preach in your church) would you let a pentecostal prayer, knowing we (I am one) speak in tongues, raise our hands and generally become possessed by the Holy Spirit which takes over our bodies? It can get loud and noisy.

"Uh. Not if it will disrupt the other students in class," you say.

Hold it right there! If I can't raise my hands and speak in tongues then you have infringed MY right to pray!

What about Jehovah Witnesses? They believe in Christ, but reject the idea Jesus is part of the Holy trinity. They do not accept Jesus as God.

Can they pray?

We haven't even left Christianity and you are beginning to wonder.

Since government has to stay out of religion, let's expand past the narrow confines of Christianity.

Could Jews pray? How about Samaritans? Samaritans, in case you don't know, are Jews who believe only the first 5 books of the Bible are canonical. They believe in the sacrifice of animals. Before you object, I remind you animal sacrifice is part of the Bible. So is Human Sacrifice, but we shan't go there right now 'cause that would sprain some brains even beyond what is already happening.

Can the Samaritans sacrifice a pair of doves as part of prayer?

How about Muslims? Can they unroll a prayer rug, bow toward Mecca and pray?

Getting uneasy yet? We haven't even left the Judeo theological model.

What about Buddhists? Jainists? Zoroastrians?

Druids?

Wiccans?

If you refuse to allow one, just because you are in the majority, what happens when your brand of religion is in the minority and the majority bans your prayer?

Maybe you version of reality is that your kind of prayer is OK and it is acceptable to force it on other people.

If you say "Well fine! They don't have to participate. They can either leave the room or wait for me to ge done," then I suggest you've not been to a kindergarten class since you left it as a student. Kids that age want nothing more than to belong, be accepted and be a part of what is going on.

Besides which, that statement sounds a lot like some extremist Muslims who kill Christians simply for being Christian.

Furthermore, is that really fair? The Constitution is set up to provide parity and equality and to be fair. All religions are treated exactly the same under the Constitution.

When you start treating one religion differently, then you violate the Constitution.

When you start forcing your brand of belief on others (which is exactly what happens with government-sanctioned prayer), then what makes you any better than a Muslim beheading a Christian?

Anton LaVey - hoser boy extreme.
Ah. I fear now I must really tell you something that will cause a cerebral hemmorrhage.

Did you know the US military books for chaplains include sections on how to hold Satanic rituals? Reckon they should be allowed in school? Would it surprise you to know I read Anton LaVey's "Satanic Bible" in school? (It is quite droll, BTW).

Uh oh. Those pesky First and 14th amendments!

Isn't a good thing that we can't require prayer in school? If we did require it, can you imagine the consternation of Baptists everywhere when I showed up to lead them to baptism in the holy spirit so they could pray in tongues? Or a Catholic priest shows up to teach the rosary? Or a JW shows up to teach that Jesus is not really God?

It's no step at all from requiring a certain form of prayer in school to mandating the teaching of a specific form of religion.

All that said, as long as there are math tests, there will be prayer in schools. It'll just be a quiet, one-person prayer with no government oversight, injunction or regulation.

That kind of prayer, I believe we can all support.

7 comments:

  1. At the risk of making a very bad pun, "Preach it my Brother!" Whether people like it or not, Freedom for all instead of freedom for a few" is the rule and the law. Myself being raised Southern Baptist and am now simply Christian, I believe that prayer in school should not be forced down peoples throats. God knows I said enough prayers over various tests growing up that I didnt need any help.

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  2. Hey,

    You sent me over from your thread on the right to offend vs. the right not to be offended.

    Just wanted to say I agree with this article pretty completely. Any student who wants to bow their head in prayer for a moment is more than welcome to do so. Just don't have teachers leading the class in prayer, or have the public schools, AKA government institutions specifically teach or lead any specific type of prayer.

    It's refreshing to see this viewpoint from someone who feels strongly about their religion. You seem to get it. You've made all the points I would make. I don't understand why more Christians don't see how clearly Matthew 6:5-6:6 apply here...

    Had you heard about this story:

    http://www.alternet.org/belief/151086/high_school_student_stands_up_against_prayer_at_public_school_and_is_ostracized,_demeaned_and_threatened?page=entire

    Have any thoughts? Does it make a difference that it's a student and not a teacher leading the prayer?

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  3. Poke around. I have more commentaries.

    That's just unfortunate and wrong that the kid should be treated that way.

    Those who read the Bible and are willing to understand Jesus know He never demanded. He only offered, suggested and attempted to persuade. If you rejected Him, He left.

    Jesus never forced Himself on anyone. That His "followers" do so is just wrong.

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  4. That's because your constitution was written by free-masons, which fall under the category of satan-worshipers.
    And of course, today's free-masons and their alike have no problem teaching a religion as true and sacred, even if your constitution prohibits it. (Yep! I'm talking about the so called "evolution" - the most stupid and well established religion of all...)
    I you ask me, it's in your best interest to become all Orthodox Christians and make a new constitution.

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  5. Just curious as to where you received your information about Free Masons.

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    Replies
    1. Multiple sources:
      1) Their texts, statements & books.
      2) The whole operation and organization of their society is anti-christian, anti-constitutional (in most if not all countries) and satanic.
      3) Their actions are anti-christian and immoral under christian morality. In fact, the Bible itself as a people evaluation tool is sufficient for someone to conclude that they are what I mentioned above.
      4) The worst men I know are free-masons and all free-masons I known are as bad as they can get. The only not-so-bad exception that I know is JFK, but again he died for it, so that settles the issue... Most notable, they all seem to have a blur and distorted way of thinking, which is another way to conclude that Holy Spirit cannot rest for a second in those people.
      6) As the saying goes, "Show me your friends and I'll tell you who you are". There are countless events linking free-masons with satanists, the theosophic community, atheistic and anti-theistic movements, religious syncretism (in fact they are syncretists themselves), gnosticism (which also seems to the their philosophical root), etc.
      7) Ceremonial texts that have leaked out as well as the publicly stated goal of their existence is blasphemous, to say the least.

      So, the big question is: why do you have any doubt?

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    2. 1) According to your reading. According to mine, it is not.

      2) This is not what I have seen, observed, witnessed and etc. Anti-constitutional, considering there are more than 200 soveriegn states in the world, means that any action by any group is unconstitutional somewhere.

      3) Not according to what I have read. I look forward to your proofs on this.

      4) Some of the best men I have ever met are masons and freemasons. To damn an organization by the actions of those who claim membership condemns Christianity as well.

      5) You have no referent here.

      6) I can point you to the same in any organization, including the "Christian" church. I continue to look forward to your proofs of this.

      7) Proofs? And as for "blasphemous" what is blasphemy to one is worship to another.

      You assume I have doubt. If by that you mean I seek more information, you are correct. If by that you mean I don't believe your statements, you are wrong. I have no reason to doubt the sincerity of your statements. I just look for more information because the more information I have, the more informed I become. Your statements do not dovetail with my experiences and observations. Ergo, I need more information because I could be wrong.

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