Lenoir City School Prayer Halted

Discussion in 'The Thunderdome' started by Tenacious D, Mar 21, 2012.

  1. Tenacious D

    Tenacious D The law is of supreme importance, or no importance

    Before school board meetings and sporting events - after receiving letters from ACLU, and other usual suspects.

    I know that we've talked about this all at length, but for the life of me, I cannot grasp how infringing upon the rights of those wishing to practice their religious faith has been so distorted as to appear to be done in the protective interests of individual freedoms.

    Link: Lenoir City school board halts prayers ยป Knoxville News Sentinel Mobile

    One of you lawyers explain to me how this makes one whit of sense. Or anyone else.
  2. Tenacious D

    Tenacious D The law is of supreme importance, or no importance

    And I've got a whole slew of questions about the legal profession, thereafter, so fair warning.

    I'm feeling friskier than normal today.
  3. volfanjo

    volfanjo Chieftain

    Don't you see this as a purely political move in response to the student who is trying to file a discrimination claim against the high school? That's a separate issue and maybe not related to what you're asking.
  4. justingroves

    justingroves supermod

    I've never understood why you it's so bad to just be quiet for 30 seconds and respect the rights of people that want to pray.
  5. CardinalVol

    CardinalVol Uncultured, non-diverse mod

    I think they are joined together at the hip.
  6. Tenacious D

    Tenacious D The law is of supreme importance, or no importance

    From a case in which the USSC barred a rabi from giving an invocation / prayer at a public middle school graduation ceremony:

    "The Court applied the Lemon test, originating in Lemon v. Kurtzman, 403 US 602 (1971), as a guide in evaluating whether the prayers were acceptable under the Establishment Clause.

    To satisfy the Establishment Clause a governmental practice must:
    1. reflect a clearly secular purpose;
    2. have a primary effect that neither advances nor inhibits religion; and
    3. avoid excessive government entanglement with religion

    In the opinion of the Court, allowing prayer at public school events, particularly those at which attendance is, if not mandatory, expected, failed all three parts of the test.

    Here's my question on this:

    Doesn't prohibiting prayer at a public school event, "inhibt" religion, as is outlined in the latter half of #2, above?
  7. JT5

    JT5 Super Moderator

    By definition, I'd say so.

    Really not seeing how allowing a quick prayer would qualify as "excessive government entanglement with religion."
  8. LawVol13

    LawVol13 Chieftain

    I believe a moment of silence is perfectly permissible. It's when there is a prayer given where the problems arise.
  9. LawVol13

    LawVol13 Chieftain

    It's very simple. religion over another. The simple solution is to just do a moment of silence. Then, those that want to pray can, and those that don't, don't have to. And, I would argue vigorously that prohibiting prayer at a public school event doesn't inhibit religion in the least. One doesn't go to a local public middle school event to practice religion. They go to church.
  10. Tenacious D

    Tenacious D The law is of supreme importance, or no importance

    Law, the constitution guarantees the free right to exercise religion, and no more guarantees a right not to do so than it guarantees the rights of death, servitude and the pursuit of unhappiness.

    In other words, a strict Constitutionalist might argue that it is only those who wish or are wanting to pray who are afforded any protection, and that to abridge their right to do so, for any reason or sensibility, is the only violation which has been caused to occur, and deserves a remedy - and not the other way around.

    I'm not smart enough to pose this argument, so I hope that at least made some sense.
  11. Tenacious D

    Tenacious D The law is of supreme importance, or no importance

    And not to be contrarian, at least needlessly so, but isn't forcing the believer to pray in silence not only an infringement upon their right to religious freedom, but speech, as well.

    What if an atheist saw their lips moving, and which appeared to be mouthing "God" - though entirely inaudible - could the atheist then demand that no prayer should be allowed without first covering the believers face and mouth, so as to prevent even the witnessing of the mouthed words, alone?

    And these are in response to you, Law, but are for anyone else, too (i.e. I'm not attempting to single you out, personally, in my rebuttals)
  12. Volst53

    Volst53 Super Moderator

    Nothing is keeping anyone from praying or from exercising their religion. It is just saying that a public function that is funded by tax funds can't exercise religion.

    The issue is when people of one religion thinks that attacks their religion, but it also protects them from having to sit through someone reading witch texts or whatever else another individual would want to practice as their religion.

    I'm with law. I don't see the issue with having a moment of silence and that should cover it.
  13. CardinalVol

    CardinalVol Uncultured, non-diverse mod

    The dumbest thing LCHS did was not let that girl publish her editorial in the school newspaper. Do that and they have no issues. Instead, they've probably got a billion of them now.
  14. Tenacious D

    Tenacious D The law is of supreme importance, or no importance

    For the record, not that anyone is scoring at home while awaiting my run for the White House (I'm laying low...waiting), but I am as adamantly opposed to their refusal to publish her atheistic article as I am in disallowing people from praying if they want to do so.

    There is no argument that will convince me that the stripping or subduing of rights is their best means of preservation. Nor am I ever likely to believe that saying a prayer before a high school football game meets the constitutional definition of "the establishment of a state religion". I believe that this was put into place as a means of preventing a state-ran church, and not to prevent the saying of a prayer before a government-backed activity or body. Instead, I think it is merely a grotesquely twisted bastardization of that phrasing by God-hating asshats who have found a legal means by which to subdue religious expression.

    I no more believe that this was the Founding Father's intent than I believe they sought to advance the "no forced quartering of troops" agenda as a means to prevent soldiers from owning homes.

    And I get your point, VT53 - I really do - but let me ask this (to you, and all):

    Can a person who lives in government housing start a prayer group in said housing? What about on the porch of that building - in full view of the public - at a building that was built and is operated with taxpayer money?
  15. Tenacious D

    Tenacious D The law is of supreme importance, or no importance

    I also find it curious that the Constitutional Convention opened with a prayer each session, just as the USSC does today.

    I would not have chosen to be born 100 years from now, even if offered to live my life as the King of what I imagine will be The United States of OprahEurAsia.
  16. CardinalVol

    CardinalVol Uncultured, non-diverse mod

    While I am not certain of this, and do not remember where I picked it up (and it could be an urban legend), I believe the first act of Congress was to appoint a Chaplin.
  17. LawVol13

    LawVol13 Chieftain

    I get what you're saying, but banning a public school sponsored prayer isn't denying any individual the right to pray. In fact, having a Christian prayer being sponsored by a government entity like a public school is endorsing religion and basically forcing it upon those who may or may not be Christian. Having a moment of silence allows anyone that wishes to pray to do so in accordance with their own beliefs.
  18. LawVol13

    LawVol13 Chieftain

    As tradition, Congress opens (or closes--I can't remember which) each session with a prayer. The Supreme Court carved out an exception to this simply because this is a historical practice. There's a reason there is a separation between church and state, and with the diversity in this country today compared to the 1770s, it makes it even more important today than ever.
  19. CardinalVol

    CardinalVol Uncultured, non-diverse mod

    So is LCHS saying a prayer for 50+ years before a high school game not historical?

    If the city of Dearborn, MI wants to pray to Allah before their sporting events, I have no problem with it. The fact I don't agree with their religious views is irrelevant. The majority of the people there are Muslim, so have at it.

    The reason there is separation of church in state is because no founding father wanted a state run religious institution as was the Church of England. Furthermore, if we read what the first amendment says, it's that Congress shall make no law establishing a religion or to prohibit the practice of it. It's absolutely ridiculous to the lengths to which this has been taken. And if we want to flip to the other side of the 1st amendment that is hardly ever brought up, the prohibiting of practice of religion, then it is not nearly treated the same as the first part.
  20. LawVol13

    LawVol13 Chieftain

    That's actually not what the first amendment says, Cardinal. And, even though you wouldn't mind if there was a Muslim prayer, you are definitely the minority. The vast, vast, vast majority of people crying that we can't pray to Jesus at a public school would be the first in line raising absolute hell if a Muslim prayer was uttered in the same school.

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