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Prayer in Schools

Discussion in 'Alley of Dangerous Angles' started by NOG (No Other Gods), Aug 24, 2009.

  1. NOG (No Other Gods)

    NOG (No Other Gods) Going to church doesn't make you a Christian

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    Ziad, my point is we don't know how public or forceful that prayer of blessing was. If the principal leaned over to his Christian friend and asked the man to pray a blessing for the two of them, it doesn't contradict a word in the article. You assume it is the biggest and most significant event that could fit that description, and it may have been, but it also may not have been.

    BelorKross, remember that Walmart is a private entity. The freedom of religion, strictly speaking, only governs the government. Now, there may be laws against religious discrimination, as there are for gender and race, but that's something different.
     
  2. BelorKross Gems: 1/31
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    The children were not -forced- to participate any more then Im forced to participate in liking that new song by Black Eye peas that my fiance keeps playing. Just because I hear it doesn't mean Im participating and it sure doesn't change my opinion of the band.

    Listen, I could understand getting upset if this was robbing our/your children of their education because its cutting into school time. But that isn't the case. Even if it was the case I assure you that 95% of public schools waste enough resources/tax payer money that even if EVERY period took 5 minutes out to pray it still would be a minor waste compared to everything else that happens in your average school day. Nobody is making waves about those things. Teachers having little accountability, spending half the class telling jokes and letting everyone chat. Ignoring people passing notes during lectures. To me the only logical explanation for your post and the reaction of people to the prayer is that they are hostile towards religion, whether its christianity or anything else. They don't want their children being influenced by it. (Which in itself is a ridiculous idea seeing how rebellious kids are)

    Again, I just have to ask whats the big deal? Take the doctrines of all major world religions and its all good stuff. Its people that ruin it. The ideas are great, humility, peace, love, amore. You name it. Its not bad stuff, so whats the big deal? Would it be that bad if your son decided he liked the Quran or he found the bible moving?

    Is school the place to learn about this stuff absolutely not. Does that mean that a man shouldn't be allowed to pray at a function when its broad termed, harmless, and in good taste? Whats crazy is its a small percentage of people that are offended and making a big deal about all this stuff. Crosses in public, christmas trees being referred to such, prayers at school, reciting the pledge of allegiance, having a manger scene in public around Christmas time, etc. The majority of people either A. Like it or B. Couldn't care less!!!

    Shockingly Im in the latter. If my son had a teacher who was a devout buddhist and offered some really deep wisdom/advice and my son told me I wouldn't care what the source of the advice was. If it was sound advice thats awesome.

    ---------- Added 0 hours, 11 minutes and 41 seconds later... ----------

    I guess my point I am trying to make is that I think its ridiculous how religion is treated today. I personally don't feel like anyone should be able to tell me that I can't say Merry Christmas or that I can't wear a cross and it be visible. Whether its the company I work for or a court. There is a pattern here and its intimidating everyone because they're afraid of getting a law suit. They're too intimidated to do what they believe they should do in their heart. Its like a choke collar, just squeezing slowly over time making it harder and harder to practice your religion outside of your home/church. Its even impacted things that I don't even think of having religous affiliation. Such as saying merry christmas or referring to a christmas tree as a christmas tree. Thats just what I've always called it. If someone told me happy hannakuh I wouldn't get bent out of shape over it.
     
  3. NOG (No Other Gods)

    NOG (No Other Gods) Going to church doesn't make you a Christian

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    I agree, and I think most people in America need a good hard knock on the sensitivities. Life isn't free of insult, nor is it free of difficulty or influence.

    The issue with the school, however, is what is seen as state-sponsored religion. On the one hand, that's a legitimate gripe because, even if the state official acts on his own impetus and his own beliefs, he has the backing of state authority. On the other hand, it is inappropriate to ask a religious person to not be religious on the job. It comes down to a balancing of the two concerns, and I think the 'potential impact on those poor, young, impressionable minds' is a poor excuse used to shift the matter unfairly in one direction.
     
  4. Drew

    Drew Arrogant, contemptible, and obnoxious Adored Veteran

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    Yes, it would have been your fault. The Olive Garden is your employer, and just as McDonald's dictates that their cashiers tell every customer "Welcome to McDonald's, may I take your order" "Do you want fries with that?" and "Would you like to Super-Size that value meal?" the Olive Garden gets to dictate what it's holiday nomenclature will be. Say Merry Christmas in the back room all you want -- that is arguably your right -- but if the Olive Garden wants you to use "Happy Holidays" or even "Praise Satan" with their customers, that's what they're paying you to do. If you won't do it, the Olive Garden is within its rights to find someone who will.

    You may not like it, but the employer/employee relationship is not a 50/50 affair. Your employer dictates the terms of your employment, and you follow them. If you don't adhere to their terms, your employer is free to ignore it, change their terms, or take corrective measures ranging from minor disciplinary action to termination. If you don't like it, run your own damn restaurant and set your own terms.
     
  5. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

    Aldeth the Foppish Idiot Armed with My Mallet O' Thinking Veteran

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    To me this is the most obvious interpretation of the article. If it was just between the two people, how would other people know about it?

    You're exactly right - they were held in contempt for violating a court order.
     
  6. Dengo Gems: 8/31
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    I remembered the years I was forced to read and memorize prayers during the obligatory "religion culture" (in fact it has to be "Islamıc culture" since they don't teach anything else) course. We had to pray to pass the class. I learned lots of prayers (and forgot them) which I never used. Years passed but this stupid obligatory lessons still exist here. Also, I was staying at a government dorm between ages 12 and 16. We were forced to pray by teachers before each meal.

    This article makes me laugh and see the difference between a developed country and ours. I hope one day we start such advanced discussions like this here.
     
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  7. joacqin

    joacqin Confused Jerk Veteran

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    I was under the impression that there were quite heated discussions in Turkey between the secularists and the islamists. I was also under the impression that it was mostly during the last few years that religion had started to matter a lot again in Turkey and that before it was the secular nationalism of Kemal Atatürk who held sway?

    Now the problem as I have perceived it from my foreign perch is that there are religious islamists gaining power through democratic means which the secular military and courts are less than pleased with and are thus putting up strong resistance in an often undemocratic way.
     
  8. Ziad

    Ziad I speak in rebuses Veteran

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    You choose to listen to those songs she likes (but which you don't?) because you love her and chose to date her in the first place. If I place my children in secular school I am choosing to place them in a school that specifically does not feature religion or prayer as part of its activities. Your example is not only different, it's the opposite of what we're talking about. A more accurate comparison would be if your fiance lied to you or misled you.

    At no point did I mention or refer to Christianity. If the prayer had been done by a Jew, or a Muslim, or a Buddhist, or any specific religion.This isn't an anti-Christian argument.

    Did you read my posts, or even the article itself? These guys didn't face the sentence because they prayed, but because they violated a court order and they were fully aware they were doing so. That's why I said "a jail sentence was way too much", but this being about willfully defying a court order takes it, judicially speaking, to an entirely new level. In any case, it's obvious they simply shouldn't have done it - you said yourself that school isn't the place for this stuff. A school function is part if the, well, school; it's not an event that exists entirely outside the system.

    I will be the last person to tell what you can or should wear. If you check my posts in other threads in the Alleys I consistently defend the right of people to wear what they want and pray as much as they want and celebrate whatever they want. And if you came to me and wished me a Merry Christmas, or a Ramadan Moubarak, or a Happy Hannukuh, I would smile and wish you the same. If a court some day decides to ban people from celebrating Christmas you bet I'll argue that the court should mind its own business and leave people alone. However this is not the same thing as someone organising a prayer (of whatever faith) in a secular school, nor is it the same thing as a teacher offering advice based on their faith (something that I'm not entirely comfortable with but that I still find perfectly understandable so long as the teacher doesn't try to pressure the kid into switching to the religion). There's a place and a time for anything, and a school-sponsored event in a secular school is not the time for a prayer. It's that simple.
     
  9. Déise

    Déise Both happy and miserable, without the happy part!

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    Actually, I think this is exactly what the situation is like. Except substitute listening to the Black Eyed Peas to not going around proclaiming your love for Jesus. You don't have to love your fiance and the teacher doesn't have to teach in the school. But if you decide to do so than you have to accept that there are conditions attached.
     
  10. LKD Gems: 31/31
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    If the two religious people in question were knowingly violating a court order, then they should be punished brutally.

    Some of what was said earlier about saying a quiet blessing over ones food in a non-obtrusive way got me to thinking (that's the way I tend to do it, as it is between me and God, and doesn't need to be a big production number). However, the comment was "10 - 15 seconds max", which got me thinking. If I have my head quietly bowed for 30 seconds, does that mean I';m all of the sudden "pushing my beliefs on someone" or "violating their rights"? I mean, at what point does seeing someone pray become a violation of the rights of the person seeing it? Just because someone is praying in your vicinity doesn't necessarily mean any of your rights are being violated, as long as they are not asking you to participate.

    That doesn't really apply to this case, but it was something brought up earlier.

    You know, prayer in schools used to be quite common. it was a tradition that many practiced, and I think that any damage done to anyone was quite minor, overall. I think that the people who enjoyed that part of their culture find themselves threatened when they are told that they must change, with the added insinuation that their actions are some sort of deliberate attack on others. Most people don't pray thinking "Ha Ha, I'm gonna violate the rights of others." Most people also don't like being told what to do by those they disagree with, and that goes for the biggest believer and the most hard-core atheist.

    I would argue that religious people should limit their prayers and other forms of religious observance to occasions when the attendees are all religious. They should be understanding and considerate to those who do not believe.

    Those who do not believe should also try to be understanding and considerate instead of calling "rights violation" over anything that they don't like. It's a little juvenile and undercuts their position.
     
  11. T2Bruno

    T2Bruno The only source of knowledge is experience Distinguished Member ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    LKD, I went to a mostly Mormon school. I mean like over 50% Mormon, in the middle of Mesa, Arizona (which was settled by Mormons). Nearly every principal, member of the school board, and officer in the PTA were Mormon. And I never remember hearing a prayer in school.

    Here was a school, school board, and city populace where a religion had a distinct majority -- but the seperation between church and state was absolute. Prayer in school may have been common in some places, but not where I was raised.
     
  12. LKD Gems: 31/31
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    Well, Bruno, that's the way it should have been then. Those are my kind of members.

    However, I know there's lots of utter idiot Mormons out there who were not as decent as the ones you dealt with at that school. I'm sure you, Kit and DR can confirm this. Even my Dad can get a little obnoxious about it at restaurants sometimes (but he's in his 80s and kinda losing his sense of boundaries to senility, so I can cut him some slack)

    Other denominations can be bad for this as well. It's one thing to "not be ashamed of the Gospel of Christ" and another to be a pushy, obnoxious, arrogant fool.
     
  13. NOG (No Other Gods)

    NOG (No Other Gods) Going to church doesn't make you a Christian

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    I'm assuming the lunch was a rather open affair, so people would be able to notice two school officials bowing their heads and folding their heads together over a meal. There are those who would even object to that, and some of them at least seem to be in the ACLU (judging from previous cases).

    Not really. Here in the US at least, almost everyone sees public schooling not as the 'secular' option, but as the 'default' option, the free one. No one advertizes public schooling period, but even if they did, the secular nature (the extent of which is itself debatable) wouldn't feature highly in most communities.

    And that's why I questioned the constitutionality of the order. Remember, courts and judges can't just do anything they want.

    All jobs come with conditions attached. There are also laws and the Constitution restricting what those conditions can be. Your arguement can also be made to say that women shouldn't complain about being forced to have sex with their bosses, but that's obviously an illegal condition.

    T2, I think LKD was talking about an older time period when prayer in school was commonplace. Like the 40s or something (not really sure when that was stopped).
     
  14. Old One

    Old One The Old Warrior ★ SPS Account Holder Veteran New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) BoM XenForo Migration Contributor [2015] (for helping support the migration to new forum software!)

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    All this because a judge told people they can't pray on government property? Oops, sorry, I would still pray if I wanted to and would have much "contempt" for a court that tried to regulate my freedom of religon. While not wanting to have a say in what others believe or do as far as what they believe, it is no courts or ACLU lawsuit pros right to tell me when or where I pray. Or my right to say who has to! America is getting quite crazy in goiing overboard from every side. Whatever happened to respect of others?
     
  15. Rahkir

    Rahkir Cogito, ergo doleo

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    I don't think anyone was being told where they could and could not pray. Only how. Unless, the only way you 'can' pray is by being in a position of power and insisting that others pray with you. In which case I say you're a cooky nut and the school board has every right to fire (or take disciplinary action against) said principal.

    The only person being disrespectful here is the principal for making others bow their heads, or at least be silent while he prayed. As others have said, there would most likely be no problem if the principal wanted to close his eyes for 5 seconds and say a quick prayer (without causing a scene and making others participate).

    To sum up, I don't see anything saying "Those who pray in school shall be flogged unpleasantly." Simply that being in a position of power and asking children, without the consent of their parents, to participate in prayer over a meal is not acceptable for a public secular school event.
     
  16. Death Rabbit

    Death Rabbit Straight, no chaser Adored Veteran Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    My experience growing up was much like T2's, and mine was more recent by 10 years or so. I lived in a particularly conservative part of Utah* and my public education was almost entirely religion-free. In fact, even though there are LDS seminaries on every high school campus**, every teacher I had growing up kept their faith to themselves. They had more important things to do...like teaching me stuff. This can probably be chalked up to the idea that if you're surrounded by fellow believers, what point is there in preaching...but I digress. Yes, they were professional. I took me until I went to art school in Chicago before I experienced an instructor impressing her religious views on me. Go figure.

    * Sounds dumb, I know, since Utah is the reddest state in the union; but Salt Lake City is something like only 60% mormon, and is fairly racially diverse. The town I come from is about 1/10th the size and easily 90% white and mormon.

    ** LDS seminaries are usually located on a designated slice of the school grounds that is technically "leased" to the LDS church, but the surrounding area is school property. Any seminary classes taken as part of the student's schedule are designated as "release time," meaning the student is given permission to "leave school grounds" for that time block, even though they only cross an imaginary barrier. This is how they get around the first amendment.
     
  17. Old One

    Old One The Old Warrior ★ SPS Account Holder Veteran New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) BoM XenForo Migration Contributor [2015] (for helping support the migration to new forum software!)

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    @Rahkar
    When I watched the reports of what happened it was said no one was forced to pray. Come to think of it, respect of anothers beliefs should make a few quiet moments while another prayed no problem. I have had muslims stop to pray near me and had no problem being quiet for awhile until they were done. I am not a beliver of that faith but what does it hurt to respect another person? I do not call that making me pray to an Islamic god. Just being polite. Why would a non-christian be insulted because I prayed. That is what I do not understand. I don't go beserk because a person dosen't want to. I just ask for common respect for what I do. Being told not to pray on government property IS (caps intended, no insult intended) what this judge ordered and look at the fuss. The so called seperation of church and state appears nowhere in the constution. What is there is that the government shall have no established state religon and no say in religious beliefs. I do not see what harm was done? Does it kill someone to let a person practice a bit of their faith? If there is no God as some feel, it is no different then a short talk and if there is one it helps. A short period of quiet as far as I know never hurt anyone.
     
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  18. NOG (No Other Gods)

    NOG (No Other Gods) Going to church doesn't make you a Christian

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    No, read the article again. The ruling specifically said that no school official should pray or ask others to pray durring any official school activity. That means they weren't allowed to pray durring school hours (even in private, technically), durring after-school activities, or durring any kind of school-sponsored extra-curricular events.

    Except that, again, we don't know that that is what happened. All we know is that he asked another teacher (confirmed Christian) to pray over the meal. We don't know how private or public it was, and we definitely don't know that he asked anyone else to bow their heads. That's nothing more than an assumption.

    Again, re-read the article. You don't seem to understand what actually happened. School children weren't even eating at the meal.
     
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  19. Ziad

    Ziad I speak in rebuses Veteran

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    The court order was not about where they could pray, but about where they could organise a and promote a prayer and, more to the point, where it was appropriate to promote and advance their religion, and school is not the appropriate place.

    As far as I'm personally concerned? You can do it over the whole lunch period. It in no way interferes with my ability to eat my lunch and if by "quietly" you mean "without it being loud enough to be heard to the other side of a busy room" then it's really no one else's business what you're doing.

    This is the key point. The debate isn't (and should never be) about whether people should be allowed to pray, or even if they should be allowed to hold a prayer (the difference being something personal versus an event), but about whether it is appropriate to hold such a prayer in specific circumstances.

    Now you're just being silly. Women usually don't start a job with the established understanding that they're there for the sexual pleasure of their bosses. A boss forcing his employer to have sex with him is him breaching their contract. A teacher joining a non-religious school, on the other hand, should know better than to start promoting his religion at a school-sponsored event, and in this case he is the one who's doing the breaching, no the school.
     
  20. Old One

    Old One The Old Warrior ★ SPS Account Holder Veteran New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) BoM XenForo Migration Contributor [2015] (for helping support the migration to new forum software!)

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    @Ziad
    The court order was and is about where a person can pray or ask a friend to pray with them.
    I do appreciate your comment about your personal opinion, if more people had your tolerance this subject would be a non-subject. However... being asked whether it is appropriate to pray is another way of more politely saying where not to pray. As no children were involved how does what was done affect kids whose parents who violently object to forcing beliefs of another on them? I don't argue this should be done just my and others right to practice what a person belives in. As I said the right to practice my religon is stated in the Constitution quite clearly. No mention about where I cannot practice it. Once again I say I wish more people had your tolerance.
     
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